Another long 9hr overnight bus ride brought us from Vilnius to Tallinn. This time round I didn’t manage to get enough sleep since there were more stops along the way, especially the long one at Riga, Latvia. We arrived about 6am at Tallinn bus station, but it was still too early, cold and foggy outside to attempt the search for our hostel.
Surprisingly the old medieval town of Tallinn was much smaller compared to the other cities we have been. Which was a welcome change since we took our time to wander around the cobbled street without following too closely to the map. And less stress on the brains since I didn’t actually get much rest from the overnight bus ride.
For me, enjoying the medieval city center protected within a strong defensive wall (much of which still remains today) and autumn colours at Kadriog Park were made more magical with clear blue skies. It’s amazing how a simple thing like dry & sunny weather can lift a person’s spirits up, something most Malaysians will take for granted since we live in a country blessed with plenty of sunshine & clear days.
The ultimate highlight of Tallinn will be our day trip out to Laheema National Park with a rental car. Located 71km east of Tallinn, our adventure started with getting used to driving on the right hand side of the road and finding the way out from city centre and onto the main highway heading east to Narva. We finally heaved a sign of relief when we hit the straight highway and began to soak up the natural Estonian outdoors.
Armed with the park map and guidance from Visitor Information Centre, we drove off to check out several places we preferred. The top attractions included:-
a) Nommeveski waterfall to see a sample of the park’s waterfall. There were 2 other falls nearby indicated on the map, but we failed to locate it whilst driving around
b) Majakivi-Pikanomme nature trail which took visitors through pine & spruce forests, boggy areas and sandy dunes. Amazing mix of terrains within a 6km walk. Amidst the bogs was Majakivi boulder, Estonia’s 3rd largest boulder by volume (15m high X 11m wide). We climbed up the ladder to the roof for a quick break to admire its sheer size and its astonishing origins from north in Finland / Sweden
c) Coastal walk along the north eastern part of Kasmu peninsula. The area was filled with erratic boulders and stone fields in the forest, beach and shallow parts of the sea. We were also amused by the sight of white swans dipping into the calm sea waters to feed, leaving only their pointed butts above water.
Accommodation – Old Town Alur Hostel http://www.alur.ee (decent & strategically located inside the Old Town – staff could have been more informative)