Friday, July 13, 2012

Last Weekend's Adventures

Saturday morning, I woke up to Anson knocking on the door and AnnaRose answering it. It was already 6:30, the time we agreed to meet in the hostel lobby to take taxis to the port in Tallinn. I had gone to bed less than an hour before, set my alarm to get us up at 6:00, and left my phone on silent. Consequently, AnnaRose and I had not gotten up on time. Neither had Caronlina and Rita, the Portuguese girls in the room next to ours.

We got ready within a few minutes and headed downstairs. The others had left already, but the man at the front desk told us another taxi was coming for us within five minutes. After waiting outside for over fifteen, we had another one called. By the time it picked us up, it was 7:10. The ferry was scheduled to leave the port at 7:30.

Of course, we got to the port late. I think it was about 7:28. The night before, I had bought my ticket online, along with four of the five people who had already left. Luckily, I was able to change my ticket for a ferry departing at 10:30 for 4€. The other girls bought tickets to depart at 10:30 as well, and we decided to leave the port and walk around Tallinn.

We got breakfast, consisting of coffee and muffins, and ate in a park. Then we went to some shops nearby. I don't think we realized how far we walked, because by the time we were heading back to the port, we found ourselves rushing to make it there. Carolina and Rita were just a little distance behind AnnaRose and I, and when we went in and got on the escalator, I saw them coming in the door. But then we didn't see them behind us again, and when we made it on the boat, we waited at the entrance for them until the doors closed.

Having never found them, we headed up to the top deck, hoping they made it on before us. This was the case, and we found each other again on the deck (where it was extremely windy, by the way).

The ferry itself was way more then I expected. I don't know why, but I was expecting something like the ferry I was on with my family in the San Francisco Bay. This "ferry"was complete with rooms you could buy to sleep in, restaurants, gift shops, a play area for kids, and a grocery store. The trip was off to a great start.

When we ported in Helsiki, I'll be honest, we had no idea what to do. I asked a lady in the port about how to get into town, and she told us to take bus 15A. We took it and got off at a bus station off of a town sqaure. From there, we walked around quite a bit, not having or finding enough of a map to even know where to go. Finally, I asked a couple of passersby if they had any suggestions as to what my friends and I should see, being in Helsiki for the day. They were more than happy to give recommendations for both an art museum and a couple old cathedrals.

In the art museum, again AnnaRose and I lost Carolina and Rita. We continued to the cathedral and walked around a little more before heading back to the port where we found both Carolina and Rita and the other five from our group waiting.

Once again, we were all tired, and we headed back to the hostel in taxis once we were back in Tallinn. The next day, we slept in, checked out at noon, and went into Tallinn with Maik Huettinger, the professor from ISM who joined us on our trip.

He took us to an Estonian restaurant some locals had told him about, and it was amazing. It was hidden off of a side street, and had a very warm and friendly atmosphere. The food was delicious, and differing from Lithuania, the service was friendly and helpful.

Our group of nine (ten if you count Maik), split up after lunch, and AnnaRose and I went with Rose, a lady here from Chicago. We went to a small souvenier shop, where we all got something for someone. Then we went to "Old Town Square," where we had passed a market earlier. Small booths filled the square with vendors selling crafts of all kinds, from dresses to table cloths to pottery, and more. Off to the side, a large crowd was gathered watching dances on a stage. Many people were dressed in traditional clothing, and it was a festive atmosphere. We heard that this event only happens 3 or 4 days a year, so we definitely happened to be there at the right time.

Rose headed back to the hostel, where we were supposed to meet Maik before 6:00, and AnnaRose and I walked around a little more until my sandal broke, and we headed back as well. When we returned, Maik helped me find super glue at a local grocery store, which has worked at holding my shoe together surprisingly well.

Again, we flew in to Riga, Latvia, a 40 minute flight. We had a layover there for a little over 2 hours, and Maryna, a girl from Ukraine, and I got dinner together and had some laughs. By the time we got into Vilnius, it was late, and we didn't get back to our hostel until after 1:00am.

The next morning would begin week two of our classes.

No comments:

Post a Comment