Thursday, June 25, 2015


Narva ... the Estonian city on the border with Russia.  Here's an interesting article about the place, with enough context to help non-Estonians understand just why they find the Russian threat so real.

I've visited Narva several times, and also driven from Narva through Russia to St. Petersburg (once with an Estonian friend, another time by myself).  I've also spent a number of days along the northern Estonian coastline (along the Baltic Sea), in every season.  It's quite a beautiful place, most especially in the spring.  There's a lot of good hiking in the area, which might surprise you if you casually inspected a map.  I can attest to the Narva area being nearly 100% Russian.  The character of the area is far more like Russia itself than the rest of Estonia is.  With apologies to my Russian friends, that's not a good thing.  What you notice immediately upon entering an all-Russian area is the trash along the roadside.  The Russians are the worst litterers I've ever run into.  One summer I hiked for about an hour along a river near Narva, as it approached the Baltic Sea.  When I walked out of the forest and onto the pebble beach, I was surrounded by an awesome display of Russian flesh – a large number of Russian adults were stretched out on the beach, some wore bathing attire; many did not.  The average weight of those people was pushing 300 pounds.  The rotundity was quite impressive.  Bottles of vodka were everywhere.  Snores filled the air.  This is one of my most lasting memories of Narva :)

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