Where am I?

Created this blog to document my travels, experiences & thoughts thru Central & South America but hell plan to blog my travels to where ever. Goofy harmless Free Spirit hoping to spend most of my time with locals & enjoy the world! So hang on as I travel, drink cervezas, raise a little hell, maybe piss off a few people & hopefully not give Canadians a bad reputation! Of course don't do these things on purpose but while having a good time well "Shit Happens"!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

So wandered off to Tallinn in Estonia as didn't want to over stay my welcome staying with my beautiful friend Arta & her family in Riga as they were so sweet to let me stay at their home!!!! Oct 2012

Well it was time to head out from Riga cuz well couldn't over stay my welcome! So after all I did stay for 4 days and had an awesome time!

So chilled on the Monday and the next day Arta's (my Latvian friend) dad was heading to this small city near the Estonian border! So he was nice enough to give me a ride there! But hell had to wake up at 6 am to get on the road! Enjoyed the trip as got a chance to talk to Arta's Dad as he told me about the life they had in Latvia under the Soviet rule! He never spoke about Arta's mom who he's divorced from now! But she lives close to their home by herself! I kind of feel sorry for her tho I didn't meet her! I guess it just seems she lives by herself in an apartment while all the other family members live together in a big house! I don't think it's on purpose cuz Arta's Dad doesn't seem to be the type to make anyone feel bad as they all live in a big house and leave his ex wife in an apartment so she'd feel bad! I guess he got to the position in life where he had his own Management company so he could afford to finally build a home! I guess prior to that they lived in an apartment like most people in Latvia! I remember Arta's brother Karlis saying that since Arta returned from her working holiday in Canada that she's been living with her family in the house until she gets on her feet to maybe move out with her boyfriend! So this past year had been the longest time he's lived with her! Cuz Arta lived in a different town as she had asthma and had to get treated and go to school! Then she had lived with her grand parents for a while due to maybe living space with her parents! Arta's sister Krista has a room in her Dad's home but she is married to a Portuguese guy and lives with him and her son in Portugal! Then Arta's Dad's GF's daughter lives in London studying law so there's also her room vacant in their house! Also Arta's Dad's Girl Friend's son lives in the house with them but he's younger and spends all his time in his bedroom playing video games or something!
Arta's Dad was driving to Valka Latvia for a 9 AM meeting! So he was nice enough to drive me across the border to the Estonian city Valga! He didn't have much time as his meeting was at 9 AM so he could just barely have time to drop me off at the bus station so I could catch a bus to Tallinn, Estonia! It was odd that he had to speak English to the Estonians as he didn't speak Estonian and the Estonian people don't speak Latvian!

The bus station in Valga Estonia reminded me of one of those old Soviet bus station or something I've seen in movies! The bus station was cold as I had to wait from 9 am till 1230 pm for the next bus to Tallinn Estonia! No one spoke English in that bus station so had to keep asking everyone until one guy did so that helped me know when the next bus was coming so I could buy my ticket to Tallinn! I found out that Estonia had started using the Euro at the beginning of 2011! So luckily I had some Euros or I probably would had been F*cked cuz doubt if they would change Latvian Lats at that bus station!!!!

Estonia was also allowing people to use the Estonian Kroon, denoted by EEK, in parrallet to the Euro! The EEK was introduced in 1991, and since 1993, has been pegged to the euro at a rate of 15.64664 Krooni to 1 Euro. It has been stable since. Estonia became the 17th member of the eurozone - the first ex-Soviet state to adopt the EU single currency The changeover from the kroon to the euro started at midnight (2200 GMT) in the small Baltic nation of 1.3m people. For many Estonians, 20 years after breaking away from the Soviet Union, the Euro is proof that they have fully arrived in the West. The Estonia's government says the Euro will attract foreign investors because devaluation is then ruled out. To avoid a last-minute rush, Estonians were able to swap Kroons for euros commission-free from 1 December. In the past year Europe's debt crisis has hit Estonia severely. The tough cuts in state spending, necessary to join the eurozone, have pushed unemployment to more than 16%. Kroons will be used in parallel with the euro for the first half of January. Banks will swap Estonians' kroons for euros until the end of 2011 and the central bank will carry on doing so indefinitely. However, poorer Estonians feared that prices would be rounded up, and that food will become even more expensive. And the prospect of having to contribute to bail-outs of richer eurozone countries is hard to stomach.

