Polar Stroll – Day 1
The journey from Riga to Tallinn goes on with a somewhat dramatically-romantic feeling as we watch Forest Gump on the TV screen in the bus. It was one of my favorite movies while growing up. I often pushed the overplayed VHS cassette into the player just to check, if the plot of the movie has changed. Last time I watched this blogbuster in 2008 and in the next day the second floor of my house went down in flames. I’m sure it was merely a coincidence and this movie is not a bad omen – shit happens as they say =) But the movie is still pretty good.
The first feelings of this trip is a bit comical, if I dare to say so – the most amusing is the fact that in the beginning we can’t carry the sledge for more than 30 meters. It’s just too heavy and uncomfortable to carry. After some time and a pinch of frustration we finally get it right – it turns out that the easiest way to carry something designed solely for dragging is literally by putting all the weight on your shoulders. Who would have imagined that? But even the new and totally advanced carrying technique is hard on us, so we stop by each traffic light like law obeying citizens with one thought – to get a bit of rest. You know the saying “saved by the bell” – for us it’s “saved by the red light.”
I have to say, that according to the latest findings trams are not designed for passengers carrying fully loaded sledges. Getting in is not as easy as you would think, that’s why after finally forcing ourselves through the door we don’t even bother with noticing the stops. Of course we rode too far and had to make another circle to get to our stop. But it’s all chill – we have the time and the ride in the tram is nice – at least we don’t have to carry anything for a while. In the Port of Tallinn we are instantly attacked by the renowned Estonian hospitality and warmth of heart. Our clumsy procession doesn’t go unnoticed and the nice ladies working in a small shop in the port territory let us use a hydraulic pallet carrier to get our sledge on board. So we roll on the ferry with a little hop.
On the ferry we meet Janis (LV) and Artjoms (LT), who are going North to practice skiing. SKIING- it means SNOW! The next transport we catch on our route to Russian/Finnish border is the night train traveling from Helsinki to Kemijärvi. This is where we will spend the first night of this adventure and it’s a good place to do it, because traveling whilst sleeping means no loss of time and I don’t like losing time. Another good thing about this first night in the train is the opportunity to gradually transit from sleeping in the comfort of ones bed and making your tent in the unattached wilderness of the Polar Circle.
That’s all for now, but there will be more, because the adventure is just starting. And what an adventure it will be! We are back on the road and the train is rocking us from side to side towards the beginning of our trail.