A lot … but really a lot of things happened in May … so much, I don’t even know where to start. Probably on what I mostly focused and also was really excited about was the trip to Russia. Starting with applying for the visa in Tallinn, then waiting and waiting – after a bit less than a month getting the visa. During that waiting time we booked busses, checked what we can and want see in St. Petersburg and Moscow and then after all this the real adventure began.
But let’s start with the beginning, as not with Russia, but with another travel my May began.
I travelled to Vilnius! So finally I can say, that I have been to all three Baltic states :D
So after sitting quite a long time in the bus I finally arrived in Vilnius and as soon as I stepped out of the bus a summer-feeling overcame we :D (+)28 Degrees – sun – green trees and grass – it felt like I travelled by coincidence to a southern country and not to Lithuania. :D
After walking through the city alone during the first day, my sister joined me for the other four days. It was really nice to have a sister-weekend and I enjoyed it a lot to have her around. Together with Jana (my sisters name) we discovered the city, searched for good photo-spots, sat in parks and enjoyed the weather, as it was all days sunny and warm. :D
As on this weekend also other volunteers were in Vilnius we decided to meet them, and so together with them we joined the free walking tour.
On Monday our sister-weekend ended and I brought Jana to the airport and then travelled also back to Estonia.
I really enjoyed that weekend in Vilnius on the one hand because having my sister around was amazing and on the other hand the weather and the atmosphere of the city was incredible. :D
Back in Estonia everything began to focus more and more on Russia. On the 12thof May the moment of truth arrived – will we (Tania and I) get the visa? :D So I drove to Tallinn to pick up our passports aaaaand luckily the visa was inside. :D (otherwise it would have been a great mess, as the busses, train and the hostels were already settled and booked :D)
But as only to pick up the visa a travel to Tallinn is not really worth it, I decided to do/see all those things I have not seen yet in Tallinn. So I met with Jana (not my sister, but an volunteer in Tallinn) and together we went to the zoo. Finally we could also enjoy the great weather in Estonia and we had a good time. :D
In the evening together with 4 other volunteers I went out. Firstly eating. As we had cravings for “Schnitzel” we decided to go in a “Schnitzel-house”, which was claiming that that dish is from Germany (pfff :D). Anyways it was delicious (not as good as home, but that’s almost impossible to achieve :D) and we had a lot of fun.
Later we went to a bar, where we watched with a lot of different people, from different nationalities the “Eurovisions Songcontest”. Austria was (much) better than expected and it became a funny night :D
The next day I went to the beach (with Jana) and so I can also cross out “Pirita” from my “what-to-see-in-Tallinn”-list. :D And then it was time to say goodbye to Tallinn and the other volunteers, what this time felt a bit weird, because some of them are leaving quite soon and I did not knew if I will see them again.
But I did not had a lot of time to think about that, as it was one week to go to RUSSIA. :D
In that last week before, together with the other 3 volunteers (Tania, Coco and Luca) I planned a bit when we want to see which sights and so on.Also I was part of Antonias miniproject (volunteer in Võru) – she made a “culture event”, where different volunteers came and had their station, which something typical for their countries. :D I did a parkour, where they had to “ski” through and even though it was a bit exhausting I really enjoyed being there. :DAnd then on Saturday the day of days came – the day of the departure to Russia. :D
After waiting in Tõrva Tania and I went to Valga, where we were around 10 p.m.. We tried to make the time somehow pass, with going to an event we saw on Facebook and then going to the lake/river. (Pro tip! -->) After some time, we decided to just sit in “Swedbank” as it is warm in there and also, they have free WIFI. :D
And then finally it was late enough to go to the bus station – so at 1 o´clock in the morning we took the bus to St. Petersburg. About 6 hours later we arrived in Narva, where we had the passport-check – everything was fine (we just had to fill some paper and no one was able to explain us something, because they could not speak English – but luckily the paper was a bit in English as well). After sitting for 3 more hours in the bus we finally arrived in St. Petersburg, what Tania and I didn´t even get in the beginning. So we waited like 10 minutes in the bus and thought it will drive further soon, until the bus driver said, that we are here :D.
Later the boys joined us and in the following days we saw the sights, had interesting conversations* with Russians and tasted some Russian food.
I really enjoyed St. Petersburg – the weather was soo good (what was not so good was, that I got a sunburn, but well – sun is better than rain :D)
* once a random Russian man joined us, while we were on our way to the bridges. He was clearly drunk and also didn’t had one teeth. His English was really bad, but he said he is a fighter (due to the lost teeth I believed that :D). He was really annoying and so when we wanted to cross a street we decided to run away, luckily he did not got it, as he tried to speak with Asian women.
