Saturday, 22 June 2013

at least 3 links to youtube, in here.

Elena, Kathi, Carlota and I went to Tallinn for the weekend.

Sofia had talked so much about the city, from when she went to study there, that it was hard not to like the place even before going.

But I wish I had visited Tallinn more off-season. The old town seemed like a medieval-themed park, invaded by pricey italian restaurants and packed with tourists coming from big cruises. The whole place felt like a huge touristic attraction, it was hard to imagine anyone actually living there.

But I felt better after escaping to the less crowded streets, and visiting the surronding neighbourhoods.

So, here are my highlights from Tallinn:

1- Kalamaja was a really nice part of the city to go for a walk and had more alternative places. We went for coffee in F-Hoone and ginger beer at Pudel Baar.

2 - Linnahall port. An abandoned concrete temple, built by the soviets for the olympics = my idea of a romantic spot.


3- Pancake place. Forgot the name. It's a restaurant in the old town that mainly serves pancakes. HUGE PANCAKES. I ordered mine with bacon.

4- Estonian language sounds super adorable. Like elfs talking. 

I learned that öö means night.

öö öö

öö öö öö öö
öö öö
On the last day, we went to a really weird shot bar.
After each of them tried two different funny-coloured drinks, they hugged me goodbye and I went to the hostel and packed my stuff to leave the next morning to Helsinki, for two extra nights.

But there was one thing that affected the rest of the journey.

I got PMS.

tam tam taaaaammm...

This had happened before in Berlin and resulted in me bursting into tears in Telmo's kitchen, while checking my gmail inbox, and listening to Now, Now's album on repeat while walking in the city and thinking gloomy thoughts for a few hours.

When I came back to Vilnius I promised myself never to travel again in the week before my period. But of course, one can't always plan their trips acording to ovulation cycles.

And it's not like it always makes depressed. I mostly just feel really overwhelmed. About everything. Emotions get wider and the world is too big for me to deal with it. But that's not necessarily a bad thing, and it works both ways: sadness can be grand and overwhelming, but so does joy.
When the boat reached the port and I saw the city for the first time, it semeed like a tangible reflection of what I was feeling. Helsinki was monumental, spacious. It was bustling and calm at the same time. I loved it. 

Anna had sent me a list of suggestions for things to do, that I carried with me, religiously. and now I'm making you a travel guide including some of her tips, and some of mine:


The city has very different areas:

- in the Centre, the main street Aleksanterinkatu, Cathedral and old market square by the sea;
- Punavuori is a bit hipster and has many Finnish design shops and nice cafes, it's good for window-shopping and afterwards you can rest in the garden next to the Sinebrychoff Art Museum;
- Töölö has beautiful architecture and is worth walking around. There's a lot of people jogging and cycling around
Töölönlahti, and my advise is to sit in a bench and jut stay there enjoying the view of the lake and having people pass you by, running, while you're being all idle and lazy.

 - Kallio is the old working class district and has cheap beer bars.

ALSO: Street names are written both in finnish and swedish. So it's not like they named the streets with such long names that it occupied two plaques, which was what crossed my mind at first.

Things to Visit: 
-Kiasma - contemporary art museum.
-Design Museum - the temporary exhibition they had was really good, but the permanent was more or less ok. -so i'm not really sure if I would recommend it alwaaays, but I'm keeping it on the list.
-Kaamperi-  this didnt appear in any the touristic maps, which is odd. It's a bit out of the centre (take tram 8) and it's an old factory that now has galleries, studios and some events going on. Also, it's FREE (the galleries).
-Cafe nr9 - nice place to eat.
-Tram number 3 - it goes round in a circle and gives you a good picture of Helsinki, in the tourist information points there's a map with all the places of interest  the tram passes by, so it's perfecto to get a day ticket and just hop-on an off.
-Take a public transport ferry to Suomenlinna Island for a picnic (it leaves from the market square and costs just a couple of euros, look for the "HSL" public transport sign and avoid the expensive tourist ferries) - i didn't have time to do this, though
-For not so expensive Finnish soups, fish etc. go to the indoor market in Hakaniemi (tram 3 stops there)

Another thing I did while I was there was to go to a concert at Loose bar ("Nice bar with cheap concerts"said Anna).
Remember a few months ago, when I went to Riga, for an exhibition, and feared I would end up by myself in a corner shyly sipping my drink and not talking to anyone?

well, that's exactly what happened this time.

Guess you can't win 'em all.

Normally, in this situations, I just approach the other person in the room that looks as alone and lost as me. But this time I was the only one by myself, in a noisy basement, surrounded by groups of friends happily chatting about and I just couldn't push myself to go and approach a random group of people, even though I wanted.

The concert was really nice an I trully enjoyed it. (It was this lady: Irma Agiashvili)
 but couldn't shake away the awkward being-all-alone feeling, and I walked back to the hostel, that night, in really low spirits.

The next day I talked with a guy from my hostel, who had been travelling around Europe by himself, and told him about that night in Loose. He said he totally understood my shyness, and he would feel the same: "What I usally do is to have a few drinks, and then I'm much more relaxed about going around and introducing myself to people." 
That made me feel like less of a loser, but, unfortunately, his solution won't work for me, for a variety of reasons: starting from the fact that I stopped drinking alcohol and that, even if I hadn't, I'm a security freak that refuses to get even slightly tipsy if I'm in a foreign place.

always alert


Maybe I'm overthinking this and I should just conclude that I CAN'T go to a bar on my own, and expect myself to do some hardcore socializing, specially in the most touchy-feely and sensitive part of the month. 

Maybe I should just STAY AT HOME and watch rom-coms with Heath Ledger and cry a bit because he's dead now.

it's so sad..

Has any of you been in that situation? 
Going to a party where you knew no one?
or arriving in the club but your friends are all late (so you're just casually playing snake in your phone so it looks like you're busy)?
or, on the other side, how often have you given up on doing something or going somewhere, because you had no one to come with you and it's less fun if you can't share it?

When I was planning to go visit Finland, my idea was going to Turku aswell, and visit Moomin World:

It's the Moomins theme-park. But I quickly decided that, though I really want to go there, it's one of those things that would be way nicer if I went with someone with whom I can get all hyper and point at things and take pictures with the charathers.

It just has to wait for another time.

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