Rainbows Over The Baltic

Trip Start Aug 04, 2011
Trip End Aug 19, 2011

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Where I stayed
Meriton Old Town garden Hotel

Flag of Estonia  , Harjumaa,
Thursday, August 11, 2011

The rainbow. Probably one of the most widely interpreted symbols ever seen by man. Since the time of Noah, the rainbow has been said to be a promise of peace, to end at a pot of gold and to bring good luck, to be a symbol of inclusion and diversity, it represents the fragments of light and presents itself in color (in fact, whenever I am asked my favorite color, I respond..."Rainbow.")

So, I woke up at the early hour of 7:30 by my phone clock but, we had crossed a time zone during the night and it was actually only 6:30. My plan was to be among the first off the ship and since it was so completely full, I knew the answer was to be ready at the gangway at exactly 8:30. 

The night before, I had taken 2 sleeping pills and they hadn't worn off yet so I was a bit woozy. I walked around the decks a few times to get fresh air and wake myself up.  It was raining all around us but not where we were, so in every direction I looked, were glorious rainbows, which I took to heart as a sign of good luck!!  They made me smile and I began to wake up a bit more.

When the time finally came to get my bag and get to the exit line (which already had only 1 person waiting) it was already 45 minutes before the time we were due to dock.  Then, by the time I got my suitcase and returned to the line, there was a group of Chinese tourists gathering their bags before me in the line.  There seemed to be one guy organizing the whole group and he was trying to cut me off by piling the suitcases in front of me (I only let him get away with 4.)

As a combined result of my nervousness about passport control, my anxiety about making my ferry connection to Tallinn and the mistimed sleeping pill hangover, I was sweaty and a bit shaky while waiting in the now crowded line but I felt perfectly positioned to avoid any problems as there were more people behind me than in front by order of magnitude and I felt like the passport guy wouldn't want to take too long on me.

The ship arrived at exactly the stroke of 8:30 and the doors opened for us to disembark very rapidly.  As if cattle being herded, the people began to push and shove trying to get off the boat. I stood my position steadfastly, knowing my transfer time would be tight.

Anyway, by the time I reached the control window, I was shaking so badly, that I could hardly give my documents to the officer so I simply tossed it onto the counter casually in order to not give away my nervousness.  At this encounter, things went remarkably smoothly as the officer had no questions for me.  He simply stamped me in to Europe and sent me on my way.

By the time all was said and done, I reached the taxi stand just as a cab was pulling up and the driver was most accommodating and drove quickly through the center to the opposite, port... We had arrived from St. Petersburg at the east side and I had a ferry to Tallinn at the west.  We arrived and I checked-in with just enough time to sit and have a bite to eat before getting on the new ferry. This boat was maybe half the size of the last one but seemed like a floating city, complete with a supermarket, shops, bars, lounges, and even some rooms and it was at full capacity.  While I was walking around the ship, I became curious as to just how many people these boats could hold so I asked the receptionist and she said 3000!!  This means that the last ship I was on, was indeed a floating city, at probably a capacity of 6000 people.  Believe me that I have been to small European towns of half that population!!

It was an absolutely beautiful day as we crossed the rainbow strewn Baltic, again, It was raining in areas off in the distance making clearly visible rainbows in practically every direction.  In my own interpretation, I decided that these rainbows were signs of the luck I had just had when entering Helsinki and would have in the future.

After a smooth and pleasant 2 hour journey across the rainbow riddled Baltic, the skyline began to come into view and I could see the tops of ancient spires and high, pointed, brick roofs and I was taken in by the beauty as we got closer and closer. We arrived in Tallinn at just about noon and I made my way to my very central hotel.  It was a bit difficult to find at first because the streets confused me  and my map was a bit vague. But without too much trouble, I got pointed in the right direction.  The hotel was between 2 streets, in a courtyard, which was where my confusion arose. The location was in a historic building, which was immaculately remodeled on the inside but reflected the time of the original architecture with creaky wooden stairways and brick floors and was quite charming indeed.  In addition, I was greeted at the desk by a very cute young girl with an adorable Estonian accent in her speech.  My room wasn't ready so she instructed me to leave my bag and gave me directions to where I could get some food and any other items I may need and told me to come back in 20 minutes.

Following the instructions given me, I went into the town center, which was just around the corner, just as it was beginning to rain, so I ducked into the market and bought some batteries for my camera, some bread and a small bottle of vodka for my room.  Even in the rain, I could see I was going to like it here.

Once back in my room, I took some time to relax and wash some of my t-shirts in my sink. I have been traveling for a week now and I will be another 2 so it is time to freshen some things up and get my suitcase aired out and reorganized before heading out to explore.

Maybe an hour went by before I went out on foot, to check out the layout of the city and see if I could get a sense of direction. Then as if by magic, the sun came out delivering me those beautiful rainbows, which I found breathtaking, just as I was climbing up to the top of the city. There is a city wall and the town is built on a small slope, which affords the most amazing views of the towering steeples below with a backdrop of the modern skyscrapers in the distance.  I basically wound myself around the streets aimlessly, randomly turning corners and never disappointed by what I found or saw. NEVER!

Then as I made my way down the winding streets, I found a friendly looking club that seemed like it would be fun to go later in the evening.  The club was called Kapp and had an image of a goat under a rainbow.  Being a Capricorn and rainbows having followed me thus far, I knew for sure that it was a sign.

By now, it was getting to be evening and I was a bit tired from the travel day so, again I rested in my room having a long conversation via skype (which was invented by Estonians) with my mom before going out in the evening for a cocktail.

When I finished having 2 drinks in the nearly deserted pub I had seen earlier that day, I was feeling a bit old as I passed the many groups of Estonian youths hanging out on every corner and popping out of the pubs that line the streets but as I made my way home, I was given a thumbs up by a couple of kids who came across the street to talk to me. They were intrigued that I was American and we had a long conversation about some politics and some other random topics before I finally separated from them and found my way back to my room for well-needed sleep.
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