Monday, January 28, 2008


January 25-27, 2008

The first somewhat sunny day that I could enjoy during my Baltic trip! Later it rained for hours!

Day 5
So after leaving Riga I arrived at Vilnius bus station at 17:30, and of course it was already dark by the time I got a Taxi and found the hostel. I got settled in, ate some food, talked to some people and watched Gold Member. It was hard for me to fall asleep because the other hostel members were having a party in the kitchen. But once I did it wasn’t half bad!!!

Day 6

This was an interesting day. I woke up around 10:30, saw the sun and decided I needed to be outside! I dressed quickly, grabbed my map and went out. Although the sun was shinning it was chilly and rain clouds were rolling in, how typical! But I took advantage of the time I had of good sunshine, and walked and walked and walked. But before I set off for the long journey I stopped at a grocery store and got nourishment (pigs in a blanket, GOOD)! Although I grabbed my map, I never used it once while I was exploring. I simply just walked on aimlessly. I wondered upon the Town Hall, where they happen to be filming something, although what, I’m not sure. Continuing on, I walked past, Holy Trinity Church, Holy Spirit St. Teresa, and the Gates of Dawn. After passing through the Gates of Dawn, the town became dismal and sketchy, so I decided it would be better to go back. So I went back the way I can, picking up some postcards along the way. I walked for hours, talking pictures, people watching and enjoying the day. I walked to the river that runs through the city, past Gediminas Tower, the Cathedral, past the National Drama Theater, which as this point was well out of Old town, and on! It was much nicer than the other side, out of old town. There were many shops and Double Coffee’s. I think Double Coffee is the equivalent to Starbucks of the West and Dunkin Doughnuts of the East in the States! One on every corner! On the last parts of my exploration I found a ZARA!! So I did a little shopping. It was fun and they had some good sales! After that I ate and read at one of the Double Coffee’s, because it started to rain. I was there for quite some time, passing time until the rain subsided. However, the rain was very persistent and wouldn’t let up, and it was getting dark so I had to head back. At this point I was really far from the hostel, so I walked quickly in the rain, for about 20 minutes or so. Back at the hostel, I talked to some more people, read and organized my taxi ride for the next morning and my things.

Day 7

I barley made my flight to Stuttgart on time. After waking up at 5am, and getting dressed I found my taxi waiting patiently outside. I got in and 40 minutes and 24 lht’s later I was in the airport past security and boarding the plane. The plane from Vilnius to Copenhagen was late, which of course made me late for my connection on to Stuttgart. Luckily there weren’t that many people on the flight, a total of 13, so they waited for everyone. I made it to Stuttgart eventually, then Reutlingen shortly after that! What a fun 7 days!

Vilnius was a 3, nice, average, but also better than I expected.


Janurary 23-25, 2008
Riga has many parks, which makes the city beautiful, even in winter!

Day 3

The bus ride continued. Backed up a little by traffic, but nevertheless arriving earlier than planned at Riga bus station at 14:00. As usually I didn’t know where the heck I was nor where my hostel was, and since I was alone, I paid for a Taxi. This time I was a little upset that I paid for a taxi. The hostel was really close to the train station, but it still would have been hard to find. I checked into the hostel, which was very quite. I had an entire 10 bed female dorm to myself. Anyway, I put my stuff down and then went back out to get some food. Guess where I ate? You guessed correctly McDonalds!!!! Cheap, quick and good! After that I just wondered around and arrived at an amazing Orthodox Cathedral. It was set on a wide space of green grass with trimmed hedges, many trees and benches to take in the scenery. I also stumbled across the opera house, which was as nicely landscaped at the Cathedral, but with a small creak running beside it. By this time it was almost dark, so I headed back toward the hostel. I sat by the river for a while before going inside to find warmth. Since it was still pretty early I took advantage of the “free” internet! I talked online for close to 7 hours!!! Some would say Lame, but I say it’s better than going to bed; which I eventually did around 1am.

Day 4
I slept in, waking at around 11:30. I dressed quickly, and headed out in search of some food. I decided on Fridays since it had been so long since I ate there. I had steak, potatoes and a smoothie, it was freakin’ delicious. Then I went to the opera house to see if I could get a ticket for that night’s performance. Unfortunately the lady said that it was all sold out, but they sell standing room seating only at one hour before the performance. After that I didn’t really get to enjoy Riga, it was snowing so hard that I could barely see my hand in front of my face. So I went to the movies to kill time. I saw Atonement, and Michael Clayton. Both movies were completely different, but good. After the movies it was time to go back to the Opera Theater and get a ticket. I paid $6 for the standing room ticket. Not bad. The opera was called Carmen, a story about Cuban prostitutes and the military. It was really good; the only thing that sucked was that I couldn’t see the translation boxes, so I didn’t really know what was going on! After the opera I walked back toward my hostel and stopped at the Double Coffee. A chain diner restaurant in the Baltic’s like Denny’s, but with European breakfast not American!!! It was really good and cheap. I ate and then went back to my hostel for bed.

