Thr, Jun 10 (Day 17): From Riga to Tallinn

Today’s drive takes us along the Gulf of Riga and into Estonia. Then we travel via Parnu, a popular vacation resort of sandy beaches, as we head to the Estonian capital, Tallinn, for the night. Tonight, maybe take a stroll through this charming town. (Buffet breakfast / Dinner)
Hotel: Reval Olympia

We're in Tallinn, the capital city of Estonia. Population for the entire country is less than 1.5 million. The city is on the Gulf of Finland, which means lots of boats and water sports (during the summer).
The flag has three colors: blue, black and white. Blue stands for the sky, black stands for the earth, and white stands for something I don't remember (see Wikipedia).
This is all that remains of a large convent that was in the city centuries ago.
This monument memorializes the many Estonians who died fighting in WWII. This is another country with a sad history of domination, first by the Dutch, then the Swedes, then the Russians, then the Germans, then the Russians again, until the current independence. The Russian occupation before WWII was so bad, they perceived the Germans as emancipators, but got something else instead.
We drove through a very nice neighborhood in Tallinn, filled with many large homes. At times, there were homes that needed restoration. This is one of those. It reminds me of the house on Mockingbird Lane (the Munsters).
This is the "Song Festival Ground," completed in 1960 and used for the national song festival every 5 years. about 200,000 Estonians met here (shoulder to shoulder) to sing and rejoice when they declared independence from the USSR.
The old part of the city, Old Tallinn, is a UNESCO world heritage site. It is surrounded by a 16-foot thick wall, started in the 13th century, still 75% intact.
This is little doorway in the city wall.
Linda, coming out of a long, narrow, cobble-stoned street.
This is a Russian Orthodox church in the old town.
This is the Tallinn Town Hall, first mentioned in 1322. It stands tall, marking the major marketplace.
This is a closeup of one of the gargoyles. It is more comic than scary. Looks like it belongs in a Beenie and Cecil cartoon.
The town square is full of activity, vendors on every side, people eating in open-air restaurants, etc. Click here to see an video scan of the city from above.
This is a stage temporarily set up in the square. They are holding musical performances in the annual city celebration.
Here is row of vendors, along the city wall.
The vendors in this city dress up in Medieval style to attract customers.
Here is a sample of the local transportation. Again, people seem to spend an inordinate amount of income on cars.
McDonalds, which the local guide was sure to point out.
The main city gate. Actually, the gates are no longer there.