Estonia: my apartment

Last week I went to Estonia for what worked out to be little more than a long weekend – late-ish flight out on Thursday plus early flight home on Monday effectively shrank it from five days to three. And there are plenty of post coming on the subject of Estonia but the first, and most important, is my apartment.

When I’m looking for accommodation, I tend to use a comparison website like booking.com because there are often deals on sites like that which allow people like me to stay in hotels beyond my usual means – the Hilton in Islington is still a particular triumph. I sort low price to high and I write off anything with dormitories – I’m on holiday, I’m not a backpacker and I want my own room and ideally my own bathroom, although I’m open to compromise on that – anything too far from the centre of wherever I’m staying and usually, anything that looks like someone’s house. When I did this for Tallinn, all that came up was apartment after apartment. I’ve never really considered an apartment before because while apartments are great for families who want to self-cater, they’re usually way out of the price range of a solo traveller. Not in Tallinn! What I found was a studio apartment for one or two people, right in the middle of the Old Town, and for less than I probably would have expected to pay for a cheap hotel.

It was fantastic! My flight was delayed – I didn’t get out of Rīga until 10.35pm – but the owners, Trevor and Lisa, met me at my door, marked up a map with everything I could possibly be interested in and showed me around my apartment, which is great, and also saved me the effort of figuring out how the key worked until daylight (it was a double bit mortice lock key, as best my Google skills can work out, which only fitted in the lock one way up and had to be turned all the way around – not exactly brain surgery but not something I would have liked to have to figure out after midnight all on my own in a strange place).

I had a bathroom with a washing machine, a kitchen with fridge and oven and toaster and massive windowsills you can sit on. Oh, the luxury of having your own apartment in town! The novelty of being able to come home any time you like during the day, going into the kitchen to make some food and then eating it at my own dining table! Buying juice and cheese which can then be kept in the fridge so the juice stays fresh and cold and the cheese doesn’t go sweaty! I can’t sing the praises loudly enough of having my own home from home. If your plane arrives late, you can sleep in late the next morning without having to worry about housekeeping either barging in on you or judging you for being lazy. And being right in the town centre, it only takes a few minutes to get home from pretty much anywhere – if it starts raining unexpectedly, you only have a few streets to spring up to fetch your waterproofs, or you can wait out the rain by having something to eat. I am a total convert to apartments. Do you want to see it?

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