Back to posting one day earlier than expected…Why?…Tallinn, Estonia…

View over Tallinn, Estonia from a scenic overlook.

Yesterday was a day we’ll always remember, not only for the exquisite sites we visited in St. Petersburg, Russia but for the challenging experience of my attempt to navigate over 12,000 steps in one day with my lingering painful legs situation.

The town well.

No doubt, a month ago, I couldn’t have conceived I’d make it through such a day as this but somehow with Tom’s unrelenting help and emotional support, overall we’d stayed up with the group of 15 passengers in our group, only avoiding a few less important additional walking sidelines during the full day, beginning at 8:30 am and ending at 6:00 pm.

It was difficult.  It was painful.  But I knew I wasn’t hurting anything by forging ahead.  Ultimately, maybe my legs would become stronger after this cruise with all it’s walking while attempting to recover after over six months of pure hell.

The remains of a historic castle tower.

I’ve “sugar-coated” it long enough to be tough, resilient and strong.  Yes, attitude is a big part of recovery and I do credit myself for remaining upbeat and hopeful.  But, at times, I have felt hopeless and fearful that I’d never recover.

There is stunning artwork on the many churches within Old Town.

In the next several days, we’ll be posting, time allowing, the amazing photos we were able to take while on yesterday’s St. Petersburg tour.  However, last night we decided we would not be going on Day 2 of the prepaid tour since I knew I wouldn’t be able to spend another day like yesterday.

We are disappointed to lose the non-refundable fees we paid for Day 2 but this decision had to be made.  And now, as we sit comfortably in the Park Cafe on deck 5, we’ve totally at peace with our decision.  
We didn’t enter the churches due to many steps and long queues.

Yes, today we’ll miss a few choice locations popular with tourists to the magnificent city but yesterday provided us with considerable information regarding St. Petersburg rich history and culture.

The winding streets of the walled city of Tallinn, Estonia.

To follow a sequential course for our posts as ports of call as they occurred, today we’re sharing photos of Tallinn, Estonia which we visited two days ago.  We hadn’t booked a tour for this city and decided to “wing it.”

Instead, we were planning to use the shuttle bus to get us into town, and from there, we’d figure out how we’d get around, fearful that being on foot may be too much for me when the bigger tour lay ahead the following day in St. Petersburg.
Here we are in the motorized bike.

No more than a few seconds after we exited the shuttle bus we were approached by a clean-cut looking young man in his 20’s who had a motorized bicycle with a cart attached, perfect for the two of us.  

It was pricey for one hour at Euro 153, US $170 which we’d already negotiated down from Euro 189, US $210 but after about 70 minutes we couldn’t have been more thrilled after seeing most of the highlights of Old Town.

Historic churches and buildings lined the streets.

About Tallinn, Estonia from this site:“Tallinn (/ˈtɑːlɪn, ˈtælɪn/; Estonian: [ˈtɑlʲˑinˑ]; names in other languages) is the capital, primate and the most populous city of Estonia. Located in the northern part of the country, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland of the Baltic Sea, it has a population of 434,562. Administratively a part of Harju maakond (county), Tallinn is a major financial, industrial, cultural, educational and research center of Estonia. Tallinn is located 80 kilometers (50 mi) south of Helsinki, Finland, 320 kilometers (200 mi) west of Saint Petersburg, Russia, and 380 kilometers (240 mi) east of Stockholm, Sweden. It has close historical ties with these three cities. From the 13th century until the first half of the 20th century Tallinn was known in most of the world by its historical German name Reval.”

Many churches with architecturally interesting steeple filled the rooftops.

The cobblestone and brick roads were bumpy but didn’t cause a problem for either of us.  And this young man knew his way around quickly maneuvering between crowds and other vehicles to take advantage of every moment.

When our bike tour ended, he dropped us back at the shuttle bus and minutes later the bus arrived at the pier as we tackled the long back to the ship with a smile on our faces for a day well spent.
We crossed a red-painted wooden bridge.

As for the remainder of the cruise, we continue to meet more and more passengers with great stories to tell. At night, we tend to stay out late enjoying the music and entertainment in a variety of venues throughout the ship.  It’s been such fun to be out and about after all this time.

Tomorrow, we have another port of call and hope to post when we return later in the day.

Thanks to all of our readers who continue to “look for us” online and send endless good wishes and encouragement.  We so appreciate each and every one of you!


Photo from one year ago today, August 17, 2018:
While back in Zambia for another “visa run”Tom was busy reading the extensive menu at Café Zambezi trying to decide what to order.  It was nice to be back.  For more details, please click here.

