Saturday, 23 June 2007

Day 8 - Tallinn and Ferry to Helsinki

On our final day in Tallinn, Keith decided to rest so I dragged Jeppe to the Kadriorg palace, a short tram ride east of the old town.

These are some of the grounds leading towards the palace.

and this is it. Built in the 18th Century at the request of Russian Tsar Peter I. It used to serve as the home of the Estonian head of state but now it's a museum.

HDR shot of the palace and grounds.

From the palace we headed north towards the coast, where there used to be the Kadriorg Tivoli park. Now I knew that this one had closed some time ago but the wheel was supposed to still remain so I thought this would be a good photo opportunity, although I'd already managed to find abandoned parks on this trip.

This sculpture of an angel facing out into the sea horizon is a memorial to the men of the Russalka, a Russian military ship that sunk while en route to Helsinki in 1893. The monument has become a famous Tallinn landmark, and is apparently a traditional spot for couples to lay flowers on their wedding day ("cheat on me and you'll join them" perhaps).

This didn't appear to bother the captains of the ferries docked nearby.

So, this is Tivoli, well what's left of it. Completely abandoned.

We decided to have a wander around. This used to house a dark ride of some kind and some administrative departments, but not any more.

After being torched it's just a load of rubbish, literally. The wheel had also been removed.

The ride must have been called "Desperado", judging by the quality of the graffiti around it, that bit hadn't been sprayed.

Some modern church on the way back to the old town.

This is the tram. You can either buy tickets in advance or do what we did and board the tram by the driver and put enough money through the little hatch to cover the journey. I can't remember what the cost was but we asked the nice girl at the hotel before heading out, little tip for ya!

and we had the tram pretty much to ourselves.

Highlighter grafitti!

Estonia's take on The Haunted House.

There were quite a lot of wooden houses around the Kadriorg grounds.

Anyway after our mini trek to Kadriorg it was time to meet up with Keith and say goodbye to Tallinn catching the ferry to Helsinki. We were going to get a taxi but were told it was only 5 minutes away on foot, as long as you went off road. So that's what we did, dragging cases and selves over the dirt. I was pleased I had a rucksack, it was clearly a struggle, well for Keith it was, who fell over just as two girls were passing. Nice pick up technique! (pun intended)

This is the bar above the shopping complex beside the terminal. For those that were interested there's a strip club up here too, although the women were not pretty, at least the ones that kept coming out for a cigarette break.

Today's route.

That's our what are we doing up here?

Saying goodbye to Tallinn, you can see how that big church steals the sky line and how it would have served as a directional aid for boats sailing to the city hundreds of years ago.

Our swish boat, which took around 3 hours to cross the Baltic Sea. We just chilled and took the opportunity to catch up on sleep.

Eventually we arrived at Helsinki where we decided to grab a taxi back to the hotel (it was some way out and wasn't that expensive). We were going to do some sightseeing but it made sense to do it tomorrow, especially as the weather wasn't that great. Instead we ended up going for a Finnish sauna (Apparently there's a sauna for every 3 people in Finland) and decided to see who could stay in there the longest. This is actually a common competition in Finland, and the World Championships took place soon after our little attempt.

Keith was first to quit, and after upping the ante by putting 3 spoons of water on the coals, Jeppe was next to go leaving me as the winner. Rather stupidly I decided to see how long I could stay in there and managed around half an hour. In the official championships temperatures begin at 110 degrees and a litre of water is added to the coals every 30 seconds. Even though I'd won I'd have a long way to go to even qualify for that!

The sauna wasn't as bad as the one I'd done in Japan where I'd made the mistake of leaving my glasses on and them being too hot to remove as they melted around my face! This time the glasses were in the locker.

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