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July 8th 2015
Published: July 8th 2015
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Wednesday 8 July:

Up in time and all packed and ready to go at 8am. Made our way to the tram stop and caught the two trams to get to the terminal. We had to wait 15 minutes until we could check in, then headed up to the horribly expensive café. After that we went through the gate to the boarding area where there was a children’s entertainer performing a show. Zachary thought this was great and was fully engaged and taking part in all the activities (dancing, skipping etc). At one point there was a magic show. When he made something disappear or appear all the children clapped enthusiastically. Zachary did too but then decided he need to investigate so was looking under the stage and peering over the top of the front of the stage to try and work it out!

We got on board and it was rather chaotic. We had no idea where we were supposed to go and there was no information anywhere. Heather asked at the info desk and we found out you could go anywhere you liked. The ship “Gabriella” is an ex cruise liner with 11 stories which has been modified slightly. There weren’t actually many places you could just sit (unlike our InterIslanders) but we established on floor 10 there was a kids’ area. This was superb. They had several rooms including an activity room (with bikes and a bouncy castle), a ball room, and a disco. Zachary had a wonderful time! We treated ourselves to lunch at the rather expensive buffet (which was free for Z and included beer and wine) but the quality of food was excellent.

At 1:15 we docked at Tallinn, Estonia, formerly part of the USSR. The ship actually tied up quite a long way back from the waterfront and it was at least a 1.5 km walk through a skywalk to get to the terminal. We had what we thought were good instructions and I had texted the apartment manager / owner, Igor, to tell him we would meet him there. It had started to rain but we headed for the Old Town as instructed to find tram 3 or 4. This was further than we thought and after about 15-20 minutes we finally got to the tram stop, to discover the trams weren’t going. Instead we could catch a bus to get close to the apartment. The first one arrived and it was absolutely jam-packed so we couldn’t get on. By now we were wet, tired, and fed-up so I texted Igor to ask him to pick us up, which he did. We could have saved ourselves a bit of hassle by having him pick us up from the terminal but not to worry.

We drove around the very congested ring road and got to our apartment. The block is definitely very Soviet style but it will do the job. The apartment is basic but it is clean. The cooking facilities aren’t great but perhaps people eat out here a lot. I went to the supermarket across the road (in the now pouring rain) and was pleased to see prices that resembled Croatia and Slovenia again. We managed to rustle something up for dinner and then a very tired Zachary had his shower and an early night.

It is only a 5-10 minute walk to the heart of the Old Town and there are a number of interesting things to see and do. The forecast isn’t flash but we’ll work around it.


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