Sunday, October 26, 2014

Little Ole' Estonia


A view of "old town" Tallinn in Estonia, this is a hike through the town to get to the top of this vantage point.  Totally worth it.  

Let's start at the beginning though...
We walked from our cruise ship harbor up the hill towards the town, it's easy to see where to go, just point yourselves towards the red roof buildings.

The old town is surrounded by a medieval wall complete with red topped turrets everywhere.  Not sure how many there are, but it seemed like dozens.  Tallinn is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  My advice to you?
Always research plays you are going to make sure you see a Unesco site.  We missed on in Helsinki, sigh... but now we have a reason to go back.

Interesting thing about this photo is the large tower in the front is called "Fat Margaret" as it's the biggest tower, nearest the harbor.  Not so nice as Margaret was the Danish Queen that had something to do with getting this wall built in the 1200's.




Three Sisters buildings, very tall narrow merchant houses.  Now there is a fancy luxury hotel in these three building.

See the post over the top window?  That's how they hoisted big stuff into the upper stories as the staircases are small and twisty.
 
It was challenging to get a good shot of these buildings in the bright sunshine, but I like that I got a shadow of one of the turrets in there!







Russian Orthodox Cathedral, Alexander Nevsky.  

Very ornate and lovely, however this place wasn't popular with Estonians as it was built when they were occupied by the Russians.

There are better photos of the ornateness of this place, I just liked it peeking over the other buildings as we walked along.  Also, much of the cathedral was being renovated and was covered in scaffolding.






 






Everywhere you go in the Baltic's, you are inundated with Amber for sale.  It's literally everywhere.  It's very cool, but it's not cheap.  I took this photo in a shop and immediately got in trouble for snapping a picture.  As a former retailer, I really should know that.

I didn't buy any amber, while it's very cool, it's just not my color even though it comes in many shades, or yellow, brown and... well, amber!
















The town square is amazing and picturesque, with tons of tall narrow buildings and cafes as the tourists mill about.  You can imagine a market set up in the past with stalls of fruits, veggies on the cobblestones. We sat and had a beer in the sunshine, enjoying the scenery, the company and the beverage.


Time for a beer with some new friends, and Maria in her cute Estonian traditional dress.  Either that or Maria is certainly a snazzy dresser



And my BFF too.  Saku is the local Estonian beer.  Not bad!




Friday, October 24, 2014

Pineapple Blossom Martini


Well, I guess you can tell I took this picture back when the sun was still shining in Seattle... enjoying the sun and the friendship of a good buddy (I didn't snatch his cocktail from his hand for this photo shoot, but hubby's are fair game)
AND,
We had obviously already started sampling the wares, you can tell by the partial fullness of the glasses.
However, I hope this picture conveys the yumminess of the cocktail???

Sorry, no umbrella, no pineapple wedge, no orchid or cherry.
Pure ungarnished deliciousness.

Today, after a busy, crazy week of woe, misfortune, and tragedy, here's a little ray of sunshine you can inflict upon yourself and a couple chosen others. 
Have a great weekend... anyway.

Makes 1
Ingredients

1/2 jigger (1/2 oz) St Germain liqueur
2 jiggers (2 oz) vanilla vodka
3 oz pineapple juice


Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into chilled martini glass.
Garnish with a wedge of pineapple, lime wedge, orchid, cherry, or umbrella! 
Whatcha got handy?

Here's a tropical pictorial of our week... minus the sunshine, the warmth, the flora and the fauna.  That leaves the rain. Sigh.