After that we met some “ballet dancers” (well, they said that, but we were not so sure about that, as they were quite drunk and also not really had the figure of a dancer), who told us about the theater and a privat party on this day.But next to those conversations, Russians were always really nice – not many could speak English, but everybody was really helpful. :DTania and I for example got more or less lost in Ermitage (art museum). After finishing the museum we tried to find the exit, what might sound like something easy to do – but believe me – it was not. :D Everytime we found an exit it was a “special exit” (for example just for people who bought their ticket online). After running (literally running, because the wardrobe, where our backpacks were closed around 18.00) around like crazy a Russian woman finally told us the way and we got our bags back in time. :D
After those days in St. Petersburg we had to say goodbye to this city, but Moscow was already waiting for us. :D
To come from one city to the other we decided to take the night-train, what was also a real experience. :D All the Russians did their bed in like 5 minutes, while we clearly had no plan were to start and what to do. Anyways we managed after some time and had a more or less comfortable looking bed. :D (for people who fear to be in narrow rooms I would not recommend to sleep on the upper bed :D)
Even though the space to move was small it was a really fun night and we even got to know a Russian couple, who claimed, that Moscow is better than St. Petersburg.
In the morning we finally arrived in the capital of Russia and we tried to drive to our hostel. It was quite a challenge, because the metro system is complicated, nothing is in English and of course the letters are different to those we used to know. Anyways we managed after some time to arrive their and as we all were quite tired we decided to take a nap. :DThe following days in Moscow also were really sunny and interesting. We visited Lenin, almost Putin (haha well, he is living and working “at” the Kreml, so we waved to that house, maybe he saw us, maybe not) and visited all the sights.
What I really enjoyed in Moscow was the “Gorki-park”, what is a huge park, where music was playing and a lot of events in general take place (as I understood). Tania and I also went on one bridge, from which we had an amazing view. :DIn general we experienced so much in Russia that I could probably write an own blog about it. The journey was really great and an experience that there are so much stories more to tell then I did right now and also so much more pictures to show.
Even though there was a lot of police and security everywhere, which made us sometimes feel a bit uncomfortable, we had a good time. :D The sun was shining during the whole week and we met people from all over the world. (during the free walking tour in St.Petersburg for example a boy from Brasil, in the hostel in Moscow people from Russia, Brasil,…)
We saw also a lot of sights (my feet were hurting a lot), took great pictures and had one experience after the other. :D It is for sure a journey I will not forget. :D – go and check out Tanias blog to see, what she is telling about our trip to Russia. :D <3But after one week of Russia it was time to say goodbye and come back to Estonia, which was also an adventure. You might think what still can be so exiting? – Well if your visa is “expired” before you are at the border – it is :D
Luckily we just had to pay a bit and then we finally were allowed to go back to the EU/Estonia. :D <3
Even though it was holidays I was quite exhausted and happy to see my bed. But I did not had a very long sleep, as on Tuesday (I came back on Monday and until I put everything away it took a while :D) there was a trip to Latvia planned with the Youth Center. Someone had the great idea to drive with the first train from Valga to Riga, which is leaving in Valga at 5.something. :D So that meant, that I had to wake up at 3.00 to get to the busstation in Hargla.
In Riga we walked through the central market, had breakfast in a park, visited the zoo and walked through the old town.
On the next day we went to Jurmala, which is near Riga. It was really nice there, as we went to the beach and later in an aquapark. Again I could feel some sommerfeeling, as we were standing at the beach and in the sea. :D
But also the waterpark was really cool, as they had a lot of different slides, which we tried all. :D After having their some hours of fun we had to go back to Hargla, where I was really happy to see my bed.And then may was already over :O – it passed so fast and I had a lot of great adventures. So lets see what June will hold for me… :D
(Pictures: Tania and me <3 and in the picture on the right you can see Coco, with sunglasses on and Luca - my travelgroup for Russia)
Mai war wirklich ein aufregendes Monat. Neben Russland habe ich noch viele andere Dinge erleben dürfen und ich bin sehr dankbar, dass ich z.B. bei Antonias Projekt mitmachen durfte. Jetzt ist der Mai auch schon vorbei und ich kann es gar nicht fassen, dass es bereits in zwei Monaten Koffer packen heißt – noch ein etwas komisches Gefühl. Aber ich werde die Zeit genießen, habe schon einige Pläne, die sich hoffentlich so realisieren lassen, wie ich das gerne möchte und hoffe, dass Juni ein großartiger Monat wird. :D