Saturday, April 16, 2016

Tallinn, Estonia

Day 4 - April 15, 2016

Our first destination was Tallinn, Estonia. It is about 400 km from Stockholm. There are two options to go there, either by air or by the cruise. We decided to take latter, as we’ve never experienced a journey on a commercial ship and believe me it was the right choice.

We took the Victoria cruise from Stockholm. The journey took about 16 hours and don’t be disappointed by that number, there are a lot of things to see/do during the journey. Our departure was in the evening at 1730 hours. We went directly to our respective rooms to drop our baggage’s. A small room with bunk beds and a toilet but best use of the provided area. Our room was with the window facing the Baltic sea.

The outside temperatures were at single digit, but that did not stop us from going to the sun deck to view the open sea once the voyage started. The view was amazing, in the middle of the Baltic sea, apart from a few other ships in the distance, it was water as far as the eye could see. Our excitement was short lived due to the intense chill caused by the wind. We had no other option but to head straight inside the cruise.

The cruise ferry is massive. It stretches to about
200m in length with a capacity to hold about 2500 passengers and about 750 cabins. Not to mention the various restaurants, cafĂ©’s & bars, swimming pool, sauna, an exclusive duty free shop, all this stretched across 9 levels accessible via stairs and elevators. The highlight was the discotheques, the casino and the large show area with a seating capacity of 500. It was like a mini mall floating in the sea.

Our dinner was pre-booked and we had some time to spend before it was served. My brother and I head to the pub, it was not very crowded. People were just getting ready for the long night. We had a couple of beers and then headed for dinner. It was a plush buffet restaurant with a seating capacity of 500. We had also reserved the table facing the Baltic Sea. There was still daylight this time of the year, so we had a great view.

The buffet  spread had nearly 100 dishes ranging from salads, warm & cold dishes, street food, fish, all types of meat and desserts. A great lot to choose from but be warned that one has to be adventurous enough to try meat/fish cooked purely European style which means they are cold, bland and half cooked unlike our Indian dishes. I have no inhibitions whatsoever, I have one life and will try out everything possible that does not affect my health– my principal, something that all should think aboutJ.
At this time it is not about the taste of the food that keeps you excited it is the sheer feeling of being able to experience all this with the family.

After our dinner we head to the casino. My intention was not to make money, but to experience gambling and that too on a moving ship. I tried the slot machine first, was a little lucky to get back some money.

But the main game was the Russian roulette, I won a few times but I finally was left with nothing in my hand. No regrets, it was another tick in my list.

There was this magnificent acrobatics show by artists from Brazil and the Caribbean. We had front row seats and it was just breath taking. It was followed by house music lead by a DJ and the dance floor was open to the guests until 3 am in the morning. I tried a bit of my dancing skills and after a while, my legs were giving up. We got back to the room only after midnight. An eventful time at the cruise.

Day 5 - April 16, 2016

The cruise reached Tallinn, Estonia at 10 in the morning and we were all ready by then to tour the city. Tallinn is the capital and largest city of Estonia. It is dubbed as the Silicon Valley of Europe, many companies began from this city, Skype for instance is one example.

We walked our way to the old town of Tallinn which is a medieval city in Northern Europe having Gothic spires, winding cobblestone streets and enchanting architecture. All of the old town are very well preserved and that’s the beauty of the city.

It is not a joke when people talk about Malayalees (people from the southern Indian state of Kerala) being everywhere in the world. We found one Indian restaurant owner, one Mr. Sabu from Ottapalam.

Let me be honest, our taste buds have started craving for some spices with last night’s all out European food.

He was happy to serve us some Kerala dishes and trust me it was the best we could get in Tallinn.

We toured the flower markets after our lunch, beautiful and then onward to the cruise. We had another night to spend on our return journey to Stockholm.

We got some sleep, kind of a rejuvenation before the long night. There were more shows and all new ones to witness, not going to miss that at any count. The new artists were from Brazil and what a spectacular show it was. It went on until past mid-night, we called it the night and crashed at our rooms.

Two days, an experience that will stay with us forever!!!!

A family snap inside the cruise

No comments: