Scandinavia Trip: Day Four — Five
Sunday, June 22, 2008
When I booked my ticket to Tallinn, Estonia, from Stockholm, the agent mentioned something about this particular trip being a Persian-themed party cruise, which I found out later on meant that a large group of people from the Persian community in Scandinavia had planned a special holiday party cruise, complete with a special dining menu in the buffet, Persian DJs and bands all night throughout the cavernous ship, and a few hundred partygoers ready to enjoy the festivities in the open water of the Baltic Sea.
I’d met a couple of the ship’s performers earlier in the day who were leaving the boat for the weekend, but they told me the name of one of their friends who was stuck on the boat for the weekend with nothing to do. I had the information desk hail her and we met up for a quick dinner and then headed out with a couple other crew members whose shifts had ended to check out the scene. By the middle of the night the place was packed; not exactly how I imagined this cruise was going to be (I was picturing something more akin to Jack’s voyage in Titanic minus the iceberg). Here’ a short video.
The next day I headed out into Tallinn. The boat docks for only about 8 hours, so I was really limited to just visiting the historic “Old Town” where the city was founded. The neighborhood has preserved the layout of the old city, including buildings dating back to the middle ages and the narrow, cobblestone roads that wind their way between the shops and homes.
On Sunday we docked back in Stockholm and I backpacked my way back through the empty city to the train station where I caught a 2:00 train to Gothenburg where I just arrived. I heard it before but it´s something you don´t really believe until you see it first hand, but the trains here are amazing.
After helping myself to the a la carte stand set up at the end of the train car decked in bleached blonde wood paneling and electronic sliding glass doors separating the halves of the car, I settled into my plush, rollback seat that rivaled the size of most seats in first-class airliners. Now this is travel.