Hello there fellow nomad! 👋
For my last day in Latvia, I chilled in the park all day taking photos, reading a new interesting book I found, called The GhostWriter by A.R. Torre.
Chilled over some chia pudding with strawberry jam & enjoyed a pumpkin spice latte on the freshly cut grass in the park.
Rest of the afternoon and evening I literally sat in Caffeine (a Starbucks alternative in Baltic countries) and worked from there. This is what I love the most – to have the liberty to write, to read & to work from whenever and how ever I want to. All these years that I have been working my ass out, paid off eventually.
Early in the morning I set my Waze route to Tallinn, Estonia. Said my goodbyes to this beautiful city and prepared for the next one my list. Before getting off to Tallinn, I set to stop in Parnu, a beautiful beach city in Estonia. Two days ago I met some Romanians in Central Park in Riga and they actually recommend the place to see.
When I tried to move the car from the parking slot, two of my tires were deflated and I found a note in the front.
Asked someone to translate it and it looks like someone was pissed that I blocked some entrance, which I made sure I wasn’t. Oh well, what can you do? 🤷♂️ I am glad he didn’t scratch my car😇
My first was in about 2 hours in Pärnu, 30 mins from Estonian border. Before getting into details, let me tell you a few things about Estonia first.
There is no physical border to queue, no road tax to pay for personal cars, lots of beautiful forests with warning signs about reindeers and most importantly – people are smiling.
No one here seem to have any problems. People in the parks, on the beach, the waiters, they were all super happy and really helpful to answer any of my questions.
I felt privileged to visit the city off-season, when most of the shops were closed, but the weather was lovely and I could enjoy every piece of it without feeling the need to rush.
Had a really a nice lunch at a local tavern called Supelsaksad. The dish is called Seakaelakarbonaad which is basically grilled pork meat with chanterelle sauce and french fries.
Once I finished the meal, I got straight to the beach to enjoy the beach for an hour, logged everything in the blog and then headed back to the car for Tallinn.
My first night slept in the AirBnB in Tallinn was a blast and my energy level was set back to 100%. Well, I needed 120% for the day, given the fact that I am joining the Free tour in the morning and meeting 2 nomad fellows from Nomadlist and having lunch with them. I feel like everytime I am meeting new people, it feels so interesting to hear their stories, but at the same time my energy is being drained faster than normal.
With this in mind, I did a half an hour stop at Caffeine, ordered the usual Pumpkin Spice Latte with oat milk and chilled over my Kindle in a super comfy sofa facing a delightful view of the Tall Hermann Tower.
The tour was very dynamic and the group was pretty large given the cloudy weather. I had the chance to meet people from Germany, Austria, Spain, Argentina and even from Samoa. We all exchanged Instagrams at the end and scheduled with some of them to meet again in Germany when I am getting there this late November.
From the 13th century until 1918 Tallinn went by its historical name Reval. The current name – Tallinn is derived from Tallinn(a) which means ‘Dannish-town’, after the Danes built a castle in place of the Estonian stronghold at Lindanisse.
In 1918 Tallinn became the capital of Independent Estonia.
The Toompea Hill area – once an almost separate town – is an attraction on its own right, housing the Estonian parliament, Russian Orthodox Church and other notable sights
After the tour, Joan (the nomad I met in Ukraine), Santi( a software dev from Argentina I meet in the tour) and myself went to get some pretty nice lunch in the hippie, modernist area and we ended up at F-Hoone.
I tried for the first time a hot spicy salmon soup with porcini mushrooms and it was super delicious. 😋
Santi had to leave to get some work done, but I spent the rest of the evening with Joan walking in the city centre and getting to see a photography museum called Fotografiska. It was a bit expensive (€15 per person), but the building was set in 3 floors, each one representing a different theme. Will let the photos speak for themselves.
I can’t say that I was super excited about the art, but it was an experience and I really enjoy contributing to the art community.
When we got out, I was amazed by the art shown on the walls. It reminded me a lot about Shoredich in London.
