12 Sept, Trip to Estonia
Today Joy and I went on the ferry to Estonia. The trip was about 2 hours.
We got up about 0545 and were down to get some breakfast and turn in our luggage to the storage room about 0615. We were able to grab a couple of items off the “early breakfast bar” and waited for the cab.
Got to the ferry by about 0645 and loaded onto the ferry for the 0730 departure. This is a ferry where they have semi trucks (I counted 50 when we docked back in Helsinki), cars, and passengers. The passengers can have a room to sleep in for the trip. Of course, there are places to eat, drink and shop!
Joy and I watched another ferry being towed to the dock by a tug boat and watched as the workmen released the lines….and we were off to a new country!
We sat in burger king, by the window and watched the islands, lighthouses (at the beginning of the trip) and the big waves as we moved out to the Baltic sea. It was pretty spectacular! Sometimes the whole window was covered by water splashing from the front of the boat. The waves were high due to a storm the night before. It was great to cross the Baltic sea; many got sick but I did not (surprise!).
Arrived in Tallinn and looked at the terminal for a cache. We found the box the cache was in but it required a key to depress the lock and open the box. We of course did not have any keys with us!
Took a taxi up the hill to Toompea (a church on a hill). There were lots of people up there (buses with tourists, etc). Got a cache under a bench after we had gone into a beautiful church where they were having a very special service. Many plain clothes town people attended. They had a corner where you apparently could donate food. Unfortunately, there were many beggers in the area.
Went to an earthcache regarding the limestone on the fortress at the top of the hill. It was not too far from the beautiful church. Found a free bathroom (we did not have any foreign money for a “WC”) so used it when we found it!
Set out to find more caches which took us down the hill, by some more churches and to an old part of the city. There was a little farmers market going on and joy got a mug. I saw an apron with dogs on it, but did not buy it; only took a photo! We found a virtual (man hole cover) in the center of this area and complete the required photo tasks.
Soon we were off again on another cache adventure; up little streets, and taking photos all along the way. Around 1130, we found a cute little pastry shop and stopped to split a pastashio pastry and a cinnamon/chocolate roll. This was quite a cute little shop. Then we went through to the little chocolate store and each got a little chocolate “delight”!
Then up/down/around more quaint little buildings, stores, homes, etc. Went to find caches in a park, on a train, in another market area and in a garden. The garden had some art work and also some homeless people there.
We were scheduled to take the ferry that left Estonia about 6:30 PM and got to Helsinki about 8:30. We knew there was a 4 PM ferry and we decided to try to get to that ferry. We had walked a few miles already and it was going to be the right decision. Got a few more caches and ended up at the ferry. Got on the ferry that left about 4 PM. Watched outside for awhile and then settled on a couch by a window. I read for awhile and joy rested. When we got close to Helsinki, we went outside to watch the tugboat push the ferry to the dock. Watched the lines come out and then left the ferry.
Got a taxi and went back to the Presidenti hotel to get the 4 pieces of luggage we had left there and then continued in the taxi to our hotel. The taxi man knew what block the hotel was on, but did not know exactly what door was to the hotel. I went to a tavern across the street and they said we were at the right street and that the sign was very small…..so I went to look again and there was the very small sign. We pushed the doorbell and gave our name; we were let in the building.
Walked in and took a very old fashioned elevator (HISS) to the 5th floor. There was a door to open and a door to push into the door frame…essentially 2 doors to the elevator. The doors were metal bars and you could see out of them. We squeezed into the elevator with our bags and pushed “5”. The owner met us at the door to the “hotel”. We walked down a small hallway (maybe 100 feet long) and passed the other rooms, 2 “WC”s, a shower and then ended up at his “desk”. This was such a quaint/cute area.
He gave us our keys, pointed to the kitchen and let us into our room. Two single beds, 2 wooden dining room chairs, a desk, old TV and chair. The window opened up to a patio below and many other buildings that were close by. This was such a cute room; much better than the $400 rooms we had been staying in.
The owner had directed us to a local grocery store; we went there and got 2 bananas, 2 yogurts, water and 2 sandwiches for supper and breakfast. Back to the room where we had our “chargers” set up and had our supper. There was a thunderstorm and some very hard rain.
We were snug in our cute little room. I was pretty tired so after reading a little of my computer messages, logging the caches, writing some notes in my journal and reading some of my book (Kon tiki), it was off to sleep.