The train station may have been conveniently beside our hotel but to go to our next destination, we actually have to take the bus. With the exception of Moscow, trains in Tallinn mainly go to other Estonian cities. So on our last day, Erwin & I took the tram to the bus terminal which is further out in the new section of the city. We're bound for Riga, the capital city of Latvia. Travel time is 5 hours and our reserved seats (bought online at Eurolines a few days prior) cost only 10.50 euros each.
Aboard the tram
But first, we needed to buy our tram tickets. We asked the hotel reception who pointed us to "kiosks" and told us to buy talong. Huh? It turns out "kiosks" are basically stores. And talong is a single ticket for the tram, not the eggplant that we know back in the Philippines. A talong cost 15 krooni ($1.20). With our talongs in hand, we hopped on a tram just close to the train station. We were supposed to validate our talongs in one of the ticket machines but the afternoon heat was getting on our nerves that we forgot all about it. At least for us, the tram conductor was very friendly, offering himself to take our photos even if we didn't ask him to.
Guess what this woman is saying?
Tallinn's bus station isn't big and its small waiting room almost felt like sauna. We moved outdoors where there were benches and some heated fresh air. A couple of Finnish women also waiting for their bus talked to us about their beach destination in Estonia (Parnu) - to which I secretly wished I could join as I vigorously fan myself with our bus tickets. An elderly woman sat next to Erwin who started talking to him in something we could only guess as either Estonian or Russian - and she kept talking and talking, and poor Erwin just kept nodding as if he understood. It turns out later she's also headed to Riga!
Our bus left on the dot at 3:15 PM. As we were traveling within the EU, borders are non-existent which means my passport won't be collecting any additional stamp in it. In a way, this is for the better in terms of expedient travel. Inside an airconditioned bus, I slept mostly with my ears hooked to what's in my Ipod, not even knowing that we have already crossed another country. What a seamless way to travel it is in Europe. Don't we all wish the world would someday be without borders?