Day 8 – Train from Helsinki to Saint-Petersburg
It has been a whirlwind start to this crazy journey. We are heading into our fourth country since we arrived, beginning with France, Finland, Estonia, and now on to Russia, currently rolling at 197km/h on the train from Helsinki to Saint-Petersburg (with WiFi!). From now on things will slow down as we choose our own adventure across Siberia.
Leaving Paris felt like leaving for a second time, waving goodbye to family and jumping on a flight to Helsinki, where we truly sink our teeth into this trip. The temperature change alone was a real break from the sweltering heat of Paris. Based on advice from a friend (hi Leilla!) we split our time with two days in Helsinki and two in Tallinn, both separated by a ferry journey of 2.5 hours on a cruiser complete with pop-up shops, bars, cafes, and a wholesale perfume and alcohol vendor.
Tallinn was the perfect weekend getaway, a surprisingly epicurean city with amazing restaurants and heated terraces tucked into small winding cobblestone streets. We definitely surpassed our daily budget on eating more than 3 meals a day, but it was worth it! We tightened our belts at breakfast instead, stocking up on grocery store goods for the road, crackers and cheese, yogurt, fruit and far too many pepperoncinis.
Eating our breakfast in a park we crossed some folks with a serious camera lense, the type used on safari, taking careful pictures of some fauna up in the trees. Curious to find out what kind of animal we might find, we waited until the photoshoot was over and approached the tree delicately, trying not to make a sound, only to find a squirrel chewing on some nuts. Squirrels! They follow us everywhere.
Next stop: Saint-Petersburg, Russia. Priviet!