Tallinn%2C+Soumenlinna%2C+National+Parks+%26%23038%3B+Squirrels

Hi everyone!

I’ve been lazy with my posts once again but here it is, another piece of new from the “not-so-cold”-north.

My sister has been around for the last few days and together with other exchange students we took the ferry to Estonia’s capital, Tallinn. We get up so early that the Finns at the train station were still trying to wash away the remains of last nights partying round the train station. Once on the ferry (which is only 30€ incl. return!) we quickly went inside because of the strong wind on deck. Tallinn itself turned out to have a really stunning old town. A large portion of the city fortifications is still intact and well kept. Also the houses in the city are sometimes a few hundred years old and many of them are now embassies, restaurants, or souvenir shops (every 50 meters ;)  We were mostly lucky with the weather but it did rain in the afternoon and so we went into a nice café somewhere in the backstreets. After some more walking we went inside again, although it wasn’t raining. The reason this time was that the restaurant at market square had different prices for inside and outside. The price of a small coke actually doubles if you buy it outside! In the evening we made a short stop at a supermarket and a liqueur store to buy some beer, as the prices are a fair bit lower than in Helsinki (up to factor 2!)

Also we went to Suomenlinna Island and found a nice sunny spot protected from wind directly at the shore.Another day we went to Nuuksio National Park near Espoo. We had planned to maybe collect some mushrooms but it turned out that we didn’t know the right spots for edible ones (we saw many that screamed “eat at own risk” ). However we came across a few interesting and beautiful places as we didn’t exactly follow the marked paths around the park. We actually crossed some kind of swamp :D. Throughout the day we met exactly 1 (thats “one” spelled out) other visitor in the entire time we were there. Not very busy but thats probably a good thing ;) Another thing that we didn’t come across is animals. Most of the animals fled long before we could even see them, but that wasn’t such a big problem as there are hundreds of curious squirrels living right behind my student housing complex (Yeah I almost live in a forest)

In the evenings we tried out a few more party places around Helsinki including an Irish Pub (Molly Malones) that is rapidly becoming on of my regular destinations when we can’t decide where to go. Next week I’ll probably go see something at the Helsinki Film Festival and we are starting to plan a trip to Stockholm.

In case you are wondering If I’m actually studying anything here, well I am…. but it doesn’t take up too much time so far. The semester is divided in two sections here and in the first one I’m only doing an easy introduction to Python programming and a lecture about information theory (things like data compression). The only other uni appointment is my Finnish course, so yes I do have a lot of time to check out things from cities to Erasmus parties. That’s it for the moment, maybe I can find some time to write more soon (don’t place any bets…)

(somehow I forgot this post in the drafts section sorry for delay)

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