We took the ferry from Helsinki, Finland to Tallinn, Estonia on Sunday afternoon. It was a bit of a rough ride, with four out of six of us feeling very seasick by the end of the trip.
Once we arrived, we drove straight to the campground, Kivi Talu. It was a strange place. The owners were a bit brusque (which could have been due to the season ending and fatigue), the facilities were very limited even though they could have accommodated many guests space-wise, and they had two guard dogs that wander the property which made it feel unsafe for the girls. It was also about 30 minutes outside of Tallinn with no public transport, so that was a bit inconvenient. We did spend three nights there though, so here’s a look at what we did.
On Monday afternoon the girls and I walked over to an amazing playground at the neighborhood sports complex. They had so much fun playing, and I got to read a few pages of my book, so it was win-win.
Then that evening we all went into Tallinn to explore a bit and eat dinner. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but right when we came out of the parking garage, we were smitten!
On Tuesday afternoon the girls and I walked back to the playground/sports complex where there was an indoor swimming pool. They were all so happy to be playing around in water again! Then we left Wednesday morning with the plan to spend a couple of nights at the harbor in Tallinn where we would be closer to things so we could explore better.
But first a look at our campground before we left. It really was a beautiful property, if only the dogs were not there. And it was easier to get into Tallinn.
We drove the 30 minutes to the harbor, did schoolwork and then ate lunch at a delicious restaurant right in the harbor. It was sunny and blue skies, so then the girls and I walked about 3 miles to the old TV tower through a gorgeous forest, stopping at ruins of Pirita convent where the girls had so much fun exploring. We took the elevator at the tower 170 meters up to the middle part and enjoyed some beautiful views. We could spot the convent ruins, the harbor the ferries coming in. After some playtime at the playground under the tower, we braved the bus back, which we figured out with the help of a very kind Estonian woman. We finished the afternoon with an hour of play at an indoor play place back at the harbor.
By the time we got back to the camper, a storm was brewing and the wind had picked up quite a bit. As I’ve mentioned, wind gives me a lot of anxiety since our terrible experience in Croatia last summer, so there was very little sleep on Wednesday night as the winds really picked up and the camper was shaking most of the night. The weather forecast showed that is was to continue all day Thursday through Thursday night, so around 7:30am we woke the kids up (who had also not slept very well) and headed out of town. We did leave feeling as though we missed some of the beauty of Tallinn, but we would not have enjoyed our time there on Thursday. Part of the reality of camping is that the weather does impact us more than if we were in a hotel and in this case it was a negative effect. When the sun in shining and we are truly living indoor/outdoor, camping is a real plus over hotel life.
Here’s a short video as we headed out Thursday morning.