Noilly Prattle: Final days in Tallinn

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Final days in Tallinn

Dockside Dance Rehearsal

Blue Grass Dance

Texas Honky Tonk and Cantina in Tallinn
sharing a Margarita
      We've come to the end of our short but enjoyable stay in Tallinn; wrapping up loose ends in our rental apartment and flying to Stockholm this afternoon.

      After just two weeks Tallinn has become almost as familiar as our own home in Japan. You could do a whirlwind tour in a day or two since Tallinn's Old Town area, which is the main tourist attraction, is quite small. We prefer to spend a little more time than that, however, and get to know the town and what it has to offer a little more intimately. Many of the small concerts we attended, for example, were mostly attended by locals. Most short-term visitors were probably not even aware of them.

      We also tend to avoid transportation for places that are more easily accessible on foot and reserve public transport for places that are more distant from the center. That can turn out to be a good idea or a fool's errand, both of which, I have to admit, we did.

once a prison, now a museum
      The fool's errand: One day we decided to take a walk outside the walls of the Old Town to an area on the coast where you could take a boat ride on a sailing ship. The walk on a particularly hot and humid day turned into a 6 or 7-km hike that left me, thankfully, not limping, but stumbling a bit. Since I'm road testing me bum leg on this trip I was both exhausted by the walk in the heat, but happy that my hip did not interfere—both legs were feeling the strain. Normal!

sign in front of the tugboat is
the sailboat landing
      There was no sailboat at the time we arrived at the port, but I happened to catch some kind of dance rehearsal nearby that I shot a bit of video on. I'm not quite sure what it was all about, maybe some Viking throwback or something. Anyway, here's a little sample above.

      The good idea: Another day we decided to venture farther out from the city center on a public route bus, much as we had done some days earlier to visit the Pirita Convent. After some confusion as to where the bus stop was located we found it and had to wait almost an hour for the next bus. There seemed to be a lot of people waiting for buses, but none came. Finally, our bus arrived and every body there waiting got on it. We were barely able to squeeze onto this overcrowded bus with no air conditioning—only a few inadequate vents open in the roof.

thatched roof and old stone walls
harmonize very well
the village well
     We were headed for an open air museum where they display buildings and the way of life in 19th Century rural Estonia. The park is pretty and well kept and easily and pleasantly walkable. As we were walking along a path I heard music that sounded like lively dance music so we decided to follow the sound until we reached the spot where the music was coming from. There was a small group of costumed professional dancers performing what looked a folk dance and sounded like Blue Grass or a Quadrille, or square dance. They were performing for a large crowd of locals dining in what looked like an outdoor barbecue cafeteria style. It was by reservation only and already closed to further guests. But, no matter, we weren't hungry anyway, but I did get another little video of the dancers linked above.

spinning wheels

  And, of course, a few odd photos here and there. 

even a little red schoolhouse

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