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  • Day119

    So we arrived in Estonia where we were staying the night in a brewery.. :)

    We have been doing a lot of driving recently as we have been doing a bit of country hopping over the past week. I find being a passenger quite tedious so when I am not driving I have invented the game "Stalking Storks".. we first saw these long legged beauties in Slovakia. Perched on top of telegraph poles in the very centres of town, I thought they were herons to begin with. If you know me you’ll know that animals are not my ‘thing’. In Poland, it was explained to us by Mark that they were in fact storks and the government there were giving out grants to people who were able to get them to nest on their land. So started a little competition between Stuart and I.. Shows you how dull it can be driving for hours on end!!

    We broke the drive from Latvia to Estonia up with a stop at a “Hesburger”. We had seen these fast food joints on numerous occasions through the Baltics so we thought we better check it out. A bit like MacDonalds but cheaper, two happy customers.

    Unfortunately the owners of the brewery were not there so we could not have a tour but we had the whole, very large, building to ourselves and beers to try. It was Estonian craft ale and very nice indeed!

    In the afternoon we also headed to the local town for a walk around the lake and got distracted by a disc golf course.. like crazy golf but with a frisbee. We looked far and wide - at each of the supermarkets nearby - but we could not find a frisbee :( so no fun for us but left us wondering whether it was Estonia’s national sport?

    We then drove onward to a local “tourist attraction” that turned out to be a derelict old country house. But on the plus side we randomly found a huge swing in a field which we went on like big kids!

    Probably fortunately for our livers we were only there for one night!
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  • Day121

    So Tallinn turned out to be our favourite Baltic capital city.

    The first day we arrived mid afternoon. We had to pick the key for the apartment up from a cafe and so we stayed for lunch and what a lunch it was! Mine was a bright pink beetroot risotto topped off with goats cheese and was delicious.

    Our Latvian host in Riga had recommended that we visit an area called Telliskivi, which is the "arty" district of Tallinn. Run down industrial buildings scattered with cool bars and street art. It made for a grey setting to a very grey day! Far too cool for us in our rain Macs! After exploring a while, we had a lovely glass of wine at "Frenchys" before heading back to relax.

    The second day it poured to the extent we weren't sure were even going to brave the walk into the town. Luckily for us it paused for a few hours so we got to see a bit of the old town and leave the apartment!

    Immediately we got a better feel for Tallinn than we had for Riga and Vilnius. There was more life and so many things to see. We wandered past cathedrals, castles, old town walls and multiple souvenir shops. We had the "best hotdogs in the Baltics" with nothing to compare them to, I suppose they were for us.. Stuart had - what he said was - an amazing Snickers brownie from a homemade chocolate shop and we tried on silly hats to keep out of the rain.

    Enjoyed it but definitely time now to move onto Scandinavia :)
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  • Day269

    What a gorgeous bus ride from Riga to Tallin. Four and a half hours of national parks, sandy Baltic Coastline, and sunshine. Reminds me of Vancouver Island. Quick and easy 30 minute walk to my hostel which is uber modern and only a month old and feels more like a hotel; ten minutes to old town and a five minute walk to the port. I walked down to the quay(Kai in Estonian) and picked up a few items. I found some interesting smoked sausage and asked the girl what the meat was and all she said was cheese! I found out later it was reindeer meat and the sell a lot of game in the stores here. Caviar us €5 a jar and I am getting a jar for my trip home. I priced out the ticket for Helsinki on Friday and they gave me a price of €15 one way. It's 2.5 hours by ferry. Apparently you can barter for a better deal with the ferry companies. Next I hit the Old Town which is very medieval and has a lot of stone and wooden buildings. Tomorrow is Old Town days and the have a knights tournament, parrot shooting (not to sure about that) and the election of the May Count (this intrigues me). The forecast calls for rain but I still have my umbrella.Read more

