Monday, March 23, 2009

Games with Elders; Tallinn, Estonia

Games with Elders

We always look forward to Thursday preparation day. It gives us a chance to be with the missionaries in a totally different environment. They do their emailing, eat snacks, play games and watch gospel-oriented DVD's. Here Elder Heath, left, and Elder Jouttenus enjoy a game of "Pass the Pigs," which has become a missionary favorite.

Visa Trip to Tallinn, Estonia
The Old Town in Tallinn was really fascinating for us. Walking up those narrow streets and imagining the history that took place there was mindboggling. The Estonian flag is in the forefront of the flags. It's hard to see, but it's blue, black and white. Blue for the sky, black for the earth and white for purity.
Rick is standing in front of a group of buildings which show some of the different types of architecture.
Walking up these narrow passageways and seeing the thickness of the walls gives a whole new meaning to laying stone.
This was one of the entrances to the upper level of the city. The huge gate has a heavy bolting mechanism that would take a pretty strong person to engage.
One of the cathedrals in the city.
Closeup of a cobblestone road. It was fun to imagine the clopping of horse hooves and the jangling of armor as we walked along the streets.
A view from the upper part of the city overlooking the Baltic Sea and some of the Old Town buildings. The turrets were especially fun to see.
This gives a little perspective of the walls and buildings which were built in the 1200's. Look closely on the right side and you'll see a little hole in the wall. We weren't sure if it was a breather hole or a place to put a gun barrel through.
This was the main city center square and there were lots of fun shops and restaurants. The local craftsmen sell their beautiful work in the shops along the streets. There are lots of linen and woodcarving items. We found a lovely nativity set made in Tallinn to add to our collection.
This was a little different archetecture and we thought the two dragon heads were an interesting touch. (Click on the picture for closeup of the heads.)
In the park at the bottom of the Old Town hill, they had a snow sculpting exhibit. Many of them had been broken down, but this one was still pretty much intact.

This area of the park was filled with ducks everywhere. I think they had flown back a little too soon, but we enjoyed watching them trying to keep warm. The back of one of the snow sculptures can be seen on the left. It was a delightful trip and we hope we get to go back so we can see more of this beautiful city.

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