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Published: January 27th 2013
I visited Sigulda in autumn and fell in love with the place. Now, winter means snow, and snow means skiing, and skiing means …? Skiing is my favourite hobby since the late 1999 but lately I did not engage in it thoroughly. One thing leading to another, I found myself planning a trip to the mountains to try alpine skiing (to be undertook very soon), and then found out I needed at least to have a look at the skis, boots, etc, try and run several meters on them. The first decision was to go to a ski resort in the vicinity of St. Petersburg (there are several good ones, though certainly no mountains) during the New Year holidays, but on calculating the prices I discarded it off mercilessly.
I do not remember how and when and why I decided to try alpine skiing but somewhere I found information about good slopes in Sigulda, checked out its prices, and immediately secured for myself tickets and accommodation, but only for two days because my girl hates me to go to places without her. It was planned to go to Tallinn together and then she would take bus home and I proceed to Sigulda city ski track and then, to satisfy my hunger for seeing new cities, to Siauliai and Kaunas, all done in just four days (two days skiing, one day each of the cities), and two days in Tallinn.
Our destination for a weekend city break was Tallinn (not a very good idea in such cold, of course), but it turned out well. The chief reason to go to Tallinn in winter was the very cheap bus tickets bought for approximately 10 Euros there and back. I planned to skate there but it did not happen because of other things we did, namely, shopping.
We came to Tallinn at 22-00 and stayed at Hostel Tallinn. In spite of its obvious advantages it was very cold and heavy draft was felt in our room on the fourth floor. Luda complained a lot about the cold and felt uncomfortable. I couldn't but choose Tallinn Hostel due to its closeness to bus station.
We succeeded in taking a tram to the centre, though it was quite reachable on foot, and did not pay for it because before we were informed of the payment method, we've reached the stop and left the tram. The intention was to go to the Vanalinn and find a cheap restaurant; Luda saw city tour buses and we took a one-hour tour of the city and its districts. There were different areas of city we saw, including Rocca al Mare shopping mall and the open-air museum where we decided to go in spring or summer (though I wanted to visit it this time, but plans changed), also old wooden houses with stove heating. The city looked a bit less attractive in winter, and if you want to see different areas of the city it’s better to take this city bus tour. We got off the bus near the cathedral and went to Raekoja plats to Kaerajaan Restaurant (I found it in the web, modern Estonian cuisine) where we had a meal for 36 Euro including two glasses of wine.
After Luda visited the toilet, she told me to go there and just have a look at it, which I did and was astonished to find myself in an unthinkable place of design and glamour, with a long brick passage leading upwards (perhaps, it was a chimney once).
Then we got a bit lost because one is apt to get lost in a maze of mediaeval streets seen only for the second time in my life (for the first time in Luda’s life) but we retraced our steps and easily reached the desired spot to enter the Viru Keskus where bought some things like sport trousers and gloves for me and underwear for Luda (Sportland and Seppala).
On the second day it was sunny in the morning but we stayed in for half a day, me doing translation, Luda watching a very interesting tennis match. Somehow we did not felt like visiting museums but had a firm inclination to shopping that day as well, I suggested visiting the Ulemiste because I read about it in a guide. Had a bite at Chopsticks (eastern cuisine) – huge portions of: chicken soup with corn and eggs, fried fish with vegetables, fried potatoes for a decent price.
Next we went through Jysk also purchasing some home stuff, also an electronics shop, Rimi supermarket, currency exchange, and pharmacy.
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