I never knew anything about this country until I saw a movie earlier this year about Stalin's effort to transport thousands of native Estonians to Siberia in 1940. He wanted to make the country Russian and decided that was one way of doing it. He soon lost the country to Germany but then got it back in 1944 and the USSR held on until 1991 when the country declared its independence.
The poor Estonians. Since the 1200's they have been ruled by Danes (who Christianized them), Swedes, Poles, Germany and Russia (mostly Russia - 200 centuries) because of their strategic position on the Baltic. After WW I, Estonia enjoyed a brief independence, but then was illegally annexed by the Soviets in 1940. You would think that would have broken their spirit. But today they are an independent country and a proud member of the European Union with one million inhabitants, 400,000 of whom live in Tallinn. (Ed kept thinking about a country of only 1 mil -- how do they survive?). They claim to have the most popular tourist destination on the Baltic after St. Petersburg and Copehagen. I don't know about that, but the old town was full of shops.
We started our tour in Tallinn's Upper Town, passing ancient walls and disembarking at Tall Hermann tower, also known as Toompea Tower, from which flies the national blue, black and white flag.
We walked up Toompea Hill and saw the Baroque Castle, which is now the seat of Estonian Parliament.
Nearby, we visited St. Mary's Cathedral. Originally a Catholic Church, it became Luthern in 1561.
While Ed napped, I went back in the city and walked around. The old town is VERY old, but the shops are full of new merchandise -- and all the bars were quite active. I can see where this is a popular tourist destination. With limited time, I made my way to the town square with its iconic town hall.
Tonight we had an earlier dinner (although dinner with its multiple courses takes 2 hours) and then went to a magic show (which was as much comedy as magic) but entertaining. Tomorrow - Russia!