Back to Tallinn training times #DAY 10-12

Day 10
Wednesday September 20th

Wednesday morning saw our horizons temporarily dampened.  Drizzle had crept over Tallinn overnight and we awoke to a light rain. From checking the news, we appeared to have got off lightly; the UK being battered by a storm. The drizzle lasted briefly in the morning, and not wanting to waste the day, we headed out to look around the local markets and discover more about Estonian trade and local crafts around.  We found a market selling local woolen garments, a lot of the stall holders looking quite sorry for themselves in the constant rain.  As we were wandering around, Amy B was targeted by an old Estonian lady who took her opportunity as Amy was looking at hats to plop a red furry pom pom hat onto Amy's head! As fetching as Amy looked, she wasn't particularly interested in the damp woolly creation. The lady wasn't giving up that easily though, she persisted in jabbering away in cheery Estonian at Amy, obviously hoping that the more she spoke, the more fluent Amy would suddenly become and join in the conversation! Amy managed to communicate her way out of the situation, and we hastily beat a track out of the market before we could be engaged further.

Whilst we were out, we also considered the best British dish we could think of to provide for the EGL as we would be cooking for them later in the day.  The consensus was for a Cottage pie, with a twist. We couldn't find any beef mince at all! The mince we did find had a picture of a fox adorning the label, however appeared to be pork mince.  With this in our trolley we checked out and began making the feast for the ladies later in the evening.

We would be entertaining three of the team at the apartment we were staying at, which conceded to be a bit of a squeeze. We squashed all available furniture into the living room, and had enough seating for everyone, hoping that the guests wouldn't mind eating without a table! By the time the pie was slowly cooking away in the oven, Mailiis and Kirke from the EGL arrived with giant cakes in their arms. We were greatly excited for the discussion ahead and the cake to follow supper. We were joined shortly after by Maria, a leader and previous member of the EGL board who also came to discuss the programme. Our supper went down a treat, and we were thankful for the empty plates of the Estonians, with the pork (potentially) Cottage pie declared a winner. Chat turned to the Rovers' programme itself, and integrating the structure that Mailiis and the ladies from the board had considered from the weekend in Türi, to mix in with Maria's ideas which were also to include a lot of fun into the programme!

After much discussion, the topic changed to fun again as Maria wanted to know what we had seen in Tallinn and the places we had visited. She had worked in the city for the past 9 years and was keen to impart her local knowledge on us as well as introducing us to her native Tallinn experiences.  The first on her list was a legendary experience at an old restaurant - in the form of a 'Jellyfish'. This was served in Estonian style with a sprat sandwich, fish on rye bread.  We tentatively accepted her offer and went out into the night and to the vintage vault bar in the Old Town.  The challenge was accepted and several fish sandwiches later we had taken one step further to vintage Estonia. Maria, Mailiis and Kirke proved fantastic company for the remainder of the evening, and provided further helpful suggestions that we promptly added to our 'to see' list for the remainder of the week.

Stats of the day -
18 cake slices consumed!!

Day 11
Thursday September 21st

Thursday was a heavy planning day for the Rovers discussion group we had scheduled for Friday. We needed to assist with amalgamating together the ideas from the board at the discussion weekend in Türi, together with our thoughts on the programme and collect ideas from the present Rovers. Our hours of planning lead us to preparing a meeting for 90 minutes for the following day, and with some ice breakers, games, and of course, camp fire songs to add to the mix and help the meeting flow!

After the planning, to balance out our day we went for another stroll around the Old Town.  On Friday we would also be packing up to head to Tartu for a week, so it was nearly our last day of project in the capital.  To wind down from the planning, and make the most of the near deserted streets now that the tourist season was all but over, we headed to what proclaimed to be the oldest tea shop in Tallinn.  The tea shop is situated in the heart of the Old Town, and a stone's throw from the main square. The charming building sits at a fork in the road, ideally situated to see both the oldest working clock in Tallinn and the original Guild House from the 16th Century. Nestled between the two,  the building itself is a warm golden stone which was basking in the afternoon sunshine and provided a welcome environment for us to relax in.  The ground floor housed a novelty café with a working miniature train line in the window, a ferris wheel of tea cups, and polished wooden counter and floors, giving the café an olde worlde feel.  We headed upstairs where we were happily accommodated for afternoon tea in a room beautifully decorated in a period manner with further dark wooden floors and heavy curtains. Feeling rather regal, we were seated and delivered delicate cakes and delicious drinks by a waitress in a vintage dress and full apron combo. 

After our tea, we wandered back to the ground floor to see the marzipan display was held. A marzipan artist was concentrating hard, smoothing out marzipan carefully and crafting what we were surrounded by; intricate and dainty figurines,  painted to a lifelike resemblance.

The evening included a trip to a large park on the edge of Tallinn to celebrate the end of summer and the beginning of autumn. Walking to the park it felt like an early bonfire night celebration with families trudging, wrapped up in woolies and wellies, towards the park.The festival of light included candles dotted around the park, food and drink stalls, light shows to music and fireworks. Wandering around the park was atmospheric with the lights flickering all around us. Standing alongside the water whilst we listened to music with lighting effects displayed across the autumnal leaves of the trees that surrounded us was also relaxing. After charging across the far reaching park to get a better view of the fireworks we stumbled upon the house of the President and the beautiful gardens; a lovely end to the evening.

Stats of the day
100,000 candles dotted around Kadriorg Palace park (or so it felt)

Day 12
Friday September 22nd

Our last full day in Tallinn provided an opportunity to explore the city's hidden gems. We adventured to an industrial area that had been redeveloped into modern shopping and housing, which was also home to the Kalev chocolate shop, full of delights. From here we crossed town towards the city walls. We climbed the stairs to view the city from a further vantage point of the city - providing more spots for selfies!

After our morning of exploration it was back to the serious business of the Rover programme. Friday saw the first of our discussion groups, designed to elicit the views of current Rovers to inform a programme. We started off by talking about why everyone was involved in Guiding, followed by thinking of ultimate adventures. Rather than just feeding back on these, there was an added level of fun, by using charades. Adventures included leaving footprints in the world and singing in front of a large audience. Groups then discussed how being a Rover could help achieve these goals and how executing steps could develop skills such as leadership and organisation. Not wanting to only finish by giving out thank you badges, we sung 'Make New Friends' - with the associated arm linking.

To celebrate a successful discussion group we headed to the sky bar for a Friday night drink overlooking the city illuminations.

Stats of the day
Amy B again - 1st cocktail consumed in her life!


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