Our second Sabbath on the road

Trip Start Dec 16, 2007
Trip End Jan 11, 2008

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Flag of Estonia  ,
Saturday, December 29, 2007

We wonder who will actually come at 1:00 pm today.

In spite of the fact our people are either out of town or not able to come because of health, this did not deter us from the mission of the mailing, prison and other contacts. Johnnie will be here in a few weeks and will stay for a month. Estonia was only one of many stops on this trip.

In the morning Bev and I had time to take it easier. Outside there is a cold drizzle There has been no sun the entire trip so far, but we expected this. The only sun we saw is when we flew from Vienna to Riga....when we were high above the clouds.

I wonder about the people and the emptiness we see in the grasping for material things, the alcohol abuse, the emptiness in all the media....whether it be what's on TV, film clips that we see or advertising. Certainly, some will be asking if there is more to life than this. Sixteen years ago this part of the world was godless atheism. Now, it's godless materialism and nihilism. Certainly through the message we propogate there will be some who will ask "what's it all about?" Some will break out and reach out for true values after seeing both political oppression and materialistic emptiness. Personally, I can't thank God enough for the values He's opened to me through His Truth and has given my life meaning and purpose. As I look at people on the streets I see them existing in the darkness and cold that is like the physical environment around.

Bev and I gave up on anyone coming so we decided to have lunch ourselves and begin the wrap up here in Tartu and begin heading north to Tallinn and Finland. As we sit down to lunch about 1:30 pm there is a knock on the door. It's Helga! Last night she was virtually immobile. Now, she stands in front of our door with her cane and thanks God to be able to see us. She comes in inside and we carry on a joyful conversation. She brings a big sack of cookies as a gift. She always has something. She had a birthday card for our granddaughter Alyssa when she turns three in late March. Then she had lots of pictures of her when she was younger and talked a lot about her daughter and her grandchildren.

The train station is across the street from Johnnie's apartment. Earlier in the day I went over to see if there was a train to Tallinn. There is no staff at the station, you just get on the train when it comes and buy your ticket on the train. We thought we'd try the train to Tallin.

When I was over earlier I asked a woman on the platform about the time for trains to Tallinn. She showed me the listing that showed a 5:24 PM train to Tallinn. I thought I'd take it.

Bev and I got things shut down at the apartment and left at 5:00 for the train station with our bags. It was dark and hardly a soul in sight. Something wasn't right. As we walked on to the platform that the good-natured woman showed me to the one for Tallinn, an older man who was obviously intoxicated, but with bags like he was going somewhere followed me to the platform. I asked him "Tallinn?" He said that he was going to Tallinn, but that the train left in the other direction on a platform you reached only by going under through a tunnel. This didn't seem right to me. The train there would be going in obviously the opposite direction on the track. I thought I'd try to go there and see if I could be wrong. As the intoxicated man and walk down the steps with him in front of me, he falls backwards and falls on top of throwing me off my feet. I had enough. I go to a solitary cab at the station and ask about the Tallinn train. He says there IS NO TRAIN to Tallinn. It's Saturday and it runs only Monday through Friday. Great! The well-meaning lady who advised me failed to notice that it didn't run on Saturdays. So we asked the cab driver to take us to bus station and we caught the express bus to Tallinn as we usually do.

Here are more travel tips:

Travel Tip # 57: As well-meaning as people may seem, they may not always have the right information. Being nice and helpful may have nothing to do with accurate, yet critical travel information.

Travel Tip # 43: When the place you are to leave from is dark and empty, there is good reason (unless it's Chop, Ukraine). If a place has lights and lots of people look like they know what they are doing, chances are much better that you will get to your desired destination.

Travel Tip # 84 Any information from a publicly intoxicated person should be suspect, especially if they tell you the train direction you need to going in is totally opposite of the direction the actual trains are traveling. Seek other advice immediately!

Bev and I got to Tallinn at 8:15 PM, got a taxi to the hotel that Toomas reserved for us and await further adventures as we figure out how to get to Finland.

At the reception desk I ask about the earliest ferry to Helsinki. She is friendly, helpful and knowledgeable as she checks the computer for ferries. I was having a hard time pinning down a ferry. I found out from here that the winter schedule has come into play and that some ferries, like the high speed ones don't often run in rough winter seas. For example, she told us that SuperSeaCat ferry for tomorrow was already cancelled due to rough seas. But she did make a reservation for us on the Viking Line, a big ship that she said runs all the time.

We're all set for 8:15 departure. We go to sleep with assurances that things will go well tomorrow. We have to get off the boat and on our train to northern Finland as soon as we can to visit Klogay and Margaret Doh in Kemi....our most northern point on this trip.
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