Day 17: Tallinn to Helsinki


Today's Stats: 2km, 23C sunny
Today's Route: Tallinn to Helsinki
Favorite Sign: STOPP no picture though
Favorite Food: torteloni


Costs are per person in local currency, 1USD=12.41EEK=0.793EUR.
Fellinitorteloni pasta, cider200kronu
Internet1.25hr plus printing51kronu
Double Coffeecappuccino, cake60kronu
Viking Barbeer, Pringles4euro
Sevillaveggie tapas, sherry16
Sakatu Hostelroom, sep bath, w bfst26euro
We slept a bit later than usual because we were pretty tired from the long ride yesterday and because breakfast didn't start until 8am here. When we finally ventured out on the streets of Tallinn, it seemed like we were the only ones up, though. It was Sunday morning, so many people were asleep or at church and the shops wouldn't open until 11am. We walked around the lower old town and considered going into the church, but it had been converted into a museum. Out front were the remains of some bombing by the Russians in 1944. I guess the townspeople wanted to emphasize the fact that none of their successive rulers had the Estonian interest in mind when they took control.

Up the hill was the more sacred part of the town where only the rich and the church elite were previously allowed. The tour groups were starting to file in, so there were more tourists than worshippers in the Orthodox church by the time we got there. This was the first time that we enterred one of these churches, so it was quite a bonus to get to see the service in progress. It seemed to entail a lot of bowing

and mom and I both noticed how these people make the sign of the cross opposite from Roman Catholics. They also couldn't really see the altar, so the priest would bring things out through the sacred door so the worshippers could marvel. The singing from the choir was quite nice and we enjoyed looking around.

Not far away was the Lutheran church which occupied a slightly less prominent point in the town. Church was in service here too, and there was a sign which told us to come back later. We wandered around a bit more and enjoyed some of the lookout points from which we could admire the surrounding town. The Lutheran Church was a nice treat since the walls were lined with what looked like battle shields or some kind of memorial displays of fun things that happened in the past. From here we searched for a cafe that was supposed to be located in the Virgin Tower of the castle wall. Unfortunately, like many things in my guidebook, the place seems to have disappeared.

We walked back down the hill through the red gate and wandered into the main square. Again we looked for a cafe that was gone, and eventually settled on pizza and pasta instead. After lunch, we used the internet for a bit and I managed to book us into a decent hostel for tonight in Helsinki. From there, we stopped into Double Coffee before heading back to pickup our bikes. Since the coffee shops here don't seem to sell any coffee togo, we had to wait around on the slow service so there was quite a line for the ferry by the time we got there.

We had to wait in line with the cars in order to checkin and load our bikes on the boat. This took way too long and we were practically the last ones on the boat. We made it up to

the sun deck in time to bid farewell to Tallinn and take a few pictures. Then we settled into the bar to listen to live music and watch the watch go by for three hours. The ship was nicer than I expected and we enjoyed the ride with the help of a beer and some fine music... people were actually dancing.

There was another line at the passport control in Helsinki and then I had to study the map a bit to figure out where we were. We made it to our hostel before nine and headed out for dinner right away. Luckily, the hostel was in a good location near the recently upgraded bus station. It was difficult to passup the McDs and Pizza Hut, but we found a decent Spanish restaurant among all the bars. We sat near some older fatter Americans who evidently arrived on a cruise, so we enjoyed listening to their stories a bit. Can you take a train from here to Russia?

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