Photo Essay: Exploring Estonia

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lhanson
Aug 15, 2014


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Photo Essay: Exploring Estonia

On the Summer 2014 voyage, students have been welcome to travel independently within each country — including making their own overnight accommodations off the ship if they choose. But they haven’t been able to enter different countries unless traveling with a Semester at Sea field program.

That’s just one reason why 125 voyagers signed up for a day trip by ferry to Tallinn, Estonia, as well as an overnight trip that took them to Tallinn and beyond, while the ship was docked in Helsinki, Finland. The field programs also offered local insight into the history, politics and geography of the region — not to mention an unusual dining experience in a medieval building in Old Town, served by waitstaff in period costume and accompanied by medieval music.

Knowledgeable local tour guides showed participants some of the key landmarks of Tallinn, including the grand Russian Orthodox Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and the only surviving Gothic town hall in northern Europe. Free time for shopping and sightseeing allowed voyagers to return to the ship with treasures to remind them of their time in Estonia, such as hand-made sweaters, scarves and hats, as well as hand-crafted wooden utensils and unusual pottery.

The Tallink Shuttle, which ferries visitors to Tallinn, regularly departed from the dock across from the MV Explorer. Faculty member Bob Smith snapped this photo of the ferry as ominous clouds rolled in one late afternoon.
The Tallink Shuttle, which ferries visitors from Helsinki to Tallinn in two hours, regularly departed from the dock across from the MV Explorer. Faculty member Bob Smith snapped this photo of the ferry as ominous clouds rolled in one late afternoon.
Faculty members Geno and Nancy Carr, as well as four students eager to get to Estonia, get ready to wave goodbye to the MV Explorer from a top deck of the Tallink ferry.
Four eager students and faculty members Geno and Nancy Carr get ready to wave goodbye to the MV Explorer from a top deck of the Tallink ferry.
Red roofs of Tallinn, as seen from TK.
Red-tiled roofs and church steeples of Tallinn.
Cobblestone streets and pastel buildings in Tallinn. Photo by Cristina Thompson of University of Virginia.
Cobblestone street and pastel buildings in Tallinn. Photo by Cristina Thompson of University of Virginia.
Tallinn Town Hall dates back to TK.
Tallinn Town Hall dates back to 1404.
Europe's oldest square.
Once a medieval marketplace and now a modern spot to eat al fresco, Tallinn’s Town Hall Square is lined with fine examples of Gothic architecture.
Onion domes of nineteenth-century Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and medieval walls of Tallnn's Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Photos by Madeline Rencher of University of Utah..
Onion domes of nineteenth-century Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and medieval wall and tower of Tallnn’s Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Photos by Madeline Rencher of the University of Utah.
RIB Boat to Naissaare Island
Voyagers on the overnight field program took a RIB Boat to Naissaar Island, about six miles off the coast of Estonia. Photo by Collin Maenhout of Point Loma Nazarene University.
Sea Mines on Naissaare Island
Before and during World War II, Naissaar Island was a military base under Soviet rule. These are sea mines left behind. Photo by Collin Maenhout.
On Naissaar Island, students also rode in an old military truck and spotted overgrown train tracks. Photos by Madeline Rencher of University of Utah.
On Naissaar Island, students also rode in an old military truck and spotted overgrown train tracks in the forest. Photos by Madeline Rencher.
Both the day trippers and the voyagers on the overnight trip ate a meal at Olde Hansa in a 15th-century building in Old Town. They dined on historic recipes of elk stew and sweet turnips, and staff were dressed the part of medieval citizens.
Both the day and overnight trippers ate a meal at Olde Hansa in a 15th-century building in Old Town. They dined on historic recipes of elk stew and sweet turnips, and staff were dressed the part of medieval citizens.
Musicians playing medieval instruments accompanied the meal. Photo by Ida Kusumastuti of Seattle Pacific University.
Musicians playing medieval instruments accompanied the meal at Olde Hansa. Photo by Ida Kusumastuti of Seattle Pacific University.
Sunset over Tallinn. Photo by Collin Maenhout.
Sunset over Tallinn. Photo by Collin Maenhout.
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