Yup, you read that title right.
Even after getting my first real nights’ sleep in almost a week by crashing early last night, I woke up this morning in a stuffy room with a nagging cough and splitting headache.
It was 7am and, of course, I was the only one awake so I quietly got dressed, grabbed my pack and headed out the door.
I figured instead of sitting in my bed in a dark, stuffy room I’d go out and get some fresh air and a bite to eat.
This was my first chance to actually see the old town of Tallinn as last night we just walked straight from the ferry terminal to the hostel.
Walking the streets at 7am is amazing. No one is out and it’s all peaceful and serene. The tourists haven’t arrived off their ships yet and the locals aren’t even up and about.
I walked around town for a couple of hours and took in all the sights.
As I got to the center area of the old town I spotted a cafe that had just opened it’s doors for the day.
I found out later it was actually the oldest cafe in Tallinn and was established in 1804.
Anyway, I headed inside and had a full meal. And when I say full meal, I mean it.
I was starving as I hadn’t had anything to eat since 4pm yesterday on the ferry on the way over here.
For breakfast I had a cabbage pie (like a turnover stuffed with cabbage), a smoked salmon croissant, and an almond rubbard pastry.
I sat in the cafe listening to the easy listening music enjoying my meal in blissful peace and quiet.
It was the first time this trip where I felt like I was truly travelling. Something about being in an old town and eating local food always does it for me.
By 9:30am I headed back to the hostel where everyone in the room was still asleep.
I went and took a nice long hot shower and sat in the common room for awhile.
One thing I’ve noticed travelling is how much we are getting disconnected from each other and spending too much time buried in laptops and phones.
Sure enough, I sat in the common room and everyone around me was typing away on their various devices.
I guess I’ve been guilty of it too as I’ve been updating this blog although I do try to do this when there’s no one around.
At 10am, just a half hour after returning back to the hostel, the skies opened up and it started pouring rain.
I remember the forecast had been for rain so I counted myself lucky that I was able to walk around town for a couple of hours unscathed.
Speaking of walking around town…
There was a free walking tour at noon they we had planned to go on.
Even though I had already done the walk myself, the tour is always so much more as they have stories about the city and country’s history and culture.
The question of whether we were motivated to walk around on the tour in the rain for two hours was lifted as the rain disappeared just before the tour started.
In fact, it stayed away the entire two hours before it started again.
I found out later on that this type of weather is par for the course here in Tallinn.
After tipping the tour guide 5 euros for an amazing job Chau and I went to lunch at an honest to God true Estonian restaurant.
Sure, it was a medieval themed restaurant where the serving staff dress in costume and called us lords and ladies but we were able to eat some Estonian food.
For lunch I had a big meat soup which is exactly what you think it would be – a hearty stew type soup with big pieces of beef and lamb in it.
I also had a salad with herring and candied smoked salmon in it.
After lunch we headed back to the hostel.
It was around 4pm and I was wiped.
All in all I had walked around the town for 4 hours and my quick rest in my bunk while we decided what to do for the rest of the day turned into a four hour snooze.
At 8:30 I woke up to an empty room with the chills. I was literally shivering and actually felt the worst I have all trip.
I left the room to use the facilities only to see all the action going on in the common room.
I so desperately wanted to get out there and join them but my body was telling me otherwise.
I just sauntered back to my room and hopped back in bed, bundling up.
It wasn’t until midnight when I awoke again. I felt slightly better but I really needed to eat.
I headed out to the little kebab restaurant next door and had me a so unauthentic Estonian meal of chicken kebab
I didn’t care I just needed food.
And that was the day.
It actually started off with such promise and I actually felt alive on the trip experiencing a quiet old town and sitting in a cafe.
But, alas, when you’re sick, you’re sick and I know from experience you just kinda gotta nip it in the bud real quick or you’ll be sick for much longer.
It sucks because Chau and I are only traveling together for a week but at least she’s found other people in the hostel to hang out with.
So, let this whole first few days be a lesson to anyone planning on travelling – the cheapest flight may not be the best.
Because I took an indirect flight with two layovers I ended up losing my luggage AND becoming sick due to lack of sleep over the first 3 days.
If I had to do it all over again, I’d take an evening flight and fly directly to London and then a short 2 hour flight to Oslo where I’d spend the night before flying off to Helsinki the next day.
Oh well, live and learn.
If it weren’t for the lows the highs would seem as high.
And I feel the highs of this trip right around the corner…