A Travellerspoint blog

THE REST OF TALLINN AND THEN TO ST. PETERSBURG

OUR LAST DAY IN TALLINN AND A PHOTO FRIENDLY PLACE.

No matter where you turn in the old part of Tallinn, the street scene is fabulous for an Aussie. Every where there is a house or other building that is over 600 years old and so well looked after. Of course they keep their renovations up to date with repairs as needed but all in the original style.

I was directed to a timber house that was 'as is' from the fifteenth century. The map of the old town stated that the actual date when it was built was not known except that it was described in an early chronicle of the day as a "bawdy house of ill repute and a haunt of pickpockets and ladies of the street". The merchant owner sold grain and kept hay on the ground floor to "hide his girls from the wardens". (Must be where the term having a roll in the hay came from).

HERE'S THE PHOTOS

THE HOUSE OF PICKPOCKETS AND OTHER THINGS

THE HOUSE OF PICKPOCKETS AND OTHER THINGS

ANOTHER VIEW OF IT

ANOTHER VIEW OF IT

Just around the corner from the " house" was one of the oldest streets in Tallinn and I went mad in this area with my camera.

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AN OLD CHURCH THAT IS PART OF THE TOWN WALL. SEE THE SIGN.

AN OLD CHURCH THAT IS PART OF THE TOWN WALL. SEE THE SIGN.

HOPE YOU CAN READ IT

HOPE YOU CAN READ IT

THE GREAT GUILD BUILDING. BUILT EARLY IN THE 15th CENTURY.

THE GREAT GUILD BUILDING. BUILT EARLY IN THE 15th CENTURY.

Restaurants are mainly underground in the early Gothic basements of the old buildings. originally store rooms of the merchants houses, some have very low ceilings that are arched, so beware of your head as you turn from room to room. Some of them have signs that emphasise the main ingredient of their food.

LOOK CLOSELY AT THE SIGN.

LOOK CLOSELY AT THE SIGN.

IN THE CELLAR

IN THE CELLAR

IN THE OLDE HANSA CELLER

IN THE OLDE HANSA CELLER

OUTSIDE THE OLDE HANSA INN. (SPECIALLY FOR TOURISTS)

OUTSIDE THE OLDE HANSA INN. (SPECIALLY FOR TOURISTS)

WASH YOUR HANDS BEFORE EATING. ORIGINAL HAND WASHING UNIT FROM 1540

WASH YOUR HANDS BEFORE EATING. ORIGINAL HAND WASHING UNIT FROM 1540

After our lunch we joined a guided tour with a university student guide. Anne, who spoke excellent English was one of a team of students who supplemented their income by guiding tourist for free. Officially they cannot charge, but a donation at the end of the tour would be appreciated. (which was worth it.)

ANNA- OUR ESTONIAN PIXIE.

ANNA- OUR ESTONIAN PIXIE.

THE ROOFS OF THE OLD TOWN

THE ROOFS OF THE OLD TOWN

MORE OF THE OLD WALLS ON THE HILL OVERLOOKING THE OLD TOWN.

MORE OF THE OLD WALLS ON THE HILL OVERLOOKING THE OLD TOWN.

'FAT HERMAN' THE GUNPOWDER STORAGE FORT ( INSIDE THE WALLS)

'FAT HERMAN' THE GUNPOWDER STORAGE FORT ( INSIDE THE WALLS)

DOME CHURCH - OLDEST IN ESTONIA BUILT IN 1219

DOME CHURCH - OLDEST IN ESTONIA BUILT IN 1219

The next photos are of the interior of the Dome church, the carvings are all wood, painted and gilded. They are the last of the photos from Tallinn, It was dark when we went out and the next morning we flew to St. Petersburg. So if you like the blogs , look out for further instalments.

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THE CHOIR WALK

THE CHOIR WALK

CARVING DETAIL ON THE PULPIT

CARVING DETAIL ON THE PULPIT

Jack and Norma

Posted by normaandjack 13:46 Comments (1)

OUR THREE DAYS IN ESTONIA

TALLINN- THE CAPITAL OF ESTONIA IS A THRIVING PLACE NOW SINCE THE RUSSIANS LEFT IN 1992.

overcast 12 °C

The main tourist part of Tallinn is the old town that is within walls that were built in the 1200's. the old town has narrow cobbled streets of which only three are able to take a car width. The rest are paved with cobbles that are bigger and rougher than than streets of Oslo. The houses are mainly gothic with thick masonry walls and cellars with low arched ceilings.

Many of the cellars are now restaurants or shops with life size dolls outside to attract customers. The dolls are nearly life-size and usually dressed in the national costume sort of gear. They seem to be mainly outside the better class of shop or cafe and especially those shops that sell the Amber jewellery.

Here are a few of them.

