Tuesday, June 26, 2012

BE 3000: the end (phew...)

12 June

We are at the end of our trip. We are starting to smell a bit rank, and we are both missing our boyfriends back home.

We came back to Riga and Tallinn, staying a night in each. It was good to go back and reaffirm what we'd already seen.

Latvia's Riga is a party city. We stayed in a hostel filled with stag-doing Scots. Who literally didn't sleep all night. Woke up and they were still in the pub, drinking beer a few inches down from our door on which they'd been shouting and fooling around in front of, all night. 
 This is my favourite picture of Riga, as this is what it is. An 80s Passat juxtaposed to people still raving at 6:30am, the time that this was taken. We were on our way to our next bus. Look at all of those smokers. (Yum.)

Once in Tallinn, it felt like we were in Scandinavia. Estonia really is ridiculously Nordic; so different from the other two Baltic countries.
We thought of going to Finland for the day. It's a common day trip from Tallinn, where you head to Helsinki by boat, fanny around and then come back to Tallinn. (Where booze is cheap and shit is real.)

Someone told me Helsinki is the 'Nordic Berlin,' while another told me there's nothing significant to see. The day was a bit windy, so we gave it a miss. Choppy boats and mass pukage wasn't something we were up for at this point. 

We instead found Helsinki Bar. It was like were actually there. Except it was empty and the only thing that was Helsinki-like about it was the name.

It all started after going to the market and buying a bunch of artisan stuff for our boyfriends (funky wooden fruit bowl for the Brit).
We decided to then venture outside of the Old Town and into the real city of Tallinn. Where shit is ugly and awesomely communist.

I was ridiculously excited to see some more fugly communist stuff, and wore the obligatory jacket.

This is what we saw:
 Energio Cafe. An original Soviet cafe - a form follows function masterpiece - that hasn't changed since the 1964 when it was started by three Russian sisters, who still freaking work behind the counter. Nothing has changed, they've just aged.
It reminded me of a similar cafe mum and I went to in Poland. We expected a stray wire bug to jump out from under the chairs we sat on. The review is great:
This busy café next to a main trolleybus stop offers dim lighting, suspicious little sandwiches and a hideous interior. No wonder the Soviet Union was so feared. Bus your own tray.

New buildings next to old ones, or next to really shiny new ones. A hotchpotch of crazy architecture.

Then we went to Helsinki bar as we felt depressed. We were leaving tomorrow. Might as well head out with a bang.

The Helsinki Bar was empty. WHAT an opportunity. It offered free karaoke and cold Jaegermeister.
The Dove, who is not as bolshy as I with a microphone in public, was even happy to sing. Besides two middle-aged Finns sitting in a corner, the place was deserted. 

So we got drunk and sang to each other. And basically looked like mental cases.
The book of songs they had were made up of Russian pop songs and ten English tracks.
We sang them all. We got absolutely wasted, and by the end of our stint there, I had lost my voice, my dignity and we had drawn a bit of a crowd.

So we headed to the next spot and immediately ran into a group of young lads (read: 17 year olds) who were on football tour. They bought us some drinks, and after a shirt time, I was feeling sick, and by the look on Dove's green face, so was she.

We headed back and woke up with a Baltic-infused departure hangover. We drank 20 cups of green tea and toasted to the fact we'd been to Helsinki in spirit, but not in geography. Our trip was better.

Flew back to London. And here we are. Dove goes back to South Africa tomorrow. We have freshly cut toenails, clean clothes, salad. And heads filled with hilarious memories.

The End.

(I'll conclude with Stalin's house, below. The Communist star still on tops of it. Right I'm done. You can all sigh in relief. As can I.)


1 comment:

Flarkit said...

Iz verr naaiz, for you is tells so much of thees byoottaful plaizis! I am to make for you one bigga clappings of the feet