2006-04-20 Helsinki


To Finland, and somewhere new! A shockingly easy and cheap hop from Edinburgh thanks to one of many budget airlines. The airport was spiffy, the prices high, and the language expensive, but after a short tram ride (yay!) we made it to the okay enough hostel.


The real highlight of the trip was getting rush seats to the Philharmonic. We were pretty sleepy from a day exploring, but the decent first half and a jolt of strong coffee at intermission had us wide awake for a fabulous second half. I have never been to a concert so good.


Annoyed that the on-call system for ferries was announced only in English, so we almost missed our fleeting chance to buy tickets, the boat almost left without me, since I was the last person through customs, but made it…and we were on our way to…


2006-04-21 Tallinn


Tallinn! My first foray into the former Soviet Union! In some ways fifteen years too late, but what can you do. My curiosity about the other side of the iron curtain should not hinder the world’s geopolitics. Tallinn is not so remarkable for its 20th century architecture as it is for its 14th century. The whole town is beautifully preserved Middle Ages walled city. This is the Europe of postcards, and yet few people in North America probably make there way out here.  Alas, you could only see the massive Plattenbau buildings from a distance but there were a few other remnants.  Mustn’t live in the past, though, Tallinn is moving on up! The only downside was the really really bad chocolate. It was actually inedible. I couldn’t finish it. I gave it to Caro, not out of cruelty, but to just show that chocolate can be so bad.


There is still a bit of adaption to the market system. We took the bus to the airport and since we didn’t buy tickets in advance, we paid in cash. Did we receive tickets, no, the money went straight into the drivers wallet. Fine then, I wasn’t worried that my big bag would require another fare after that!