Sunday 7 August 2016 Day16 Tallinn

Today wa spent exploring the old own in Tallin. The highlights were the maritime museum situated in "Big Margret" the fortified tower guarding the main port gates of the city and the KGB meuseum.

The KGB meuseum is situated on the top floor of a hotel. This hotel was the first hotel for foreigners and the first high rise in Estonia. The USSR had decided that they needed money from outside so commissioned the building of a luxury hotel for foreigners. Unfortunately the first attemp was a failure as the soviet culture had bread a lazy, couldn't give a shit work ethic and no builder had experience in anything higher than a few stories. So the government commissioned a Finnish person to run the hotel and they imported finish workers to build it. The hotel was a place many wel to do visitors stayed. It was totally self contained with doctors mechanics chemists shops etc etc so the visitor did not have to leave the building and see the real soviet Tallin. Of course the hotel was visited by influential people fro the west so the hotel had an extra floor housing a two room KGB office that bugged 60 of the 300 rooms and monitored all staff to prevent defection and or marriage to foreigners. The me suit is small but the story is brought to life by the tour guide, Ana. She had lived through the era and had a health sarcastic sense of humor about the whole thing. This is so worth a visit, spy cameras, microphones in saucers, exploding dye purses to capture staff seeking hard currency, panoramic views of the city blocked to avoid guest seeing soviet infrastructure etc etc etc. Brilliant.

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