Day 8: Thursday 20th August
We continue north along the coast (E67) through the Limbazu region, seeing a number of picnic spots which could have served as night stops. There appeared to be a proper campsite off to the right a few kilometres on from where we rejoined the road, just before Szciemins, then Salacrivaou. Then into Estonia where the kiosks at the border are now derelict. You pass imperceptibly from one Baltic State to another and the regulations seem to be the same throughout – they seem to operate as a group, witness the three languages on the milk cartons. The road deteriorated towards the border but has now improved. This section of the road, from Riga along the coast towards Parnu, is lovely, through the trees, blue sky, sunshine dappling the tree trunks – very calming.
We arrive at Tallinn’s dockside without stopping to see any of the city – just in time for the 2pm sailing to Helsinki. Tallink’s booking agent miscalculates the charge in euros (€450!) and that makes me look for a cheaper alternative but a combination of an information counter handout and a bureau de change gives a different story and I return to the Tallink counter – a rerun of the conversation now produces a charge of just €150 – that’s €50 less than pre-booking over the web would have cost! Everything just seems to be going so well on this trip!
We are soon on board and on our way, just getting a few shots of Tallinn’s skyline from the ferry. Looks pretty enough but probably little different from Riga? We spent less than an hour in Tallinn – is that a record? There’s a cool wind blowing but we get in the lee of it on the sundeck and have our pre-packed lunch along with a shared beer. Simple moments but highly enjoyable! An hour-and-a-half later we get ready to disembark.
Arrival in Helsinki requires no customs or immigration procedure and we join the heavy stream of traffic offloading and snaking slowly around the cobbled dockside. We are heading for a pukka campsite for a change and this one must be the best signposted campsite in the whole of Europe, or Scandinavia. There is no risk of missing it at all and we are soon booking in. It’s obviously very well run and has many facilities, though not cheap at €29 per night – though that’s inclusive of leccy, showers and wireless internet.
Tent campers do particularly well on this site with plenty of facilities for cooking, dining and washing up.
We look forward to a meal in the on-site restaurant and get spruced up. But, without warning his boss, the chef has decided to have a night off and so we cook, once again, on board.