NORMA AND ONE OF THE SHOP DOLLIES

NORMA AND ONE OF THE SHOP DOLLIES

NOT VERY FASHIONABLE

NOT VERY FASHIONABLE

A COUNTRY GIRL

A COUNTRY GIRL

A BIT PODGY

A BIT PODGY

About one third of the walls around the old town are still intact and some people have converted parts of the wall into houses. Very narrow streets are immediately inside the wall and the watch towers are the prime real estate units. If you have a car it could be half a mile away outside the old town.

A VERY WELL PRESERVED PART OF THE WALL

A VERY WELL PRESERVED PART OF THE WALL

WALLS THIRTEEN FEET THICK .

WALLS THIRTEEN FEET THICK .

OTHER PARTS OF THE WALL

OTHER PARTS OF THE WALL

ROUGH COBBLESTONES

ROUGH COBBLESTONES

A STREET IMMEDIATELY INSIDE THE WALL

A STREET IMMEDIATELY INSIDE THE WALL

The town square of the old town has the Town Hall on one side and the rest is lined with restaurants that offer traditional Estonian fare that tourists would never consider at home such as Boiled pigs Knuckle with pickled cucumber and potato dumpling. Wild Boar stew, okra and artichoke bulb. Diced chicken fried with paprika vegetables and sauerkraut on the side. Venison haunch steak with Lignon Berry sauce, potato puree and pickled cauliflower. (I went for that one !) Every restaurant and cafe serves beer and spirits, or Aqua Vite (local firewater ) and or VANN TALLINN. The label says "Vann Tallinn is a unique liquor with a glorious history, esteemed throughout generations, made from genuine rum and natural spices. The velvety character of Vann Tallinn is complimented by the fresh bitterness of citrus fruits, resulting in a delightfully rich bouquet of taste and aroma". They forgot to add ' IT HAS A KICK LIKE A MULE'

THE OLD TOWN HALL- IN THE CELLARS UNDERNEATH - A BEER HALL

THE OLD TOWN HALL- IN THE CELLARS UNDERNEATH - A BEER HALL

NORMA TOOK THIS ONE OF ME IN THE CELLAR THAT SELLS BEER!!

NORMA TOOK THIS ONE OF ME IN THE CELLAR THAT SELLS BEER!!

After a meal and a few beers under the town hall we walked around the town with our umbrellas and went mad with the camera.
HERE ARE THE PICTURES

STREET OFF THE TOWN SQUARE

STREET OFF THE TOWN SQUARE

A JEWELLERY SHOP SPECIALISING IN AMBER

A JEWELLERY SHOP SPECIALISING IN AMBER

ON OUR WALK

ON OUR WALK

WALKING TOWARDS A WALL GATE

WALKING TOWARDS A WALL GATE

I MET THIS ONE ON THE WAY

I MET THIS ONE ON THE WAY

AND HER SISTER

AND HER SISTER

THE DOME CHURCH - BUILT IN 1219

THE DOME CHURCH - BUILT IN 1219

PIKK ST., MEDIEVAL FROM 1290   OR-.

PIKK ST., MEDIEVAL FROM 1290 + OR-.

OVER 600 YEARS OLD

OVER 600 YEARS OLD

I WROTE DOWN A FEW NAMES OF STREETS IN THE OLD TOWN OF TALLIN AND HERE ARE A FEW :- PUHAVEIMU, OLEVIMAGI,RATASKAEVU,PIKK JALG AND LUHIKE JALG. LITERAL TRANSLATIONS INTO ENGLISH ARE :- 'LONG LEG STREET', ' SHORT LEG STREET', PEEP INTO THE KITCHEN ' AND 'FAT MARGARET'. I DONT KNOW WHICH IS WHICH AS I WROTE THEM DOWN WHILE OUR GUIDE GIRL WAS TALKING ONE MORNING.

FORGOT TO WRITE DOWN THE NAME

FORGOT TO WRITE DOWN THE NAME

HARD GOING UP THE HILL ON THE COBBLES

HARD GOING UP THE HILL ON THE COBBLES

I WILL LODGE MORE OF TALLINN LATER- GOT TO RECHARGE THE COMPUTER - SO LOOK OUT FOR ANOTHER INSTALLMENT .

JACK AND NORMA

Posted by normaandjack 18:47 Archived in Estonia Comments (0)

OUR LAST DAY IN NORWAY

PACKING AND A LAST TRIP AROUND OSLO WITH LEANNE

rain 7 °C

WE PACKED AND REPACKED OUR BAGS AND DECIDED TO HAVE A LAST WALK AROUND OSLO WITH LEANNE AS WE HAVE TO LEAVE HER HOUSE AT 5.45am to catch the bus to the airport.

