Down By the River

You know that saying that goes “you will never step into the same river twice”? Well, I’ve found that to be true for the Narva River. The banks of the river is the prime hang out spot for the locals. Many enjoy a nice stroll, picnic, or drink next to the beautiful waters that separate Estonia and Russia. One may also meet the most interesting people down on the shore.

I usually take the river trail as my choice route when I go running. Somehow, I also seem to have something crazy happen to me. One instance, I was swinging on the pull-up bar and a very nice babyshka came up to me and told me I was doing a good job and that I should be a gymnast. I also had a couple little boys build a tree branch barricade across the trail so I couldn’t pass. But my favorite story happened just a couple days ago.

I had just ran to the end of the trail and was coming back when I stopped to admire the Russian and Estonian fortresses. I was standing on a rock on the bank of the river watching the cars go across the bridge between the two countries when I heard a voice behind me. I turned around to see a stark naked man who had just gotten out from swimming in the river. He asked me if I was a police and I told him no. Then, no joke, he asked me “можно познакомтесь”. Don’t worry Susan, I responded with my most firm “нет” and it seemed to do the trick. He also asked me if I wanted to get something to eat because “You’re in Estonia and you have to eat!” but then his son came up and they left – after he put his clothes on, thank goodness.

No matter where you go in Narva, I am sure you will run into some interesting people. But you’ll be SURE to find them all down by the river.

– Chandler Alston –


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