After spending a day at sea, we arrived in the smallest and least-known country of our tour: Estonia.
Tallinn is a beautiful city. It is the oldest capital city in Northern Europe! I was told that Estonia was one of the later countries to end feudalism, and this was the explanation provided to me for many of the medieval-era architecture that still remains in the city.
Despite these omnipresent reminders of its medieval history, Estonia prides itself on its technological advances. Estonia has become a little Baltic Silicon Valley. Skype was invented here. (And they’ll never let you forget it!)
One of my favorite parts of my tour of Tallinn was visiting the Old Towne. You don’t have thousand-year-old structures in America, but in Tallinn, if you looked in the right place, you were transported back to the 1300s.
We also got to browse a little market here, where I almost bought a gorgeous Russian-style faux-fur hat but didn’t because that thing was 30€ say what. Lots of winter clothing being sold for the end of July… XD They were not so down with haggling, though. We did not expect the vendors to let us walk away but that’s exactly what happened.
I don’t have a LOT more to say about Tallinn, because our tour was shorter and it’s a smaller city. I didn’t have a lot of context for a lot of what I learned, and we spent a long time just wandering around as well. But I enjoyed my time there and took lots of really fun photos, so please enjoy 🙂
I have plenty more photos but I’ll spare you for now. I would love to learn more about Tallinn and Estonia!
I will be leaving a post-graduation family vacation to Europe shortly and I couldn’t be more excited! We visited Southern Europe exactly 10 years ago, and now we’re going on a little cruise around the Baltic Sea, so it’s a whole new set of cities that I have been really excited to visit. Although we’re no longer visiting Amsterdam as our original itinerary included, the freed up space means I finally have the chance to visit Paris!
I don’t know if I will get to see all these sights while I’m abroad, and I’ll probably want to see more than I’ve listed here, but I hope that I get to check off a good number of these items by the time I return. 🙂
Tower of London
St. Paul’s Cathedral
The City of London (Click for a great video on the difference between London, the city, and the “secret” City of London, courtesy of C.G.P. Grey.)
Frederiksborg Palace (basically, if I don’t see at least one castle or palace whilst in Copenhagen, I will be sorely disappointed)
Tycho Brahe Planetarium
Viking Ship Museum
Tivoli Gardens (time permitting)
Bit confused here because Berlin is quite a bit inland, so… we shall see. Mostly listing Berlin attractions.
Gendarmenmarkt (Deutsch is a real challenge for me…)
Open Air Museum (Rocca Al Mare)
Tower Kiek in de Kök
Saint Petersburg, Russia
Russian ballet at the Mikhailovsky Opera and Ballet Theatre OR
Russian ballet at the Alexandrinsky Theatre
Peter and Paul Cathedral
St. Isaac’s Cathedral (I am listing many cathedrals on this list. While I’m not religious, I would be a fool to not look forward to visiting these amazing buildings that are a testament to the long history of these nations and to the long history of Christendom.)
Peter and Paul Fortress
Gatchina Palace and Park
Peterhof Palace (thanks for reminding me of these 2 important ones, Barry!)
So in short, I want to see beautiful parks and squares, castles and palaces, and cathedrals wherever I can, in addition to the places that make each city unique.
I didn’t list many specific museums that I am interested in visiting because I don’t want to worry too much about admission costs and also I don’t know how much time we’ll have to go visit and browse at our leisure. I’m the kind of girl who likes to read all the signs… but I’m usually alone on that. ^^;
I pride myself on being relatively good at articulating how I feel, but I don’t know if I can accurately communicate how excited I am for this trip. Europe is a continent with such a vast and massive history, and so much of it is accessible to the public by just walking around. There is no denying the magnitude of events that happened where I will soon get to walk, taking in the same sights as names I first learned in textbooks did centuries ago.
It’s going to be amazing, no matter which sights I get to see.
What should I see while I’m abroad? What should I pass on? Please leave any and all suggestions in comments! 🙂