The Great Russian History Tour of Estonia

The Great Russian History Tour of Estonia which used to reside on the pages of seems to have disappeared. It appears to have been taken off the website though it was there a few weeks. Conspiracy theorists might find a link between this and the resurgance of the old Soviet enemy in the Crimea.

The basics of the tour as posed on the Visit Estonia website were:

1. Kadriorg Palace → 2. Tallinn Tourist Information Centre in Old Town → 3. St. Nicholas’ Orthodox Church → 4. Church of Our Lady of Kazan → 5. Paldiski town → 6. Amandus Adamson Studio Museum → 7. Haapsalu Tourist Information Centre → 8. Africa Beach and Promenade → 9. Haapsalu Resort Hall → 10. Tchaikovsky’s Bench in Haapsalu → 11. Haapsalu Railway Station → 12. Pärnu Visitor Centre → 13. Church of Jekaterina → 14. Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Pärnu Transformation of Our Lord Church → 15. Barclay de Tolly Mausoleum → 16. Tartu Visitor Centre → 17. Kolkja Museum of Old Believers → 18. The Pühtitsa Dormition Convent (Kuremäe Convent) → 19. Narva City Guide.

The website recommended taking 5 days to do this tour but there seems to be some pointless stops on this tour.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the removal of the last of the the Soviet occupiers, I am planning on combining a tour which takes in both the pre-1939 Russian rule of Estonia as well as the remnants of the post 1939 Soviet invasion.

My Grand Tour would start in Tallinn and then branch out:

Tallinn > The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral on Toompea > Freedom Square > Sopros Cinema > Kohvik Energia > Kohvik Narva > Kadriorg Palace

Tallinn > Haapsalu > Haapsalu Railway Station > Estonian Railway Museum > Haapsalu Promenade > > Africa Beach > Haapsalu Resort Hall > Pjotr Tchaikovsky bench > Haapsalu Shawl Museum > Haapsalu Old Town > Episcopal Castle and Convent > Uuemõisa manor > Ungru manor > Swedish Market > Pürksi manor house > Kiltsi airfield > Communications Museum > Museum of the Coastal Swedes > Carl Abraham Hunniuse Monument > The Ilon Wikland Gallery of Children’s Books > the harbour.

Tallinn > Narva > along the E20 > Narva old town > Narva Hermann Fortress >  the bridge to Russia > the Kressholm Cotton Factory

Tallinn > Tartu > the old town and the museum

Tallinn > Parnu > the old town and the beach areas.

No doubt I will be adding to do this list as I plan further but I think this is a good start for anyone planning a one week trip to Estonia.

Beach, mountain, forest, or somewhere else entirely?

The answer to the question is – city, every time. Preferably a city with easy access to a beach or a forest.

My ideal cities are Tallinn and Riga because they both have wonderful centres as well as easy access to the coast. Faro is also high up on my list having a fantastic combination of coastline and a nice small centre. Living, working and writing in North West London I can only dream of the sea and remember past seaside visits. At a push, a nice river or canal can substitute for the sea especially if there are good walks and some interesting river traffic. Prague comes top of the “by a river” poll followed by Budapest. I did once have a rather nice weekend at Ely, staying in a B and B right by the canal and walking along the canal early in the morning.

My least favourite cities have to be London and Madrid, though it is around 20 years since I was last in Madrid so it might have improved. There are parts of London I do enjoy visiting but equally large parts of it I really do not like.

Other cities I have enjoyed have been Vilnius, Krakow, Warsaw, Frankfurt, Lille, Bruges, Bratislava and Boston. Cities I would like to visit are Moscow and St Petersburg (after the current situation with the UKraine has been resolved, of course) in Russia and Sophia in Bulgaria.

What do my readers think?