Thursday morning, September 7, saw the overnight bus from St Petersburg deposit Greg and Nat at the Tallinn Central Bus Station. Stiff from 7 hours of sitting upright and without any local currency, our adventurous protagonists nevertheless had a Plan. The Plan involved firstly finding an ATM, going to the Toilet, finding a Bus in the Old Town, and finding the location of one Simon Bochenski, brother-in-arms (although as we later found out it was more like brother-in-somebody-else's-most-likely-a-hot-chick's-arms).
That's right, we had an appointment with my tearaway younger brother, who's been backpacking in true Australian fashion around Europe for the last 6 weeks. Before that he'd been living the life of an English housewife somewhere south of Birmingham. So it had been four months or so since I had last seen my beloved Baby Brother, and I was looking forward to it. We eventually found the bus into town, and after going too far past it, and having to get another bus back closer, finally made our way into the Old Town of Tallinn.
An early morning arrival in this beautiful part of the world was just what we needed to pick up our spirits after a dodgy night of very little sleep. It sounds unlikely I know, but Greg and I are known to get a bit irritable when tired. So walking through the quiet cobbled streets of the Old Town worked as a soothing tonic. However, that got a bit strained again when we got a bit lost (as much as you can get lost in a tiny place where nothing's further than a 5 minute walk) trying to find Simon's hostel. Eventually we were victorious, and found the Old Town Backpackers on Lai Street. The receptionist appeared to have been prior warned, as he greeted me with "Oh, you must be Simon's sister". Apparently after four days in Tallinn, my brother already had a reputation. The man himself then staggered out of a dorm room, looking slightly worse for wear.
"Ah....hi. I've been out all night and just got in an hour ago."
It was about 9am. Blimey, what had my brother been doing?
"Yeah, I've been out partying every night since I got here."
Ah, well it's good to see at least one of the Bochenskis is upholding the fine Australian tradition of getting rat-arsed in every European city possible!
We had a brief catch-up, during which time the proprietors of the Old Town Backpackers insisted we stay with them, and arranged three nights in our own room. The only thing is the double rooms were in another building about 2 minutes walk away. And they wouldn't be ready for another three hours. No probs, we'll catch up with Simon and attend to some pressing internet business (we had to cancel another tour).
"Yeah, I think I might go back to bed, hey."
Poor Simon was looking a little seedy, so we bade farewell to the young whipper-snapper, buzzed about on the net for a bit, then hit the road to explore.
Tallinn truly is a gem of a place - I would highly advise including it on any tour of Europe. It's utterly charming, with its narrow cobbled streets, Baroque and older buildings, Town Hall, churches and shops.
And that's where I must leave you for now unfortunately - my internet time has once again run short. Greg is seriously considering a laptop for the next inevitable trip. It's not a bad idea, as all of the Baltics appears to be WiFi-d. Brilliant!
More on our adventures in Estonia and Latvia soon....