I recently had a brand new experience out here in Stockholm, a booze cruise. I had heard of these mystical and magical events but never for one minute did I think that I would be on one let alone need to be on one with such a burning passion.
Being a typical Irish person immersed in the culture to a near stereotypical level since a young child, it was quite a change for me to move to country where the government control the alcohol industry with such strict guidelines that it is near impossible to have a few quite drinks with friends and a whole other story to paint the town red as it were. All alcoholic beverages over a 3.5% proof are sold in these government owned stores where the taxes are high in the hopes of steaming alcoholism. Well let me tell you only for the booze cruise companies Sweden would be a very sober country.
I was given the opportunity to travel to the capital of Estonia, Tallinn, on one of these infamous booze cruises. I was told there would be all night partying on the boat and cheap alcohol in Tallinn to bring home to Stockholm. There was also the chance to see another city. We set off in the early evening and excitement was running high.
The ship was huge and included a cabaret and night club that was open until the early morning. The duty-free shop on the boat was also quite reasonable and a great Friday night was had by all. We drank and were merry, mischief ensued but no damages were caused. We docked in Tallinn at the early hour of 10am on Saturday morning.
The city left a lot to the imagination. It is quite an ugly industrial city in parts and their statues are interesting to say the least. The below picture may look like harmless art but believe me the eyes are not something you would like to see everyday.
Tallinn’s medieval old town is beautiful though and the snow just made it look more amazing. Many buildings had candles outdoors at the old winding alleys and there are people on every street dressed in traditional medieval costumns. You could probable comfortably see the whole city in a couple of hours but sightseeing was not the primary reason that I ventured to the Estonian city.
After seeing the wonderful old town and getting a gorgeous dinner for cheaper than you ever would in Ireland we ventured back towards the boat to complete our mission. There is a giant cash & carry near the docks of Tallinn called ‘SuperAlko’ which was our intended location.
It is a giant warehouse stocked to the ceiling with as much alcohol as you can imagine! It is every Irish persons dream, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. We wandered around the establishment in wonder and awe and bought more than we could carry but it was a highly successful trip. The boat back was not as eventful as the trip there I must admit as everyone was tired but that I guess is just old age creeping up on us.
This trip was not only about saving money that students (like me) are so desperately short of but it also opened my mind as to how other cultures live.