Estonia: Soviet Sub Base and Obligatory UNESCO-listed Old Town

Estonia was my shortest stop. Coming in at night from Latvia, the only way I could fit the schedule together was to fly out midday for Ukraine.

Tallinn 01

Tallinn Old Town

I had given up renting a car due to severe after-hour charges from the all the agencies (after hours start at 6 pm), so I planned to stay within the confines of the UNESCO-listed Old Town of Tallinn. That seemed too much like surrender, and despite lack of attractions I felt to be must-see, I still wanted to get out of the city, as I always strive to do when visiting a country. So I was delighted when the chatty reception at Hotel Braavo located a local agency with a car to hire. Hotel Braavo doubles as fitness center and spa, not the only one in Tallinn, and that deserves a post of its own.

A short sleep and I was heading to Tallinn’s suburbs for the former Soviet nuclear submarine base at Paldiski. An hour later I looked mostly in vain for dramatic Soviet remnants. Most has been picked over by looters, and areas of town are given to a new port and economic zone.

Paldiski 01

Paldiski 02

Paldiski 03

Paldiski 04

Paldiski 05

Paldiski 06

Paldiski 07

On the road back I noticed a brown scenic spot sign in Estonian that began with the word Holocausti. My GPS and guidebook made no mention of the site. I turned into the forest road to explore the sadness laying ahead.

Klooga Concentration Camp 01

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[…] a road sign that began with the word Holocausti I turned off from chasing Soviet nuclear submarines at Paldiski and wound back through echoes of sad history on the forest […]


Blog post with a cliff hanger? What happened when you turned into the forest?

Rapid Travel Chai

@Lively – it was Klooga Concentration Camp, a site of which I confess ignorance. According to Wikipedia, from September 19-22, 1944, with the Red Army approaching, the Germans evacuated, slaughtering an estimated 2,000 prisoners, with only 85 surviving or escaping. Because of the solemn nature and import of the subject I feel it best to give that a dedicated post.