Saturday, 14 July 2007


Tallinn Town Hall
Originally uploaded by Fearless Fred
Well, I'm back after four nights in Tallinn. It's a lovely city, and everything is so close together. It seems a lot more "touristy" than the other Baltic states, but I guess that's because of the proximity of Helsinki, making it more accessible... Unfortunately the weather wasn't great the first couple of days. Still in a way it made the trip out to the Open Air Museum more "authentic". That's a place where they show all the sorts of villages, homesteads, etc... that were used in Tallinn right up to the late 19th century. Definitely worth a visit if you are ever in Tallinn. Being so far North also means that in the summer it's light 'til about 10:30pm. This means the Town Hall Square is always busy and lively. I guess it's the reverse in winter!

Had to fly from Stanstead this time, as the only other direct flights would've landed about midnight, and that's a little too late for me! Second time flying with Easyjet, and I have to say that I'm still rather impressed with them. They were efficient, did what they said, and no trouble with check-in, on-board, or booking. Not bad at all! *little rant* Why is it that Easyjet passengers don't listen to the gate announcements? As soon as the plane appears, everyone crowds round the gate. The gate staff are more than clear that it'll be boarding by groups, but as soon as they announce the first group (Speedy Boarding, the Elderly, & those with children under 10) everyone suddenly surges forward, blocking the gate. It's happened both times I've flown with them. I can't blame the staff, as it's not their fault. It's the idiocy of the passengers *little rant over*

Friday, 6 July 2007

Okay, following up from the recent trip to St Petersburg, I have to say that I loathe having connecting flights. To save the company money, I couldn't take the direct flights either to or from St P. Instead I flew out via Warsaw, and back via Vienna. Why is it that airlines reckon that a gap of 40 minutes between connecting flights is enough? Apart from maybe the first few flights of the day, every flight ends up with delays, either due to hold-ups on the ground, passengers dawdling in the shops instead of going to the gate when called, etc, or they have to stack over the airport waiting for a landing slot...

On the way back on Wednesday, our flight out of St Petersburg was delayed by about an hour. I had a connecting flight leaving Vienna 40 minutes after the first flight was scheduled to land. Great(!). The first flight managed to cut some time in flight, but we still landed 5 minutes before the Vienna London flight was due to leave, and the cabin crew advised us that the wouldn't make our connections. So, off I traipse to the transfer desk to see what alternatives I had, only to be told there that I could still get on the flight. Oh joy! So now I have to go downstairs again, through passport control, then run to the other end of the terminal to the gate. Of course I had to go through the metal detectors again, but I made it; only to find that this flight had been delayed too! I needn't have run after all. Argh!!!

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

St Petersburg, July...

This trip to Rusia has made me realise a few things:

1) With all the security issues in the UK at the moment, I now see what it is about "us Brits" that others sometimes comment on. We're not so worried about something happening, more we are "a bit miffed" that it means we have to queue for longer to go somewhere. I think this is wonderful! It hows that we're not bullied into submission be it by governments, terrorists, officious jobs-worth, etc. we just bear it. :)

2) Last time I came to Russia, it was to Mosow. I can't describe why, but I never felt "safe" while I was there, and I can't see myself going there for a holiday (the last trip was work related). This trip to St Petersburg, however, has been great. The people have all been welcoming, and as you can see from the photos, there's plenty to see. I think I will have to change my attitude towards coming here for myself... (it's still bl**dy difficult to get visa, though!)

3) New rule to self: Unless absolutely necessary, don't fly somewhere that needs connecting flights! This must be only the fourth time I've done it over the years, and it just gets worse and worse.

4) It is just weird to still have evening "dusk light" at 11pm!