Saturday, 3 November 2012

Finland to Tallin, Estonia

Our first day in Finland was a boat ride to Tallin, Estonia. Apparently loads of Finnish locals do this trip for the cheap booze they can bring back by the trolley load. That wasn't our rational for the trip - we don't own a trolley.

We boarded the boat to Estonia because the name sounds so old world and Mr Finland assured us it would make a fabulous day trip. The fact that an unusually early cold snap brought a heavy snowfall only served to make the trip more inviting.  Hubster was looking forward to walking in falling snow...

...and sampling the local brew.

A stroll through old Tallin allowed him to marvel at ancient torture methods,

...wonder why so many shops had life size dolls out front...

...and chow down on the local food.  Bear stew was on the menu as was elk soup which prompted us to ask exactly what the bear and elk populations were like in Estonia.  Eating something endangered just wouldn't have felt right.

Sufficiently satisfied that Estonions closely monitor their hunting activity (Hubster rather liked the idea of going bear hunting) we decided to try a traditional elk fillet meal at the atmospheric Olde Hansa restaurant where you could half expect Robin Hood or the Sherrif of Nottingham to come a-calling in the dim light cast by candlelight. Making sure the place didn't go up in flames with all the wood and drapes about the place also crossed our minds.

No travel is quite complete unless you meet a local or two and we came across two lovely local lasses who regaled us with tales of Estonia's life and history as they knew it. Estonions, we noted, have an accent similar to the Irish and when we mentioned this to the ladies they agreed but weren't sure why. They were a little camera shy so we found a suitable replacement....

Meeting them made us almost forget we were staying in a hotel built for the KGB with a top floor full of listening devices that, we were assured, were no longer utilised for the purpose but kept as a museum. Mr Finland, who is a man of many talents, gave us a personal guided tour of Tallin city that has sprung up around the old town, pointing out architecture and other points of interest that reflect Estonia's more modern history which includes occupations by Germany, Sweden and Russia.

As we cooled our coke in the ice on our roam around the town the next day...
...we talked about how much we enjoyed our short trip from Finland to Tallin, Estonia and how we would love to come back and see more of the country. Mr Finland is also keen to have us close to his home town so, as per this Kiwi's request, is keeping his eye out for a property we can purchase suitable as a bear hunting lodge. Hubster is yet to get excited about this action.

  Ka Kite,

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