Thursday, July 20, 2006

July 20th

As the sun sets on a beautiful day in Tallinn and the crowds begin to leave the Raekoja Plats, I reflect on another trip to the Estonian capital. I shall be spending the weekend at the Viljandi Folk festival in the South of the country, so I will get a good blast of fresh Baltic air on the shores of Lake Viljandi.

July 20th- the anniversary of the first moon landing in 1969. I still retain a fascination with the Apollo Programme- so many extraordinary things were achieved and yet at the end the enormous sunk costs were ignored and nearly 40 years later we have still not returned, even to lunar orbit. The pristine Moon, with the footprints of the Astronauts in the dust of the Sea of Tranquility, remains an enigma. The reaction of each of the astronauts to their extraordinary voyage has been dealt with in several books, which I never tire of reading.

Today is also the anniversary of the attempted assassination of Adolf Hitler by Count Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg- a noble man who met a terrible death. Let us remember that Germans too were brave opponents of the monstrous Nazi ideology, and I shall raise a glass to the White Rose and those brave enough to stand up against tyranny- a tyranny that in Tallinn seems all too recent.

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