Thousands of people had been gathering through Thursday evening on both sides of the border in Valka, Latvia and Valga, Estonia, awaiting the historic moment.
"Today, we the leaders of two towns stand on the border of Latvia and Estonia," Valka's mayor Unda Ozolina told the crowd minutes before midnight. "This is the moment when Valga and Valka will really start living as one town."
Cameras flashed as the gates went up and people trickled into the border area from Latvia and Estonia. People cheered and clapped as two streams began to merge into a large crowd on the border.
"Good evening, Estonia," one young Latvian man yelled in the crowd crossing the border.
Zitat aus EARTHtimes.
Ein Kanadier aus Finnland hat sich extra auf den Weg dorthin gemacht und war zur eigenen Überraschung einer der letzten, die nach alter Rechtslage die Grenze überschritten: § Valga - Valka : 1 linn, 2 riiki - 1 pilsēta, 2 valstis
Von Martin-Éric Racine
Upon returning to the border, just minutes before midnight, I found myself in the middle of a huge crowd of villagers, police officers, border guards and politicians from both countries - barely getting noticed by anyone. I handed my passport to an Estonian border guard who emotionally commented to a civilian friend of his nearby that, "Wow! That was the last one!", handing me my passport back just as the midnight bells rang and the mayor of the Estonian side started his speech amidst pyrotechnics lining the road.
Larko im Rückblick auf seine früheren Grenzerlebnisse: Valga/Valka twin town.
Aleks von All about Latvia war in Valka und Tallinn: Schengen in Tallinn