After going strong for 11 days, I gave myself some reprieve today. Not because my body was exhausted, but my mind was exhausted. Too many data points, too short of time. Ha!
Today was a balmy mid 40s, super exciting. I left the wool coat behind and went with just the fleece and down vest. Awe. Curious as to what the hotel buffet would include, I was once again let down there was no cappuccino. Go figure! Food selection was fine – eggs, toast, hot dogs, cheese, veggies, cold cuts. A bit too much processed food for my liking, but free was nice.
Then it was time to quickly wash some clothes, upload photos, catch up with friends, catch up on writing, on FB, etc. After all that it was time to explore! Luckily I’d covered more than half the old town yesterday so was able to finish off the key sites by noon so for once this entire trip I could have a proper lunch. The cobble stone windy roads led me to more cathedrals and the city wall. I was able to go to the top and take some incredible photos of old town. Nothing like red roofs with chapel spires and castle turrets to create the most picturesque view.
Having failed at getting into my top restaurant for dinner last night, I ventured over for lunch and after a little pleading they gave me a table, the one by the window, over looking the cat well. The cat well got it’s name because many many years ago they were worried the well would dry up so they decided animal sacrifices would save them and they started throwing alley cats down the well. Then drinking from it. Um. Ya.
The restaurant, named after its address Rataskaevu 16, was a delightful recommendation from Lonely Planet. Even with Blonde on the stereo, the atmosphere was nice with stone walls and wooden beams overhead. My pumpkin soup was to die for and the chive and Estonian cheese is what made it. Followed by the steak appetizer which was done like a tuna tartar but with beef and had mustard on the side. I would never thought to pair avocado, beef, and mustard but my goodness it was heaven. Add a glass of Pinot Noir and I was a happy camper!
Following such a delightful lunch I treated myself with a nice little nap. Pure indulgence. I’m not really a napper, so this is a telling sign that my brain is on overload!
Somehow it was already 4pm and there was a small amount of daylight left to see the remaining sites. First on the list was to see the oldest consecutively running pharmacy in Europe. Impressive. It had a backroom with some of the old potions and herbs, pretty interesting. The next on the list was the vantage points. Apparently the well-to-do lived up high so they could look down on the rest of the town. The views are unheard of. Definitely worth the visit.
Although not terribly exciting I had run out of face cream and face wash. It took three pharmacies and I was feeling so spoiled in the states just going to the local grocery (except in Manhattan where it’s more like Europe and you buy that stuff at a CVS etc). Finding airplane size, near impossible. Finding something in english, limited. Finding a familiar brand, non existent. An hour later – yes an hour!! – I found something that would work and totally regretted not just bringing refills from the states. Aargh.
The town was beautiful at night with the cathedrals all lit up. It was that time again, dinner! Got into my top choice, Lieb. So romantic! Cobblestone entry into a small private garden with the exposed city wall as the backdrop, turret and all. Inside the seats had real sheep fur blankets to sit on and pink daisies on the table. A candle lit my window front table, in the corner where table-for-one gets placed, ha!
To start I had this delightful celeriac roots sliced with a vinaigrette and hazelnuts. The flavors were perfect against my white wine. They served homemade black bread with herb butter which complimented my entree of chanterelle mushrooms and carrots in a amazingly delicious cream sauce. The roasted carrots made the dish!
Filling like I could be rolled back to the hotel, I think my body is no longer used to eating three big meals in one day. Lesson learned!