It´s been a few days now since I posted, but we have been cursed by illness, and then blessed with a short vacation over the Ascension holiday, a trip to stimulate the senses, and remind ourselves that summer is just around the corner.  First a cruise to Tallin, and then a few days in Stockholm, which has been glittering in the sunlight, offering it´s best smile, best beds, and very best food. I have been more spoilt than I have ever been in my life.

Also, it´s been fun to try out the new camera. I haven´t been doing anything fancy with it, just set it on auto, and shot. One immediate difference is, every picture is in focus. My old one was pretty much blind in the sunlight, and I would take several frames of every motif, to up my chances of getting at least one picture with the focus where I wanted it to be. Of course, it takes more than focus to get a good picture. And sometimes, you don´t need focus at all.

I had never been to Tallin before. It´s a classic place to go on a short cruise. We left Stockholm in the late afternoon, crossed the Baltic over night, spent the day in Tallin, and then went back to Stockholm the next night. The point of the trip is to shop and eat, and dance, perhaps, if you are inclined to. I used to go on a lot of cruises in the 80´s, it was really popular then because of the cheap alcohol. People still buy alcohol, and more of it, as there are no restrictions any more. But it´s not such a big thing as it used to be.

In the Swedish history books Tallin is mostly known by the name Reval. It was founded in the 13th Century by Swedish traders belonging to the Hansa trade union. Before then there was a Danish castle there, by the name of Lindenäs. It was Swedish territory for more than 150 years, but in 1721 it became Russian, after the great Northern war.  The Estonians gained independence after the First World War, but lost it again in 1940, and was a Soviet state until 1991. In 2004 they joined the European Union.

The old town is an amazing place, it feels really medieval in places. Outside the old city walls, however, it looks a lot more Soviet. Not that we had much time to explore. I was mostly looking up the walls, delirious with joy over the architecture. Streets are narrow, and most buildings are pretty much impossible to photograph in their entirety.

We also managed to find an Estonian restaurant for lunch, right on the Town Hall Square. The husband had "Mommy´s sallad", which had smoked chicken in it, and I had a green pea soup. For dessert we shared panncakes, and a traditional Estonian dish called Kama, which is a flour made of roasted barley, oats, rye, and peas. It can be mixed with milk, buttermilk, or sour milk. The stuff we got seemed to resemble whipped cream, and was served with something called foxberries. According to the net, this is supposed to be the same as lingonberry, but that was no way what we got. Whatever it was, it was tasty, though. Particularly if you put the kama on the panncakes. Yum!

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