Hiking Adventure from Tallinn to Lisbon!

Tallinn

DSC01411
DSC01423
DSC01432
DSC01434
DSC01439
DSC01446
DSC01450
DSC01469
DSC01478
DSC01482
DSC01490
DSC01494
DSC01512
DSC01516
DSC01519
DSC01520
DSC01523
DSC01538
DSC01540
DSC01543
DSC01547
DSC01553
DSC01555
DSC01556
DSC01563
DSC01565
DSC01566 (2)
DSC01570
DSC01578
DSC01593
DSC01609
DSC01612
DSC01616
DSC01620
DSC01621
DSC01627
DSC01633
DSC01646
DSC01655
DSC01658
DSC01668
DSC01681
DSC01686
DSC01693
DSC01695 (2)
DSC01706
DSC01712
DSC01721
Jose antes depois
DSC01411 DSC01423 DSC01432 DSC01434 DSC01439 DSC01446 DSC01450 DSC01469 DSC01478 DSC01482 DSC01490 DSC01494 DSC01512 DSC01516 DSC01519 DSC01520 DSC01523 DSC01538 DSC01540 DSC01543 DSC01547 DSC01553 DSC01555 DSC01556 DSC01563 DSC01565 DSC01566 (2) DSC01570 DSC01578 DSC01593    DSC01609    DSC01612    DSC01616    DSC01620    DSC01621    DSC01627    DSC01633    DSC01646    DSC01655    DSC01658    DSC01668    DSC01681    DSC01686    DSC01693    DSC01695 (2)    DSC01706    DSC01712    DSC01721    Jose antes depois

Crossing the Gulf of Finland separating Helsinki and Tallinn, one leaves behind the very Western, design-oriented and modern capital of Finland and reaches the Estonian capital, with an Eastern past and a Western future, celebrating the Middle Ages as well as its youth’s creativity.

As many others, we did this passage onboard a nine-deck cruise ferry, with about 10 bars and cafés as well as one huge duty-free shop to entertain its passengers during the 2 1/2 hour journey. Well, not only for entertainment; many Finnish and Estonian passengers stock up on duty-free booze or get drunk on Finnish vodka at Estonian prices. For us, it was a very relaxing journey which brought us to the starting point of our hike.

But wait, first we had five days to spend in Tallinn; last days to live in an apartment, last time to be tourists, not backpackers, and some days to enjoy the company of Jan and Romi, Moikens brother and his girlfriend.

Of course we walked the 2.5 km from the ferry terminal to the rented apartment, in a traditional wooden building located South of the beautiful old town of Tallinn. Tarvo, the owner of the apartment, explained everything we needed to know and assured us that “of course the supermarkets are open until 22.00 and on Sundays, we are in a city!” Zurich has just been degraded to small town.
We stocked up on local food and got ready to cocoon in the flat all Sunday to work on the website and prepare for the hike.

On Monday, we managed to get in touch with the Estonian ramblers association and their president, Tõnu, was kind enough to meet us on short notice for lunch and to answer all our questions on hiking in Estonia. We learned that the E9 hiking trail is not well developed in Estonia, as local hikers prefer to hike in the countryside, not at the coastline. The Estonian State Forest Management Centre (RMK) set up numerous hiking trails, campsites and resting areas all over the country. There are less of them at the coast, but that won’t stop us.

After lunch, we did our first stroll in the old town. We were not disappointed – narrow alleys, medieval buildings and the impressive castle district overlooking everything make discovering Tallinn a great pleasure. Add to that a huge variety of excellent and affordable restaurants, cafés and bars, and you have a lot of good reasons to spend a few days in this city. (No, we are NOT sponsored by Tallinn Tourism.)
In the evening, our travel partners for the next three days arrived and we went out to sample some local beer and food.

In the next two days, we went all around the old town and the surrounding neighborhoods; discovered the maritime museum located in seaplane harbour hangars dating back from WWI and found out about the KGB activities in Tallinn’s only tourist hotel during Soviet times, Hotel Viru. We spent some time in the creative area of Telliskivi. We got addicted to Vana Tallinn and loved to cheer in Estonian “Terviseks!” We saw a performance of the comedy festival taking place in Tallinn and tried out the Estonian version of Snakes and Ladders (combined with Truth or Dare) in a secret bar. Thanks to José’s initiative, we received the code for the door (no identification outside) and enjoyed some hours there.

All good things come to an end and on Thursday, April 30, we said goodbye to Jan and Romi and did the last preparations for our adventure. We bought a detailed atlas of Estonia, out of which we ripped all the pages we would not need for our route. We received some valuable last-minute tips for our trip from Kaido, an Estonian friend. José received a new look for the trip. Of course we did not go to bed as early as one should who intends to start hiking at 7 AM the next morning, but still we woke up early enough on May 1.

Leave a reply