Today is a very special day for me. It’s my mother’s birthday and I really think she deserves a few lines in my log.
‘In ultimul an, ne-am sarbatorit ziua impreuna la munte, asta pentru ca amandoi suntem Balante si zilele noastre de nastere sunt la cateva zile distanta. A fost asa de frumos sa o petrecem doar noi 2, asa cum o faceam cand eram noi mici si fara griji. Mama, esti in gandurile mele si in sufletul meu, chiar daca sunt departe de casa, explorand lumea. Sunt recunoscator pentru tot ceea ce ai facut pentru mine ca sa ajung barbatul de azi si vei fii intotdeauna in rugaciunile mele. Iti doresc o viata cat mai lunga si mai sanatoasa, plina de iubirea pe care o meriti si de care te-ai inconjurat intotdeauna. Imi e dor de tine enorm de mult si imi pare nespus de rau ca nu am reusit anul acesta sa o sarbatorim impreuna. Am cateva surprize pentru tine pregatite din expeditia mea si abia astept sa le desfacem impreuna. Te iubesc mama! <3 ‘
‘Last year we celebrated together our birthdays since all 3 of us, my mom, my dad and myself are Libras and our birthdays are just 3 days apart. Mom, you are always in my mind and soul, even if I am far away from home traveling the world. I am grateful for everything you did for me to become the man I am today. You will always be in my prayers and wish you a long & healthy life so we can cherish it together. I miss you a lot and I am sorry I couldn’t make it this year. I have a few surprises for you that I got from my trip along the way and I can’t wait to see your reaction whey you will open them. Love you mom. <3’
I wanted this morning to spend it by getting something nice for my mother’s birthday. So I went through a few amber jewellery stores in the Old Town to find something that I really liked. Hopefully she will like it when I get back home in December.
The rest of the day I spent it at home working for the new project I signed with Cisco.
This morning I spent it looking for a cheap laundry to wash my clothes and I found one 15 mins away drive. Once I got there I realised it was a University and the laundry was there for students to use it. It costed me €2 to for 5kgs of clothes and €1 to dry them. For the dryer I need to use an app, but I managed to ask the russian lady that was working there and she kindly helped me to use it from her phone. I saw when she made a move and chose the €0.5 program, but it was just fine. 🤪
I went to get some brunch at the University’s caffeteria and was surprised to see such a variety of healthy food. Couldn’t help myself and got a cheese snitzel with some roasted potatoes and some white sauce on top (don’t remember the name but it was amazing) + coffee for just €5.
Continued to work from there until the drier finished the program and was super happy to have such a productive session 😜
Later that day, had a chat with my buddy Joan and we went in the Old Town for some drinks. I found a really cool bar with 2 floors – ground floor and underground. The ground floor was playing commercial pop music and the ground floor was preparing for house music. 😎
The bar was quite packed and we had some fun there with the bartenders and the waiters.
The funniest part was when I asked the bartender for a local beer and she recommended 3 of them. I asked to read the label, but she just showed them closely to me and told me I can’t hold them because I might run away with them 😂😂 Just look at my face – do I really look like a guy who would run with a beer from a bar?
Last day in Tallinn and did quite a few things since early in the morning. 🤌
The tour started at 12pm, but until then we went to see the colored buildings in Port Noblessner.
Also good to look carefully. At port Noblessner, I found parking easily with €15 for 24h, only to see 30ms on my right with €10 for 24h, and just 100ms to have it free 😂😂
From there we got to see the beach which was full of dead jelly fish 😕
Fast forward, we got to the TV tower. If you book the ticket online is about €9, but we didn’t and payed €13 🤷♂️
That ticket only includes the view from the top, which is amazing, but if you wish to get full view of the sky without any boundaries and ready to walk over the top of that top, that will cost €15 more. Is totally worth it and it includes the photographer taking you as many pictures as you want. There is no exact timeframe for how long you wish to stay there, but I think after 20 mins you get enough of the wind.