The bus when it finally came only cost me something like less than 10 Euros or about under $13 or so! The bus took about 4 hrs to get to Tallinn. Then found the tram line was down for some reason so decided to walk from the bus station to the hostel in the old city of Tallinn.

I had been accepted to be hosted by an American guy (Brandon/Jack or whatever as he didn't use his real name) who was traveling but ran out of money so he got a job running a hostel! But he still hosted people! The hostel had only about 6 beds and a couple couches! So I slept on the couch behind the manager's desk by the front door! There were 6 people staying at the hostel and 3 of us couch surfers at one time!

I had brought a small amount of BC Bud with me to reminisce and share with my friend in Latvia! So after we indulge & had an awesome time having a bit & then chilling and laughing! Well I still had a small amount left so also shared a couple hits with Jack! He liked doing it too so we got wrecked a couple of times!

Then another night the 2 of us got wrecked with Mike, a American guy who told me had been traveling for 12 years! He was an ex-military guy who lost his leg in motorcycle accident! He was a bit of a bull shitter but otherwise a nice guy! He told me that if a person took a ferry to St. Petersburg for 72 hrs they didn’t need a visa for Russia! So he was going but unfortunately I only found out about it the day I was leaving Tallinn so couldn’t go too!

Yeah had a good time in Tallinn as it's a pretty great place! Especially the Old town as spent most of my time there! One night was off to a Couch Surfing to meet this Estonian CS chick met thru CS! But unfortunately I couldn't find the bar the meeting was being held as got friggin lost for a hour! By the time I made it back to the hostel everyone had gone off to another bar! But Mike the American was around so the 2 of us went to the bar! Then when I left the bar well got lost again for another hour!

Another day I spent walking around enjoying the fall colors of Tallinn! Well I ended up near the docks where the ships were. So I checked and found out that there were ferries going to Helsinki daily! So I booked a trip to Helsinki the next day! I looked up Mathias as we met in Tobago and Trinidad a couple years ago! I also was hoping to see his girl friend Sara but she had to work! But while I was waiting for him and his buddy to meet me! Well it was quite cold and I only had a hoodie and short over top of my zip off pants! So to keep warm I went to the public library and sat around browsing the internet most of the day! The only food I probably ate all day there was at the outdoor market! I bought a bowl of real tasty soup which still cost me about 6 Euros or $9! The guy running was a cool black guy who told me he came over from the US to play basketball 30 years ago and stayed in Finland! It was so cold there that I broke down and bought a pair of sheepskin gloves for 20 Euros which come to think of it wasn't cheap!!

So I couch surfed in the hostel in Tallinn for about 3 nights! Then I went to Helsinki for a day trip to check it out! I could only afford to go there for 1 day as it was dam expensive

All in all I kind of enjoyed Tallinn! The one thing I regret is not meeting up with an old traveling friend Lisaa who I met in Barcelona and again in Morocco! She was traveling with Mathias a Dutch guy as we all partied in Morocco! Lisaa rocked as she was probably the craziest fun loving chick I met in my travels as she was game for anything! It would have been cool to meet up with her again. She used to live in Amsterdam but sent me an email saying she was working on a contract in southern Estonia! Too bad didn’t meet cuz would have been cool! Maybe will look her up when I make it back to the Baltic countries when I do the Trans Siberian Railway! I know if I do the Railway that I’ll come thru Latvia as really want to see one of my all time good friends Arta in Riga!!!

Then took a day trip to Helsinki cuz dam couldn't afford to stay longer!!!

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