The strange man in question was the Nice German I met on my first evening in Tallinn. Long story short, as a result of making this acquaintance, I abandoned my original plan for my last day in the Baltics — a day-trip to Helsinki by ferry — in favor of exploring Estonia’s countryside, courtesy of the Nice German himself being on a road trip through northeastern Europe, and thus having a car. He also had a portable grill in that car, which meant a proper shashlyk picnic. Sold!
What was supposed to be a 45-minute drive to a recommended rest area turned into five hours of getting lost on unpaved roads, confusing the hell out of a German GPS navigator (I now know about ten words in German, and eight of them are directions for turning left or right), checking out a museum inside an abandoned estate along the way, taking two hundred photos of trees (it took the Nice German all of two days of knowing me to sarcastically remark “oh no! you missed a tree! you must make a picture!”), a bit of mushroom-hunting, almost making it all the way to the Russian border, quietly freaking out that I might have gotten into a car with a maniac and WTF was I thinking?! (as it turned out, all the while the Nice German was kind of thinking the same thing), nearly losing all hope of eating ever again, eventually discovering the most gorgeous lake in the middle of the forest (thanks to directions from dirt bike-racing Russians), and finally making the most wonderful lakeside picnic, grilled shashlyk and all.
Oh, and also I got to watch the sun set over the Baltic Sea, with Tallinn’s skyline on the horizon.
Without further ado, I present to you the stunningly beautiful and pristine Nature of Estonia, which I got to enjoy for a whole day because I was crazy enough to get into a car with a Nice German.