Thursday, September 03, 2009
I never realized how perfect the harbor for Helsinki is, just a small opening in rocks. Behind that opening a huge expanse of deep water for large ships. This port is a perfect set up, a great harbor.The ferry to Tallinn was comfy and created no problems and we arrived in the middle of the day. Just a few minutes away we found the Hostel ‘Old House’ and we were lucky, they had a room free. Now, this is not a hotel, it is a hostel. We listened to Ken O’Malley and tried a Hostel in Denmark, it was less expensive than a Hotel but it lacked conveniences. Yet, it is better than a camp ground. In Tallinn we received a small room with just 2 beds and a coat tree to hang a jacket. We had one chair and 2 small night tables. The look of the room is ‘Soviet’, utilitarian and sparse.
The town of Tallinn is in many ways a ‘Soviet’ decorated town. Yes, things work but I see reminders of Russia all over the place. The old town of Tallinn has a huge history and we did the tourist thing. We walked up and down the one hill in town, ate at a “Hansa” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanseatic_League base restaurant and tried the ‘old’ food or the typical Estonian cuisine. Delicious! Cobble-stone streets are not the greatest to walk on and to ride the roads on a bike, heavily loaded is not much fun, either. Our window at the hostel opened up to one of those cobble stone streets and it was noisy, even at night.
Cruise ships stop at the harbor of Tallinn and you can tell when a ship arrives, the population increases tremendously and everybody is busy, all restaurants are full, the many amber shops are like a beehive and then…. Once all the tourists leave the whole town quiets down and it is back to waiting. The whole thing reminds me of fishing. A lot of excitement when the fish bite, otherwise it is a long waiting game.
Tallinn is a good place to visit, especially when you are a young backpacker. We took an extra day to rest our bones and now we are off towards Riga.