I wanted to add a bit more about the ferry ride from Stockholm. The entertainment for the night included a show where a guy was dressed in drag and did costume changes impersonating many different people, from Lady Gaga to Celine Dion to Dolly Parton, among others. He performed with his back up dancers for some time, then a band came on and performed for more than an hour before the drag queen came back with his dancers for a final performance. I actually liked the band that played as they were more easy listening and did a combination of their own songs as well as some cover songs.
The next day I got up, showered, and ventured out to find some coffee. The coffee is so strong in Europe, I cannot wait to get home to my morning brew of Folgers with creamer. “The best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup.” After two strong cups I went back to the cabin to get my luggage and depart the ferry, and was all sorts of jittery.
Once off the ferry we stored our luggage in some lockers at the ferry terminal and set out for a brief walking tour of Helsinki. We also met up with the other half of our group because some were coming from Stockholm and some were coming from Helsinki. During this time I met a new friend, Kim from Australia. He is currently studying in Stockholm. Like I have said before, there is not much to see in Helsinki besides a few major sites, and the walking tour only took about an hour. When it was optional to go visit the Rock Church I parted ways with the group to walk around more of the side streets of Helsinki that I purposefully avoided last time. Lunch consisted of yogurt and coffee, surprise surprise. We had to meet back up at the ferry terminal at 3:30 p.m. to get our luggage and take a bus to another ferry terminal where the ferry for Tallinn would be departing. At the ferry terminal I was so hungry so I bought a lemon blueberry poppyseed muffin… perfection.
By the way, I just want to say that I loathe Helsinki. The first time I was here I got lost, was scared out of my mind, and everyone was ten levels of unhelpful. Today, I was walking back to the ferry terminal and a large truck intentionally drove right next to the sidewalk and splashed a puddle all over me. Thankfully my coat is water proof, however my jeans and earwamers are not, nor is my face.
I was surprised that we were taking such a large ferry to Tallinn, which was just two hours away from Helsinki, but it was similar in size to the first ferry. Kim and I sat on some couches in a nook-like area of the ship and chatted to pass the time. We actually have a lot in common and I was glad to meet a new friend.
As I am writing this we just barely got to our hostel in Tallinn, called the 16€ Hostel. It is a nice, spacious hostel located near the downtown area. I am sharing a room with Iwan, Joe, and a girl named Angela who is from Dublin, Ireland.
I think if we are able to change rooms the next night I will try and room with Kim. Joe is one of the rudest people I think I have ever met, and one more snide comment out of him and he is going to get it.
Additionally, I did not know the euro was at such a low right now. The last time I was in Europe relationship between the USD and euro quite a bit different, of course the U.S. is in a major recession as well.
The group is going out tonight for drinks, but I don’t think I will go because I have been feeling sick lately and don’t want to exhaust my body much more. Not to mention I don’t drink, and there will be more opportunities to socialize in the future.
Tomorrow we will have breakfast in the hotel next door before going on a walking tour of Tallinn and having some free time in the afternoon to explore more of this medieval city.
What I really like about Europe is the history behind each town, even small ones that could be located a dirts road away. Europe is so different than the U.S., but it is also so different from the rest of Europe. And, there is always a new story to be told.