After an overnight bus ride of nine hours, we awoke in Tallinn, Estonia to sunlight peaking through the windows – miles of forestry and farms transforming into the tall pastel buildings of Tallinn’s old town.
Despite the long commute, we were energized by the lively streets of Tallinn (along with some needed cups of coffee) and even came across a street performer blowing iridescent soap bubbles.
The child within of all of us came out as students began running after rouge bubbles and trying to catch them in their hands before they disappeared into the quiet morning sky.
After a tour of the city, nine of us rented bikes and rode from the city park into the forest then to the sea and back. There is a bittersweet feeling when you know the moment is going to pass but you want it to linger a little longer. Under the 2 p.m. sun, wind tugging at our hair and the sound of waves crashing against the pier, I forgot about everything else just knowing that there was nothing between me and the sea – no distractions, cellphones, snapchat filters, or the bulky Canon camera hanging from my neck.
Two hours of bike riding later, here we are with just the same amount of energy and smiles that we began with.
At night, the streets were empty aside from the sound of our laughter and footsteps. The buildings were backlit with an orangish glow and the sky, a muted purple like the color of Xi’an, China in mid-January.
I loved the stillness of the Tallinn at night – it’s the feeling that despite the busyness of work and school and worrying about the future, everything is going to be okay.
(The next morning before leaving for Riga)
While others were exploring the morning antique markets, some of us were busy at the local bakery snacking on some sweets…. We grabbed some freshly baked pretzels and a strawberry cake bar and quickly devoured them on the way to the market.
Twenty minutes before it was time to depart Tallinn, we finally did arrive at the antique market to admire the variety of vendors selling fishing gear, pins dating back to the Soviet era, dresses, and rusted household goods. The time was too short and with a last glance, we ran back to pick up our luggage from the hostel.
Psalms 33:5 reads, “The earth is full of His unfailing love,” and I see it here in the midst of our travels. Thank you Tallinn for welcoming us during our short stay here,