We’ve been extremely busy in the past few days. Arriving in Tallinn and finding a hostel was very easy (although on our way to Stansted the coach driver nearly crashed…). We settled in quickly and though we hadn’t slept much we had to go out and make the most of the time we had.
The city is very beautiful, as you’ve probably all heard, but there was very little atmosphere of any kind. Just peace in the daytime and a few rabbles of Brits roaming the town at night. Hardly any local people on the streets makes it seem much like a museum covering the whole of the medieval old town.
We spent most of the two days we had exploring the many centuries old alleys, walls and façades crammed into the easily walkable but cobbled centre. We found a nice and cheap pancake restaurant to fill up each day and set off in the evenings to see if it really has usurped places like Amsterdam as the centre for stag dos.
The answer is no, no way. It’s early days but at the moment it hasn’t got a patch on other European cities for showing people a good time. I can imagine that one day it will as almost everyone speaks excellent English and it’s an extremely cheap place to visit. For now though if you’re looking for parties splash out a bit more and go to Amsterdam.
However we weren’t there just to drink but to see the sights too. Unfortunately everything seemed to be locked up and felt like it had been closed for some time. The Estonian Art Gallery was shut and looked completely deserted.
After that we just boarded our 17.10 train to Moscow.
We were in a four berth cabin with one wheezy old woman. Though she didn’t speak English very well and we tried to be friendly in the minuscule Russian we possessed it was never going to work out. For most of the journey we politely ignored each other. She did help out on the Russian border when hordes of customs officers boarded and grunted for our documents.
The rest of the journey was spent quietly playing games and looking at the very flat but forested scenery. Not too much to shout about but mild interesting all the same.
We slept OK but it was steaming hot and a few sudden brakes were hard to get used to. An acquired style of sleeping it seems. Hopefully something I’ll perfect early in the Trans-Siberian leg…
We pulled into Moscow early on Saturday and then plunged ourselves into instant fear and mild panic.
P.S. No, Tallinn wasn’t grim, just quiet. I did like the place but if i lived in the medieval centre I think I’d go crazy.