Monday, October 6, 2014

Sailing across the Baltic

I'm sitting on a ferry to Estonia! Many, many years ago I told myself I wanted to see the Baltic States one day… 'One day' is a dangerous line. I've met too many people for whom 'one day' never came. Opposite to me is my 18 year old son, he's seen more in 18 years than I've seen in 50. He doesn't have 'One day' lines. He's planning his whole life as one big journey. Good for him!

We're lucky that we are on this ferry too. We had 3 minutes to spare, they literally closed the door behind us and sailed away while we were still strapping the bikes down. We were seriously late at the gate, due to a stop at the post office to send a parcel to our friend in Mexico, a stop that took forever…

At moments like this, being late in an unknown city, you can only hope the GPS doesn't stuff up and takes you to the right place. It sort of did but not via the fastest route or the simplest route. It took us for a grand tour of Helsinki…! We literally saw all of the city centre but arrived so late at the ferry terminal that nobody asked us for our boarding passes. All they said was Go-Go-Go! We rode past cars they had already sidelined for being too late and rode straight onto the truck deck.

Ahead of us was Estonia. The US president had just given Estonia a visit to tell the Estonians they will be safe from the Russians. The Russians kidnapped an Estonian general shortly after… to show the same Estonians that they weren't impressed.

I'm not sure what to expect as I'm writing this. As the Finnish language is incomprehensible, any news had simply passed us by. Over the last couple of days I had gradually become more and more negative about the whole Eastern Europe part of the trip. All we had heard from everyone had been negative. The only plus was that it would be cheaper than Finland. Yet the campground we had found in Helsinki was cheaper than anything we could find in Tallinn.

We had even talked about skipping the Baltic States altogether and sailing to Sweden. Yet the stories about Mexico had been terrible too, far worse actually, and Mexico had been one of the highlights of the trip. So we took the plunge and went for it… with only 3 minutes to spare we made it onto the ferry. In the next post you can read what we found there… it wasn't what we had expected at all!