Thursday, 14 July 2016

Day day 41: Helsinki , Finland to Tallin, Estonia. 12 km ride 2.5 hour ferry ride.

We have had six days in Finland.  
Time enough to sense the strong character of Finnish people,
Time enough to sense the strong design ethic,
Time enough to enjoy Finnish food,
Time enough  to listen to live music,
Time enough to discover that Finnish women were the first to get the vote AND right to stand for Parliament in 1906
(Although New Zealand women got the right to vote in1893 they didn't get the right to stand for parliament until 1919)
Time enough for a rest after 40 days on the road.

TIme  now to move on to Estonia across the Baltic Sea.

The fortress Suomenlinna - from our Viking ferry Gabriella. 
Farewell to Finland...
 Hello Estonia.
We dock at the port in Tallin.
From the ultra modern buildings as we ride in from the port...
To medieval buildings of the 13th and 14th century as we enter the old town.

'Tis raining while the sun shines... All because at this latitude the angle of incidence of the sun is low. Clouds directly above can be releasing rain while the sun sneaks in at a low angle.  
We are staying in an hotel that was a merchants house in the14th century. Dick is doing a great job in finding quirky places to stay. 
Here he is manoeuvring Orlanda in the narrow street as he goes off to find parking.
The town square. There are many restaurants to choose from.
Russian cabbage soup for me. Bread baked over the top of the soup is ceremoniously cut open at the table. Tasty and filling.vegetable soup with meat. 
Narrow streets in the old town teeming with tourists from cruise ships during the day.
We are going  to find a way inside this wall.
If there is a high place in a town then we will find access. In this case steep narrow spiral steps inside the city walls. Useful chain to hold on to.
The town hall in the square around 9.30pm. Crowds have gone.
The ceiling at our hotel was painted in 1368.  The building had been a merchants house. We ate breakfast down in the vaulted spaces below ground.
Old Hansa Horstus, a restuarant near the main square offering a menu 15th century peasant food . I suspect that merchants had brought some of the Ingredinets  from far lands. Egon took care of us for the night. Delightfully in character from an era when the land was part of Germany.
Wild boar for Dick with spelt (sometimes used in gluten-free breads), sauerkraut, lingonberries and potato. My vegetarian dish had a bean bag (mashed bean, broad bean, I think)wrapped in pastry, mushrooms in a creamy sauce, barley, pickled turnip, parsnip, carrots. A mild mellow flavour - a hint of juniper berries. We both enjoyed our step back into the future of fifteenth century food.

Desserts. I chose the KItchenmaster Rickard's cake with saffron in honour and thought kind thoughts about my cousins. It was a cheese cake with cremefraiche flavoured with saffron and topped with praline. 
The rose pudding was essentially cremefraiche with rose water and topped with rose petals and praline.

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