Thursday, July 25, 2013

An eventful last day in Tallinn and a sad goodbye

Tuesday morning I was up pretty early, so after getting ready and packing up, I made myself a cup of coffee and took advantage of the best internet connection I would be having for a while. When my friend woke up he also had some coffee and we made a plan for the day. Our first stop was the Old Town to climb up in the town walls and check out a ark area we hadn't been to yet. It was all absolutely lovely! The breeze was a bit chilly, but thesunshine kept us warm. Next we headed out of the center to Pattarei Prison. This old Soviet prison was in use until 2005, when the EU basically forced them to shut down the awful operation. And then, about two years later, they just opened it up to tourists. And really, all they did was open it up! It was clear that they had put absolutely zero effort into fixing it up. That place is all sorts of accidents waiting to happen. There are no lights, so you are left to wander around at your own risk. There were several places where we decided not to walk because we weren't certain that the floor or steps would actually hold out. Old documents, newspapers, and equipment are scattered throughout the rooms and you can see the really awful conditions these prisoners were living in. All in all, I don't think I've been to a creepier place in all my life. And again, I can't wait until I can show you all my pictures from that wild experience!
We ended uo exploring the prison for over 2 hours, so by the time we left our tummies were starting to rumble. We went back to the center amd ate elk soup and cabbage pies in the restaurant inside the old town hall. It was all delicious and definitely a touristy must-do of Tallinn. With some food in our tummies we started out on the long walk to the park and ampitheatre where the national song and dance festivals are held. We laid in the grass for a while and enjoyed the beautiful sunshine until we were ready to make the trek back to the center. We took a different route home which was a bit more green and away from the mainroads. We wandered through the gardens near the presidential palace and then made our way through some quiet residential areas and back to the old town. We went back to the hostel where I was able tl squeeze in a quick phone call home and then headed out to our beloved pancake place for some yummy and very filling treats. My bus wasn't until 11 PM, so I got to hang out with the hostel crowd one last time before my friend walked me to the tram station. I was definitely dragging my feet - I really didn't want such an incredible long weekend to come to an end! But eventually, of course, my tram came and after a nice big goodbye hug I was on the train and giving a final wave from the window as the tram rooled along in the direction of the bus station.
My bus ride back to Saint Petersburg was spent using the bus's wifi and catching about 2 hours of sleep after our boarder crossing. We arrived a few minutes ahead of schedule, so I was happy to get on the earliest train back to the village.
Tallinn is now a city which holds a very special place in my heart. I hope to get back there someday and experience even more of the city and te surrounding countryside. But until then, I'll just smile to myself every time I remember this most recent adventure!

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