Cheerio, not Goodbye! #DAYS 21-22
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. Maila and Kirke turned up a bit later and then we went through our ups and downs of each project activity and asked for their feedback and suggestions for next year. Then Maria rang in and we showed them the Rover programme we’d come up with, which they were very enthusiastic about! After the business, Maila brought out a huge cake and canapes and we tucked in. She also then gave us our own EGL branded sunglasses, which she’d had made especially for us when she saw how much we liked sunglasses! We gave everyone our gifts, which they were very happy with and then we got stuck into buying EGL merchandise. Unfortunately noone was able to come out to dinner with us, but we went back to the hotel to get changed and headed to the restaurant Maila had recommended to us. It was unsurprisingly full so we went to one of the tourist places in the Town Square. We sat outside under heaters and blankets, which was lovely. Pretty tired by now, we headed back to the hotel where we gathered for our last trash and treasure together, and then had a final game of Fluxx for old time's sake!
Monday October 2nd
We went down for breakfast at the hotel, before heading out to meet Maila and Miia for a second breakfast! They took us to a very cute cafe off the Town Square, which we had mean to go to, but hadn’t got round to it. They very kindly bought us all coffee and a pastry and we enjoyed a relaxed hour chatting and reflecting on our the last three weeks. We finally learnt about Sauna etiquette and why there were so many leaves in it (you use bunches of leaves to beat dead skin off). When we finally had to leave, Miia very symbolically blew the candle out on our table and we were all near to tears when we hugged goodbye. We went back to our hotel to pick up our stuff and walk the 1km to the tram stop. We got on the tram at 10:20, which only gave us 1hr40 until our flight left! Check-in and security only took 7 minutes though (the airport is very small!), so we were safely through with plenty of time. Amy B bought us all lunch for the flight and then we headed off to the gate. At this point Amy W and Roxy were called back on the tannoy to security. The rest of us headed onward though and the rest of us didn’t know whether to continue or wait! We got on the plane and still had no idea if they would make it or not… Sacha's stress levels were pretty high until they legged it onto the plane with 5 minutes to spare. PHEW! They both had battery packs in their hold luggage which needed moving to hand luggage. When we got back to Stansted, we posed for a final selfie in the arrivals hall before saying goodbye and all going our separate ways. It was very strange being by yourself for the first time in over three weeks, but we're already looking forward to debrief in seven weeks, when we will meet up again with three of the other GOLD teams to reflect back on our year and what we've achieved.