  • Day270

    Misty and raining today but that can't stop the exploring. I covered a lot of ground today from the Old Town to the Kadriog Palace which was a the opposite end. Found the view point of the city, embassy corridor and the medieval market. Had a nice long talk with a local girl, Mironika, who gave me good knowledge of the culture, economy, and general life in Estonia. Her English was perfect and she said most people speak between 3&4 languages here. I'm so impressed with that. I couldn't find the festivities of medieval times and I think they were postponed by the rain. I had lunch back at the hostel and then headed to the gardens, presidential palace and Peter the Great's summer cottage (that was disappointing).walking through the park I found the statue of independence and alas access to the beach. I did some beach combing in search of amber and found a couple of interesting rocks. The beach wasn't very pretty and was littered with cigarettes butts. I walked down to the port and purchased my ticket to Helsinki for the 12 pm ferry tomorrow and bought some groceries. The Finns were buying tons of alcohol and I was told it's very expensive too drink there and there are restrictions for purchase. Hmm curious about this culture. 12km day today.Read more

  • Day272

    I left Helsinki this morning by bus to Turku, the original capital city of Finland, founded in 1236. It only took 2.5 hours to get there. I read up on the city but there was not a lot too see. I decided to check out the price for an over night cabin to Stockholm. A shared cabin was €44 and the agent said more than likely I would be alone in the cabin. I went for it because the cheapest accomodations were €63. So I saved €19 and got to take the Baltic Princess across. I found a buffet restaurant to have a late lunch at and spent awhile there eating a lot of veggies I hadn't had in a while. I walked the pier down to the dock and was glad the rain held off. I visited The Turku castle but only from the outside and then headed to the pier. I was there about 3 hours ahead of time so I finally got a chance to read in quiet a book I picked up at the Dream Hostel in Warsaw. Holy crap , one hour before boarding and the waiting area was filled with at least 150 South Koreans and the decibal level went way up and my book was put away. I was watching the Finns and Swedes and the look on their faces told a story. Hmm probably exactly what I was thinking! Behold I made it to my inside cabin 5322 and prayed I would be alone. YES....the whole cabin to myself and my own washroom too. I headed onto the deck to set sail and the shoreline was gorgeous with sun beating down. I checked out the duty free and bought a bottle of DiSarinno for under €10, which is cheaper than back home. I bought a corkscrew too so that I could finally open a bottle of red wine I bought a week ago. I haven't drank wine in two weeks. The cruise is 10+ hours and I'll be landing on the shores of Stockholm at 6:10 am.Read more

  • Day109

    Slept from 2 - 10. Sometimes I even impress myself with my sleeping abilities.
    Obviously missed the tour hahahah
    We packed our clean washing and only just made check out - we then went to the kitchen area and had the last of our cereal for breakfast. A Canadian dude from our dorm whom we had a few convos with sat down with us and we talked for about and hour before we went to find me a magnet. Lucky he mentioned he had just bought one or else I might have forgotten 😱
    He was a really nice dude but just boring. Like, I wasn't engaged and I just wanted it to end. He was telling these amazing stories and yet I just didn't care.
    Didn't walk far to get my 6€ magnet 😓I'm very happy with it though. It's of the market place and Helsinki Cathedral which is really the only 2 places we saw 😏
    We have every intention of visiting again in the winter so we can do shit then.
    Once we got our magnet we walked to the markets because that's were the terminal was according to my google search. There were 2 sides to the port though so I thought I'd ask.
    He said we were in the wrong place and the west terminal was over 3km away 😩😩😩😩
    We walked up a bit in search of wifi. I got help from a girl in the shop - she gave me the password .... yep, I can confirm we are indeed in the wrong spot.
    She called a taxi for us though which was fantastic because I asked her where we had to meet it and she said outside - the taxi literally drove up the gutter to the front door.
    It cost us 16euro which we were happy to pay if it meant we didn't miss our ship!

    We checked In then sprint walked down to a subway we saw on the way. We also walked past the 'bad bad boy' statue so I'm pretty happy to have seen that too.
    It was such h a hot walk with all our stuff. Will finally admitted this morning that my bag is heavier.
    Scoffed down our subs then got on the boat. We found very unfancy fold down seats but they will do. So many people have cabins. What a waste of money for a 2 hour trip!

