Last fall we took the post trip to Estonia and Helsinki, and enjoyed it very much. The bus trip from St. Petersburg to Tallinn was an eye-opener, since the contrast between the Russian portion of the trip and the Estonian portion of the trip was so great. We stopped near the border for a delicious lunch on the Estonian side, and an unexpected tour of an old border fortress. Old Tallin is charming and interesting, and we enjoyed our tour time as well as our personal time in that city. The story of the Estonian separation from the Soviet Union, the "singing revoution", is wonderful and inspiring. Instead of taking the optional tour of the pioneer village on the second day, we arranged a delightful private tour to a nearby national park which we had wanted to see. Both of us would love to return to Estonia to see even more of it, with its beautiful countryside, harmonious music,its food, and its new, exciting successful democracy in action.
We differ on the day in the large city of Helsinki. I enjoyed the time there, riding the streetcars, visiting the cathedral, walking around the marketplace, seeing the cathedral, even though almost our whole day was spent in pouring rain. The morning tour of the city was interesting, to the Rock Church, stadium, etc. The Sibelius memorial was very moving. But my husband thought that it was a grey and gloomy city, and didn't like it at all.......just a matter of personal preference and the weather conditions, I think.
I can't tell you about Riga, etc., as I haven't been there yet, but I think any GCT traveler would enjoy the Helsinki/Estonia post-trip. Let us know what you decide,and, more important, please tell us about your traveling experiences when your trip is over!