The cry of the gulls and the sound of the sea entered the psyche of Bilbo Baggins... and Anne Dwyer. Any chance to get on a boat and she is there. So the promise of a day cruise loomed as large as the ship that carried us to Tallin Estonia.
Tallin (formerly known as Ravel ~ ah you cry... of course!) is a two and half hour cruise from Helsinki. To the Helsinki locals, Tallin is duty free grog heaven. Evidence of which was clear on the walk from the tram stop to the terminal as Fins, young and old trundled clearly empty suitcases or carried gleaming chrome fold down trolleys with arcane expectation towards the Viking Line Liner. The return journey to the tram put any doubt to this reality as grandmothers and groovers alike nimbly guided or slam staggered their laden trolleys stacked high with slabs of beer and mixers or hauled suitcases no doubt hiding a cornucopia of alcoholic delights purchased at bargain prices.
To us, it was an interesting day tour that put us on the largest ship either of us has ever travelled... and a chance to see another walled city. The ship seemingly glided out of the harbour but in fact was setting a cracking pace in comparison to the boat we took to the island of Suomellina a few days earlier.
After a turn about the deck, we headed to our cabin for a glorious nanna nap that in my case lasted until we docked at Tallin.
After a short walk through the medieval streets, the call as made to re-fuel. Avoiding the crowds at the Epping Tower where all manner of medieval items of torture was on display, we elected to dine at a Russian-Estonian restaurant where everyone was pretending to be Russian but in terms of service... no-one was rushin'. In fact the arrival of food took an eternity, the drinks took only...oh... an age... But hey, we are tourists and what does time really matter ~ unless one is indeed thirsty and hungry...