Estonia 2014 – Day 2 – The City, The Guns, The Games

After a rocky night of sleep, waking up at 4…5…6..7.. I checked out at the Center hotel and headed to Lfels, stopping off at a shop along the way and buying a white(!) lion bar along with some water.

We headed out relatively late and walked towards the city again, eventually we stopped in at the solaris shopping centre to get brunch, the food court had an oddly homey feel to it, despite having an odd cafeteria feel to it. I had pork goulash with some fried potato hash thing, it was surprisingly nice.

From here we would keep walking southwest, past charles church and into the gigantic national estonian library to be impressed at the sheer scale of it.

Then, it was a bus ride and long walk to the Tondi shooting range, found in the basement of a building which was already quite out of the way. The entrance itself took us about 5 minutes to find, and lead into a very spartan setup of office area and the shooting range itself.
We sat down while we waited for the previous group to finish, when suddenly, obscenely loud gunshots. I nearly shat myself, we turned to see a pair of men firing scoped rifles down range.

Eventually, it was our turn, our ‘menu’ for the afternoon was made from the glock 17, the sig sauer P226, Taurus revolver, Beretta CX4 Storm rifle, and infamous AK-47. The trainer brought us over, gave us goggles and earmuffs, taught us some basic gun safety and then directed us towards a table full of weaponry. We started with the Beretta rifle, then the glock, then heavier sig-sauer (made completely of metal) and then the AK. The guns were all significantly larger than I had in mind, and much heavier as well, even the pistols had fair weight to them and commanded respect.

In general, the rifles were much easier to control than the pistols, with the shoulder stock and second hand taking the weight off the weapon. The pistols felt heavier and had more recoil than the rifles, with each shot throwing my arms upwards, and taking a moment to re-align my aim again. Did I mention the guns were loud? it was tolerable with the earmuffs on, but for one shot I forgot to, and I went deaf for a half second or so.

After firing all of the weapons, she tried to sell us extras, which, considering I have no way to fire guns otherwise, I took, as did L-fel.
I ended up purchasing a single round for the legendary Smith & wesson .44 Revolver, a mammoth of a handgun with an equally enormous noise and recoil. L-fel on the other hand went down a more retro route and paid for 3 shots on the Mosin-Nagan bolt action rifle (and cut himself with the recoil).

My spread on the whole was pretty good for a beginner’s I thought, with all shots hitting the target, and majority in the inner segment. it was an amazing experience, and though expensive, i’m glad I went to try it out.

My target was the left one
My target was the left one

From here we headed back to the city, the old town in particular, to finish off the segments we didn’t get to visit yesterday. a bunch of the smaller side roads which lead around the inner castle walls.
We also went to the old town square, a large clearing by a church. The square itself was surrounded by restaurants, each of these restaurants featuring their own waitresses dressed in old style, each trying to lure you in, not unsimilar to the maids in Akihabara Japan, only with a medieval twist.

Finally, we headed back to L-fels to chill out and spend the rest of the evening watching E3. Though there were of course a few hiccups, his kitchen has no baking trays for example, his toilet lock fell off when he was in there, and he ended up stuck in his own toilet for a good 5 minutes, and probably a few other bits and pieces. But for the most part, a great relaxing night watching E3, with someone I would normally watch it with, only this time, in the same room.