From Helsinki to Tartu, Estonia
Trip Start Jun 10, 2007
22Trip End Jun 29, 2007
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My day today will revolve around just getting to Tartu, Estonia. Most of the time that I've traveled between Finland and Estonia I've gone by plane, but it's a distance that is also manageable by ferry. There are many daily ferries that cross between the capitals of Helsinki and Tallinn. And, since the last time I did this there are some very fast boats. The last time it took me three and a half hours to cross. Now, there were many ferries that took one hour and 40 minutes. I walked with my rolling luggage about a kilometer to the harbor and took the fast Super Sea Cat and was in Tallinn at 2:20 pm. From there a taxi to the bus station and then a 120 mile bus ride to Tartu.
I am actually almost a day earlier than I thought I would be and didn't coordinate this with Johnny Lambert as well as I should have. His wife wrote that he would be arriving the same evening I was in Tartu at about 7 or 8 pm.
My bus arrived at 6 and I thought I'd just wait. I waited until 8:30 pm and then went to the Pallas hotel that we will be using for the Feast which is only 7 minutes walk from the bus station. Tried to call Bev, but was unsuccessful. Day ended uneventfully, but at least I got here and looking forward to getting on with all the tasks that need to be done here with the brethren, new contacts, literature fulfillment and Feast organization.
Prices in Estonia have risen as it integrates into the European Union. Wealth is all around. I was wondering about all the new construction and homes. It seems that the Finns are coming over and investing heavily. Estonia has the fastest growing economy in the world and the country changes from visit to visit. I started working here in 1994 and it was definitely Soviet and poverty was extant. Not any more. New construction, homes, condos....all going up at the same time...along with prices. But, it's still cheaper than Norway. In fact, after getting the price jolt in Norway, everything seems to be more and more reasonable as we move east. It's like seeing gasoline rise to 3.50 a gallon and when the price recedes to $2,90 you are so relived that it's "cheap."
Tomorrow is Friday -- connecting with Johnny Lambert and meeting with our brethren. We'll have a get-together with them at the apartment tomorrow and services on the Sabbath.