Monday, July 2, 2018

I saw all the shoot outs in a bar with no name (Nimeta Baar, Tallinn)

Sunday, 1st July (Day 34, 63.6% complete) was my last full day in Estonia. I spent most of it exploring Estonia's maritime history at the museum by the Gulf of Finland before heading back to the Old Town to watch two round of 16 games, which provided a classic night of World Cup drama as both games were decided on penalty shoot outs.

The Innominate Bar
It was a pretty relaxing day, really. I wrote up yesterday's blog and then decided to take stroll down to the coast, which was close to where I was staying. I was looking for somewhere on the sea front to walk to when I noticed the Maritime Museum situated perfectly for me. Estonia is a sea faring nation, as it is made up of so many islands, so I was interested to take a look at this. So, I planned my route and set off.

Once I got to the coast I was pleased to see that they'd created "with love and care" a walk way for people, called the "Beetapromenaad" (as if it was a prototype).

First sight of the bleak-looking coast

Not a day for a swim

Anyway, soon I arrive outside the museum where there were a number of ships outside and a massive old ice-breaker, "The Suur Toll" docked at the port.

It was very windy

I climbed aboard the ship, not yet realising that you needed to purchase a ticket. But the woman on duty was very kind and trusting and let me on anyway, when I assured her I would go to the museum and pay then.

You could go down to the engine room and stroll around the quite luxurious cabins too.

The museum is a massive restored old shipyard hangar. It has these incredible large domes and the space has been used imaginatively to house a massive submarine and countless other maritime objects.

I had a very nice lunch there and then strolled around for a couple of hours.

The main museum building


Old ship from Saaramaa reconstructed from a wreck

Ancient Haabjah's (carved out of tree trunks)

Sea plane
You could climb into the submarine, which I'd never done before.

The Lembit - submarine

Model of the Ice-Breaker I'd just been in

After getting back to the apartment and recharging the phone for a while, it was time for football.

Russia v Spain

I wanted to go to a new place to watch the games today but my first attempt was abortive as the bar was too pretentious and the beer choice poor. So ended up in "Mad Murphy's" again for the first half of Russia v Spain. I bumped into an Estonian from Sydney who had emigrated from Australia when he was just two years old, but returned to Estonia every year, so spoke like a native.

I had a glass of "Le Coq light" as I'd been to the stadium with the same name.

The game was about to start but the bar was still playing far too loud rock music. Come on, guys! I want to hear the anthems. Half way through the Russian anthem, they finally turned the sound on.

Spain scored first with a comical own goal from Ignashevich and for most of the first half it looked like Spain would confirm the form book and bookies choice and win through to the quarter finals.

But Russia found some spirit from somewhere and were awarded a fortunate (in my view) penalty just before half time.

At half time I tried to find another bar to watch the second half, just for variety and the Prof came up with one I'd seen on the list a few times, but ignored.

I'd walked past "the bar with no name" in Tallinn a few times over the last two days. Each time, the name of the bar reminded me of the bone with no name. It's the one, out of the 223 bones in the human body, that I've studied most - the hip bone. In Latin, it's called os coxa or, the innominate bone, which means the "bone with no name." In Estonian, the bar is called "Nimeta Baar." It reminded of the hip bone but it didn't inspire me to go in. To be honest, the Union Jack and Australian flags on the outside put me off a bit, as I was looking more for eesti kulture.

It did look like a cool place as there were always cool dudes hanging around outside having a fag, but I had no idea what it was like inside. Turned out to be the best place (as far as I've discovered) to watch football anywhere in the three Baltic States, as they show the games streamed from the UK.

The bone with no name - the innominate
The other famous "no name" is the horse, of course - you know, the song. That's how the title of the post should be sung...

It was great to see the familiar faces of Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer again and to be able to actually understand the commentary. The screens were massive and there were many TVs strategically placed so that it was impossible to not be able to watch the action. Also the beer choice was great and the bar staff were brilliant.

In the second half, Spain seemed reinvigorated and came right at Russia, dominating most of the possession as one would expect. But they just couldn't score. So the game edged towards, and then into extra time - the first one at this World Cup.

At half time, I texted Boro "Penalty shoot out win for Rosiya?"

And so it turned out, for once, one of my predictions came true.

Here are the nine penalties as witnessed in the bar with no name. As you can hear, there was much more support for Russia than Spain in the bar.

Spain 1-0...

Russia, 1-1.

Spain 2-1...

Russia 2-2...

Spain miss. Still 2-2.

Russia score, 3-2...

Ramos scores for Spain. 3-3...

Russia, 4-3...

Spain needed to score but Aspas' spot kick straight down the middle was saved by Igor Akinfeev's toe.

Spain Out. Russia through.

I had another stroll around the old town and a quick burger to eat before heading back to Nimeta for the Croatia v Denmark match.

Croatia v Denmark

There was a Swede, a Dane, an Irishman and an Englishman (of Lithuanian, German-Romanian parentage, living in Australia) they all were sat at the bar with no name and got ready to watch the fourth of eight round of 16 games between Croatia and Denmark.

The Dane lived in  Vilnius and, like me, couldn't decide which was the prettier town, Tallinn or the Lithuanian capital. I think these guys were on a jolly after work because they got through an awful lot of alcohol, whereas I was very restrained and only had 76 g worth.

The game got off to a furious start with two, crazy, scrambled goals inside the first 4 minutes.

After such a crazy start, the game naturally settled down to a tight affair and again the game went into extra time.

It looked like this was set not to go to penalties, ironically, because Denmark was awarded a penalty with just five minutes to go. Luka Modric versus Kasper Schmeichel. If Croatia scored that would surely have been enough to win...

Heroics from the Danish keeper and the cameras of course, zoom in on his identical (30 years ago) dad.

So penalties after all and more heroics (and whining) from Schmeichel as well as heroics from Modric who did scoe his penalty this time. But this time, Denmark were not quite good or lucky enough and Croatia won through to face Russia in the second quarter final next Friday.

After that I went straight back to the apartment, though the beautiful never ending Tallinn summer twilight to pack and get some shut eye. I had a very early start the next morning to catch a flight to St Petersburg. 

St Olav's Church - very tall for such an old one

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