Sightseeing on two wheels was the order of the day after our do-it-yourself walking tour of Tallinn's Old Town. This time, we venture out and beyond the walls of the historic center and into a much different setting. It's a perfect day for a ride with sunny, blue skies. To do this, we signed up with local outfitter Citybike. For 250 kroonis (16 euros), we got a bike, helmet, safety vest, a bottle of mineral water and a guide to lead seven of us riders. We had 16 kilometers to cover, taking almost 3 hours with stopovers for those requisite photo shoots.
We start off at the Great Coastal Gate (Suur Rannavärav) - part of the defensive wall on the seaward side of Old Town.
At the Kadriorg Palace, we marvelled at this summer palace built by Nicollo Michetti for Tsar Peter the Great. The well-manicured flower garden is a sight to behold in itself.
We head out next to the Presidential Palace, surprised to find ourselves right in front of the main door! There was no gate or checkpoint, only two sentries standing outside, something that's never possible with Malacañang Palace or the White House.
. . . and into the Song Festival Grounds, a massive open-air venue that had the likes of Madonna, Michael Jackson, Metallica, The Rolling Stones, among others performing here. In 1988, thousands of Estonians gathered here for a spontaneous singing which came to be known as the Singing Revolution. The Soviets eventually left in 1992.
We continued biking along the highway which led us to the Soviet-era Maarjamae War Memorial with its prominent obelisk dedicated to the Russians who died in 1918.
We made it to Pirita - one of Tallinn's administrative districts - and passed by this marina with its Olympic Yachting Centre which was built for the 1980 Moscow Olympics (Tallinn was the venue for the yachting regatta) . . .
. . . to emerge into a white sand beach called Pirita Beach. Estonians of all ages go to this favorite summer destination for some serious beach time.
We resumed cycling and into this seaside promenade with a panoramic view of Tallinn's skyline - both old and new. . .
. . . never mind if we have to rejoin the vehicular traffic in the newer part of town . . .