Another 4-hour bus ride and I was in Estonia!
The view of the open road to Tallinn.
This time, instead of staying in the city, I joined 4 friends from Vilnius to explore areas to the west, especially the site of an underwater prison (e.g. it had been abandoned and then flooded). It ended up being one of the best experiences of the trip so far.
An old, charred guard tower.
The prison that we would later swim to.
Tallinn itself was nice, although the old town is super touristy with cruise ships flooding tens of thousands of people in daily.
There was a folk music festival going on in the old town! Note especially the pictures of the country in front of and behind the stage.
Estonia doesn’t want to be known as Finland’s cheap liquor source, but as these three travelers show that reputation is hard to shake…
Estonians protest the Russian seizure of Crimea. It’s a very personal issue to many because Russia could also take parts of Estonia, given there are also many ethnic Russians in the country.
Music is a huge part of culture and nationalism for Estonians. During the Song Festival held every 5 years, a choir of 30,000 sings to a crowd of more than 80,000. The revolution against Russia in 1987-91 was coined the Singing Revolution because of the use of nationalistic songs in demonstrations.
How I feel when I see tourists…
Four cruise ships! And they wouldn’t even let me get anywhere close to them…
The Russian market at the train station is not a good place to practice Estonian, because many don’t speak it. But it is a place for cheap clothes and food.
This picture is both comical and telling. It’s funny that Estonia is already commemorating its 500th anniversary, but also strikes a serious note because it wants to establish itself as an independent country after so many years of Russian rule. In fact, surviving 400 more years could prove to be a challenge in itself.