Saturday, August 11, 2007

Tallinn, Estonia - cool but shitty. Literally.

We got up super early - like 4 or 4:30 so that we could get on the bus and get to the airport. Everyone said we only needed to be there like an hour before because the airport is so small. We headed out to where the bus stop is supposed to be and it's not there. It's not down the block either. Nor is it a little further down the block.

Finally, around a corner and about a quarter mile down the road, we find the stop. The 22 is there - and though it says 22a is the bus, the 22 has a plane next to it and we decide to get on.

We hop on and as we're walking to our seats, I say to Jess, "Shit - it's the lady from the way here!" It's the same bus matron. She's still not smiling. At all. We sit down and enjoy the ride as much as we can with 20 lbs backs on our laps and a bus load full of non-smiling Latvians.

We're a little late getting to the airport but not bad. The line is HUGE. We find out that our check in is on a different line and hop over there but it's still moving slow, like something is wrong. After a few minutes and watching our line slowly merging into another we realize there is something wrong. The guy shuts off the monitor above the check in and we're both like shit!

Jess walks up to the front to find out what's going on. I see the frazzled airline guy open the front of his desk and start to mess with the machine inside.

Jess has on her puppydog face. I'm sweating and wondering what he's doing and shy she's got that face on. It doesn't work on me, so how the hell is it going to work on someone else.

Son-of-a-bitch! We have a winner. The guy closes the front of th desk, Jess calls me up to the front and we're through! Turns out the machine wasn't printing boarding passes so they moved people over a line and then people (like Jess) we're going up there asking him questions as he was trying to help one lady and her baby. Jess gave him the puppydog eyes and said "Can you please help me, our plane leaves in like 45 minutes?" I get up there and he's printing our passes and telling some other lady to back away from the desk. Sweeet!

We get through security and hop on the small prop plane. It was a short flight. So short in fact, that I fell asleep holding my book. I didn't even read a word of it. The owner of the place we're staying at (the lady with the broken pipes) picks us up. Apparently we're staying at one of her freind's apartments. We're driving through Tallinn and she's talking to Jess, Jess is asking her a question and she's stopping at a green light and people are beeping. We make it safely to the apartment and the woman is pointing to a really cool looking building and says, "That's where you'll be staying." We get out and it's really the crummy regular building across the street - Jess was bummed. The apartment was very cool looking inside - I could kick myself for not taking pictures. It was painted all white but made to look like stone - almost like a cave. There were huge beams in the ceiling and framing the windows and the floor was all wood. It was cool. Not sure if it was authentic or just made to look old but new.

Tallinn is a VERY cool city. There is a walled section that houses all the medieval buildings. It has a very different feel than most cities but it is VERY touristy. There were tons of people everywhere. We decided that we would just walk around and check it out and find some caches. The first spot we stop in with a cache, we both step in shit. Literally not figuratively. Jess spent the next half an hour stomping the ground, using twigs and dancing to get the shit out of her shoes. This didn't work so well. I was able to get the fast majority out of mine. Of course, we didn't find the cache. We continued to walk around with little luck in caching but a lot in sightseeing. It took a while for us to find some place that would have food for Jess and in the end, they really didn't because they brought out her food with cheese on it even though she asked for it without. We ended up heading to the grocery store after I finished eating and then headed back to the apartment to watch TV and hangout.

The next morning, Jess continued to clean the shit out of her shoes while we waited for the woman to come and get the key. We headed over to the St. Olaf's Church so that we could check out the view of the city from the tower. Jess decided that she had enough of climbing towers and so she sat outside with our packs while I headed up. Thank God because there is no way we would have made it with our packs. It was tight and steep and it took a while to get up there as it was. It was worth it though. The views were amazing. The city inside the walls looks very different than most cities do from above. I was even able to see Jess and zoom in on her doing SoDuKu - the pictures are pretty crazy. We decided to grab some food and head over to the port so that we could get our ferry to Helsinki. It was a nice ride, I think, because we both slept.

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