Heading North: Herrang and Tallinn, again

Herrang

After London, it was on to Herrang for my third summer there. This time, I stayed in a cabin that was a 12-minute bike ride from the main campus. I’d never stayed off campus before, and bike rides through the Swedish countryside during the late evening and early morning twilight, weaving through the slugs strewn across the road, were magical. But cold! I found myself biking as fast as I could just to stay warm, and it felt all too familiar from my spring in Scandinavia.

As I mentioned last week, I arrived at Herrang already a bit low on sleep, which may have contributed to my getting taken down by the Herrang flu mid-week, I rallied eventually, but then was left as that disgusting person that coughs up a lung in public, making those around me avert their eyes and inch away. The whole experience also made me miss the widespread over-the-counter availability of actual drugs in the US. I went to the local convenience store and asked for their strongest stuff, only to be presented with some weak-ass cough drops that would simply not cut it. I’ve since added cold medicine to my travel medical kit, lest I be stranded without pseudoephedrine again.

I made it to a new part of Herrang, too, a place known as “the Moon.” It’s in between the beach and the marina, and it’s where a lot of the old mines from the area dumped their excess dirt, or something? It’s not exactly toxic, but you’re not supposed to eat berries grown there. Anyway, it’s a wild place—leading up to the sea is a long expanse of sandy dirt, punctuated with jagged mounds of hardened sandy dirt, and a few industrious plants sprouting up here and there. And there was a cell tower there, too, with long cables stretched, fastening it to the ground. If you flicked the cable, it would make a sound like a spaceship as the vibration traveled up the cable. We managed to get there at around 10 to witness one of those really stunning Scandinavian sunsets.

 

Estonia

After Herrang, I flew to Tallinn to visit my friends there, and go there when it wasn’t snowing, (as it was when I went in April), as well as to overlap with my mum and dad, who looped Tallinn into their plans to see what all the fuss was about.  When looking for my AirBNB near the center of town, I bumped right into them! It was nice being back, and each time I go I meet more wonderful Estonians, making all the more reason to go back again. We tried to get out of Tallinn on another adventure, but poor planning meant we only took a day trip to Rummu, which is a really cool prison-turned swimming area. But our efforts were thwarted when the whole place was closed for filming a movie! This is as close as we got—I think the cool stuff is on the other side of that mound.

We ended up going to Laulasmaa, a beach and camping area, and Keila Waterfall, with a gorgeous park with bridges and very tall pine trees. It reminded me a bit of the Estonian version of Bosca della Ragnaia in Tuscany.

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After Tallinn, it was off to Paris for a few days before starting my French language course in Montpellier. More on that next time!