Thursday, June 04, 2009

Estonia: Baltic state #3

An overnight bus that stopped almost every hour in random deserted parking lots managed to get us to Tallin, Estonia, half an hour early at 6 am. From there we trammed around trying to find out how to get to Kasmu in the national park supposedly an hour and a half away. We got lots of "No's", but finally got help and a warm pot of tea from a classy hotel (ie. they have an English speaking person there - a good trick to get help in travels!). This was the one time that the efficiency of the bus system broke down. The internet times, listed times at the bus station and actual departures times were all different.

Kasmu in Lahemaa National Park (day 7)

We managed to arrive at Kasmu about 3 hours and many stops after we planned, but we were just thankful we were able to get out there. It was definitely worth it!

Random boulders sitting timelessly on the still Baltic waters. 10 pm.
My favorite view.

At last I got to ride a bike! We BIKED around everywhere as there was not good public transportation. There was no food in our town, so we had to bike 15 minutes to Vasu, the next town over, which had a beach. We also managed to get lost biking along the roads with an unsuccessful detour into the forest.

Joy and me at the beach.
A very brief dip in the cold questionable algae water.
Of course we didn't swim at the beach, but near a pier of crazy drunken Estonian men trying to fix a motor boat and roudy teens.

View from the gazebo in front of our B&B.
We had several meals here enjoying the peaceful scenery with the bogs (marshes) and swans.

Our favorite part of the park was going on a night hike through the forest and along the pebbly shore. We saw the sun setting at 10 pm over the horizon.

Jazz hands! We enjoyed stone hopping along the waters at night.

Joy hanging on one of the many trees in the national park.

It felt like we were at the northern tip of the earth - so peaceful and beautiful, minus the mosquitos. This was definitely one of our favorite moments on the trip.

Goodbye Kasmu.
Me and all my baggage - one backpack, one purse, one food bag and one painting. You can tell how tiny and remote this bus stop is, which was probably why it was hard to get here via public transportation!

Tallinn, the capital (day 8)

After a few busses, we arrived in the capital at 3. We only had a half a day here, but our only goals were to hit up all the cozy cafes and wander the town.

View of lower old town from the upper old town.

Meandering the streets of upper old town. It was quieter, more like a neighborhood and not completely restored which we liked better than the more bustling touristy lower old town.

Random cute statues.

One of the serveral colorful doors in the upper town.

Yummy potato mushroom dumplings cozy with cream of course in "grandma's" restaurant. It was one of our favorite meals.The bustling central square in lower old town.

The town wall.

The afternoon and evening was enough time for us to get a feel for Tallinn. We hit up 3 cafes and two restaurants and even got two ice creams. Overall, the people in Estonia seemed to be the friendliest of the 3 Baltics. Also, Estonia was by far the most western europeanized due to their proximity to the Scandinavian countries.

We didn't sleep so well in our hostel as it reeked of smoke and urine stench, but at least it was our own room and bathroom. Also, we had to wake up at 6 to catch our 7:30 am ferry to Helsinki!

1 comment:

caroline said...

Did you take all these photos yourself? With that one camera we both have? Because the photos of the water and the sun (sunset?) are gorgeous!