The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Z_CNHI News Service

October 25, 2013

Medieval towers stand beside modern touches in Estonia's capital

(Continued)

The tiny Estonia - about the size of Vermont and New Hampshire combined - has nearly 1.3 million inhabitants. Of those, about 430,000, or nearly 30 percent, live in Tallinn.

Estonia declared independence from the former Soviet Union on Aug. 20, 1991, two years after the "Singing Revolution" of 1987-88, in which traditional mass singing events turned into a protest against Soviet rule.

Twenty-two years later, the country surprised me with its sophistication and modernity, which exists beside the Medieval architecture and infrastructure of Old Town.

Free, wireless Internet is available almost everywhere. Car parking can be handled by mobile phone. A sign of its "with-it" pulse, Tallinn is listed as one of 10 digital cities in the world. It was named European Capital of Culture in 2011.

Tallinn is easily accessible to Helsinki, as I learned when crossing on the Tallink Silja Line. The line's massive ferries - with a cruise ship ambiance - cross the Gulf of Finland seven times a day. It’s even possible to complete a round-trip excursion between the two capitals with enough time left over to explore Tallinn.

The line also offers cruises, some overnight, to other Baltic ports including Stockholm and Riga.

Waiting in the Helsinki terminal for the ferry, I was lucky to have a great view of the tall ships embarking on their Baltic tours. Once on board, I enjoyed the spacious lounge in business class, along with a copious complimentary buffet that included wines, liquors, cocktails and beer.

On the trip over I discovered Vana Tallinn - a delicious, rum-based, Estonian-made liqueur flavored with cinnamon, vanilla, citrus oil and spices. I liked the liqueur so much I picked up a bottle in the ferry’s duty-free shop.

In no time at all it seemed, the ship had docked in Tallinn, and I was joining hordes of other passengers plodding through immigration and customs, before setting out on my three-day visit.

Dave Zuchowski is an independent travel columnist. Reach him at owlscribe@yahoo.com.



 

Text Only
Z_CNHI News Service
  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Is this a commercial for batting gloves or a baseball game?

    Major league baseball desperately needs to speed up the action. Here's a place to start: Nix the mind-numbing ritual of hitters who first adjust the right batting glove, then the left one, after every single pitch.
     

    August 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • The Simpsons still going strong

    The groundbreaking animation first hit the air Dec. 17, 1989, but the family first appeared on television in "The Tracey Ullman Show" short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987.

    August 21, 2014

  • Police chief resigns over racial slur repost to Facebook

    A repost on his personal Facebook page of a racially-charged comment by the original poster of a comedy video has forced the police chief of an Oklahoma city to resign his office.

    August 21, 2014

  • Does Twitter need a censor?

    Twitter decided last year to make images more prominent on its site. Now, the social network is finding itself caught between being an open forum and patrolling for inappropriate content.

    August 21, 2014

  • sleepchart.jpg America’s sleep-deprived cities

    Americans might run on sleep, but those living in the country's largest cities don't appear to run on much.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Who should pay for your kids ACT?

    Thirteen states paid for 11th-grade students in all public high schools to take the ACT college admission test this year, with several more planning to join them in 2015.

    August 20, 2014

  • Pets.jpg Why do people look like their pets?

    As much as we might quibble over the virtues and vices of Canis domesticus, however, and over whether human nature is any better or worse than dog nature, even dog fanciers don't usually want to look like a dog.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Another stumble begs questions about Notre Dame

    Notre Dame's vaunted reputation for formidable athletics and serious academics is again sullied by a cheating scandal. Maybe the high standards of the Fighting Irish are just too good to be true.

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ice bucket challenge trending up

    Internet trends are a dime a dozen these days. Everything from Tebowing to planking to the cinnamon challenge can cause a wave of social media activity that can last for weeks before fizzling out.

    August 19, 2014

  • Five myths about presidential vacations

    In the nuclear age, presidents may have only minutes to make a decision that could affect the entire world. They don't so much leave the White House as they take a miniature version of it with them wherever they go.

    August 15, 2014

E-edition
AP Video
Japan Landslide Rescuers Struggle in Heavy Rain Raw: Severe Floods, Fire Wrecks Indiana Homes Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future Raw: Russian Aid Convoy Arrives in Ukraine Hamm Talks Emmy Chances Okla. Policeman Accused of Sex Assaults on Duty Raw: Egypt Bus Crash Kills at Least 33 Two Bodies Found in Adjacent Yards Dominican Republic Bans Miley Cyrus Concert Raw: Israeli Air Strike in Gaza Raw: Rescue Efforts Suspended at Japan Landslide Raw: Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in Malaysia Raw: Smaller Marches in Ferguson Attorney: Utah Eatery Had Other Chemical Burn Farm Resurgence Grows With Younger Crowd Microbrewery Chooses Special Can for Its Beer Ky. Firefighters Hurt in Ice Bucket Challenge Federal Investigation Will Look at Use of Force Community Deals With Michael Brown Aftermath US: We Do Not Pay Ransom to Terrorists
NDN Video
Mariah Orders Nick Cannon to Stay Quiet About Divorce Details U.S. Military Strategy Against ISIS Rapper Almost Walks Off CNN Over Ferguson Coverage VIDEO: Goliath Grouper eats shark in one bite 2 American Ebola Patients Released From Hospital Whoa! Jimmy Fallon Shaves Jared Leto's Beard US Mission to Rescue Hostages in Syria Failed Reggie Jackson's ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Amazing Encounter With Sea Otter Caught on Video Motorcyclist Sticks Landing Sicilian hilltop homes on sale for one euro Are Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon Breaking Up? Joel McHale Interviews Chelsea This 'Breaking Bad' Reunion is the Most Hilarious Thing You'll See All Day! President Obama talks about who James Foley was Nicki Minaj Unleashes Her 'Anaconda' On the World Watch Helicopter Perform Aerial Ballet Can Buckeyes fill Miller's void? Victoria's Secret Models Prove They're in Fighting Shape How Brian Hoyer Stacks Up With Johnny Manziel
Must Read