Well, we have had our first day at sea. The Baltic seems to be quite sheltered and the waves haven’t been more in height than a foot or so. I understand that it is also less salty than the main oceans as a large number of glaciers enter the sea, meaning that it has a higher content of fresh water.
On Monday, we had a free morning in Copenhagen so we went shopping on the walking street. By 1 pm we had returned to our hotel, checked out, and were on a bus to the port for our cruise. We lost all faith in our local guide (not our Scenic one, who had flown back to Oslo) when she told us that our first stop was to go the dock to pick up a Miss Amsterdam and that we would then go on from there. We explained that MS Amsterdam was the name of our ship but she just looked at us blankly. Anyway, between us, we managed to get the group organised and we checked on to the ship in time for a late lunch. We sailed at 6.00 pm to Tallinn. We couldn’t watch the Soccceroos on TV, but CNN did broadcast the scores from time to time and it was very exciting to found that we had won against Japan.
Our cabin has a bath, bed (obviously) and a verandah from which we can survey the ocean like Horatio Nelson. It is very comfortable and roomy. Weeven have a mini bar with prices that are lower than the main bar. All the staff on ths ship, apart from the officers, are asian – most coming from Indonesia and the Phillipines.
Our first day of our cruise was at sea (we had over 520 nautical miles to sail to Tallinn), so we took the opportunity to relax. We missed breakfast in the main dining room so we had a buffet meal in in the Lido cafeteria on Deck 8. We found that we are on a table for four for dinner and have the company of two vivacious young ladies who come from Nth Carolina. They are good company. The meals are just as nmice! We watched a show after dinner and found that we had to turn the clocks on an hour to suit the time in Tallinn.
We reached Tallinn by 10.00 am on Wednesday (June 14). After we docked, I walked along the pier to a little market that was in a building near the end of the ferrry terminal. I found a couple of Estonian things for the Christmas tree and walked back to the ship for lunch. I was interested to find out the purpose of a a low building with stepped levels near our dock. I thought that it might have been a set of old Soviet submarine pens but Ilater learnt that it was the defunct city hall. So much for archtectural design in Estonia.
Our tour of Tallinn started at 12.30. The old town was close enough for me to walk to, but a bit too far for Jill. At least the walking tour took us right to where we wanted to go and saved us a walk of a kilomtre or so. It was also very warm day – 26 degrees and we got quite hot walking around the towns without having had to walk to it as well.
We found the old town to be delightful. As David, Cathy & Chris know, some of the old town walls are still standing and there are a plethora of tiny srtreets and old buildings going back as far as the midle ages. Tallinn was another Hanseatic city. It was very scenic – old guild houses, the cathedral with the bulbous domes like onions, an old town hall square and a lot of very attractive blonde women! We had a bit of free time at the town hall square and knocked back a very welcome beer in the heat. After that it was time to walk back to the bus and back to the ship for dinner. I bought a small painting to put on our travel wall at home but I suspect that it is a print rather than an orginal by a local street artist which I would prefer, but it is a nice memento anyway. It would have ben nice to have had twice as much time here, but I’m glad that we were able to see as much as we did.
We left at 6.00 pm for St Petersberg More on that in my next post.