Day 3

Of course when I woke, it was sunny and I had to be on a bus for about half the day! But there were storm clouds rolling in so I wasn’t that upset! For breakfast I ate at the Double Coffee my new favorite place. I had potato pancakes and ham, a little creasy but tasty!! After breakfast it was almost time to be at the bus station, so I went to the grocery store and stocked up on some food for the bus ride. I then walked among this out door market. I didn’t really find anything that great, although I was temped a couple of times to buy one of those Russian type hats, with the flaps!!! But nothing was that appealing. So I went to bus station. This bus was not nearly as nice as the one I took two days before, but I had a seat to my self which was nice. This trip was a lot longer for some reason than the other. Not sure why? But we eventually made it!

Riga was a 4. It's big, historical, modern and pretty. It has everything one needs and wants!

I I could actually live in Riga, its big and pretty, but it would be hard for me to adjust to the language.


January 21-23, 2008
The Tallinn reminded me a lot of Prague, especially in this picture!

Day 1
I flew from Stuttgart to Berlin Monday morning at 10am, then from Berlin on to Tallinn. I arrived in Estonia at around 5:20pm, and since it was already dark I decided to take a cab to the hostel. Which was a good Idea considering it was a new country; I don’t know the language and I didn’t want to figure out the buses or trams! I arrived at the hostel 30 minutes later, checked in, and spent the remainder of the night there. It was great. There were only 4 people staying at the hostel, but they were out for most of the night. So it was just me, the couch, and TV! I watched some shows in English and German, (it was weird that they had channels in German!) and some movies. It was relaxing and exactly what I needed after the exhausting two weeks of finals. I finally went to bed at around 11.

Day 2
Today I woke up at 10am, after a nice night sleep. I got dressed and headed out to explore the city. This is my first trip traveling alone, and although I was nervous at first, it turned out to be fun. I could see whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, and however fast I wanted! Don’t get me wrong, I love traveling with other people, it is much more fun, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be! Anyway, I basically just wondered around the city, without looking at a map, or thinking about where I wanted to go. Along my wondering path I saw many churches like, the Cathedral of St. Mary the Virgin, St. Nicholas’ church, St. Olav’s Church, Holy Spirit Church, and the most impressive of all was Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. Besides churches I also saw Tallinn town hall, the town wall, and Kiek in de Kök (a massive defense tower). For lunch I stopped and ate at Old Estonia Restaurant and had Estonian Herring. (I thought I would get a good feel for the food culture!!) It was quite good. By 1:30pm I had seen all of old town I wanted to see and it began to snow, so I decided to go to the movies. The theater was really nice, showing English original versions! I saw P.S. I love You, National Treasure 2, and I am Legend. All very different types of movies! It was a good day!!! I got back to the hostel around 9pm, hung out for a little, watch TV then went to bed around 11.

Day 3
I woke up at 8:15 am, to catch a bus at 10 to Riga. I had to make my way to the bus station, which meant taking a tram and buying a ticket for it. I went to my stop, and found the little stand that sells the tickets, among many other things. The lady said “6 kroon.” I was like crap I only have 2 and some change, so I was going to chance not buying a ticket (people in Europe do it all the time), but instead I attempted to give her Euros. She wouldn’t take the Euros, but she gave me the ticket anyway. How nice! So I get on the tram, and took it to a stop, wasn’t sure which one because the announcement: one was in another language and two extremely incomprehensible! So before getting off I ask someone, “is this the stop for the bus station” and they were like yes, yes. So I got off, looked around and... “*%(#($*… *(#*$*$* No this wasn’t the correct stop!” Luckily for me, a nice girl whom spoke great English and told me to get back on the tram and take it 2 stops then walk back a little and you will see the bus station. So it did that and made it to the bus station! Finally! I sat there and waited for an hour, boarded the bus and was off to Riga…

It was so random seeing this resturant in Estonia!
I liked Estonia, people there are very independent. At the movies there were a lot of people, men women, and teens that went alone. It was not unusual to see that at all there, which was very refreshing!

I give Estonia a 2.5. It was better than I expected, small and cute. It would be great in summer.