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Tallinn, Estonia (Last chapter about 3 weeks in Russia)

Sunday, September 11, 2011 14:29 | Deleted user

Tallinn, Estonia


We left Leningrad by bus for a 51/2-hour trip to Tallinn. It rained most of the way. The countryside was pretty. We made one pit stop to use the bathroom, which consisted of trees and bushes at the side of the road. I have developed a bad head cold and feel terrible.


We arrived in Tallinn at 1430. Scheduled to stay at Hotel Tallinn, but the tour company changed the reservations, which was a good thing. Hotel Tallinn was the pits. We ended up at Hotel Viru, which was Finnish built, and run by staff from Finland. It was considered the best hotel in the entire Soviet Union.

Our room was very nice with plenty of space, and a decent shower. We rested for a while then had dinner at 2000, followed by a lecture with questions and answers with Dr. Feldman.


Monday 17 July 1989. I decided to skip the morning city tour and rest. My cold is terrible and don’t want to spread my germs and make anyone else sick. Got up around 1030 and feel better.


The site of Tallinn is thought to have been settled by Finno-Ugric people around 2500 BC. There was probably an Estonian trading settlement here from around the 9th century AD, and a wooden stronghold was built on Toompea (the hill dominating Tallinn) in the 11th century. The Danes under King Waldemar II (who conquered Northern Estonia in 1219 met tough resistance at Tallinn and were on the verge of retreat when a red flag with a white cross fell from the sky into the bishop’s hands. Taking this as a sign of God’s support, they went on to win the battle; the flag became their national flag. The Danes set their own castle on Toompea. The origin of the name Tallinn is thought to be from the Taani linn, Estonian for Danish town.


With the start of the Protestant Reformation the German influence became even stronger as the city was converted to Lutheranism. There are many beautiful churches in the city.


During WWII the city suffered greatly with thousands of buildings destroyed during Soviet bombing in 1944. After the war, under Soviet control large-scale industry was developed in Tallinn – including the USSR’s biggest grain handling port. The population of this city speaks 3 languages. French 5%, German 20-25% and the rest speak English. Although under Russian control from 1944 to the present, most of the people refuse to speak Russian. Tallinn gained its independence in 1991. It was a fascinating city to visit.


After dinner we had several people from the city speak with us.  Five teachers and 1 physicist.


This brings my 3 weeks in Russia to a close. Tomorrow we board the Ferry to travel approximately 2 hours back to Helsinki. My exchange student and her father will be meeting us to take us to the home in Pori, Finland for 3 weeks of sightseeing in Finland.


I hope you have enjoyed this adventure.  I doubt however anyone has bothered to read it considering not one single comment has been posted.  Such is life. One can only make an attempt to post an interesting event even if no one is the least bit interested. 


All in all, it is been a great ride!


  • Wednesday, November 16, 2011 09:34 | Jeffrey Backus
    Carol, Your trip report will probably undermine the entire Russian tourist industry!!

    For those that feel that life in the United States in unbearable, maybe they should go spend some time in Baku or Yalta.
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  • Friday, November 18, 2011 19:20 | Laurel Ho
    Carol, you have lived such an interesting life. I can't believe how much detail you remember. I can hardly remember this morning sometimes! Thank u for Sharing your stories with us. I will cherish your friendship forever. I think you rock, no matter what Al says! Lol!:)
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