Sunday, June 20, 2010
Thwarted! (For real, this time.)
Greetings from behind the Iron Curtain!
I'm writing you from a coffee shop in Talinn, Estonia, a place I never thought I would visit. It is a beautiful town with a charming, Medieval center filled with all of the tourist amenities. We met up with our Czech friends Vojta and Zuzka in the Frankfurt airport, flew to Helsinki, Finland, then took a ferry across the Baltic sea to Talinn.
Oh, yeah, we also survived our night in Charles de Gaulle Airport. That was a nightmare. Once we got to the airport, everything was fine. However, the Paris metro was an absolute disaster, due to the evening's World Cup match. Algeria won. You might recall the Algerians from a prior post entitled "A Real, Live Frenchman." They were the ones climbing on tour buses and getting chased down by the cops. In short, the train we needed to the airport was canceled due to rowdy, drunken behavior. We had to take a different train, which does not service the airport, to the suburbs. This train was beyond packed with intoxicated, obnoxious individuals on their way home. If John had still had a wallet on that train, it would have been gone for sure. Someone shouted "Fucking tourist!" at him because of his backpack, and a crazy rasta man yelled at me because I hadn't watched the World Cup game. We met some really nice French people on that train who helped us to find a shuttle (organized by the train system due to the cancellation) to the airport once we left the train. We then took a scenic tour through the north suburbs, a place tourists should avoid if possible. Regardless, we made it. It was 2am when we reached the airport, and our flight left at 6:30am. We rode the plane with a raucous, Scandinavian death metal band who may or may not have been the openers for the AC/DC concert that occurred in Paris that same night. I believe the concert-goers definitely multiplied the number of crazy wasted people on the commuter train. While others drank coffee before getting on our early flight to Frankfurt, the death metal band chugged (in every sense of the word) Heineken and Champagne. I'm just glad no one barfed on the plane. They were quite entertaining, especially when they were taking off all their dog collars and chains and spikes before going through security.
Anyway, we made it to Estonia, had a lovely dinner with our friends, then explored the city of Talinn a little bit today. Again, I'm sort of writing in a hurry, and we don't have our luggage with us, so no pictures again. Sorry! But, here's the latest: Due to some faulty information from our hostel today, we rode the tram the wrong way and missed our bus to St. Petersburg. Oops. We were able to book seats for a later departure, this evening at 9:30pm, so no major problem. Only slightly thwarted. I don't know when I'll be able to get wi-fi again, but I'll try to update as soon as I can. I hope everything is going well at home. Happy Father's Day to all the dads! Love you all!