European Vacation,Day 3: The third time is the charm
Woke up at 05:00 this morning to the sound of Saori trying to be quiet as she made herself a cup of coffee. In truth I was not really woken up by her, I was fully rested and kind of half awake at the time anyway.
Having seven hours before checkout time I decided to take another walk through Old Town to take advantage of the early morning light and empty streets. Upon exiting the hotel I took an immediate right, and about 40 meters from the front door a couple of guys stopped me to ask if I wanted to buy any drugs. I politely declined and went on my way.
I made a quiet circuit of Old Town in about an hour and a half and went back to the hotel to find Saori fighting with the underpowered hair dryer. It took her forever to dry her long thick hair.
We went down for breakfast at 8:00, and after that we decided to go for a walk outside of the Old Town area. We just skirted the edge of Old Town, stopping off at a shopping center with a really large book store. It was around 11:00 when we went back to the hotel to check out. Since the Ferry was not to leave until 13:00 we decided to walk to the Terminl D Ferry port instead of taking a taxi. It was a nice walk, and we arrived at the ferry terminal around 12:00. The problems started when we went to buy a ticket. We were told that the ferry was fully booked for the entire day. There were no available seats on any of the boats leaving for Helsinki that day.
I then asked about other ferry lines and we were told to try Terminal A. A 20 minute walk later we came upon terminal A and in first seeing it I was not feeling very confident. It was quite a bit smaller than Terminal D and nearly deserted. But we went to the ticket window just the same to inquire about a couple of tickets to Helsinki. No dice. We were given the same stoy, nothing available until tomorrow mornirng at the earliest.
Damn, two swings, and two strikes so far. I was not liking he avegare we were developing. It was starting to look like we were going to be spending another night in Estonia wether we wanted to or not.
So I asked about any other means of getting to Helsinki that day, and I was directed to the Linda Line terminal, another 25+ minute walk further along the sea side. So we struck out for thr Lind Line terminsl, and the closer we got the more my hopes sank about getting to Helsinki that day. We walked through a couple of overgrown long-term parking areas, past a large monolithic building who’s purpose I have yet to ascertain. It was your classic Soviet era structure, all big blocks of granite and concrete, but definitley showing its age with weeds and small trees sprouting up between the frost-heave cracks. The closer we got to this last ferry terminal, the larger the weeds became, and the smaller and rougher the sidewalks and roads became.
Upon turning the corner and seeing the ferry port I was not filled with any sort of confidence. There was only one very small ship, and a long line of people cued up to buy tickets. People likely in the same situation and Saori and I. So I found what looked to be the shortest cue at the ticket windows and crossed my fingers that there would be at least two seats available when I got to the head of the line.
As luck would have it, they did have seats avaialable, but only in “Linda Class” (Whatever that meant), I quickly agreed that those would do, and paid the 1,625 Krooni to secure the tickets. We went traight to boarding from there, and that was when I fould out that “Linda Class” is the top deck where you get a free meal with drinks. (Score!) So I am typing this directly after having a Salad, Fanta Orange soda, and an ice cold Olvi Beer.
I guess whom ever they were, they were right when they said that “The third time was the charm”. And as a bonus, the Linda Line express appears to be faster than the ship we had first intended to take, so we will be getting in to Helsinki just about the time when we can check directly into our apartment hotel. Instead of taking three and a half hours, the trip will only take and hour and twenty minutes.
And as an added bonus, the Linda Line docks very close to our next point of lodging. So even though the days travel ordeal started pretty poorly, but all things considered, I guess things worked out pretty well after all.
Saori is pretending to sleep, but she appears to be pissed at me for some reason. I think it is because I told her to speak more simply when trying to talk to someone who’s fist language is not English. This came about when she was trying to order a coffee on the ferry, and in her Japanese accented English said, “Excuse me, could I please have a coffee?”, and the waitress responded with a blank stare. I told her it would be much better if she just sad “Coffee please”, and skip the formalities. I’m not relly sure why she is pissed, I was just trying to help. Women. Can’t live with them, can’t throw them off the side of the boat either.
Just checked in to our studio apartment hotel. It’s reall nice, and loacted in a ncie quiet area a short walk from the center of town. It’s kind of strange since it does not feel at all like a hotel, even the checkin was like going to ana apartment. There is no front desk, and no on-ste staff that I can see. To check-in, you proceed to a small locked panel that opens once you input your code and you then help yourself to the keys. Efficient, and easy.
After checking in we made a quick stop at the local market t byu some bread, cheese, snacks, and beer. After that we took a sauna and spent the rest of the evening relaxing in our room.
That’s it for today, more to come tomorrow.