Short day-trip to a neighbour country Aug 31, 2011
If you live in Saint-Petersburg and want to go abroad, you have two choices - Finland or Estonia. Due to visa issues, Finland is more preferable, but as you've got a Schengen multivisa, you can visit Estonia once or twice.
So, on the early morning, me and my friend took a bus to Ivangorod, Russian part of Ivangorod/Narva double-city. My friend had a camera, so he used the main checkpoint. I didn't carry a bag or something, so I used the second, pedestrian-only checkpoint for Russians and Estonians only, where you can't carry anything like bag with you.
I crossed the border, and realized that that part of Narva looks exactly like an average Russian town, except for currency, street names and cleanliness. Even prices are just like in Russia.
I took some walk, but eventually I took a taxi to the main checkpoint (it costs 1.5 Euro). After and hour and a half, my friend finally crossed the border. We bought some souvenirs, he bought some Euros, and we started roaming around. Eventually, we realized that finding an Estonian (except for customs, border control and police officers) is going to be a problem. We walked around the Narva Castle, that took a walk in the town. We found lots of old Volvo cars - I think that was something like Finnish (?) Volvo club.
After that, we visited Northern Yard of Narva Castle. That's the part which shows you the life of Estonian people in the past. Russian woman on the entrance thought we were Germans at first, I don't know why.
Ticket costs 5 euros, you can visit Northern Yard and get a coin, which you can use to buy you a souvenir, or, for example a beer or cider in local drug store. We chose the cider.. and that was the only place where we found Estonians. Young man working there was Estonian, and there were some friends with him.
We visited everything in the Northern Yard, became exhausted, and got home.
In general, Narva is a small, but interesting and near-Russian town. You can visit it if you live in Saint-Petersburg or are taking a trip somewhere close to this town.
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