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All posts from Estonia

A tale of two countries

Valga, EE (View on map)
Posted 4 Sep 2007:

I`m crossing the next border today, from Latvia to Estonia. I have been promised that these two countries are more different from each other than Latvia and Lithuania are. The village of Valka (Latvian) or Valga (Estonian) spreads out on both sides of the border. It `s a nice stopover on the way from Valmiera to Tartu and moreover, it seems like a perfect place to measure the Latvio-Estonian differences.... Read more


Tartu, EE (View on map)
Posted 5 Sep 2007:

I was told yesterday, by Latvians, that Estonians are slow people - however, the very same Latvians acknowledge that Estonia is 5 years ahead of Latvia in many areas. Following the example of neighbouring Finland, Estonia has heavily invested in informatics infrastructure. Wireless internet is available in the vicinity of over 1,000 registered public hotspots, located in cities, villages, bars restaurants, trains, buses and highways, you can get online wherever you want: Estonia has embraced the internet. As a logical result, papers, rubber stamps and bureaucracy have been replaced or rather, supplemented, by web-based services.... Read more

Meeting the Estonians

Tartu, EE (View on map)
Posted 6 Sep 2007:

Estonians are not known for being very talkative. I did not want to take that for a fact and tried to get them to reveal their favourite topics of conversations. And the subjects they want to avoid at all cost.... Read more

Traditions and Events

Viljandi, EE (View on map)
Posted 7 Sep 2007:

My one-day stop in Viljandi, in the centre of Estonia, is a perfect one to report about Estonian folklore. Viljandi is home to Estonia`s only Cultural Academy: a place where people can study all sorts of Performing Arts, including dance, theatre and even handicraft. It is also in the building of this academy that one of Estonia`s main folklore festivals is organised. It`s the one here in Viljandi, the city of Ancient Beat.... Read more

What visitors say

Joesuu, EE (View on map)
Posted 8 Sep 2007:

Estonia is far from being a hotspot tourist destination but many people who get here for the first time are surprised by what they find. I am talking to foreign visitors today about how they ended up in Estonia and what they think of the country.... Read more

Discovering nature

Joesuu, EE (View on map)
Posted 9 Sep 2007:

In a country as sparsely populated as Estonia - less than 30 inhabitants per square kilometre - you are bound to find a lot of open space. Nature, all there for exploring! Today, I am joining a group of Estonians on their trip through Soomaa National Park. First of all for fun, secondly to find out how much Estonians are atteched to nature. ... Read more

Regional differences

Kuressaare, EE (View on map)
Posted 10 Sep 2007:

I arrived in Estonia about a week ago, and on every one of these days, somebody `had to go to Tallinn` or somebody had actually left for Tallinn. Everything big seems to happen in Tallinn, and people may complain about having to go there, they all seem to have to every now and then. I`m on the island of Saaremaa today, psychologically speaking almost the furthest one can get from Tallinn without leaving Estonia. I am trying to find out how the different regions in Estonia compare to each other.... Read more

World Politics

Kuressaare, EE (View on map)
Posted 11 Sep 2007:

11 September 2007. Six years have passed since it became obvious that the world would not be the same place again. Terrorism, fundamentalism and their counter-variants are at the same time fighting for freedom and destroying it. Far away from the real world, I am trying to get a hold of the Estonian view on global politics. ... Read more

Estonian Language

Tallinn, EE (View on map)
Posted 12 Sep 2007:

It may not come as a surprise that the main language in Estonia is Estonian. Over one million people speak it as their first language, leaving a second place for Russian which used to be the main language of public communication until the early 1990s. Estonian is related to Finnish and, at a larger distance, Hungarian. This so called Finno-Ugric language group has very little similarities with other European languages. Today, I am hoping to learn more about the language that Estonians are so proud of.... Read more

Liberation or occupation?

Tallinn, EE (View on map)
Posted 13 Sep 2007:

Estonia does not often appear in foreign newspapers, and when it does, something serious must have been going on. Last April, the capital city Tallinn did make headlines. Russian youth groups clashed with the police over the removal of an old Soviet monument from the centre of Tallinn. The incident showed how the Estonians and the Russians, even 15 years after independence, still don`t get along with each other very well.... Read more

Cost of progress

Tallinn, EE (View on map)
Posted 14 Sep 2007:

Out of the three Baltic countries, Estonia is definitely the most developed one. Its closeness to Finland and Sweden has helped it make quick progress after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Strict monetary policies and the fanatic support to foreign investors have caused an explosion of commercial activity. EU membership in 2004 further boosted the people`s confidence in the economy. Today, I am trying to find out how people are taking advantage of their newly acquired financial freedoms. ... Read more

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