Spend a Day in Tantalizing TALLINN…

Spend a Day in Tantalizing Tallinn…

Surrounded by medieval walls, the UNESCO old down of Tallinn is a sensational display of the historic Baltic Sea. The capital of Estonia is steeped in Russian, Finnish and even history of the Huns.

There are several points in the wall were you can climb the stone staircases into the turrets. The fort is a museum open to tourists, where you can see the old battlements and even stone drop toilets.

Tallinn’s Churches

Home to 4 major churches and numerous small chapels, Tallinn shows a variety of different denominational places at their most beautiful.

The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is the most iconic church in Tallinn. It symbolizes the time of the Russian Occupation in the 1800’s.  The architecture is fabulous, and the orthodox icons are spectacular.

St Mary’s Cathedral is a must see, although it is plain and white it is filled with the real coats of arms of the important families in Estonia, dating back to the medieval times.

St Nicholas’ Church at the center of Tallinn is full of ecclesiastical art, and features an amazing museum with artwork dating back to the 13th century.

There are many more old chapels dotted around, some hard to find. They are full of old wooden panels with painted iconography.

The Vibe of the Town is Terrific!!

This is a town where culture, food and drink come together in a market town square. Cobble stones bounce laughter and clinking glasses with the buildings creating a noisy and atmospheric energy, making the afternoon and evening into a really lively event. The beer is cheap, the food is fulling – I tried an Estonian delicacy of bear stew with a beer. Yes there are a few stag nights, but sometimes this adds a good vibe… even if you have to cringe inwardly on occasion!!

Tallinn has so many hidden alleys offering cafe’s and wine bars so you don’t have to stay in the town center. We found an amazing wine bar off an alley that was lined with old tomb stones dating back to 1500’s!!!

Tallinn is a jewel in the Baltic’s crown. It really does offer history and culture!!

 

2 and a Half Days in Munich

Munich

Day 1-3 of the Central European Alps by Train

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As part of an Alps Train Journey, we decided to start our adventure in the beautiful city of München!

Munich is a very vibrant and festive city, with beer halls, picturesque gardens and modern shopping areas.

Day 1 – The city and a Beer Tour

We arrived from the airport right in the heart of Marianplatz. The bells were ringing and a band was umparing away under the spectacular Rathaus.

We stayed just south of the main square in a homestay. It was a quiet neighbourhood in Buttermelkerstraße. We walked through markets with local produce and fresh food, including some fabulous cheese and salami shops!

In the evening we joined a Beer and Brewery Tour, where we learnt about and got to taste some of the popular beer in Munich. My favourites were the dark Augustina beer and the Unfiltered Paulina Hell (lager).

Day 2 – Neuschwanstein Castle

The beautiful castle of Neuschwanstein was built only 150ish years ago by King Ludwig II. He wasn’t really mad- I think he was just an oppressed homosexual. Sad really.

Neuschwanstein is about 2 hours from Munich, and we went with a tour group.

The views are gorgeous and the inside is small but intricate! Complete with its very own Grotto! Haha!

This is an all day event. We left at 9:15 and arrived back at 19:30. I highly recommend going with a tour, as it is hard to navigate to the castle by yourself.

Day 3 – Munich Residence and the English Gardens

With a leisurely start to the day we reached the Munich Residence late morning. I could safely say that there is nothing quite as big or as extravagant as this palace in Europe. It was mostly destroyed in the Second World War, but the restoration is spot on and the palace is vast! The religious relics are a little creepy. Well worth the €7 entry. We didn’t get to the treasury, but I think it would be worth seeing too- maybe next time for us.

The English Gardens are a beautiful display of city woodland, complete with its own surf river!

The Chinese Tower is a great place to grab some lunch and drink beer. We sat listening to a German Band in a Chinese Tower in an English Garden!

As warned by our German teacher in high school, the Germans are not afraid of sunbathing naked. Lots of naked Germans!

Prague

Prague

 

Prague’s buildings talk. I swear they do! The buildings told us about hundreds of years of comings and goings in this amazing city. There is a real sense of history, some not so very long ago.

The old town square is packed full of busy cafes and restaurants, food stalls and beer. When we were visiting in May, they even had some folk dancing on a large stage in the centre.

Prague is not small. It is a hiking distance from the town square to the cathedral and palace on the too of the hill, but it is work it! The views across the city are spectacular, full of terracotta tiles, and spires of churches.

Not to be missed is the King Charles Bridge. Lined with artists and souvenirs, it is worth ambling slowly over with an ice cream, taking in the view of the palace hill.

Thing to see in Prague

The Astrological Clock: Its free to see, and on the hour people crowd around to see its moving pieces. If your not into guided tours, but want a little information then make sure you are standing near on of the walking groups on the hour and hear the guide explain the magic of the clock.

Buildings: Prague is often used in filming, not just because of the economic advantages, but also it portrays what Paris would have looked like before Haussmann’s renovations of Paris. There is still a Renaissance or Romantic charm to the buildings, iconically painted in the northern European fashion, with baroque patterning on the windows.

Communist Museum: If your into that kind of history, however it is a very important part of what Prague is today. Prague was a leader in the fall of the USSR and the museum opened our eyes to life behind the iron curtain, especially when it came to shop produce and food.

Food and Beer: Yes, maybe this should have been first! But after a busy day seeing the sights you can come back and find some lovely Pod to drink it! I have some recommendations:

U Fleků – Bar, Restaurant and Show. Book, because it gets very busy. Its a little way south but you can easily spend the whole evening here!

U Týna – On the square with very reasonably priced food (although basic) and beer! We chose the traditional Czech pork knuckle and it was huge! we also tried the beer selection!

Trdelník – The traditional street food of sugared bread. Try it and you will never eat a doughnut again!