The height got us hungry and we went to a super chic restaurant right next to the TV Tower called St Patrick’s Prita with a sea view and surprised to see such low prices in the menu.
I got some ginger-lime vegetable soup, with some fried pelmeni, and shared the chicken strips with Joan. Also, they serve a wonderful Jasmin tea.
The rest of the afternoon we spent it in the Old Town, getting a last look of it. Got 2 love potions from the Old Town’s pharmacy (which are basically 2 pieces of almond coated in marzipan) so I can try my luck again we I get back home. 🤞
Joan told me he had a ping pong table and bats at the hotel, and I tried to lay low and surprise him with my skills when we get there given the fa that is my favourite sport. But I learned there and then, when he beater me 6 times in a row that he actually trained with the Colombian national ping-pong player. 😅 Oh well…
It’s been such a long time since I had to wake up at 5am. I think the last the last time I had to do it was when I had to catch my flight to Dominican Republic (which was long a very long time ago).
I went this way because there was a good bargain for super early ferries from Tallinn to Helsinki. Usually the price averages between €60-€120 which includes the person & personal car entry fee. But I got them both for only €23 – which is super great. When you are on a budget, you have to think ahead on every expense that you might have.
The ferry cruise was quite nice, full of nice restaurants, coffees, casino, cabins (if you wish to upgrade, although the journey is only taking 2-2.5 hours). It would be good to get some snacks before onboarding because the prices are a bit high. Expect to pay €5 for a regular cappuccino. This is my 7am face in the Gulf of Finlandia after my first cappuccino.
Came a bit early in the city and my AirBnB wasn’t ready for check-in till 13:00.
Good to know that parking is free in some areas during weekends and they usually use parking meters with coins.
I came on a Sunday and was surprised to see most of the shops closed at about 11am. Asked around and looks like they really respect their weekends.
Since nothing was really opened, I didn’t have much to choose and continued to stroll around the Central park and got a really nice Finnish rice cake.
The food here is really expensive here. Well not only the food – pretty much everything here is more expensive.
Since I am on a budget, I planned to eat tomorrow out (since it’s also my birthday) and get something quick to eat from the supermarket and use the shared kitchen. Got some reindeer meat with mashed potatoes and some spinach soup. It was the first time for me to actually taste reindeer meat. It takes a little bit like lamb, but it smells different. Not sure if I will try it out again, but I heard that is the meat is really low fat.
The AirBnB I got is quite different than the rest of them. The whole building was actually scoped for offices, but the entire first floor has been refurbished and used for AirBnBs. I only had a small room and a desk to work from, shared a fully equipped kitchen and also shared the toilets (but there were plenty).
I meet a few students from Italy and France and we shared some personal stories over dinner.
Common phrases in Estonian
|Good Morning||Tere hommikust||(tere homicus)|
|Good evening||Tere õhtust||(tere uftus)|
|Goodbye||Head aega||(h-e-a-d a-e-ga)|
|Sorry / Excuse me||Vabandust||(vabandust)|
|How Much Does This Cost?||Kui palju see maksab?||(cui paiu sei macsab?)|
This week I spent €584 out of €700 budget which was good! Already know that I am starting to pay more once I am going up in the North. Next week will have to do the second maintenance inspection for my car since I am reaching 30,000 kms soon and will have to look how much will cost me that here 🤪
Thank you for reading thus far and see you soon in my next weekly post!
- Get a medical insurance you never know when you need it.
- Join an international community of travelers and make new friends
- Try local food from local areas (you might get cheaper this way)
- Pay by card wherever you can. If you need cash, try to avoid Euronet ATMs as much as possible.
- Look out for Free Tours in the capital that you plan to visit
- Use AirBnBs first. Then Booking.com if no other options. Is cheaper this way, but make sure you look at the location.
- Walk more and explore the capitals by foot. Is good for your body and your wallet. It was funny when I looked over the stats, the average walk for this week was about 11 kms per day, which is not bad at all.