2017's Final GOLD Adventure

Last Friday, we all headed up to Sheffield for our debrief weekend; the final step of our GOLD journey. We were joined by the teams from Aruba, Rwanda, and Ghana, to evaluate and share our experiences from our projects.

Saturday morning kicked off with a challenge to create a 15 minute presentation describing our project in Estonia to share with the other teams. Due to the amount of walking we had completed during our whole project (500,000 steps in total!) we decided to create a walking timeline of everything we had achieved.

After lunch, we had various activities to complete, including team debrief sessions, and time to learn about other international opportunities available to us now that we had completed GOLD. We also had time to prepare for the evening entertainment.

For our entertainment, we decided to share a game that we had played whilst with the Estonian Guides. Everyone stand in a circle linking arms, with a cushion in the middle. You then have to pull across the circle as ha…

Cheerio, not Goodbye! #DAYS 21-22

Day 21 Sunday October 1st

After we'd had another Estonian breakfast, we packed up our stuff and got the bus back to Tallinn. The journey was only 2 hours and seemed to go really fast. We got a tram to the Old Town, and then it was only a short walk to our hotel, which was just inside the town walls. The hotel was very quirky and we had been upgraded to the third floor, with windows (we had booked the cheapest rooms in the basement with no windows)! Once we’d settled in, we went out into the Old Town to find the cafe which did the amazing hot chocolates. They lived up to expectations; literally melted chocolate in hot milk. So good! We bought some last minutes gifts and snacks in Rimi and then headed back to the hotel to prep for evaluation and write thank you postcards. We then gathered up our stuff and headed back down to the bus stop where it was a short journey up the road to the EGL office. Miia greeted us, and we told her all the things we’d been doing over the last three weeks…

Pärnu and an Estonian Leisurely Stroll #DAYS 19-20

Day 19
Friday September 29th

Friday morning marked our final morning in Tartu. Sacha and Vicky were set the task of producing breakfast out of anything and everything that was left. This was a resounding success, fuelling everyone with cheese toasties ready to catch the bus to Pärnu at 1030. 2 hours and 50mins later we arrived in Pärnu. Mailiis and Reelika met us at the bus station to ferry our rucksacks to where we were going to be staying. Amy W and Sacha were allocated to Reelika (and her dog!), Amy B and Roxy were staying with a friend of Reelika around the corner, and Lauren and Vicky had a flat to themselves a couple of blocks away.
After a quick stop to drop off bags we were whisked to lunch by Mailiis, who treated us all to creamy salmon pasta (Sacha and Vicky), and fried cheese and chips (everyone else). Suitably stuffed with food, it was back on the bus again to meet some of Reelika's Guides for a discussion about the Rover programme. We spent an enjoyable hour collecti…

Tartu, Elva and Jõgeva #DAYS 13-18

Day 13
Saturday September 23rd
Saturday morning started with a lie in! We were due to get the bus to Tartu, but this wasn't until 12:45, and the bus station was just around the corner. With time on our hands, we had a leisurely morning and brunch, before slowly packing up what had been our home for 10 days.  Our bags seemed to have increased in weight since our trip and even over the short distance the weight was apparent! At the bus station, we spotted people wandering around with ice creams. Not to be left out, we quickly dumped our belongings at the stop we needed, and a quick dash into the shop rewarded us with cold treats for what had quickly developed into 18 degree heat.

We hopped onto the bus, and sat down at the front as we had been doing so with our journeys thus far. We were quickly usurped by a lady with a numbered ticket... We hadn't bargained on the bus being seat allocated and were rapidly split up, playing a game of seat bingo to try and reclaim our rightful pl…

Back to Tallinn training times #DAY 10-12

Day 10
Wednesday September 20th

Wednesday morning saw our horizons temporarily dampened.  Drizzle had crept over Tallinn overnight and we awoke to a light rain. From checking the news, we appeared to have got off lightly; the UK being battered by a storm. The drizzle lasted briefly in the morning, and not wanting to waste the day, we headed out to look around the local markets and discover more about Estonian trade and local crafts around.  We found a market selling local woolen garments, a lot of the stall holders looking quite sorry for themselves in the constant rain.  As we were wandering around, Amy B was targeted by an old Estonian lady who took her opportunity as Amy was looking at hats to plop a red furry pom pom hat onto Amy's head! As fetching as Amy looked, she wasn't particularly interested in the damp woolly creation. The lady wasn't giving up that easily though, she persisted in jabbering away in cheery Estonian at Amy, obviously hoping that the more she spoke…

The one with the tourist times and GOLD Finland! #DAYS 7-9

#DAY 7

This morning was met with a lot of optimism, and plans crammed back to back for a day of Tallinn tourism. We were up and out and back to the Old Town bright and early to make the most of the time we had to walk around. First up was St. Olav's church; the tower here was told to us by locals as having once been the tallest building in Europe... this had been struck by lightening and patched up several times, but proved a challenging walk to the top for views around the hill of Toompea and out to sea. There was a definite mist and cloud hanging over the tower due to the time of morning, however the views around us were not marred. The experience was complete with the precarious pathway around the tower itself; two planks of wood strapped to the copper, and a thin mesh barrier!

We made it down from the tower with much crossing of paths on the stairs and close contact so as not to plummet down the steep staircase. Back out in the sunshine, we headed straight to the Kiek in de Kö…