Nordkapp – Day 12 – Helsinki -> Tallin, 107 km
It was pouring since morning, never like before during the entire expedition up to then. Even though I was packed at 9am, there was no chance of leaving the hotel. Therefore, I relaxingly ate breakfast, talked with my family and for almost 3 hours worked remotely, a kind of hot office 😉 I checked the weather forecast by the way and it appeared that fine weather would follow from midday. It seemed improbable looking out of the window. Well, at midday I had to check out of the room so I took down my things and decided to re-park my motorbike under some roofing. I hoped that during packing, the weather would improve but to my surprise, when I got on the bike to go to the centre of Helsinki the sun came out!
There was another 14km to the centre, so I was in the Old Town in just a flash. I parked my bike in the parking area opposite the Presidential Palace and went off to visit Helsinki. After a short while I had to take off my thermals under my trousers, in some bushes because it had become really warm. I visited two cathedrals, the church in Skale and the market with local cuisine and with handmade goods, everything took me 3 hours. I also enquired what time the ferry was sailing out and with one hour in reserve I went to the ferry as an experienced tourist and knew how to get on the ferry. The motorbike was quickly secured, I took my rucksack with computer and up to the bar I went to get the best place visiting the decks on the way and one last photo of the harbour in Helsinki. I bought myself dinner, coffee and something sweet. Since there was good Internet access throughout the cruise, I checked what was going on in Poland. It uploaded a few photos on Facebook, and then proceeded to find accommodation options in Tallin.
After almost 3 hours I was in Tallin. My one aim here was to get to the Old Town. I cannot hide the fact that I began to worry about my motorbike, and, above all, the luggage on it. Therefore, I checked three parking areas but none of them was guarded. I decided to get to the heart of the Old Town and park there. In the end I left my motorbike in some small garden hugging a bar and went sightseeing. Tallin is magnificent and I will openly say that I liked it very much. The Old Town has been restored and some street renovation is still ongoing.
I climbed up to the top of the hill (twice by accident) where the magnificent panorama of the entire city stretches along. I felt hunger after sightseeing and decided to return to the bar where I had left my bike. I ordered supper and after a moment this guy came up to me speaking in English. It appeared that he was Italian and was also touring on his motorbike. If that was not enough, he was riding on the same bike as mine, the same year and almost the same mileage and similar equipment. He planned to travel to Nordkapp and then is returning though Russia and Kazakhstan to Italy and plans to do everything on his bike. The only thing is that his accommodation is in hotels and guesthouses. Finally, he asked me if I had accommodation and proposed a hotel near the centre.
Since I had my eye on three places which were so near I decided to check those first. The first came up bullseye and the Vana Wiru hotel was just around the corner with its internal parking area. I considered it for long and booked accommodation via Booking.com and after several minutes rode up by motorbike. On that same evening I decided to see what the Old Town looked like at night. Although the beer gardens close at 11pm, restaurant owners invite you inside. It was wonderful here late evening, and the local beer tasted exquisitely.
Advice: Check two matters beforehand. The first is the ferry from Helskinki to Tallin and remember to check-in 45 minutes earlier. The other is the opening hours of the church in Skale for visitors because I had to wait 30 minutes and was a little afraid if I would make the ferry check-in. Fortunately, it isn’t far (a few minutes by motorbike). Additionally, try to find more time than my 3-4 hours for visiting Helsinki. It’s worth it.
Equipment: If you are planning to climb a fjord, iceberg or Preikostolen, it’s necessary to take appropriate boots with you and ones, which are just below the ankle with a good tread. You can be sure that you will come across rain and that the rocks will be very slippery. The weather is very changeable to add to that and can change drastically in just several seconds because that’s what happened to me on the peak. It’s necessary to wear good fleece or wind stopper, clip the legs and have a good GPS with a trail map, which is key to avoiding danger.