Breaking the ice – Estonia comes in from the cold

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Tartu’s year as a European capital of culture shines a spotlight on this creative and youthful city and its love of street art, folklore and nature

“First we have to cross the icebergs,” our guide, Herling Mesi, says, pointing to a barely visible ridge on the otherwise flat expanse of frozen lake.

She is worried that a patch of broken ice won’t take the weight of the truck with all its passengers, so we climb out, walk over the slushy chunks, then hop back in. As with many vehicles from the Soviet era, the truck is a homemade mashup of whatever parts were available: the front of an old VW welded to a trailer, with giant bouncy wheels taken from Russian bomber planes.

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