Wednesday May 14th ~ The sun is shining in Tallinn, Estonia!
Next on our travel agenda is a Gate 1 tour that takes us from Estonia, through Latvia, Lithuania and ends in Krakow, Poland. But before we meet up with our new group, we decided to take a FREE walking tour of Old Town Tallinn (a UNESCO World Heritage Site).
A few years ago we took one of the free walking tours in Sophia, Bulgaria and it was terrific. So we were game to try it again here.
The free walking tours are conducted by local college students. We met just outside of the tourist information office and our tour started promptly at noon and would last two hours. Our guide, Mairi, has been leading tours for two years. She studies Cultural theory, but confesses she is not sure what she will do with that degree.
Right off the bat I was impressed by this vibrant young lady. She spoke clear crisp English and exhibited a cheeky sense of humor. On top of that she managed to hold our attention while explaining Estonia’s history. Even my dear husband, who is renown for quickly loosing interest and having his eyes glaze over remained attentive.
So, my recommendation for today is if traveling to Tallinn, please give the free walking tour a chance. I think you will be very pleasantly surprised by the excellent quality. Although they do not charge anything, gratuities are welcome and much deserved.
To find out where they meet and more information you can click here.
I have been quite pleased by what we have seen and experienced so far in Estonia. The people are pleasant and do not seem to be bitter, tho they have reason to be over the many changes in government they have gone through. The streets are clean and building maintenance kept up. There is pride shown in their country and who they are as a people. Old Town is beautifully restored and charming to wander through.
Here is a sample of the pictures we took today:
We met our guide, Agnes, this evening at the hotel. After introductions, a discussion of optional tours, getting our baggage and name tags, and making our meal selections for three upcoming dinners, we made our way to the dining room for our welcome dinner, complete with wine or beer.
We officially start tomorrow morning with a city tour. There will be 40 people on our Gate 1 tour bus.
Let the fun begin!
GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful for the freedoms we have as Americans. When I hear the history of some of the countries we are visiting I realize just how fortunate we are. Our country has never been occupied by any other country ever since we declared our independence in 1776.
We had a fabulous walking tour in May 2012. It’s a lovely city. You can see it on our blog too 🙂 It was a great way to get to know the city and it’s history.