There are some proactive options for reinventing Narva, too, most of them artificial, like moving a ministry here and a) subsidizing the move for public servants or b) launching a bullet commuter train from Tallinn. Or building an amusement park/resort complex.
As for building on existing features, the Kreenholm district, visited on the last day, has potential. If the factory ever goes out of business, and leaving aside the impact this would have on the local economy (people would probably absorb the blow stoically), I know a bunch of artists who would like to live there. With its brick architecture, the area looks a little like a college campus. This is the main building:
Indeed people are already taking steps in the direction of breathing new life into the tsarist-era buildings:
I wish they could stick one of those Reconstructed WIth EU Funds signs in front of this manor in Narva-Jõesuu, though:
I'll do the final instalment of the NE tour -- all you ever wanted to know about oil shale --a little bit later.
Roads are extraordinarily bad this year with the temperature fluctuating around zero. The bus ride back west was rough and long. The only domestic train to Tallinn is early in the morning. Just about every time the bus stopped, though, I was able to pick up WiFi. Even in Aseri.
The situation with truckers waiting in line at the border is a little better than it was in the summer. The last truck parked on the side of the road was at Vodava -- a line-up of only 10 km or so.