From Russia to Estonia

I drove to Estonia from Russia yesterday. The total driving time from St. Petersburg to Johvi, Estonia is about 4 hours, but the border crossing can take anywhere from an hour to 5 hours. Yesterday I made it across the border in 50 minutes. That was nice.

I’m working on Sunbeam, a day center for children with disabilities we are opening here in Estonia. You can read the latest news here. I’m helping set up some administrative items, and I’ve been building a simple website for Sunbeam.

I made a couple of videos of my drive in Russia. I’ll call them Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. First, the nice Dr. Jekyll:

And the rough Mr. Hyde. (It’s no wonder I need to get my car fixed pretty often.)

And another:

Just AFTER I made that last video, I saw a sign that said Rough Road Ahead. (!)

I’d like to point out that this is THE main federal highway from St. Petersburg into Europe.

The Road to Primorsk

Yesterday Zhenya Koltakoff and I drove from St. Petersburg north and west to the small town of Primorsk. It’s a pretty drive up the coast of the Gulf of Finland, into Karelia.

This area was a part of Finland until WWII; Koivisto is the Finnish name for the town. We visited a church, built by Finns in 1904, which is now a city meeting hall and has a small museum in one section. The church is a classic Finnish Lutheran church of the era; I really like the architecture.

First, a video of the road we drove (you’ll see the frozen Gulf of Finland at one point), then just a few pics.