Spying on Russia

There is more to Estonia than just Tallinn or at least that was our premise, so we searched through lonely planet for tips on other places to visit. Shunning both beaches and national parks (we’ve seen plenty of that already) we finally opted for the rather small but supposedly interesting city Narva in the far east of the country.

We caught one of many buses in the morning and got here in roughly three hours, not bad compared to travel opportunities to smaller towns in the other two Baltic states. The main attraction here is that the town borders on Russia, separated only by the Narva river – for people with Visas, the Russian city Ivanogrod is reachable by a foot across the friendship bridge. Looming over the bridge are two castles, on in each country, each flying a fag proudly proclaiming which nation yu are in. It is just really cool to see these two medieval castles standing guard over a bridge.

Russia on the right, Estonia on the left, Yini in the middle

Other than that, the rest of the bastions, old churches and such are not that special, sure they are nice but any east european old town can easily match them. Having walked around in the sun, looking at old buildings we went back to our hotel, grabbed some swimming gear and headed down to the river. There is a small lagoon, protected by a tree-clad islet a short distance from the bridge where it is possible to frolic in the water without being swept away by the rather strong current of the Narva. We stayed there the entire afternoon, relaxing in the sun and going for a dip in the chilly water.

The lagoon with broccoli trees in the background

Nearing dinner town we ventured inland to a shopping mall and stumbled across a shop that looked much like a camping shop but they had an impressive amount of fire arms behind the counter. The clerk explained that carrying a gun in pubic is allowed if you have a licenses and many people have shooting as a hobby, interesting and slightly scary.

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