When my alarm went off at 4:15, I couldn’t believe I was back in the old routine. Fortunately, I wasn’t. It was just the beginning of one more adventurous piece of this long journey. My host in Tallinn commutes the three hours to Tartu, a small southern city where she spent high school, for a lecture every Tuesday. As a way to see more of tiny Estonia, I decided to join her. As thanks for my host’s hospitality, I got up early to make breakfast; I really have missed the joy of cooking.
We slipped down the rickety old stairs just shy of 5 am while her boyfriend was still snoozing. The train was long, but it was comfortable and equipped with wifi. When we arrived, she informed me that public transport is really unnecessary in such a small town. It took only a few minutes to walk to the downtown area, a classic yet clean series of cobblestone streets, strewn with fine restaurants and cafes – what you might expect from a small Eastern European college town.
After grabbing a cup of coffee and a pastry from the Werner Cafe, an establishment with a prolific history that goes back more than a century, she went to class, and I set off a-wandering. It didn’t take long to find ruins, mystical gardens, and moss-covered forests straight out of a storybook. Though grey and rainy all day, Tartu offered some fantastic scenes for playing with my camera. Here are the best shots of the day: