Old Town Tallinn

Trip Start Jul 05, 2007
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Saturday, September 15, 2007

We arrived at the Tallinn bus station about 6.30am, freezing cold, no local currency and a little geographically confused...not that we didnt know where we were, just no idea where that was in relation to anything else. We opted to hang out in the relative warmth of the station building, alternating between napping and watching estonian tele. About an hour later we bumped into Christoph, an english guy we had met at the cuba hostal in St Petersburg. He had been to tallinn before and was able to give us some rough direction to the tram that would take us to town, caught the tram, avoided the ticket collector and made it into Old Town  at about 07.30. We found our hostel no probs but it was still too early to check in so we camped out in the only warm place we could find that was open, a small corner store / deli for anouther hour. We could'nt quite work out why nothing was open by 8.15, turns out there was a 1hour time difference between estonia and Petersburg. eventually got into the 'hostel with no name' at just after 9. It was a small hippie type place with worn out couches, psychodellic paintings and a small dog aslead in the corner.We could only get spots in the 10 bed dorm which turned out to be even more unimpressive than the common room. We decided we needed to get some sleep so we climbed into our bunk only to be kept awake by the hacking, phlemy cough of the guy bellow us, the barking snoring of the other guy still asleep and the alcoholic stench the came from both of them. Not pleasent or condusive to getting any sleep... It turns out the two offenders were a couple of middle aged Irish guys who were there for a few days to drink themselves sensless for less than it would cost back home. We witnessed their routine later that day when they eventually woke up, focussed their bleary eyes, picked up theitr jackets off the floor before stepping out of the room on the way back to the pub accross the road to do it all again.... (we didnt ask for their email addressed back in Ireland). We decided that we needed to get out ourselves and headed for the 'pub with no name' which we had heard had good cheap food. That night we dodged the English stag parties wandering around Old Town and made it to an estonian Pub called 'Hella' for a quite beer. Met an australian called travis who was working in Helsinki - good bloke. the evening ended in a really cute cafe in a hidded courtyard of Old Town where we sat down for a coffee and locally made chocolate. These chocolates were about the size of a golf ball and insanely rich - neither of us could finish our chocolates. For those of you who have experienced Mrs Knucky's famous chocolate fudge (Daniel and Jess' wedding) - it was twice as rich...... Cath wont let me post the pic of her with chocolate smeared across her face..pity. On our second day in Tallinn we changed Hostels to Alur Hostel, sooo much better. The whole atmosphere of Tallinn changes as all the tourists and Stag parties who are only there for the weekend leave town. Old Town was suddenly empty except for the surges of Finnish tourists who arrive and depart with the ferry from helsinki. Old town itself is stunning, on the surface it looks like nothing has changed in the last 5 centuries. Look a bit closer and whilst the buildings and the streets look amazing, all they contain are souvenier shops, bars and cafes. No business seems to exist except that targeted at tourists. so whilst impressed by the look of Tallinn, we decided to get out of town and try and see what elso was in estonia. We decided to hire a car in the morning and withing 3hrs of making the decision we had a car and were on the way to the Estonian countryside. The plan was to spend 5 days driving around estonia and Latvia on our way to Riga.
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