[From Beth] This morning in Helsinki was gorgeous. Mike and Colin headed out at about 5 am to scope out breakfast bars (dang, jet lag), and by the time the rest of us got moving, had found a nice buffet with all local, organic foods AND a gluten free toast for Jack and Saara.
We headed in the direction of the harbor and ran into the Senate Square and Helsinki Cathedral, which were awesome.
From there we continued toward the Market Square and ran into the Uspenski Cathedral, the largest orthodox church in Western Europe. There was a service inside and we were allowed to watch, but not take pictures. It was beautifully ornate, especially compared to the austere Lutheran Cathedral.
We took the ferry to Tallinn, Estonia, this afternoon (after yesterday’s episodes with Colin – I’ll spare you the details – we insisted on nausea medication). Saara’s uncle took us on what turned out to be a two hour driving tour of Tallinn and the surrounds. I don’t take pictures well from moving vehicles, but imagine that You Tube Parquor video, and you’ll imagine what a former Soviet held country can look like: lots of five story cement apartment buildings.
Tallinn was a Soviet state for about 50 years, until 20 years ago when it asserted its independence. Our hotel is across the street from Old Town Tallinn, the part founded in 1140. This was where we had dinner (under heat lamps, mind you, the breeze from the gulf is really chilly at 9 pm). I’m embarrassed to admit how little I know about Estonia or Tallinn, except that there was a Steig Larrsson bad guy from there, so I’ll let the Old Town pictures do the talking for me.