Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 66 Page 67 Page 6864 FOCUS - DECEMBER 2016 JEAN SCOTT COLLEEN ANDERSON LEANNE MAZEROLLE VIRGINIA FREW 158 Casimir Street, Port Perry 905-985-2268 (wherever you are) TICO #4577532 Jonathan van Bilsen is a photographer, author, columnist, keynote speaker and can be followed at preserved medieval cities in Europe, and is listed as a UNESCO World Heri- tage Site. A wall, which stretches a short way around the perimeter (not worth the hike up, as it is very short and there is nothing of interest to see), gives an indi- cator of what the medieval city was like back in the day. Most of the streets in the old town are lined with quaint shops, bistros and boutiques. Baltic food is excellent and very filling, but the selection of interna- tional dishes is endless. In the centre of the old town is the square, so common in European cities. Most of the square’s perimeter is lined with eateries, and I enjoyed everything from local cuisine to excellent pizza (complete with Italian minstrels). There is a famous, albeit touristy, res- taurant called the Hansa Haus. It takes you back to medieval times and offers all types of game and fowl dishes, as well as some modern fares for the not-so- adventurous. The dimly lit establishment stays true to character, with the wait staff dressed in costumes and speaking as if you have been whisked back in time. The only modern elements are the credit card machines and the price. One of the most missed sights is the amazing St. Alexander Nevsky Cathe- dral, located at the end of a long path. Day tourists seldom have enough time to visit this splendid Russian Orthodox cathedral, complete with gold domes and hundreds of icons lining the inte- rior walls of this opulently decorated house of worship. The cathedral is the largest of its kind in Tallinn, and was constructed in 1884. It was slated for demolition in the non-religious Soviet Union, however, a lack of funds left it standing, albeit somewhat neglected. In the past 20 years, the cathedral has been restored to its original glory and is certainly worth a visit. Located within the heart of the old town is the marzipan museum. It is the fourth place I have visited in the world where they claim marzipan originated; however, this one is certainly worth a stop. Ask for Otto, a well-dressed em- ployee who has worked there for 62 years, who meticulously explains the history of the craft. Photographs on the wall dating back to the 1920s, show how the colourful figurines were made, and surprisingly the same process is used to create the tasty treats today. A small cafe, with wonderful sandwiches, is attached to the museum and well worth the visit. Of course, you cannot leave without purchasing a few samples of the almond sugar delicacies. The old town is spectacular, but mod- ern Tallinn has many other areas worth a visit. A dilapidated industrial area near the train station, is undergoing aggres- sive renovations and is now a collection of unique eateries and trendy shops. Another expanse is the seaside where buildings are being torn down to make way for new, modern development. As a photographer, this was a paradise of partially destroyed housing, mixed with overgrowth and rubble, and certainly gave insight into what life under Soviet rule had been like. One of the major attractions of Tallinn is the Seaplane Harbour (Esto- nian Maritime Museum). An enormous, hangar-like building houses numerous artifacts from Estonia’s seafaring past, including a Soviet submarine, where you can actually walk inside and see how men slept, ate and lived, confined for many months. I spent a great deal of time at the Viking exhibition. It was quite interesting, in that it dispelled many of the Viking clichés which I have grown accustomed to. Hollywood had certainly done a number on me. The Baltic region is safe, prosperous and welcomes tourism with open arms. Whether by ship or by land, a visit to Estonia and its capital of Tallin, is a must for anyone wishing to experience a dif- ferent culture in a familiar environment. A Visit to Tallinn (continued from page 63) The main square in the old town of Tallinn is a popular tourist destination. In the Marzipan Museum, old traditions are still carried out today.