Last weekend, 7th to 9th of July, I ventured my way down south from Vaasa, Finland to Tallinn, Estonia for a long weekend. Though I was there for three days a lot of things has happened which I would never forget and would only urge me to want for more. Tallinn isn't exactly what you would expect it to be, it is old with a long history like any other parts in Europe but what makes it so special is its extremely lively atmosphere and it is one of the hot spot for backpackers around this continent. It is cheap, multi-cultured and a lot to learn from. I booked my place to stay at Alur Hostel which is located in the Old Town; I decided as well to stay in a cheap bunk bed with 16 other travelers in one room, which was yet another great experience I never would imagine I would do on my own. Alur Hostel, first of all, is a great hostel in great location and great staff. I love everything about that place except for the common toilet which everyone shared, that was too extreme! Nearly all the workers there are volunteers who are travelers themselves and took part as staff to cut down their expenses and as well mingle with other foreigns and be able to stay in town for more than just a couple of weeks under better budget. I thought of doing the same in the future and perhaps in the same hostel as well.
The day I arrived in Helsinki I came to meet my friend for a coffee and a nice Panini only to realize, amidst our conversation, I was running late to my Ferry ride venturing to Tallinn... which I, of course, missed. It was a bummer I had to wait two and a half hour for the next one but at least now I know that I need to be there at least half an hour before the departure time. I was pretty foolish not to know that. Anyhow, I managed to arrive in Estonia and got checked in by 18.00. Alur staff was kind enough to welcomed me warmly to their little family like hostel and showed me around and even gave me tips. Thank goodness I contacted a few couch surfers prior coming there and met up with some who kindly showed me around town and even with great co-incidence one of them is working at the same hostel I was staying and welcomed me as her personal guest. She lead a pub craw, a nightly custom in Tallinn similar to bar hopping, which I joined with other foreigns staying in at the hostel. We proceed on our pub crawl after numerous drinking game, which I constantly lost by the way, and we partied all night with strangers which felt nothing far from an acquaintance. We were like a group of people who knew each other but we do not.
The next day was your regular hang-over day but still you got up and stop being lazy. I wandered around town with one of the hostel's latest volunteer, a spanish girl, who showed me around and shared a nice lunch outside the old town. I went to meet more conch surfers for a chat at some hippie café and joined them for a bit on their photo walk session around town which I left behind half way to join my 'crew' back in the hostel for more drinking session which actually ended pretty much the same as the prior night. It was fun, I never had this much fun before with strangers and now I can see the bright side of traveling alone, you really do meet great people along the way. It was awesome and I crave for more.
Travel fare: 48€ (by ferry.)
Food: about 20€
Drinks: about 20€
One thing I know for sure, even I went over my designated budget for this trip, I was still in good track! And also, that budget is just from Helsinki to Tallinn, I didn't add those I spent from Vaasa to Helsinki since this post isn't about Vaasa to Helsinki. Your jaw would seriously drop if I tell you how much I spent on train fares from Vaasa to Helsinki! Hint: it is more than the budget. It is all worth it though.