More Estonia Photos
These are photos that tourists usually dont see.



As 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 facility!