Continuing my quest to mop up by the end of 2008 the last few countries in Europe that I hadn’t been to, I went to Estonia. As so often, I’d got a ridiculously early flight, and had got up at 4am. This wouldn’t have been so bad except that I’d gone to bed at 2am. I arrived in Estonia feeling exhausted. And then I waited ages for an airport bus to come, but none did. My guide book said it was only 3km from the airport into the city, which I wasn’t sure I quite believed, but I decided to set off anyway. I could always get a bus from another stop. In fact the guidebook was right. It was a beautiful autumn day and I enjoyed the walk through the industrial suburbs.
In town, I headed for Toompea. In the sunshine, the city looked pretty amazing, with its red roofs and picturesque spires, one of which used to be the tallest structure in the world. I was enjoying the views when a giant Estonian accosted me. He must have been 6’8″, and was wide with it. He looked extremely eccentric, with wild hair blowing in the wind from the sides of his otherwise towering bald head. He turned out to be selling CDs, and in grammatically perfect but heavily accented English he began to show me his wares. The few other people who had been at the viewpoint quickly slipped away. After ten minutes I managed to stop him, and made my escape as well.