We arrived in Tallin about 11.30pm on Friday 4th.

The sea was getting a bit rougher and it was raining when we arrived, but the rain soon cleared and the sun came out, as it had throughout the cruise.

We had lunch on the boat and then took the shuttle bus to the city gates.

 Tallin is a well preserved mediaeval city, which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997. Estonia has had a turbulent history having been occupied, in turn, by Danes, Swedes, Russians and Germans, but is now an independent state and a member of the EEC.

The shuttle bus left us near the city gates. We wandered in through the flower market and along the narrow cobbled streets. The mediaeval part of the city is now mainly devoted to tourism, with attractive shops, restaurants and bars, the residential area is mostly outside the walls. The streets slope steeply, so it was slow going for the elderly!

Estonia was once part of the Hanseatic League (the ancient forerunner of the Common Market.0397blog

Another view of the inn commemorating the old Hanseatic League

Another view of the inn commemorating the old Hanseatic League

We continued upwards to the Town Hall. Part of the way was up some very steep steps,

JW was interested to see a pair of (young!) cyclists zoom up by the side of the steps over the cobbled stones!

About a third of the steps!

About a third of the steps!

 We called in at an arts and crafts shop, set in a pretty walled garden, and bought a couple of handcrafted Christmas tree ornaments.

Whilst we were up in the town hall square, we heard horns honking and then a wedding party drove past.  Soon after this we went to the town walls to get a vantage point for taking pictures of the town, and found the wedding party there. I am not sure what they were doing, but it seemed to be a comic version of a wedding, with a clown in charge! They all seemed to be enjoying it hugely. The bride was very pretty and wearing a fairytale dress, which was in keeping with the fairytale surroundings.

A fairytale bride in a fairytale city

A fairytale bride in a fairytale city

View from the town walls

View from the town walls

We wended our way back down the streets, stopping to admire churches and quaint shops.

Amber shop

Amber shop

I stopped to rest on a bench by the flower market. Two elderly ladies tried to interest me in buying some exquisitely knitted baby boots, but sadly I had no one to buy them for!

We had just time to visit the market outside the gates and buy some amber and knitted jumpers from the lovely helpful old lady there, (she even gave me a fridge magnet with a view of  Tallin to thank me for my custom).

We caught the shuttle bus back to the ship and Ocean Majesty left at 6pm, ready for the crossing to Stockholm.

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