Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


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Friday, July 26 2019

location: Room 5115, cruise ship Vasco da Gama near the port of Tallinn, Estonia

At some point today we arrived at the cruise ship terminal of Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. Again we took the shuttle bus to somewhere near the center of the City, and again we walked around in that somewhat-strained way we do with Gretchen's parents. This meant that, again, Gretchen and her father charged ahead obliviously while I hung back with Gretchen's mother. Not only to Gretchen and her father fail to ever turn around to check in on us, but they are often so wrapped up in conversations (or monologues) that they can't even hear me yelling at them that they need to slow the fuck down.
The pattern today was largely a repeat of the one yesterday. Tallinn, though, is a hillier city and features more medieval-seeming artifacts, such as narrow cobblestone streets and an old city wall regularly studded with pointed-roofed turrets. Our first destination was, as usual, a cathedral, in this case the Church of St. Olaf, whose spire (now shrouded in scaffolding) is the most dramatic detail on Tallinn's skyline. The church was closed due to ongoing renovations, but we managed to find a creepy little grotto in the back containing an anatomically-suspect depiction of a mummy (perhaps St. Olaf himself).
At some point we made it through a portal in the city wall to the grassy lawn to the northwest of the old city. On the first floor of one of the turrets, we found a pottery studio (Asuur Keraamika OÜ) where we found a woman was working by herself on delightfully whimsical works of ceramic art. She was friendly and informative, and told us we could tour the other floors in the turret. One level up was the kiln and a group of other potters carefully painting their wacky works with glaze. From there, we climbed a few more flights of different sorts of stairs, leaving behind first Gretchen's mother and then her father. At one level there wasn't anything more than a mattress that could be raised up tight against the ceiling to make way for, say, a dance. According to the helpful potter, the Estonian government rents space in the towers for various pursuits.
The restaurant Gretchen wanted to get to was, I think, a place called Vegan Restoran V. But when we arrived, the place was mobbed with hungry vegans, which wasn't all that surprising given that a cruise ship with 1000 nominal vegans had docked in the harbor. Gretchen said the waitress was nasty to her, which also wasn't too surprising. So we headed back to a little vegan café called Lisanna that we'd discovered near the base of one of the wall towers. It was hot in the café, and the only outdoor seating was in the sun, but the staff reluctantly allowed us to move the tables across the street to the shade, telling us that if the neighbors complained, we'd have to move back. We all had pressed sandwiches and I had a cup of coffee. For some reason, the other vegans from the ship hadn't known about this place.
Gretchen and I returned to the ship separately from her parents, hoping to milk more experience out of Tallinn than we could do moving at the pace that her mother could walk. The crowded streets of the old city reminded me of parts of Lyon, France.


Gretchen and I met Kelly and Brian at the Waterfront for dinner, and when I went to order wine, Kelly told me to hold off, that she'd order it for me. Evidently she and Brian had a bought a drink package which wasn't doing them much good because Kelly doesn't really drink. The drinks continued near the pool in the back of the boat as the sun set between the pilasters on the railing.

Grotto at the back of the Church of St. Olaf. Click to enlarge.

Depiction of a mummy in the back of the Church of St. Olaf. Click to enlarge.

Towers along the Tallinn city wall.

Potters in the second floor of Asuur Keraamika OÜ. That's Gretchen in the right foreground. Click to enlarge.

Architectural dragon in the old city of Tallinn.

Our ship, the Vasco da Gama, docked in Tallinn.

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