Wednesday, November 13, 2013

4 countries, 10 days

4 countries, 10 days, hundreds of pictures. Here are some highlights of my vacation I recently went on!

We hopped onto the "Ecolines" bus on Nov 1st, and it took a surprisingly long time (about 17 hours) to get from St Petersburg to Lithuania. Border control took up a small chunk of that time, and just the fact that big buses don't go very fast caused the lllooonnnggg road trip! It was beautiful seeing the countryside, though.

I was so tired (but mostly excited) when we pulled into Vilnius, Lithuania. Exploring Old Town and the surrounding area took up most of our time here (and we also visited the Museum of Genocide Victims.) For lunch on our full day there, we ate at a restaurant called "Dvaras" which was so fun. The atmosphere and food is great. And I ordered their chocolate cake with caramel & ice-cream. It was amazing.

This city felt so European to me...with it's cobblestone streets, cute buildings, and rich history.



St Anne's

Riga, Latvia was a fun place to go to. On our first day we visited an "open air" museum...which pretty much was a forest with old-fashioned Latvian dwellings! It's like we stepped back in time going through this "village." On our second day we went on a free walking tour of Old Town, looked around souvenir shops, and that night went kayaking!
Open Air Museum

St Peter's (I think)



Oh Tallinn, how I miss you! This city was so awesome. Our hostel was awesome, Old Town was awesome, the food was awesome.
In Tallinn we explored Old Town and toured historic tunnels (called the "Bastion Tunnels") On our last night there, we met an Australian guy named Matt at our hostel. He was way nice, and we ended up talking and playing card games with him for the rest of the night. 

I got cheesecake in this cute, underground restaurant

Bastion Tunnels

Eating at "The Dragon"! An old-fashioned, candle-lit
viking tavern. I kid you not. It was such a fun place.
The only thing on the menu was elk soup, and different "pies"
to go with it. And don't forget the free pickles! 
My elk soup, mushroom pie, and a pickle. $3

We're out of the Baltic states now...into Helsinki, Finland...the most expensive part of our trip! Prices were definitely a lot steeper, but we managed. On our first night there we went to get dinner then saw a movie. The next day we went sightseeing, took a ferry to Suomenlinna Island, and ate reindeer for lunch. 

On the ferry to from Tallinn to Helsinki

Helsinki cathedral

"Rock" church

Eating local cuisine

Reindeer meatballs

On the ferry to Suomenlinna Island

Aren't these pictures awesome? ;) I had such a blast. And I can't believe I just dominated 4 countries in 10 days. I did things I never thought I'd ever do!
I would love to elaborate more on everything, but I'm pressed for time! Let me know if you have any questions, and I'll be sure to answer them soon. :)


  1. So impressed you were able to go to that many places in only 10 days! I think that definitely qualifies as a "trip of a lifetime!" How did the reindeer taste?

    1. The reindeer meatballs were incredibly delicious!!

  2. Dear Maegan, I hope the hostel clerks in these countries were speaking English to make it easier for you. In the picture of the Viking tavern it look like you could hardly see what you were eating. I love to see the half underground homes with the green grass roofs in Helsinki. Is this in the old historic section of town? or were they very common in this country? I am sure being underground the homes would be energy efficient. Did you get to go into one? How do they keep the walls and floors waterproof?

  3. All hostel employees speak English. I'm sure it's required for their job, as English is a major language, and tons of travelers come in and out of hostels all the time!

    Yes, in the "viking" tavern it was very dark! It was lit up with just candles. My eyes had to adjust to the lighting when we first came in. And even though it was very dark, I thoroughly enjoyed it!

    The grassy, underground structures on the fortress island (Suomenlinna Island) were for military purposes, I believe. They sure do look like hobbit houses, though. :)

  4. Dear Maegan, Your grandma is full of questions. The old historic windmill in Riga,Latvia was for grinding wheat I suppose. What a wonderful trip you planned with the girls. In Tallinn, Estonia, the Bastion tunnels played what part of their history? What were they for? Love Grandma Rogers.