So we caught the T-Bane into the city, got off at Majorstuen (taking a photo of a rather unique named station on the way) . At Majorstuen we walked up the hill to the Kings Palace and then down to the CBD of Oslo. I took a few pictures on the way and am attempting to put them on this blog (that I am doing in St. Petersburg - Russia.)

After we left Norway we flew to Tallinn , the capital of Estonia where we stayed at a hotel in the old town. (this will be the subject of a new blog that I will do if I can publish this one) the Internet connections here in Russia are really frustrating as the service from a server reduces as more people get on line (and everyone on the boat that we are on tries to send emails etc and the results are not enough to keep your connection up.

Any way,here are the photos from our last day including some of Leanne's and Alex's house.

SORRY , IT SEEMS THAT I CANNOT UPLOAD ANY PHOTOS USING THIS CONNECTION TO WIFI HERE . EVERY ONE IS HAVING THE SAME TROUBLE.

I'LL TRY TO PUBLISH THESE WORDS JACK

Posted by normaandjack 12:19 Archived in Russia Comments (1)

TO DROBAK AND BACK

THE NOBEL PEACE MUSEUM AND THE FAST FERRY TRIP

semi-overcast 10 °C

OSLO AT THE TOP END OF OSLO FIORD IS HOME TO THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE MUSEUM.

The museum is directly opposite the main wharves where all the visitors to Oslo disembarked in the early 1900's. the main ferry terminals are here for all the many ferries for working people who live in suburbs on the many hills that slope down to the fiord. Around the fiord, everyone has a water view and 99% of the homes visible from the waters are traditional Norwegian design.

Ferry commuters arriving here pass the Museum every which way to get trams, busses, T-banes etc. on their trips to work

The museum has a remarkable display about all the Nobel Peace Prize recipients, their lives, deeds and also the many war torn and oppressed countries where they toiled to improve the lives of their countrymen.

There was a very moving display about Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma who was given her Medal in Oslo on 16 June this year, after being released from prison and house arrest, 21 years after she was awarded the medal in 1991.

Our destination was Drobak, a fishing village situated where the Oslo fiord is its narrowest width between Oslo and the open sea which is another 70 km south of Drobak. There is an island slap bang in the middle of the fiord and the Norwegians had a fort ' Oscarsborg' here since the early 1800's, with only 500metres of water each side, an ideal spot. The day the Germans invaded Norway in WW2 a German battle cruiser tried to pass the fort and was sunk. This delayed the German entry into Oslo and their King and some of the Government Officials were able to escape to England.

Now some photos

THE NOBEL PEACE MUSEUM

THE NOBEL PEACE MUSEUM

THE FAST FERRY TO DROBACK

THE FAST FERRY TO DROBACK

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A HOUSE BUILT ON A ROCK IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FIORD

A HOUSE BUILT ON A ROCK IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FIORD

WATER FRONT HOUSE

WATER FRONT HOUSE

HOUSE NEAR FORNEBRU

HOUSE NEAR FORNEBRU

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TYPICAL FERRY WHARF  OF SMALL VILLAGE ALONG THE FIORD

TYPICAL FERRY WHARF OF SMALL VILLAGE ALONG THE FIORD

HOUSES NEAR SEMMESTAD

HOUSES NEAR SEMMESTAD

EARLY LIGHTHOUSE ON THE FIORD

EARLY LIGHTHOUSE ON THE FIORD

SORRY THIS IS THE LIGHTHOUSE

SORRY THIS IS THE LIGHTHOUSE

OSCARSBORG FORTRESS FROM THE AIR

OSCARSBORG FORTRESS FROM THE AIR

ENTRY TO ONE OF THE TUNNELS UNDER THE FORT (1835)

ENTRY TO ONE OF THE TUNNELS UNDER THE FORT (1835)

LOOKING TOWARDS DROBAK FROM THE FORT

LOOKING TOWARDS DROBAK FROM THE FORT

THE GUN THAT SANK THE GERMAN BATTLE CRUISER

THE GUN THAT SANK THE GERMAN BATTLE CRUISER

DROBAK VILLAGE HARBOUR

DROBAK VILLAGE HARBOUR

MORE OF THE HARBOUR

MORE OF THE HARBOUR

PLENTY OF THESE IN NORWAY

PLENTY OF THESE IN NORWAY

TYPICAL CANOE STERN CLINKER 'PUTT-PUTT' BOAT

TYPICAL CANOE STERN CLINKER 'PUTT-PUTT' BOAT

APPLE TREES IN THE MAIN STREET

APPLE TREES IN THE MAIN STREET

THIS PHOTO AND 4 MORE OF HOUSES DATING FROM 1780'S

THIS PHOTO AND 4 MORE OF HOUSES DATING FROM 1780'S

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THE THREE MERMAIDS

THE THREE MERMAIDS

THE VILLAGE HAROUR IN WINTER

THE VILLAGE HAROUR IN WINTER

FRESH PRAWNS  ---  JUST COOKED,  SAY THE SIGNS

FRESH PRAWNS --- JUST COOKED, SAY THE SIGNS

COASTAL PATROL RESCUE BOAT

COASTAL PATROL RESCUE BOAT

THIS PHOTO AND 4 MORE OF HOUSES ALONG THE FIORD ON THE WAY BACK FROM DROBAK.

THIS PHOTO AND 4 MORE OF HOUSES ALONG THE FIORD ON THE WAY BACK FROM DROBAK.

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WE PASSED THIS CLIPPER ON THE WAY BACK TO OSLO

WE PASSED THIS CLIPPER ON THE WAY BACK TO OSLO

A bit more about Drobak, at this point in the fiord the sea water did not freeze much in the winter so it was an ideal spot for a fishing fleet. I think the water currents have something to do with this but the mermaids were OK too!

Nowadays it is a favoured day tripping spot -only about 35 minutes from Oslo by Freeway. Markets here every Sunday and plenty of trendy eateries.

Well that's all for today- hope you like the scenery

Norma and Jack

Posted by normaandjack 09:07 Archived in Norway Comments (0)

TRONDHEIM, CANALS, FIORD AND HELL.

MORE OF THE AREA AROUND TRONDHEIM AS SEEN FROM THE CANAL AND THE FIORD

semi-overcast 10 °C

With Katrina as our guide we went on another walking trip around Trondheim ( Norwegian pronunciation is very unique- for instance Trondheim is pronounced Tronyeium by everyone. It is the closest spelling I could write for an English speaking person to pronounce).

It doesn't matter though - 95% of the people we have spoken to reply in English so there is no need for me or Norma to make fools of ourselves.

On the canal at Nyhavna there are 5 bunkers built by the Germans to house their North Sea submarines during WW2. The concrete construction over them is so thick (to withstand the Allies bombing raids ) that it would be an enormously costly job to remove them, so - the Norwegian government removed a little bit of the surface and built a shopping Mall, some government offices and prestige Waterfront apartments and a playground park (over the water and with no foundation or footing costs).

In the fiord, just about a mile from the mouth of the river Nidelva there is an island Munkholmen that was used by the Vikings as a scarepeople Island. It was used as an execution ground and the heads of the victims were stuck on poles as a warning to be good---?. In 1070AD a Benedictine Monastery was built there, and is thought to be the first in Scandinavia. In 1658 converted into a prison and fortress. Now a recreational area in the summer for Trondheim. The summer is from mid June to mid August.

MUNKHOLMEN - FROM A DISTANCE

MUNKHOLMEN - FROM A DISTANCE

THE FORT ON MUNKHOLMEN

THE FORT ON MUNKHOLMEN

PEOPLE IN PERIOD COSTUME AT AN 1820 BUILDING (NOW A FOLK MUSEUM)

PEOPLE IN PERIOD COSTUME AT AN 1820 BUILDING (NOW A FOLK MUSEUM)

Now to Hell ! after our guided tour of Trondheim we caught the bus to Hell. A small village of about 500 people who organise festivals for Rock Bands, Heavy Metal bands and Blues Groups. We were lucky because for the weekend we were in Trondheim there was a Blues Band Festival with Bands from G. Britain, USA, Sweden and Norway. Suited me very well as there were a couple of Bluegrass bands to which I am very partial.

POSTER FOR THE HELL BLUES FESTIVAL

POSTER FOR THE HELL BLUES FESTIVAL

The Hell people are very determined to keep the developers at bay, and keep their village as it is because of concern about new development around Trondheims new airport that was constructed not 1km away on the other side of the river. The Rica Group have already built a new hotel across the river and have called it the RICA HELL HOTEL. The Hell people are up in arms as Hell is only on their side of the river.

Any way we had a great time in Hell.

ON THE BRIDGE LOOKING TOWARDS HELL. NORMA AND KATRINA HALFWAY THERE

ON THE BRIDGE LOOKING TOWARDS HELL. NORMA AND KATRINA HALFWAY THERE

VILLAGE HOUSES IN HELL

VILLAGE HOUSES IN HELL

HELL HOUSES

HELL HOUSES

SOME OF THE HELL LETTERBOXES

SOME OF THE HELL LETTERBOXES

THE HELL RAILWAY STATION

THE HELL RAILWAY STATION

We had to leave the concert show about halfway through in the afternoon, much to my disappointment as my visit there may have been a taste of what's to come but the Hell Troll poked head around the Station House and scared it out of me.

THE  TROLL

THE TROLL

JACK AND NORMA

Posted by normaandjack 09:30 Archived in Norway Comments (0)

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