Sep 19, 2015

I knew a few days ago I’d eventually crash.

I mean, lack of sleep and jetlag alone is enough for a crash but add a cold and, well, it was destined to happen.

And last night was the night.

I literally was in bed from 4:30 in the afternoon til 7am this morning with the exception of a quick stop at a kebab last night at midnight.

All I can say is – thank God!

I just wanted to get this crash over with, have a good nights’ sleep and finally, finally be ready to tackle the adventures awaiting me on this trip.

I still have a bit of a sore throat but I feel so much better than I did yesterday.


I woke up at 7am and, as per usual, I was the only one up so I did the same thing I did yesterday and took an early morning stroll to a cafe for breakfast.

When I returned to the hostel I joined in conversations in the common room and for the first time this trip I felt the good juju you get from sharing travel stories.

I had sorely missed this part of my trip so far what with me being tired and sick.

I almost wish I had one more day in Tallinn as the people I met here were really cool and I would have liked a little longer to hang out with them.

But… the trip must go on – and Riga was our next stop.

More on that in a bit…

We booked the 6:30-11:00 bus later in the day because we had a few things we wanted to still do in Tallinn.

We found out there was a weekend flea market taking place so Chau, myself and two guys from our room (Simi and Rodrique) went down to the old town square to check it out.


The flea market actually wasn’t that spectacular and most of the things being sold were just tacky souvenirs so we quickly changed gears and found a place for lunch.

We went to an medievel type restaurant someone at the hostel raved about.

Once inside the dimly lit room, 2 women dressed as wenches took our order of ox meat pies and elk soup.

There was also a large barrel that you could fish complimentary pickles out of with a stick with metal prongs attached to it.


Yes, the experience was very unique and definitely something I was looking for.  We even had to eat our soup old world style drinking out of the bowl.

After lunch we had a couple of hours until our scheduled 3:45 Soviet Prison tour.

Chau and the guys went to watch a football match and I went to the nearby mall.

I had two things I was looking for – a sim card that works in the Baltics and a belt to hold up my new pants that keep riding down like I’m some gangsta wannabe showing off my underwear.

The sim card was actually really easy to buy – only a euro.

The belt, well, that’s another story…

The mall was filled with only high end stores.  I went into a couple that I thought wouldn’t be high end only to find belts listed at 40-65 euros.

Yes, you read that right!  By the way, that’s about $60-$90

For a belt!

I actually had to double check the price just to make sure I was reading it right.

Who in their right mind pays that much for a belt?  Hell, I don’t even like paying that much for a pair of pants.

I was pretty much resigned to having to constantly tug up my pants until at least our next stop until I decided to give one last store a shot on my way out of the mall.

Success!  12 euros!



At just before 4pm Chau and I went on a prison tour with about 20 other people from different hostels.

The 2 hour tour cost 10 euros but it was worth it as the guide taught us alot about Estonia history with both the Germans and Russians and how it affected how the prison/fortress was used over the years.

Our time was a little tight by the end of the tour so we took a taxi back to the hostel to pick up our bags and then go straight to the bus station.

At 6:30 we said goodbye to beautiful Tallinn and looked forward to a new country and a new city.


Riga, Latvia was 4 1/2 hours away but we went there in relative luxury as the bus we were on only had a handful of passengers, free wifi, nice big seats with legroom, and individual media screens on each seat showing a collection of tv and movies.

The time flew by as the sun set and the night sky came in.


After watching two movies (Imitation Game and Edge of Tomorrow) we pulled into downtown Riga just before 11pm

Unlike Tallinn there was no crazy half hour walk to the hostel as the old town (and the hostel) are a quick 5 minute walk from the bus station.

After signing in at the hostel we were given a complimentary shot of Latvian liqueur and we headed upstairs to our room.

Ah!  We both got the bottom bunks I had emailed them to reserve.  They even put a little handmade reserved sign on my bed with my name – how cool is that?


After unpacking a little we went out for a quick late night bite of chinese food (yeah, I know – true Latvian food) and called it a night.

It was a long day but I feel rejuvenated and back on track ready to tackle the rest of the trip.

5 days down…30 to go!

USSR Trip 2015, Trip Journal

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