Trip Start Apr 07, 2006
Trip End Jan 02, 2007

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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Tuesday the 23rd of May.
Kuressaare on the island of Saaremaa.
I don't seem to have much luck at the moment with noisy people. I went to bed a ten still feeling shattered and I was woken at 23:30 by some people who must have just got in from the same bus I had the night before.  The guy on reception spoke to them in a normal voice and was loud and chatty. I got up after 20 minutes they girls were apologetic, not knowing I was there.
I caught the first bus of the day to Kuressaare on the island of Saaremaa. 07:45 I was aware that it was a 6 hour journey and I never know how long stops are but at least I knew we have the chance to use the toilet in the boat. It all worked out fine.  A lovely journey through the trees and farmland of this flat nation.
The boat ride was smooth.  We could wander around on the half hour hop. I found a peanut butter KitKat in the shop and bought it as I haven't seen any for a while but have since seen them everywhere. I got a sandwich and hot chocolate in the cafe.
It was a lovely journey to Kuressaare the main town. Although it was slow and we seemed to head off every little side road to drop off, pick up or just check.
As we got off I recognised one of the other passengers that had been at the hostel in Vilnius.  He was off to a hostel the lonely planet mentioned but the rough guide doesn't. I had booked a B+B on a website and headed there.
The B+B was run by a very friendly man who kept apologising for his bad English, naturally in perfect English.  I could hear his wife talking at times and wandered if he did the English speaking people. A lovely little guesthouse.  They will rent the beds out individually cheaply too, which is what I'm doing. I have the place to myself. He took my details and arranged breakfast for 08:00.
I headed along the road to the castle but only stopped to look from afar and kept walking up the main street to the tourist information.  I wanted to check on buses to various places on the island so I could plan my short time here.  Sadly due to the timings I could only get out to the windmills and not the national park.
I bought some food and headed back to the hostel. I had a short run, stretched and ate tea before heading up for the 17:45 bus.
I was aiming for Angla where 5 windmills stand in a line on the roadside and are a national symbol here.  The bus took 60 minutes to reach them.  We passed through mostly farmland.  I was amused to see a man herding in the cows on a bicycle.  I arrived just too late to go in and see how the windmills worked.  They looked great and I had a good look around and photo session. The weather had been so overcast this morning but was really sunny now, clear blue skies. The only problem was there was nothing else in the village and the next bus was due 1 hour and 20 minutes after I arrived.  I was walking over to the road to find somewhere to read when an hour before it was due a bus turned up.  It didn't say Kuressaare on it but I asked the driver anyway and he said yes.
He then turned off down a side road and I started to wander if he had said yes to try to fill the near empty bus.  He was just taking in some other villages that we hadn't taken on the way here.  It was the same bus I had caught before he had simply gone to the end of the route and was heading back again. Odd that the time was so wrong.
I was back within 30 minutes which was odd too especially as we went to so many other places.
I headed into the windmill in Kuressaare and had a beer before going back to my room. The TV had CNN but nothing else. There was a film on in English with subtitles but not my sort of film.
Wednesday the 24th of May.
Leaving the Kuressaare and heading to Tallinn the capital of Estonia.
I had a great sleep and then went out for an hours run.  It was sunny but very windy which made it chilly.  When I knew I couldn't explore as much as I had hoped I asked for my breakfast to come at 09:00.  When I booked this place the website mentioned pancakes and that is what I asked for. I had a plate of about 8 small thick pancakes. Very nice I covered them with jam. Then there was the boiled egg, bread with cheese and tomatoes, yoghurt.  I had coffee but there was also orange juice and milk. I took my time to eat having the news on in the background. This was my pre birthday treat and I was going to enjoy it.
I slowly packed up my stuff. He said I could leave my bag and I said what time I would return for it. I headed slowly to the castle going into the exhibition.  Mostly about the way of life over the years on the island and the history of the castle.  There was some excellent stuff about the war too. I was pleased that each section wasn't in English but they gave you a separate sheet to read. I found somewhere in each room to sit to ease my full belly and was pleased when there was a short film too.
I walked up to the library and around a craft fair. I could only use the Internet in the library for 15 minutes for free. Everyone else seemed to be on for 30 minutes so I took a little longer too.
I headed back to get my bag.  The guy was very worried about how heavy it was and wanted to drive to the bus station but I was happy to walk. I explained once it's on your back you don't feel the weight the same.
I caught the bus fine at 15:20 and we were in Tallinn for 19:45 as planned. I found the hostel fine and also the free Internet.  Just one computer but I was able to use it for ages before someone else wanting it. I then headed for a walk into the old town, which was close by and found a phone to ring Pete.
Back to the hostel.
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