Day 1: Jess is a Wanderer has set off and begun the adventure of a lifetime...
First off, the day began just before 4 when my alarm was going off. Let's rewind a couple of hours and the house was a hubbub of excitement as we were celebrating my departure (in the nicest possible way) with Christmas dinner. We had turkey, stuffing, bread sauce and crackers. It was the perfect send off.
Oh, there was also vodka and I had chosen to partake in the shenanigans instead of buying travel insurance, but I'll get to that later...
So, back to the alarm. I was certainly regretting my decisions from the night before at this moment but I knew that I had a big list of things to sort out before bundling everything into the car and heading for the bus station at 4:45 prompt. Sluggishly, I ran around, checking everything off the list and packing the last few bits into my bags. Gees they seemed heavier than they were before.
Due to mum having to get to work, I arrived forty-five minutes early to the bus station. To say I was cold was a complete understatement but... this is the life of a backpacker. We find ourselves in these situations of discomfort and having to wait around because we're focused on the end goal: new places, new faces, new foods and new adventures.
I leapt out of my seat as the bus pulled in but it was no warmer. I'm sure they put the air conditioning on these national coaches to keep people awake and prevent them from missing their stops? I can't think of any other reason why they have them so cold!! Anyway, seeing as it was far too chilly to have a nap, I took the time to buy my travel insurance. I chose a good health package with limited baggage cover because, let's face it, stuff is replaceable. And my expensive bits (laptop, camera etc) are covered with Protect your Bubble. Finally, I was ready for the adventure to officially begin.
At Gatwick, I met Wolvo (my travel companion from previous jaunts across the globe, including but not limited to South America, North America and South East Asia) and we headed off to buy some sunglasses (because of course, I never got around to sorting that out before I left either!) after picking up a meal deal from Boots (which I'm not going to tell you the details of for fear of eternal judgment) we headed to the gate and eventually boarded the plane.
Delayed forty-five minutes, not that I noticed, as I was asleep as soon as my seatbelt was on, I woke up for take-off thinking we were landing. Oh the disappointment! The rest of the flight was uneventful and getting to Tallinn city centre on the number 2 bus (as instructed by our hostel) was a breeze. A short walk to the hostel later, we were standing in an old building, smack in the centre of Old Town admiring what a great find we had stumbled across. Plenty of showers, toilets and amenities, the place was (is) spotless. Lots of activities and excursions on offer and free breakfast too. Can't be bad. For details, check Knight House Hostel.
After sorting out our bags we set off to explore the Old Town. What a beautiful mix of architecture. I could easily photograph each building and cobbled street all day. Taking in the view was just perfect, followed by a relatively cheap dinner on the outskirts of the old town at a spot called the Golden Goose, what a fabulous place Tallinn is turning out to be. And not too crowded or busy with tourists either, perhaps no one knows about this hidden gem on the edge of the Baltic? Thoroughly looking forward to exploring more tomorrow.
You may think it sounds like everything is going swimmingly so far. And you'd be right. You might say 'oh that's a bit rubbish about the flight being delayed' but hey, we're no complainers.
That is until it's now almost midnight here in Tallinn and our lovely hostel room's residents have returned. We have a rather smelly gentleman who, quite frankly, needs a good scrub, a snorer who sounds like an avalanche coming down off the Alps and a chap who needs to give his nose a good blow. Oh dear oh dear!!!
If you're reading this tonight, please take a moment to think of us and our new companions. Let us hope that they will not prevent us from catching some much needed sleep after our early start this morning!! And if not, well, it'll be more of a story to tell about the first night on our round the world adventure... stay tuned to see what tomorrow will bring.