Tallinn Travel Blog

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I will spare you the dull details of an entire week of school and work and jump directly to the weekend after; when I went to collect yet another stamp in my passport in Estonia.  And now I see you frowning your brows: "Why the heck did she go to Estonia?" Quite honestly, apart from adding one more country to my list of places visited, I don't know. We hear so little about the Baltic states that I didn't have a well formed picture of what to expect either. But already anticipating my story a little, I can happily say that I was pleasantly surprised with the world I discovered. As I said, that is anticipating...because I still need to cover the cruise part in this episode of my Nordic e-mail sitcom

After that "once in a lifetime"  Stockholm cruise, you bet I had really high expectations for this Baltic Sea crossing too; especially because this time - as prices were ridiculously cheap- I booked an upper class cabin. But as usual with high set hopes?one ends up disappointed. Which was in a way my case. After the luxury we experienced on Vikign Line, this Tallink ship (Estonian company) was rather small and dull. Reckon I had been a little too naive or otherwise too optimistic about the accommodation rates because the cabin as well as the rest of the vessel didn't show the slightest sign of comparison with our lovely boat to Sweden. Oh well, we thought that wouldn´t matter at all if we were probably only gonna sleep for about an hour that night (seeing those flashbacks of Stockholm spinning through my mind) But once again I ended up a little disappointed. This time we were cruising on the weekend - so there weren't many youngsters on board either. That wasn´t the real problem though. Ils and I had fun acting all "sophisticated". Like our older fellow passengers we went dining in style and then danced waltzes and swing in the night club - which changed into a disco after 12.

That was when finally some people our age started to show up... But as we could have expected, the majority of them was heavily intoxicated with olut, siideri, Finlandia vodka and numerous other alcoholic beverages and weren't there for dancing at all. Which means that regular dancing and goofing around was out of the question.  I had to rescue myself over and over again from far too much unwelcome attention and that outrageous collection of the world's worst pick up lines. Also, noticed that those drunks really seem to have a hard time taking no for an answer. Ils and I were so fed up with it we wanted to flee to our cabin quite early already - when (we thought) the "train-guy" came to our rescue. That's something I didn't mention before. We took the boat out of Helsinki, so when we came by train in the afternoon already, I had been talking to this friendly guy in the restaurant car of the train. He never mentioned he was cruising to Tallinn and neither did I - so this was a little of a surprise. Now I thought - cool! If we have some male company with us on the dance floor - those others will definitely keep their distance. But oohh I was soooo wrong! Turns out this friendly "waiting in the food queue" guy from the train had also mutated into an annoying drunkard. And so Ils and I were sorta forced to go lock ourselves into our cabins quite early instead of dancing the night away.

Oh well, decent sleep can do the world of good you know. And I did sleep excellent! Also because the journey from Helsinki to Tallinn only takes three hours - meaning the ship was already at the harbor as we went to sleep. At least this upper class cabin had a window with an amazing view on those little lights over Tallinn. The next morning, we got up pretty early - as we had only 7 ½ hours in Estonia before taking the boat back to Suomi. Breakfast was more than alright though. Once again a very large and indulgent variety of good stuff :) 

The medieval town center of Tallinn is only a few minutes' walk from the passengers' harbor - but it's a completely different world: narrow cobbled streets, old colorful little houses, splendid churches, cozy market squares, cute sculpted fountains etc... and not to forget the old city walls complete with guard towers and gates. All very picturesque and scenic. Exactly as I love it! I had never imagined Tallinn would be this astonishing. In fact, the old town kept us so fascinated that I didn't even bother to go shopping for cheap clothes or liquor. Instead, Ils and I indulged on the cheap but over delicious food in the typical restaurants.

On the way back, we didn't sleep on the ship. But as it was too late already to get a train back to Savo when we arrived at Helsinki's harbor, we went down to Porvoo to stay at Patricia's (Portuguese exchange student where we staid a couple of weeks ago) She also had an Italian friend " Michele" staying over; who thought us to cook authentic Italian pasta. Seen our pretty international company, we ate pretty international too: Italian pasta with Portuguese sausage .  And all of this cooked after 11 PM  *LOL*.  Those Finnish students in the building thought we were crazy for cooking this late - but it sure was a blast! Monday we had to catch the train back to Savo out of Helsinki, so we staid and explored the capital some more...doing some window shopping in the numerous department stores.
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photo by: Chokk