Medieval bliss

Trip Start Aug 27, 2011
Trip End Jun 01, 2012

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Where I stayed
Couchsurfed with Marika

Flag of Estonia  ,
Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tallinn, Estonia - Tallinn is a superb mixture of medieval old city twinned with dramatic sky scrappers and modern buildings. One minute you're walking down a busy inner city street, the next you are tripping on cobble stones and wondering how you travelled back in time 500 years!

The new city does nothing for me, especially after living in large cities for some time now, but for me, it's the old city that steals the show. The gem in Tallinn's eye, the reason why you should visit Estonia (you does not mean drunken stag party). The old city is a combination of 14th and 15th century spires, cobbles, alleys and courtyards. It feels like a labyrinth but is easily explorable on foot (or tram). The labyrinth is steep in places, young girls are dressed in historical dress to tempt you into buying something or eating something and it also has a timeless appeal. The few hours of exploring with my heavy rucksack were not the most comfortable but were eye opening.

My host, Marika, was poorly so took the day off work. We met at the tram stop near the train station and were soon at her apartment. Marika owns her apartment and the one next door. Good investments and she was talking about buying again. The apartment was open plan, bright in colours and extremely comfortable and homely. Maybe Marika met her match with chat, the next morning I heard her moan a little about how much and how long we chatted for. Great company, though to call her wonderful is an insult, let's say, she is supreme! I briefly met her previous surfer, a young Australian girl, then we cooked dinner (I love getting fed) and drank wine at the table into the early hours. Marika is only slightly older than me and has lived and travelled all over the world. Many stories to tell, many experiences gained. I originally decided not to stay with Marika as she was unable to spare much time for me, but then another host pulled out and Marika was gracious enough to still allow me to stay, I wouldn't wish a cold on her, but it was good timing.

The following day, Marika was at work and I had a spare key and a relaxing day to do what I wanted. I wandered, explored, bought a boat ticket, got rained on, ate lunch, bought some snacks from a supermarket and retreated to the apartment when the heavens opened again.

In the evening, I logged onto Skype for the first time and chatted to Mum and Andy. They had a good old laugh at my hair, though I am loving my fluff ball, I literally have my own style in Eastern Europe. Everyone is so groomed over here and I look a mess. They even got to see Marika's apartment and wave at her too. How great is the itouch?!! I couldn't talk long as we had plans.

Lucky for me, Marika knows a really good value restaurant/cafe nearby, in a rough area of Tallinn. I enjoyed a local Saku beer and ate some salmon. The vibe in the place was very cool and we chitter chatted away.

Walking back into the city, we walked over tramlines/railway lines. Marika wouldn't normally walk this way, but she had a fluffy ginger guy to protect her. As we walked into the old city, there was a light show with spooky music in the old courtyard. It was something else and stopped Marika in her tracks. She had never seen it before. We went to one secret bar, with a secret card that allows you entry but the place was empty so we hit another bar and enjoyed some more wine whilst people watching/discussing couples and what date they are on? Marika was a trooper, she stayed out late even though she didn't have to. I was happy to leave whenever.

I left Tallinn early doors. Marika had to let me out of her apartment at 645am. I walked to the ferry dock and boarded a 3 hour boat to Helsinki. Being so used to Red Funnel, I thought there would be some lounge areas to sit on. Nope. A tiny chair and table. Somehow, though, I still managed a neck twisting sleep.

Next stop, Helsinki, Finland.
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Pete B on

So how was the beer...was it tasty? Would u buy it again?

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