At home in Estonia


A home away from home.

When you have been on the road for a while there is nothing you appreciate more than a place to rest, relax and refuel. This can be very difficult if you are constantly on the go or staying in cheap accommodation, such as busy hostels, where the comfort of a squeaky bed bunk and the company of 12+ strangers sharing your room can be the furthest possible thing from relaxing. After a month on the road I found myself in Estonia in the little university town of Tartu. It was here without realising it that I first hit a wall and realised I was exhausted. I had picked Terviseks because of its fantastic location, great price and creature comfort of included breakfast. But what I got was so much more! With only 10 beds this hostel is a cozy place to call home as you make yourself at home!

I arrived very early in the morning on a bus from Tallinn, Estonia’s capital, and was immediately welcomed inside and told to make myself at home, starting with breakfast which was waiting for me to help myself to in the kitchen. I had every intention of going and exploring Tartu during the day. But as the hours passed I soon realised that this was the perfect place to refuel and actually just take a load off, giving myself my first break in over a month! The hostel – which is really a large flat – has a lovely quiet lounge room furnished with couches and a coffee table. Large windows directly overlooking the town square provide plenty of light to the lounge room and kitchen which are separated only by a breakfast bar in the otherwise open plan room. The best part is yet to come…there are no bunk beds! It might sound strange to be excited about the prospect of no bunk beds but anyone who has backpacked for an extended period of time and frequented hostel dorm rooms will share my excitement at the lack of a squeaky ladder, or being woken up by the person above or beneath you as they climb into bed and wriggle around getting comfortable, or the multiple trips up and down the ladder to go to the bathroom, or to go and get something you left at either the bottom or the top..and don’t get me started on trying to make your bunk bed! and above all let’s hope neither occupant has company!! No. Instead, there were four poster single beds you could sit straight down on. All with plenty of space under and around to put your bags.

I immediately regretted pre-booking the next stage of my travel, instead wishing I could stay, relax and enjoy Tartu and this place for a few more days. I spent the majority of the first day (hours before check in time which was a non-issue) on the couch making myself multiple cups of tea and recharging my electronics whilst I enjoyed faultless wifi, free breakfast and fresh air streaming through the sunny window. I finally left the hostel later in the afternoon to explore the small town which was all easily walkable from the hostel’s central location. As it was the middle of summer and the students were on break the town was incredibly quiet! Another ideal factor! I explored the small town, wandering the streets, climbing the church tower and exploring the old cathedral ruins and museum located in the park up on the hill.

Including Tartu in my itinerary was a fantastic decision. Even though there really wasn’t much to do there, which was precisely the beauty of it. I will definitely be returning to this fantastic hostel! I can not recommend staying here enough. Even going as far as to say go to Tartu just to see the cathedral ruins and spend a night here at the hostel, you won’t regret it!!

For more information visit the hostel’s website here .

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