Wednesday, 29 July 2015


When walking through the streets of Tallinn, you always feel like a fairytale - you always expect a knight to come around the corner. The city consists of a pretty huge old town that looks like it was a great castle once and around the modern parts of the city including some more shopping centers like in Helsinki, but nowhere as much as over there.

Everywhere around the old town there is a wall which is nearly completely intact. Inside, the roads are pretty rough because of the flagging. I would not even try to go there with high heels, it was even hard to walk along without stumbling or spraining my feet. Everywhere inside the old city there are those old churches with quite peaked church spires.

On top there was a special church that looked quite different than the others - the orthodox Alexander Church. They also had another Alexander in Finland who granted them autonomy, so now there are lots of memorials. I guess it is a different Alexander but I feel like there are only important Russians named Alexander. Or Alexej. The church nevertheless is really beautiful, it is built with the same red bricks that are used quite often in Finland as well as in Norway and I think also in Ireland if I remember it right.

There are lots of other really nice buildings which I will show you in the next pictures, but also I want to tell you a little bit about Estonia in general. They have nature everywhere. In the city there are so many parks, and when there is no park, there are still some small green areas, sometimes even nobody cares for it - almost in the middle of the city.

Also, there is a big gap between inside the old town and outside. While inside everything looks like perfectly cared for, outside there are some places that slowly fall into a state of disrepair. A perfect example is the Linnahall, the city hall. It was closed in 2009 for some reason I don't know and even when it has the perfect location, just inbetween the old city and the sea, right next to the harbour, it slowly starts to look ugly.

The good thing is that you can just walk on top of it without feeling bad. And the sight is really great. From the Linnahall you can watch the ferries approach Tallinn, see the sunset (even if it is quite late), have a look over the old town and maybe you will even see somebody trying to take a bath in the cold sea. Some even used the big amount of stairs for training purposes by running up and down all the time.

If I was living in Tallinn, I would probably come there everytime when hanging out with friends - it is the perfect place to be in the city but still somewhere else. Some teenagers thought like that and annoyed me with their music for a short time but then they fortunately disappeared again. Nevertheless I am sure it was also a really beautiful city hall and it surely is a pity that they don't use it anymore.

There are lots of street artists in the crowded streets of the old town and also there are lots of people trying to sell you something which made me conclude that estonian people probably aren't that rich even if it looks like that on first sight. Fortunantely they are not as agressive in selling you something as people in southern countries are. I never know how to react. The food the inner city is as expensive as in Austria - but this is probably just for the tourists. In the shops everything is obviously cheaper, except from alcohol.

I realised that Estonia has a great national pride, they only became independent in 1991, but still most of them can speak english fluently. And I found out that going by train is more or less an ordeal of my patience. There are so many stations and everytime the train not just only stops until the passengers entered but some more minutes and I was always like: "Why are we still standing here? We are already late." But seems like they don't mind. It was acutally interesting for me to realise how much this annoys me.

Maybe I will post some more about Tallinn tomorrow but I can't tell for sure now. And I already know what to visit when I come to Estonia next time: The islands on the coast.

Monday, 27 July 2015


I think it was April when I decided I had to go somewhere in the summer even only for a short time because I knew I could not afford that much. About the same time, I was in Poland and did not expect I would like the country that much. So when I decided on coming back and visiting Warsaw, I realised that Vilnius was not that far away from there. And from Vilnius, it was only a short distance to Riga, and from Riga to Tallinn, and Tallinn is connected to Helsinki by lots of ferries every day. And after I learnt that there are lots of affordable busses connecting the cities, I decided it is totally worth to travel there. First, I wanted to include St. Petersburg and Minsk as well but in the end the Visa was too expensive for just staying there two or three days.

So my first stop was Helsinki, and since I did couchsurfing there, I also learnt a lot about the people living there. The first thing to mention was that I saw a lot of shopping centers. I have no idea how they can survive, but I have never seen so many shopping centers in such a small area. And as I recall, Helsinki also only has about 600.000 inhabitants, therefore there are not that many people to shop there. Furthermore, when I decided to have a look at those shoppingcenters in the city center because I was hungry and it seemed like it was starting to rain again, I did not find any entrance. I walked around three of those shopping blocks but there were only entrances to shops or restaurants. So I can't tell you how the inside looks like. But unlike Austria, shops here are open even on Sunday.

The first thing that is on every travel guide is the evangelic cathedral. Because it is situated a little bit higher than the building surrounding it, you can see it when entering the harbour by boat, which was probably exactly what they wanted to reach. Since I heard that most of the people entering the city come by boat, they are welcomed by this pleasant view as well as the market place with lots of regional food as well as handcraft. For example I saw a bottle opener attached to the horns of a deer. I don't know who would buy that.

Next to the cathedral, there's the university, and if you enter the metro from here, you get a quite stunning sight.

I would like to think that it was a student project because the idea is really creative. But they have another attraction they built "into stone": A church built into the rock. From outside, you just see the glass-cupola, but inside it really looks stunning.

Other than that, Helsinki is mostly a modern city, with - like I mentioned - a lot of shopping centers, and also a lot of forest. When my plane approached Helsinki, I saw more trees than houses. There are parks everywhere and in one of them, I found my perfect place to stay and enjoy the sun after the rain while looking at the sea.

In front of the coast there are lots of islands, some uninhabited and some with houses on them. The houses mostly were small red cottages, like you would think of when thinking about Norway.

Unlike Austria, the Finns are proud that the refugees come to them and are especially proud that they are one nation. Also, they all want to posess their own cottage next to a lake or the sea somewhere in Finland. And they really love their Sauna as much as everybody says. They even like to say that no other country knows how to build a Sauna properly. Another funny thing was that it didn't get dark. Only after ten the sky turned red and showed the first signals of a sunset. And there were still so many people out. But when I come to Finland again, I won't spend time in the cities but will use my time to explore the nature which is definitely the most beautiful part of Finland!