Finally, I know.
Ever since we first landed it has been a bit of a sleep and whirlwind induced haze.
The first night we were here I think I slept a total of 13 hours!! The night before we left I got maybe 3 hours of sleep and then followed that up with no sleep on the flights here. The funny thing is that my body must still be trying to catch up because I am falling asleep all over the place:
In a car. Check.
On our friends couches. Double check.
Restaurant! Yep, check ;)
Hilarious, I know. But, I guess a month or two of pushing too little sleep and too much coffee does eventually catch up to you. So here I am sitting in front of the computer typing, on a rainy day, next to a warm fire (Love the smell of real fire! Our 'fireplace' turns on with a switch. Ha!) and feeling completely and utterly relaxed. This is definitely something I was really hoping for.
There are other things that I looked forward to....mainly along the lines of inspiration.
Every nook, crevice and doorway, here, does that for me. There is such an interesting juxtaposition of architecture that can only really be attributed to a place that is so incredibly old.
Tallinn was first noted in books as an actual city as early as the 1200's (definitely a village long before that) so the layers of time can clearly be seen in its architecture. There are the outer city walls with turrets that dot along the perimeter of the old town that come directly out of some Robin Hood movie! Then there are the rows upon rows of colorful 15th, 16th and 17th century buildings within those walls. A town hall built in the early 1400's that still holds original public shackles on its outside wall and sits prominently in the cobblestone filled town square. It is all pretty magnificent to me: this capture of time that I have always found so fascinating.
When the city decided to build an underground parking garage they found a treasure trove of ancient city walls and foundations. I photographed a piece here, while getting ready to enter the city center. They have built the garage around these formations....definitely the most interesting parking garage I've ever been in :)
The second night (after our marathon sleep sessions) we headed to this delicious restaurant in old town called Leib. This tower was one of my views from our outdoor table.
The sommelier opened our bottle of champagne with a sword to great fanfare...
A delicious meal, great company, plus these views, meant one of those evenings that will be filed away prominently in my memory.
The following day we came back to old town and spent several hours with a few friends and family, weaving in and out of the streets, exploring. I actually only got to see maybe a third of it even though we walked for a good 3 hours. I took many pictures, but as a forewarning: there will be many, many more that will come from my planned future visits! I want to spend a great deal of time there in the coming months.
A large part of the city's walls and gates are still intact and were first constructed in the 1200s.
The boys, understandably, call this part of the city, the castle.
This was a view from one of the tower windows we climbed up within the city wall.
It's funny, but I guess the child explorer in me is totally drawn to enter every one of these type of tunnels I find. It's incredibly exciting to go into one of them and wonder what I will end up finding.
Every kind of door and doorway imaginable.
Seriously, just everywhere. I really do hone in on these details.....
This is Norbert's expression generally when I capture him in pictures. Totally tuning me out. I mean, he has to deal with it all the time, you know? I share this particular picture, though, because I want you to see my view from the table we are sitting at in the town square. All that walking required a stop for some Estonian beer. To the left of the picture is the Town Hall. I'll take better pictures of it later....
The following day I walked around here again with the boys, but without any photographing.
I had two eyes to watch two boys and that's all I really concentrated on besides soaking in my surroundings. Later, Norbert and some of his family met up for dinner so I had a few moments after to start snapping away. More eyes to watch two wandering boys.
On Monday, we went on a field trip with Norbert's mom's class....
Inside of her classroom
And right before we left I took a group picture. We spent the entire day there...even grilled outside for lunch. This will more than likely be the day that sticks out in their memory. They had permagrins the entire day :)
Okay, time for dinner...see you soon!