How Do You Feel About Adventures?
Years ago my oldest son asked that question while we ran errands. He was near the end of kindergarten and summer stretched before us. But, his simple question started a family tradition that we all love — The Adventure List.
Every summer and Christmas break, our family makes a wish list of things we want to do on poster-sized paper. Sometimes our quests are simple: see the latest superhero movie, day at the fair, or go-karts.
Once in a while, we get brave and go big.
Our latest plan? Tallinn, Estonia for Christmas!
Maybe you’re scratching your head…Estonia-where? Then you consult a map and see how close Estonia is to the Arctic-freakin’-Circle!
But here’s a few gems to consider:
*Tallinn, Estonia’s home to one of Europe’s best preserved medieval old towns. Why not celebrate the holiday at the Christmas Market on Raekoja Plats (Town Hall Square) decorated for the season in Middle Ages style?
*Like variety? Explore a multi-cultural mix of architecture: German built castles, Russian Onion Dome churches, and Baroque Kadriog Palace (when Peter the Great ran Estonia) all in the same city. But, if that’s not old enough for you…
*Talinn’s Old Town is 62 square miles of antiquity ready to be explored. A UNESCO site, the Old Town boasts archaic shops with people still living in medieval buildings. And the pharmacy? Opened in 1422 and famed for everything from marzipan to “powdered unicorn horn” (for male potency)! Even Russian Tsars ordered medicine from that very shop.
*Do you like wi-fi and a cappuccino with your history? Tallin’s counted among the top ten digital cities in the world. You can experience the past with present comforts. While sipping your hot beverage, meander past pepper pot turrets, architecture that was all the rage in castle building from the 13th century through the Renaissance.
*But if that’s not old enough for you, learn about war-like Oeselians (Estonian Vikings) whose relics are thankfully found only in museums. Ptolemy wrote about them in Geography III (2nd century BC), and famed Viking skald Snorri Sturluson recorded their antics in Norse Sagas.
Now, we’re getting to time periods I love.
Archaeologists recently uncovered a rich Viking grave site (a two ship burial) on the Estonian island of Saaremaa, and I plan to visit those Norse artifacts in toasty, warm Tallinn museums.
Not a bad list of offerings for a place once described by a Muslim cartographer as “a small town.”
Adventure comes in all shapes and sizes, but sometimes going off the beaten path yields the best treasures.
What’s on your Adventure List?
Gina’s a lover of history, books and romance, which makes the perfect recipe for historical romance writer. Her passion for castles and old places (the older and moldier the better!) means interesting family vacations. Good thing her husband and two sons share similar passions, except for romance…that’s where she gets the eye roll. When not visiting fascinating places, she can be found in southern California delving into the latest adventures of organic gardening and serving as chief taxi driver.
On my website: http://ginaconkle.com/
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A stolen woman of rare qualities…
Helena, a captive woman, wants her freedom. The Frankish maid wasn’t born a slave but marauding Danes have taken her and she’s desperate to escape their camp. Her savior comes as a fierce Norse chieftain, Hakan, who takes her far north.
A hard Norseman who’s lived by the sword…
Hakan wants to lay down his sword and live a peaceful farmer’s life. Betrayal left him cold to other women, yet his heart thaws to clever Helena. She lures him with kindness, weaving happiness that’s short lived. Deceit and old loyalties vex the warrior, calling upon his sword arm.
A clash of cultures amidst a kingdom in transition…
War erupts…a kingdom’s in the balance. Can Hakan defend his homeland and save the woman he loves?