02 July 2008


We're waiting on a plane in Tallinn, on our way to Stockholm. The flight is one hour, and the time change is one hour, so it's almost like we depart and arrive simultaneously.

Tallinn is a place that's definitely worth visiting, but probably best visited on the weekend. The old town is where visitors will spend all of their time. It seems like an Epcot-version of a old, eastern-European town: it's tiny, there are kids walking around in authentic garb giving out free candied almonds, and there are themed restaurants (including, but not limited to 'Texas Honky Tonk Cantina' and 'Arizona Joe's Saloon'). Our hostel overlooked this second gem, but we never made it to ol' Arizona Joe's.

During the Great Depression in 1933, the kroon went off the gold standard.

Our first meal in town was at a Russian dumpling house. We picked out our dumplings from the vats, which cost about 30.00 EEK (by weight). We had no idea what Estonian currency was worth at this point, and thus had no idea whether we had been charged the unreasonably high 'tourist rate' for these dumplings or we just bought the world's cheapest bowl of Russian dumplings. It turns out that it was the latter: the dumplings were delicious and cost about three U.S. Dollars.

We took a ferry to Helsinki yesterday for the day. It rained for our first half hour in town, but was sunny and warm for the rest of the day. Next to the ferry terminal, we passed through a market with fresh produce and some prepared food. The specialty seemed to be some kind of salty fish with a pile of potatoes, both drenched in sour cream. We didn't partake, but it did look like it would be the perfect end to a day spent knee-deep in snow.

We wandered around the rest of the day, enjoyning the sun, and caught a fast ferry that had us back in Tallinn in time for a pancake dinner.

We're on the plane now, so the electronics have to be switched off. Next stop: Stockholm...

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