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Our route:

21.07.02 - 22.07.02:
  • Tallinn

  • Lahemaa park

    24.07.02 - 25.07.02:
  • Tartu

  •   Estonia
    On this page, we (will) describe our experiences in Estonia. Apart from the travelogue for this country you will also find a number of links to useful sites, ranging from general information to embassy homepages.

    Written by: Coen


    Tallinn Our alarm clock woke us at 5:00 a.m. We drove to the harbour to check-in for the ferry to Tallinn in Estonia. The boat was full of Boozzz-Fins and most of them were drinking beer, cognac or cocktails at 8:00 am. When we arrived in Tallinn we had to look for a camping site. It became a real search on bad roads. When we finally found the camping site (20 km from the city center) they charged 18 Euro per night! Dream on! We drove back to the center and looked for one of the guarded parking places with high fences you should find here. Here we could park for 2 Euro. When I asked the man if we could sleep in the car he shrugged his shoulders. Then we went into town. We had to be careful of the gypsies who where selling and in the meanwhile pick pocketing. The first thing we wanted to do was eat and drink beer but we managed to have a look at the Nikolaai church first, before eating something Italian. We found a medieval cellar which had happy hour and served cheap beer where we let ourselves go. After 4 months of abstinence we deserved it. We had a nice chat with an Estonian woman who told us about Tallinn and at night we walked through town. It is really a great medieval city that is being renovated completely.


    Tallinn Today we first went to the supermarket for some specialties. You can buy everything here, more than in Scandinavian countries. It turned out that this supermarket was too expensive for the normal citizens, that's why the shop was so empty. The rest of the day we enjoyed this fantastic city. It is a medieval fortress city that is completely conserved. You really feel like being in the Middle Ages. Narrow streets and small paths everywhere. After every corner there is a new surprise. Squares are without exception filled with beautiful old churches, cathedrals and medieval Hansa houses and buildings. We really "worked" but it took us a whole day, so much is there to see. By now, the old center is almost free of Soviet traces. On the street we met a Dutch girl named Petra. Her husband is assistant coach from the national soccer team, that's why she lived in Tallinn. Before we knew it, we sat watching the Dutch news in her house. Then we went to café Amsterdam for a Dutch beer and on the way back we passed a little court with long wooden tables and chairs where they served Estonian food. We shared a table with an Australian and a Slovenian. We chatted and drank beer the whole night. After that we looked at the city "by night".


    I woke up with a small headache but that was soon gone when we had to go into town for a email session with Latvia for the IICD-project. We then drove to Lahemaa national park. As soon as we left Tallinn, we found ourselves in Russia. First we visited Vosu, a picturesque coastal village with wooden houses that used to be a favorite destiny for artists and Russian upper class. Then we drove to country estate Palme. The landscape was fantastic. Small wooden farms, little roads with trees at the roadsides. Life is still (or again) ok here. Because you are forced to drive slowly on these bad roads, you can really enjoy it. We spend the night on the premises of a hostel because there are no camping places here. In the hostel, a Japanese man from Tokyo named Taka was living. With him we spent the night and shared what we had. Speculoos, dates, German schnapps and beer. When we walked to the camper that night, it was really dark outside. We were not used to this after spending 4 months in the north.


    Tallinn Breakfast with Taka and then on to Tartu. We drove all the way on little yellow and white roads. People in the countryside are obviously not used to tourists and the infrastructure is very limited. The car suffered. In Tartu there were apparently no guarded parking places but according to a local it was "not safe" to park our car in the center. That's why we started searching and we found a guarded parking place after all. At night we walked to the city center. People live more outdoors and it is very "different". I will need some time to adapt.


    We visited Tartu. We climbed up the Dome hill and walked through the park. After that we visited the university and St John's church. This is a ruin from WWII and the restoration is paid for by the Germans. On a box in the middle of the rubble a human skull was lying. In the powder tower we had dinner. It was a huge underground cellar where the ammunition used to be stored. They had made a restaurant out of it and they served Estonian food. We were fed with beer pancakes, garlic bread with tomatoes and home brewed beer. At ten a band started to play music so it was very pleasant. It is a bit of a pity that we do not have more time for Estonia, but since we have to be in Kraslava, Latvia at the first of August, we need to leave for Latvia tomorrow..


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      Go East Travels
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    Our top 5 Baltics:

    1. Tallinn (Estonia)

    2. Vilnius (Lithuania)

    3. Riga (Latvia)

    4. Trakai (Lithuania)

    5. Cesis (Latvia)