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  • Baltic state no 3: Estonia.

    Yet another old town. They're all merging into one! But Tallinn is particularly beautiful. Especially from the viewing platform over the city near the Parliament. But, it has a dark soviet past.

    I went to the old soviet fortress prison thinking that it was a legitimate museum. It's not. Well not yet anyway. The goverment is closing it to the public in the next couple of days. I think the plan is to renovate it to make it a proper museum. But as it stands now, it is simply an abandoned prison with barbed wire lying around and on the ground, broken glass, old medical equipment in the hospital wing. The execution wing still stands there with the hole in the ground for hangings Next door is the room where prisoners were shot after lining up and walking though like a cow to the slaughter at the freezing works. Incredibly the last execution occured in 1992 after the Estonia gained independence. The new government simply didn't know whether it should carry out the death sentence handed to the man under the Soviet Union rule. Anyway the whole building was incredible for many different reasons. A rave is planned on the weekend to farewell the prison in its current state of disrepair. I shall not be attending as I will be in Finland, but I would be tempted to despite the health and safety risk.

    The following day I went to the Lahemaa national park. I found Estonia's tallest waterfall which is only 7 meters tall. I found on abandoned manors. I found a delightful handicraft workshop. Secret soviet stuff, like a demagnification submarine base. I found an Estonian swing. I found more garlic bread that was a bit substandard. I found the worst dumplings of trip. And I found bogs.

    Highlights: the prison and the bogs
    Lowlight: the dumplings ( I have such high expectations now)
    Read more

  • So back to Riga for a couple of days after touring the Kolka peninsula, then spent the last three days up the coast and entering Estonia! Estonia seems really nice so far, wifi everywhere and good roads. Nice free campsites as well, though the one in in cost 5 euro but I desperately needed a shower, and as a bonus there's wifi in my tent! Woot. Tomorrow on to Saaremaa!

  • So, made it to Saremaa, and spent several days camped up here. The island is beautiful and I wish I'd spent more time exploring, as I've ended up with a spare day or two! Never mind. Swam in the sea, a lovely warm clear sandy cove by the campground. Awesome.

  • I've been remiss in taking photos again! From Saremaa I tool the ferry across to Hiiumaa, which was a lovely island in its own right, camped there one night then took the ferry to the mainland to the town of Haapsula. Seaside resort town apparently, quaint and pretty quiet. From there along the coast towards Paldiski, camping for a couple nights in yet another excellent RMK campsite by the sea. Highly recommend using them. Waiting for the ferry now, on to Sweden tonight and Robyn joins me Friday! Hooray!Read more

  • Made it to Estonia but my luggage didn't. I guess I need to do some laundry for the little I brought in the carry on. Haven't seen too much of Estonia but will check it out later. Beautiful day! Just learned that the sun sets at 11 pm and rises at 4:00 am here. Interesting

  • I was able to make it to the old town part of Estonia today. So many neat buildings as old as the 16 century. They had a giant square with many types of shops and restaurants. I even saw some Estonian dancers in the street. The picture of the door is at the Polish Embassy. I will be back to look at more of this city soon!

  • Today I got to celebrate July 4th at the US Ambassador's residence. They had all the American favorites! Hamburgers, hot dogs, BBQ, subway, McDonalds, soft drinks, beer, wine, and Harley's. This was perfect because the Americans on this trip haven't had this food in over a week and it was a nice change to our rice, potatoes anf chicken menu. They also had a huge cake! The Orchestra did an awesome job performing patriotic marches and had a blast afterwards.Read more

  • Today we had a concert in Tartu. The Orchestra did a great job and we had a nice dinner at the local jazz club. This city had the same look as Tallinn but was more of a college setting. We have a couple of more days left in Estonia and then we move on to Latvia.

  • Today was concert day in Rapla. It is about a 45 minute drive from Tallinn at another beautiful church. Today's concert featured an Estonian female choir and soprano. Everyone did a great job performing. Two concerts down and thirteen more to go!