Today is Day 5 of our Baltic cruise…Few more Copenhagen photos…Today, we’ll tour Tallinn, Estonia…

“The Gefion Fountain is a large fountain on the harbor front in Copenhagen, Denmark. It features a large-scale group of animal figures being driven by the Norse goddess Gefjon. It is located in Nordre Toldbod area next to Kastellet and immediately south of Langelinie.”

The WiFi signal is so poor it takes three times longer to prepare a post and try to upload photos.  We’re doing the best we can in the time we’ve allotted to present our daily activities.

Typical residential building in Copenhagen.

I must admit I am not as diligent as usual when there’s such a flurry of activity around us with many distractions.  No sooner I get started and other passengers join us at our little corner near electrical outlets in the Park Café.  To avoid being rude, I close my laptop to participate in the lively chatter.

We’re having an exceptionally good time, better than I’d expected when I felt so awful only a few weeks ago.  I never imagined I’d be able to be up and about from early morning, often up until midnight, without a daytime nap or rest.
The uncomplicated style of buildings in Copenhagen seemed to be universal.

Yesterday was more fun than I can describe.  At breakfast in the main dining room by 8:00 am, we met more new people as the conversation flowed at our table for 10.

For midday on a Wednesday, there were few crowds.

By 10:30 am, we headed to this same spot at the coffee shop while I enthusiastically worked on the post hoping to upload a decent story with photos of Copenhagen taken during the rainy four-hour bus ride. 

I hadn’t quite finished having yet to caption the photos and move them into their appropriate spots in the post, but we dropped off the equipment back at the cabin to make the 1:00 pm movie in the intimate theatre, the Cinema.  “Aquaman” was the movie of the day.
Bicycle parking lots are everywhere.

Tom, not necessarily a fan of fantasy-type movies stayed awake during the entire movie while I sat on the edge of my seat in the sheer wonder of watching such a good movie.  I loved every moment!  Tom surprised me and also enjoyed it but not as much as me.  (We’re out of touch with movies made in the US after so long away).

With energy conservation the order of the day, there were minimal vehicles on the road.
After the movie ended at 3:10, we headed back to the cabin where I finished the post and the photo captions.  We showered and dressed to be ready for “happy hour(s)” in the Diamond Club lounge on the 13th floor.  It starts at 5:00 pm and ends at 8:30 pm.

The long happy hour period requires me to drink my two glasses of Cabernet Sauvignon very slowly, trying to save a little in the second glass to take to the dining room to savor during dinner. 
An ice cream shop.

Tom, when he saw how little was left in my glass, he ordered me a third glass of wine but concerned about over-doing it, I never drank it.  In the dining room with sat with a delightful couple, Fred and Larry from the US and once again, the conversation was fantastic.  We plan to meet up with them in Phoenix for dinner when we’re staying in Apache Junction in January.

Statues are commonly seen in Copenhagen.

It always amazes us how easy it is to make friends on cruises.  There is no environment we’ve ever experienced where it was so easy.  We all have a commonality of a love of travel and that’s always an easy place to start the conversation.  We seldom encounter passengers who aren’t enjoying themselves.

After dinner, we began looking for seats overlooking the Centrum area, one level below from which we could watch the upcoming “disco” music and 70s show.  We lucked out and found two comfy chairs directly at the railing where we stayed watching a memorable heart-pounding show.
Taking photos through the rain-covered windows was challenging.

The dance floor was packed with enthusiastic passenger’s dancing the night away.  Some time ago, we would have been included in that excited flurry of arms and legs flailing to the music.  Instead, we watched with equal enthusiasm.  Maybe someday I’ll be able to dance with Tom but time will tell.

The stage presented a variety of staff dancers who “worked” the crowd into a frenzy.  After about an hour, a show started we’d seen on many cruises; the songs from the Village People, In The Navy and of course, Y-M-C-A. 

A gilded spire atop the train station.

The crew was wearing similar costumes to the Village People, and the place rocked beyond belief.  The energy was truly electric, not only enjoying the familiar songs but also remembering our youth when those were first introduced.  We had such fun as we danced in our chairs, grateful and happy to be together sharing yet another special day and evening.

A fountain near the canal.

Finally, by 12:30 am we dozed off with smiles on our faces over a day well-spent.  Today, we’re off on a shuttle bus soon to head to Tallinn, Estonia, a quaint walled town with supposedly lots of charm and appeal.

We’ll be back tomorrow with photos from our tour of this most unusual place to visit (for us anyway).  See you then!

Photo from one year ago today, August 15, 2018:
What could they possibly be waiting for?  They were looking in one direction waiting to decide their next move.  For more photos, please click here.