Saturday, May 18, 2013

Exploring old town Tallinn, Estonia

HDR of Old Town Tallinn, 5 shots, -2 to +2

View from the hill

An old arched opening leaving the old town

Friday, May 17, 2013

Toompea Hill in Estonia

Toompea Hill - stunning old Tallinn, and the seat of Estonian government

Darth Vader street stencil in Estonia

No words

Medieval Dining in Tallinn

I know I will regret not ordering the bear.  I already do.  How often is bear on the menu?  Especially with the explanation, "Marinated in rare spices and cooked over a fire, in honour of Waldemar II, the brave King of Denmark."

Kristin and I stumbled upon this weird Medieval restaurant in Tallinn.  The Chefs are historians and have created a menu consistent with Medieval cuisine.  It was a strange menu, some of my favorite quotes were "A generous share of the finest Elk filet, in honour and glory of the noble Master of the Order" and "Himalayan Lamb dish with warming spices - Mountain people style."

Skee ball on a boat in the Gulf of Finland

7-6, come from behind victory

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Finding peace in Finland - More from the country that birthed Teemu Selanne

The day proved long and eventful.  We began with a long stroll to the island of Seurasaari - a peaceful enclave just outside central Helsinki.  When we arrived it was peaceful - we had the island to ourselves, save for some pointy eared squirrels.  Peace was broken.  It seemed that all of the Helsinki schoolchildren had some sort of field day spanning the island's extremes.

We saw odd Scandinavian games, some resembling Stinky Grundlefingers, others looked like psychic red rover with teachers carrying around pool toys filled with beads and shouting strange words.  It was odd, and loud, but also wildly entertaining.  We were also able to sneak in to the park for free, using the kids as a diversion.  This was a huge boon for us as we are on day two of our first ever trip with budgeting, and it has become a sort of game for us.  A great and annoying game.

This Guy

Saw this guy today
He was going very fast
It was so awesome

A Helsinki fashion show

Kristin and I stumbled upon a Helsinki fashion show along the Esplande.  There were locals participating and a few people even almost fell.  One of the non-models looked kind of drunk and always came out to a roaring crowd - so much lost in translation, but a delightful afternoon.  The gear is the same Western type stuff we are used to, but Helsinki seems to have a lot going on.  In the past two weekdays, we have stumbled upon a couple concerts and a fashion show.  Anyways - super random, enjoy the pictures.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Helsinki battle of jet lag, 2013

We arrived in Helsinki at about 1:00pm after a long night of flying from DFW to Toronto to Frankfurt to Helsinki.  It was never as brutal as it sounds, but pretzels in DFW and Frankfurt helped to keep us going.  When we arrived, Kristin fell asleep almost immediately.  She will likely wake up at midnight, hungry and confused.

I have a system where I do not sleep until it gets dark.  This works great in Asia because arrivals are generally late afternoon to late evening.  Europe is tougher with AM arrivals.  I try to walk around a lot and stay outside.  It tricks my body into complying.  But about waiting for sunset...

Dawn to Dawn - A new adventure begins

Rare is the odyssey that begins with a credit card declination.  Rarer still is the shabby beginning we experienced at the closest thing to a starting line that is readily conceivable in the mind for our journey, this day,  2013 year of our lord.

It was not early, we were not in any way overconfident or with excessive zeal of any kind, but we were caught flat footed in one of the most deplorable and embarrassing schemes ever to begin an odyssey.  I will just get right to it.  My primary debit card was declined.  At Auntie Anne's.  For the an $8 purchase of pretzels.  To make matters even more proletariat, we had not only declined the upsell additions of nacho cheese and honey mustard condiments, but demanded the free Heinz Mustard packet before our journey came to an unflattering end just as it began.  We looked like a pair of bozo pretzel amateurs.  Our North African pretzel attendant sneered at us from behind her flour specked smock.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Eiffel Storm

The most photographed structure in the world as photographed by me.  Most travelers pass through the Eiffel Tower at some point in their life.  I took this photo to give the impression that a road could literally pass through the tower, through to a storm on the other side.