Maggie and I drove up from Lithuania, through Latvia (firmly the third-best Baltic state), and into Tallinn, Estonia, which pleasantly surprised both of us.
Tallinn has a different vibe from Vilnius in that the city feels distinctly more like it could be Finnish rather than from the former Soviet Union. The housing on the outskirts of town suggests otherwise, but the quaint old town and light, diverse cuisine really gave Tallinn a nordic feel.
We spent two nights in Estonia's capital, where we wandered the streets of the old town, stopping for churches and gift shops. The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral (first two photos) was a favorite, but only from the outside. The inside features one of the worst paint jobs I've ever seen in a european cathedral (they went with the classic barber-poll design), which is probably why they don't let you take photos of the inside.
The restaurants in Tallinn were a surprising delight. We went to the chintzy Olde Hansa (seventh photo), which was a medieval-themed restaurant that was better than expected, but the real stars were Vaike Rataskaevu 16 and Farm. The rye bread from Vaike was some of the best I've ever had, and as much as it pains me to say it, it rivaled anything I had in Lithuania.
After bumming around Tallinn, we hopped on board the Baltic Queen for a 17-hour cruise across the Baltic Sea to Stockholm, Sweden. The Baltic Sea was on the rough side. I captured a little of it in the video below and as I write this, I still very much have sea legs and it's been six hours since I got off the boat.
We are now about halfway through our travels, and it's both felt like we've been away from home for a while and not very long at all. We do miss our dog. We also got our voting registration squared away today. Like hell I'm missing this election.
Thank you for reading, and enjoy the photos below!