We reach the apex of the BBA V2.....Tallinn,Estonia


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July 4th 2013
Published: July 9th 2013
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Today we reached the apex of the BBA V2,well at least as far as latitude goes.Tallinn is situated at just below 59 30' and to add to this momentous occasion we also bought up 13,000km in Cindy.

The weather pattern remains favourable and we had another fine and sunny day ahead with temperatures in the mid 20's and with the absence of any wind to speak of and lack of air pollution, you get the full benefit of the warm sun when you are out in it meaning its hats on when we are outdoors.

We reckon the landlady was still suspicious of us doing a runner without paying as she kept on appearing from nowhere as we loaded up the car.We only took the microwave back to the car when we noticed she was across the other side of the property talking to her husband as perhaps she might not have been too happy to know we had had dinner in our room.Not that we ever leave a mess!

The guest house was actually on a local road off the main road so we followed it this morning as it ran closer to the lakeside giving pleasant views as we drove.It also took us through several small villages with a range of houses,some of which looked to be those of permanents who braved the winter for 7 months and others that were holiday homes.

We stopped to take another look across the lake towards Russia but still couldn't make out any landmarks to confirm it was in view.While we were stopped we noticed a local cross the narrow road to stop in front of the car and then look our way.We wondered whether we had done something wrong like parking where we shouldn't have,not that there was any traffic around.

He was still standing there looking rather serious when we got back to the car and he started to talk to us in the local lingo which of course we couldn't understand.At first we thought we were getting told off and then a smile broke out on his face and we smiled back acknowledging his presence before we got back in the car and drove off giving him a wave as we left,situation over.

At Musvee we rejoined the main road although the GPS gave instructions too late to move onto the right road which necessitated a stop to check the atlas.

We must have looked like we wanted to engage the locals today because a car pulled alongside us and the woman driver would down her window and yelled something to us in the local lingo.Again we weren't sure if where we had parked just off the road was where we should have been or whether she was stopping to ask if we wanted help.All we could do was shrug our shoulders and she drove on.

We had the option of following the E264.a scenic road that travels towards the north east corner of Estonia and close to the Russian border at Narva.However this would have added over 100km of distance to drive so we opted for the R21 which travelled north west and took us through mainly forests of tall,spindly pine trees with the occasional cleared are where crops were being grown.We are still amazed at the lack of animals out in open spaces given that it is summer.The farms have the big barns that we imagine the animals are kept in during the harsh,cold winter months but you would have thought they could be let loose in the fields when the sun is shining and it is warm.

We merged onto the E20 at Rakvere,a road that ran virtually straight for 80 odd kilometres to Tallinn and we were able to speed along so much so that we were going to be too early arriving at the apartment to meet the person who would have the key for us to get in.

To eat up a bit of time we took a side road down to the Baltic knowing that Finland was too far away to see but interested to take the coastline in anyway.

The road took us the 15km out to the coast at Suurpea passing through a couple of small villages on a road that towards the end had wild astilbe growing and as it was in flower made a striking display of green and white amidst the clearings of trees.

The coastline didn't really have much of a beach and although the air temperature was in the mid 20's there wasn't anyone in swimming.

On the way back to the main road we noticed a traffic sign that made us laugh.After the last couple of weeks of driving across virtually flat land we were now being warned of a 4% grade ahead.Oh no,what to do!It was almost as if someone had gone out and put the sign there for our amusement as the 'incline' was all of about 30 metres in length and the change in gradient almost unnoticeable.

Back on the main road we were soon on the outskirts of Tallinn passing a rather ugly looking oil refinery and power station that looked to be oil fired.This certainly wasn't the best road to come into the city by if you wanted to get a good first impression.

Like all other Eastern European cities,the usual tall apartment blocks lined the streets into the city where our apartment was located.We had booked this apartment through Air BNB and the owner was away but had arranged for a friend to let us in and show us around.

We hadn't realised or the website never said but we discovered the apartment was on the 5th and top floor of the block and there was no lift!The stairs were the usual narrow ones and getting the luggage up was going to be a challenge.

After settling in and discovering surprise number two,that is that the bed was a sofa bed and as hard as hell,we set off to explore some of the old city area and try and find a rather unique restaurant we had read about to continue the birthday celebrations and spend up on the travel card our family had given us for our birthdays.

After a bit of exploring we found the Olde Hansa,a medieval style restaurant serving up some tastes we are sure you would find difficult to find anywhere else.They also did beers laced with honey mead and other concoctions but as we both like our beers a bit more natural we went for a local tankard each much to the disappointment of our serving wench.She did score by getting us to try the dried elk meat which came tied up in a little bag as we waited for our mains of beef marianated in juniper and salad for Gretchen and the elk,boar and bear fat sausages for me together with sauerkraut and other tasty additives.We just hoped we would get up in the morning OK.The restaurant is hugely popular and we had no problem people watching while we waited for our meals to arrive.It wasn't a cheap BBA meal out and we were pleased we had the travel card to splurge out on and that is what birthday celebrations are all about.

It was well after 10pm by the time we headed home although we hardly knew what time it was because the sun was still shining with sunset not due until just before 11pm.

It had been an excellent day with some great scenery and ended in a top meal that we won't forget in hurry.

Now for the sofa bed............................................

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