    Have I mentioned the ridiculous hair in Finland? Every guy has a pony. People have odd shaved bits and even kids have colored hair i.e. Green man buns.
    They have a high percentage of facial piercings too.

    I went to the loo before and am happy that my own sexist presumptions were tested.
    I didn't look and saw the change table sign so assumed it was the female toilets. It wasn't, it was the mens.
    While there are a lot of crazy people going too far with gender issues. This is a fair one and I'm glad my assumption because it has no valid place. Men change nappies too.
    I had a giggle though because I then went to the female toilet which also had a change table sign but there was a guy inside. We checked the sign together - he became very embarrassed and yapped in Italian I think lol
    They put their toilet flick buttons in the silliest spot. You had to completely close the lid in order to flush it.

    Woo made it to Estonia.
    I had all but walked off the boat and I already like it. It's got a medieval vibe.
    We walked the 3 km to the little supermarket we were told to pick the key up from. The Russian lady handed me a little safe thing.
    I was a tad confused but then remembered an old message she sent me about a code box

    So our front door key to the building also opens our apartment door 🤔🤔🤔 not the best security. There are like 5 other apartments in the same building - can they get into my room? 😐

    Will is an hour nap while I tried to determine why we are gonna do here. He broke the bed trying to get up (the slates collapsed) Hahaha we fixed it. If he is going to sleep on the other side from now on lol.
    I woke him at 7:30 and we went for Indian food.
    It was probably the best Indian I have had in my life and not a single Indian person was in sight. I don't know what the cooks were but all waiters were white and it was the most untraditional place ever but omg so good.
    We then went to the supermarket and bough 2 cereals, 2 juices, milk, bananas, cherry tomatoes, salami, cheese, bread and chocolate all for only 16€ 🎉

    Now home I had a look at all my souvenirs- they are all piling up I'll have to send some home with Jess 😬

    I finally emailed my sponsor child back today. It was a solid email on my part and not just a flimsy hello so I hope he is pleased. I explained to him that I wasn't in Australia.

    We downloaded all seasons of Big Bang so we are now having a mini marathon of that. I bought pomegranate juice at the shops and I'm so happy because Will hates it and won't drink it.

    I'm not even going to write down our plans for the next few days cause if I do they won't happen 😂

    We only have one towel and it stinks and it's so ridiculous because Will malts so every time I try dry myself his old hairs attach to my body off the towel. I end up dirtier than I was 😖

    Where we got Indian was a cool little area. Like redone industrial area.

    There are Estonian chocolates on the table and we are not sure if they have been left for us or not lol. I want them though.

    Oh oh oh.
    Will didn't try a single Finnish beer but had an Estonian one tonight. He hated it.

    "do you know why this tastes like?"
    "a cow"

    I had a very loud laugh.
    He kept saying it tastes how he imagined a cow pat would. He forced me to have a sip and it was probably
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  • Day110

    so at 3am we broke the bed. It scared the shit out of me - we were both asleep and all of a sudden it gave way like it did earlier, only this time the center plank of wood cracked straight through the middle 😖
    We were too tired at the time to deal with it so Will slept on the couch and I slept on the floor.
    Due to this event and the fact that the floor is not comfortable we changed our 12pm tour plans to 3pm lol.
    We had breakfast (Will has finished his pineapple juice but my pomegranate is only half gone 🙊), I showered then messaged our Bnb host to tell her about the bed.
    I tried to craft the message in away that made it not our fault. Lol
    She hadn't replied when we left so we won't know her response until we get home later.

