More Estonia Photos
These are photos that tourists usually dont see.
I was leaving Tartu and got on Rt2, I picked up this hitch-hiker. I'm
well aware that young girls hitch-hike long distance all over Estonia.
She gets in, and as she does I ask her if she speaks English (
naturally she does ) but seems a little surprised to be riding with a
non native. I ask her were she was going and she said "just this side
of Tallinn". Well... that's a two hour trip, (but where I was headed
also) I enjoyed her company very much, because like most Estonian
girls I've talked to, she was extremely bright. Spoke 4 languages and
her mother was a physician. Did I tell you she was only 15?
We stopped for gas and it was raining a bit. I asked
if I could take her picture. This is what's so funny: This girl had
been oh so serious for
an hour during our conversation. She answered all my political and
cultural questions with ease. But when I pointed the camera at her, she
turned into the biggest girly girl you ever saw. Most Estonian
and Russian girls love the camera. She posed and she flirted with that
camera like she'd been doing it for a long time. I asked her where she
learned to do that. She said that Americam music was a big
factor, and so was things English. Anyway... I found her to be charming, to say the least. And
the two hours spent with her really helped pass the long drive.
The airport you see above was home to the 132nd Heavy
Bomber Aviation Regiment, and it was so top secret that Tartu was closed
to the outer world for the next 50 years until Estonia gained their
independence. It was even forbidden to say the name of the base out loud. The base
had Tu-16 and Tu-22M nuclear weapons carriers. (TU-22M (Backfire) strategic
bombers and was considered one of the top major threats to the United
States. The funny thing is that during all of my stays in Estonia,
I was within sight of this Base but couldnt see it due to the tree line. It had the longest runway
in Europe during it's time and supported some very nasty weapons. My friend Kadri grew-up within site
of the runway and remember the bombers flying daily. I have many photos of this facility but will only
post these few.
TU-22M (Backfire) strategic bomber
As you can see by this old Google scan... this was one huge