Perk up, the journey is still young!

Trip Start May 27, 2009
Trip End Jun 19, 2009

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Where I stayed

Flag of Estonia  , Harjumaa,
Sunday, June 7, 2009

I woke up early this morning to make sure I did not miss my bus to Tallinn.  Since I had packed last night all went quickly and I arrived at the bus station in plenty of time (a little too much you could say - 1hr).  The bus arrived, I got on and no one was next to me. :)  I took the Eurolines from St. Petersburg to Tallinn and it really was smooth and quite reasonably priced I thought at about $40.  The trip took 6.5hours with one of them spent crossing the borders.

The border itself was pretty cool.  The two countries are divided by a river and on each back stands an old medieval fort.  For a minute I could see these two armies firing canon shots at each other from their respective bastions.  I would have liked to stop and visit the fort on the Estonia side but alas, that is not part of the deal with Eurolines!!  Anyway, I highly recommend going this way for those of you considering a trip between St. Petersburg and Tallinn.  By the way, there is an hour time change between the two countries.

I took the tram per the instructions in my trusty guidebook, but there was no one to buy tickets from and signs plastered all over about a $100 or so fine if caught without a ticket.  I panicked and got off the tram a couple of stops later.  I was reading - okay trying to read - the map and a very nice and friendly lady asked if I was in need of assistance.  Oh, what a change from Russia!!!!  Yes, thank you I replied.  She proceeded to tell me where to purchase the tram/bus tickets (one KEY thing omitted from the guidebooks - you must purchase them at the multiple yellow news stands in the streets) and where to get off for my hostel.  She was the first Estonian person I met, and my first impression was GREAT.  Thanks.

Anyway, the hostel was a short walk (less than 5mins) from the tram stop and quite easy to find.  It is really cute and well decorated/painted.  I am sharing a room with 2 other people and one spare bed.  The Vana Tom hostel is so centrally located to the old town that it literally takes 2 mins to get to the main square!!!  I love a great location.  Since it was still early, I dropped my pack off and grabbed the camera and off I went to explore the old city of Tallinn.  Well, as I turned the corner to enter the main square, this HUGE stage was built-up.  Ahhhhh I thought but come to find out, there was a free concert tonight at 7pm!!  For a free concert I won't complain about the "bad photo ops"!  I walked up to the old old part of town and meandered thru it's cobblestone streets.  I really like it here, people are very friendly, the town is clean, the sun is shining, and it is quaint.  The mixture of architectural styles is quite fascinating from one building to another but also within the same building reflecting the changes in times.

I went back to the hostel to check emails and such and then headed out to the free concert shortly before 7pm.  I was kinda cold so I had to put on my only long sleeve shirt I have (yes, I packed for summer - shorts, t-shirts, and NO jacket) but I was going to enjoy myself regardless.  The concert was to celebrate the 70th birthday of the Estonian Maestro Eri Klas.  It was going to be combination of classical and big band music.  It was truly a delight and I had a wonderful time.  Maestro Klas was in attendance of course and you could see then, and thru his bio shown on the big screen, that he truly loves all kinds of music.  He was able to spend his life doing what he was truly passionate about.  It was great.
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