    Ok so I am IN LOVE with this city. It's already skyrocketed to near the top spot and I haven't done anything yet!
    Our tour was meeting at the tourist info center. Our guide was Henri.
    He was very good and enthusiastic.
    He first gave us a big chat about the history of Estonia- he skipped the first 9 thousand years and talked about the several recent attempts at establishing their independence. They have had a lot to do with Russia and since getting their independence in 1991 it's now the longest they have been independent.
    First stop was the war of independence victory column. Which is a really ugly glass pillar for the men who lost their lives in the war of independence between 1918 -1920. It cost over 7 million euro - the locals were not happy!
    Next was the Kiek in De KöK. It's a defense tower. Pretty cool.
    We then went to the Danish Kings garden which I loveeeeeddd. It had dementor looking statues which were meant to represent monks. Its wooded bridge walk way was very game of Thrones looking.
    It had 2 fires lit on medieval torch things.
    It just had such a lovely vibe. The wall itself was built to segregate the lower old town - the craftsman, peasants etc and the top half was for nobleman. I had a good laugh at his truthful joke. In recent years there was a call for counties to put forth options for a new category of wonders of the world. Tallinn put forth their 3km walk ( now 1.8km left I think)
    He was like 'we looked hopeful .... until China put forth theirs." His delivery was very good 😂
    We walked up the hill 20 meters and he showed us the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. It was similar in style to the Bulgarian one but not as good. It had different colouring. We were allowed to pop our head in - the inside didn't even come close to comparing.
    Still a splendid church to look at from the outside.
    There was also a flag tower nearby. They hoist the flag everyday and play the national anthem - it's the same as the Finnish - they stole it and just changed the lyrics. 😂😂 apparently it's awkward when they play soccer because they play the same song twice hah.
    The flags colours mean- black: basically because their history sucks ... he said lots of countries have red for blood and victory - he was like nope, not us. We always lose 😂 so black is death - it's also for the land.
    Blue: is the water because that's how they lived - fishing etc
    And then the white is debated but most people accept it as hope.

    We then walked past the presidents house - they have a prime minister and president. The president is more just a figure head who does the waving. The government elects the president. A woman got it for the first time recently. He said this was a good/big step for Easter europe.
    The building is pink though 😂 shockingly it was designed by a woman hahaha.
    We walked on to THE MOST BEAUTIFUL VIEW POINT - Toompea hill.
    Genuinely in love. I don't want to leave. It's so bizarre that this the countries capital. It's so medieval and not full at all.
    From the view point he pointed out their new section "over there are our skyscrapers- all 7 of them" hahah
    They aren't that tall though because they are not allowed to be taller than the St Olaf church. There was a silly folk tale that went with the St. Olaf church but it was ludicrous so nevermind.


    We then went to another viewpoint and I felt bad because there was a wedding couple trying to take photos. I feel like they should have right of way lol.
    Her dress was ugly though.

    Ok so on our tour there was a chick in a bride to be sash - who the crap goes on a free walking tour for their hens day 😂😂😂😂
    And/or wears it just coz?

    Our final stop was in the town square. Which was cool and would look amazing in winter with the Christmas tree and Christmas markets.
    In the middle were lots of markets.
    We tipped him 10€ then went to one of the restaurants he suggested.
    We only got drinks though because it was too expensive to eat then we went to another place.

    But first we went to the medieval pharmacy in the town square that has been operational since 1422.
    It's had some old instruments they use to use and lots of jars full of things.
    Personal favourite was the dried deer penis and sun sizzled dog poop.

    Very glad for modern medicine.

    New resturant sold ELK AND BEAR.
    Bear was really expensive.
    The food was really good. I was so cold in the resturant though! Lucky they provided blankets :)
    A horse and cart kept trotting by.

    We walked home.
    Again, still in loved with the cobbled streets and back alleys. 😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍
    We are home and watching Big Bang.
    Bnb person host messaged back and actually apologized to us hahaha wooo! My plan worked 💪🏻🤗🙊 hehe
    We're not actually sure how the bed broke - if it was us or if it was already broken from the people before.
    We didn't do anything that would cause it to break. Very strange.

