Getting Lost in old Talinn
My day trip to Estonia was the absolute best way for a girl to spend the day alone, especially one like me who imagines life and magic into everything. Not hard to do when you’re walking cobblestone streets lined with window displays of faeries and gnomes, vikings and Santas —- oh and so much more. Best part was it’s off tourist season, so many times I had entire streets to myself, and I half expected some withered old soul to pop out of an arched doorway to invite me in for some schnapps and chess.
And then there was this local’s creative window display — perhaps warning us to quit looking in his damned window, or else!
I spent hours walking in the fog and rain, and didn’t care about the cold and wet one bit. Every turn took me somewhere new in the very old. I was a child and time traveler and, lol, remaker of history because my version of the stories that went with what I saw are so different from the real ones, but hey it was my day to get lost, so I’m sticking with my versions — and who knows maybe one day they’ll pop up into my fiction writing (if I ever get back to that — with so much good real in my life, fiction is kind of chilling on a lounger with some tea right now, and that’s way okay!).
One alley way led up a hill, which led to an overlook of all that red! Haha and then I met this fella
who decided this was a very good place to shit..
My favourite discovery, however was an awesome cup of chai because of the work I had to do to get to it. I had to climb dark, narrow steps up a stone wall with a chain railing to finally get to a cafe, where I relaxed in an old tower that smelled of centuries old smoke.
Climbing back down was a bit scary, but I was grateful I didn’t imbibe in any of the boozey choices. Besides, I had plenty more to see.
English isn’t as widely spoken here as in many of the other places I visit, but that was half the fun — learning something that sounded a little bit Russian, a little bit Finnish and Germanic? There are two versions of thank you: one sort of sounds like Talin, but not really (sorry guys I suck at Estonian). I also discovered that bartering — for me anyway — doesn’t really exist here, but a big ole guy (me thinks he might be part gnome) gave me two free Matryoshka magnets. “Gift for you,” he said, and laughed and said something I didn’t understand, but I’m sure it was something like “my American goddess. You are most welcome here!” Or it could’ve just been a consolation gift for my failed attempt at saving euros.
Speaking of which there is a seedy, or maybe just thrifty, side to taking a day trip here. It’s much cheaper than Finland, so guess what folk stock up on when they make the two hour trip over? Booze baby. Some, who are are more than a little rough around the edges, imbibe more than I ever could while ‘shopping’ here. One obvious alcoholic with a heavy slavic accent sat in the ferry terminal cussing out Russians in English. I won’t type all that he said here, but according to him their mothers are quite gifted with um, shall we say the ancient art. I’ve not heard that many choice English words in a very long time. Perhaps he thought no one would understand, but going by the snickers and facial expressions (my mouth was dropped wide WTF? open) he was.
Also at the terminal was my version of an old babushka with a baby carriage loaded with cases of booze and an odd looking lady with a pebbles pony tail on a scooter, and yep she was tinkling with the bottles. I bought one ornamental bottle of Russian vodka and a bottle of Vana Talinn, a local liquor Joe and I will warm ourselves with. So I was looking pretty anorexic compared to the folks (most of whom, by the way, looked very normal) who loaded up suitcases of booze and christmas food.
Some folk had dollies full of beer, booze and food. But, I can’t blame them. Prices in Finland and Iceland (can’t comment on Sweeden or Norway since haven’t been there — yet) are truly high.
But the ferry part of it is very, very cool!
The other great bit about this trip is the two-hour ferry ride (if you use Talink). Omg for around $50 I had round trip tickets and a buffet breakfast. First off the ship is huge! My buffet breakfast was lovely with great coffee. I pretty much sat in the dining room the whole morning trip to Talin — free wifi didn’t hurt. On the way back I was lucky to be one of the first ones at the gate. What surprised me was when the gates opened how fast people were practically running to get back on the ship. I kept up with the crowd, almost running over the babushka and her boozer, but worried I wouldn’t make what felt like the mile-long run (these people are not only gorgeous; they’re in shape!). I followed them right on up the stairs to the top floor where there’s an amazing lounge — cruise ship worthy! I swear I almost shed tears of joy. I’m pretty sure Hallelujah was playing.
Don’t let those empty seats fool you; this place filled up quickly. I kept telling the lady next to me how amazing this was. Those windows were part of the boat’s windshield — hello?! But she just nodded and smiled at me and pretty much thought I was one of the seedy visitors (because I was panting like an over-heated dog and I also had a glass of Vana Talinn and a mini bottle of wine). But whatevs I was so flipping happy! Best way ever to rest up after a day’s exploration. And, yeah, I also spent my lounge time WhatsApping pics of bevies and exclamations of “is this heaven?” This part of the world knows how to ferry right!
And that’s probably more than you want to know — um unless you actually wanted historical data, then whoops my bad — about my little adventure. I highly recommend it if you’re ever in this part of the world.
Posted on December 22, 2016, in Al Ain Third trimester and tagged Estonia, Talink, Talinn. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.
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