This vacation was shortly planned. Many of the exchange students didn’t have the chance to join us because of the missing time and money. At the end only I, Anthony and Emilie remained. And we only made this trip because we had passed an important exam and didn’t have to rewrite it the next date.
The time frame was barely sufficient: we came back from the trip to Vaasa on Sunday (09.05.04) and on Wednesday (12.05.04) I already wanted to leave to Germany and still had to prepare so many things.
We booked the youth hostel on Tuesday (04.05.04). At this time we finally knew that we had passed this exam. Because of this lateness we had to search very long in the internet to find a youth hostel with free rooms.
That was our program: on Wednesday (05.05.04) we wanted to go by train from Vaasa to Helsinki. Afterwards we planned to take the night ferry from Helsinki to Tallinn. On Thursday (06.05.04) we should visit the city Tallinn and in the evening we wanted to take the night bus to Riga. Our stay in Riga should last two days (07.05.04-08.05.04). For one night we booked this youth hostel in Riga. On Saturday night (08.05.04) we should take the night bus back from Riga to Tallinn. Finally we planned to take the ferry from Tallinn to Helsinki on Sunday (09.05.04) and afterwards the train from Helsinki to Vaasa.
So we left Vaasa on Wednesday afternoon with the train to Helsinki (05.05.04). Before our leaving we had had lunch in the restaurant near the post office.
In Helsinki we first bought coins (1 and 2 cent) and went to the harbour. There we shortly walked through a market hall. Then we decided to visit a big cathedral because we still had some time. We ate something there and saw different stands which where put up for a special event. Afterwards we went to the berth of Viking line (ferry company). We still had time so we locked up our luggage and walked along the harbour. But early we went back to queue at the check-in. We saw many Finns who wanted to visit Tallinn because of the cheap beer – they all had beer barrows. In Tallinn it was very obvious because on every edge was an alcohol shop and also a Finn.
On the ferry we went to our cabin, which could be opened with the ship card. There was a shower in the cabin and the beds were very comfortable. But the cabins were again situated in the lower part of the ferry – we already had made this experience on the ferry from Stockholm to Turku. Later we walked a little bit around and decided to go to the duty-free shop. There you could also buy beer barrows. We were content with German beer, chips and peanuts.
Next we walked back to our cabins, ate, drank and went to bed. In the night we arrived at 0 o’clock in Tallinn but the ferry stayed the whole night in the harbour, so we still could sleep. But we shortly woke up at midnight because of the loud engines.
In the morning we already had to leave the ferry very early (6/7 o’clock). We had to wait a long time in the harbour building until the tourist information opened, because outside it was too cold. At the tourist information we received city maps. Afterwards we went to the city by foot. The old town of Tallinn was very nice but we didn’t see very much people because of the early morning. In the streets we saw supervisor cameras.
Next we went to the tourist information in the city to get further information. Afterwards we walked through the old town, made some breaks and were frequently drinking Estonian beer. Later we went to an internet café and walked to a great palace which was situated outside the city centre. In the evening we ate a good pizza and took the tramp to the bus station. After we had already bought some tickets at the office of Eurolines (bus company) there in the afternoon we only had to wait now. We still met Martin, but he didn’t have very much time because of his full program.
The drive with the night bus was often interrupted through breaks or once by the crossing of the border. I was lucky that my seat neighbor went to the back of the bus, so I had more space. But nevertheless we haven’t slept very much. In the morning we arrived in Riga. When we booked our youth hostel we fixed our arrival time at 9 o’clock. But despite of this fact we directly went to the youth hostel because we were totally exhausted and tired. We arrived there at 7 o’clock in the morning and we were lucky that we already could go to our rooms, where we slept until 10 o’clock.
Afterwards we went to the tourist information in Riga. There we received again city maps and visited now the city. After we had eaten at McDonald’s in the afternoon we decided to go to a pizzeria in the evening – a recommendation. Later we played billiard and drank a few beers. The next day we went to a bakery to have breakfast. Afterwards we went to an internet café and in the afternoon to a Latvian restaurant. Then we strolled a little bit around, went to a café and also in the park.
In the evening we ate again at McDonald’s again and went to the bus station. There we took the night bus to Tallinn. We had to wait there one hour in the coldness until the harbour building opened.
Later we went on the ferry and arrived in the afternoon in Helsinki. Because of a quarrel between Emilie and Anthony, I walked alone with him through Helsinki. For lunch we both ate a baguette. Then we took the train to Vaasa. In the middle of the track the train had some problems and we lately arrived in Seinäjoki. We continued our trip with buses and finally arrived in the evening in Vaasa.

Report 2:  Tallinn and Riga Tallinn and Riga