Quidditch and honeybeer.

I am so excited to finally share some photos from my adventure across the Baltic Sea!

While four nights cramped in an economy room on a budget cruise line sounds pretty intimidating, our accommodations on board were far from shabby, even despite being on the lowest deck under the car garage!
Four of us shared this room.  By the end of my time in Europe, claustrophobia won't have anything on me.
You cannot begin to imagine how excited I was to learn that we had a free evening show on board. And yes, I sat front row. 
We made three stops on our journey, the first of which was to the picturesque capital of Estonia, the City of Tallinn.

Walking the maze of cobblestone streets and pastel buildings in Tallinn's medieval Old Town, you feel as if you have stepped backwards in time. The light hues of the buildings stand in stark contrast with both the gloomy weather and Tallinn's tumultuous history. The City has been invaded and occupied by neighboring Denmark, Sweden, Russia and Germany too many times to count.  As a result, Estonia celebrates two separate national days of independence. 
After wandering the city for hours, finding a warm place to dry and de-thaw is top priority....
A wooden sign advertising Elk Soup for 1 Euro is too tempting to pass up.  Even more thrilling than the price is the cafe itself; essentially a cave in the side of the old City Hall building, lit only by candlelight, and serving only steaming hot elk soup.  But be warned, if you would prefer to eat your soup with a spoon, you must come prepared to sing...

The soup was to die for, and I could have stayed in the cozy cave all day, but the streets of Tallinn were begging to be explored.

... someone needs a nap.
We stumbled upon a street vendor selling souvenir necklaces.  The necklaces were made on the spot with a coin, sledgehammer, and stamp.  After watching several tourists make failed attempts to swing with enough power and accuracy to imprint the stamp on the necklace, I decided I had to give it a try.

I was clearly not impressed when the vendor asked me if I would prefer he made the necklace for me.  Get real....
Tallinn by night is amazing. Operating on the recommendation of an Estonian classmate, we found ourselves enjoying the one of the city's most famous and traditional restaurants, or, as we liked to think - in the Great Hall! Do they drink honey beer in Harry Potter? Well, they do in our version.

Estonia was an amazing quaint town, and as I would later learn, very different from it's Finnish and Russian neighbors. Cheer to a great first stop on our journey across the Baltic Sea.

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