|Best Port on the Baltic||
"FOOTLOOSE IN TALLINN"
|Estonia's Window on the West|
|Dave and I take an Estonian tram to the once aristocratic seaside suburb of Kadriorg, where we meet city guide Giina Nuudii. She introduces us to Kadriorg Palace, built by Peter the Great at the start of the first Russian occupation of Estonia three centuries ago. We gaze across the water at the wonderful spires of Tallin's old town and the huge cruise liners bringing thousands of visitors across the Baltic Sea to it's deepest and best ice-free port.|
A short walk away takes us to the impressive Song Bowl Grounds, so important to Estonia's identity, where Bonzo, famous folk singer, gives a performance. Back on the trail, we walk through leafy streets, witnessing the contrast between the old Russian and the shiny new symbols of modern Estonia.
|Clear Skies and Cobbled Streets|
enter the magnificent medieval walled city, and follow a delightful
haphazard trail through the Upper and Lower Towns, watching Estonians
and their visitors unashamedly celebrate Old Town Days and their
Superb Hanseatic merchants' houses rise above a web of cobbled streets and in one such house we find Pille Kivihall, who tells us about the gothic workshops of the enterprising Katariina Gild, and her imaginitive leather business.
Russification surrounds the Old Town, and the sinister KGB HQ at 59 Pikk, and the Museum of Occupation are stark reminders that it has only been since 1991 that Estonians won their freedom.
A delightful walk through parkland outside the Rapunzel- turreted city leads us to the dock where there is a flotilla of museum ships, and a chance to go inside 'Lembit', a British built Submarine for the Estonian Navy. Then it is just a kilometre or so back to toward the Old Town and its all-important port, Estonia's window on the west - here we can look back on the fairtytale towers of Tallinn.
Included in the DVD is a bonus chapter: A visit to the Estonian Open Air Museum, with many period thatched rural houses.
© Grindelwald Productions 2009