    I have a very painful bruise on my arm or what I soon hope to be a bruise. It's kind of visible - considering the pain, my whole arm should be black, but anyway..
    I think I got it when I fell up a step yesterday in the middle of our apartment- why there is a step is beyond me.
    Will keeps poking it -.-

    We Skype Jess and Jaxon. He is so big! Getting really excited to see them both.
    I have a Skype date with mum and dad tomorrow so I'm excited. It's 2am so time to actually try sleep on my comfy floor. Lol
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  • Day111

    Woke up at 10:57 to talk to mum and dad at 11. We spoke for about 40 mins. Loved speaking to them, as usual.

    I am so tired. We considered going to the open air museum but it was a 10km round trip and we just simply couldn't be bothered.
    I went back to resting.
    We didn't leave the Bnb until 5 😂 ahhhhh wasting so much time but I feel like I could sleep for a week.
    It was my condition this morning if we stayed in - we would go to old town for dinner.

    We walked to the main square and took a different street and found this cute little place.
    I said to Will the streets look and feel like you're walking through a theme park only it's real.
    There are people in costumes and little stores, wooden signs ITS JUST SO WONDERFUL.
    I made the call - it's my favourite city. Wills is Ghent. But both agree the best country is still Macedonia.
    We tried some tradition pink spiced drink which was definitely different. I got the most amazing beef tenderloin 🤤🤤🤤 so satisfied with the food.
    There was a dog at the table next to me ^.^
    We also had garlic bread as an entree - it wasn't what I expected but it was still delicious. It was brown bread - like BBQ sauce coloured and it came with a white dip.
    After dinner we walked around and found St Catherine's passage - I don't really know what it is but it had signs for it and trip advisor said to go so..
    I bought a magnet and broke the bank.
    It was 10€ 😰😰😰
    On the walk there were a bunch of big tombstones on display. We think they are from one of the churches we saw yesterday where people were once buried but there was a plumbing/pressure problem and bodies went floating around so the tombs got moved lol.

    Walked home and I crashed again. I don't know what's going on. I just lay on the floor for an hour and now I feel a little more energized.
    On our walk there was a cat high above watching everyone hehe
    I spent my semi awakeness well and pre packed so I don't hate life tomorrow.
    We are out of toilet paper, I hope we don't need to poop.

    I re read the message from our host - I don't know if she understands that the bed is broken beyond repair... she said something like I'll fix the problem and make sure it doesn't happen again 🤔🤔🤔🤔
    Babes, you need to buy an entire new bed 😓😂eeeek.

    Very excited for a real bed tomorrow.

    At around midnight we walked down to a servo and bought some food cause we were both hungry again.
    Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Republic of Estonia, Estland, Estonia, Ɛstonia, ኤስቶኒያ, Ēastland, أستونيا, ܐܣܬܘܢܝܐ, Estoniya, Эстонія, Естония, Esetoni, এস্তোনিয়া, ཨིསྟོ་ནི་ཡ།, Estonija, Estònia, Estonsko, Estóńskô, Эстони, Estonia nutome, Εσθονία, Estonujo, Eesti, استونیا, Estoni, Viro, Estonie, Èstonie, Estlân, An Eastóin, એસ્ટોનિયા, אסטוניה, एस्टोनिया, Estiska, Észtország, Էստոնիա, Eistland, エストニア共和国, gugrxesti, ესტონეთი, Estlandi, អេស្តូនី, ಎಸ್ತೊನಿಯ, 에스토니아, Estonya, Esitoniya, Esland, Esitoni, ເອສໂຕເນຍ, Estija, Igaunija, Естонија, എസ്റ്റോണിയ‍, Estonja, အက်စတိုးနီးယား, इस्टोनिया, Estonnie, ଏସ୍ତୋନିଆ, اېسټونيا, Estônia, Istunya, Эстония, Estteeana, Estonïi, එස්තෝනියාව, Estónsko, Estooniya, எஸ்டோனியா, ఎస్టోనియా, Estónia, เอสโตเนีย, ʻEsitōnia, Éstonia, Естонія, اسٹونیا, E-xtô-ni-a (Estonia), Lestiyän, Orílẹ́ède Esitonia, 爱沙尼亚, i-Estonia

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