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Home Page > Travelogues > Estonia (a.k.a. Eesti)

Quick Access for this Page -- [ Introduction ] [ Travelogues and Features ] [ Links ]

Click on the colored areas of the map to access a travelogue.  The colors indicate different regions of the Estonia -- scroll down for explanation and introduction for each location. (Original map comes from the CIA World Factbook)

IntroductionI traveled to Estonia once for the purpose of watching the Czech RepublicEuroVision 2002 Song Contest in May of that year.  Knowing that the capital city of Tallinn was among the best  preserved medieval cities in Europe and that the contest was Estonia's first showcase event as an independent post-Soviet republic, I figured the Estonians were going to put on a world-class event.  And sure enough, they did -- it was a great time, and my first real chance to watch an live international television show.

What I found was much of what I expected, a young nation progressing rapidly but with a long ways to go to shed its Communist image.  It was the first post-Communist country to meet the standards for admission into the European Union.  The center of downtown Tallinn was beautiful and clean, but the outskirts were still badly run down.  The taxis were a mix of brand new Mercedes and old beaten aluminum-can cars.  The street cars were vintage 1940s, or at least they looked and rode that way, along tracks that hadn't been well maintained.  One sign of progress was in telecommunications, as Estonia boasts the greatest number of internet connections per capita.  

I hoped to visit other parts of the country, but didn't have the chance, so my "list" for Estonia is pretty long.  The southeastern city of Varnu came highly recommended, as did the two islands just off the western coast.  

Travelogues and Features.    

RED:  TALLINN.  The city of Tallinn is a famous old Hanseatic port city sitting across the Baltic Sea from Helsinki.  It is among the best-preserved medieval downtowns around, if View of Old Tallinnnot the best.  The ancient city wall (shown) is virtually intact with all its towers, the castles and Orthodox cathedrals are brilliant, and the old market square is captivating.  Meanwhile, the Pirita district along the coastline further north had a number of important historical sites -- the National Museum, the city harbor, and the stadium where a major demonstration took place that brought about the fervor of independence during the 1980s. FEATURE:  The EuroVision 2002 Song Contest held in Tallinn.  Read my experiences at Europe's most famous (and reviled) popular music contest, Tallinn Town Hall with EuroVision Song Contest shown live watched annually by 50 million people across the continent!  In 2002 it was held in Tallinn based on Estonia winning the contest in 2001.  It was fantastic! The city was decked out for the event as it welcomed the hundreds of visitors from across Europe, and watching a live broadcast of an event where the votes are cast by a Europe-wide video teleconference was fascinating.

LinksThe below links connect you to external sites in a new window.  All links are official sites sanctioned by the national, state, or local governments unless otherwise indicated.  These links will open to the Estonian-language home page, which will offer an icon or link to an English-language section (normally limited content).  If an English language link is not available, click on the "Tourismus" section.  This is for the tourism page, which should have English content available.  Links updated 30 December 2005.

Country Links:

bulletEstonia National Tourism Bureau
bullet US Embassy to Estonia
bullet US Consular Information Sheet about Estonia 
bullet Estonia's Embassy to US 

 

City and Town Links:

bullet

Tallinn Tourism Page

bullet

Pirita Home Page (Estonian only)

 

   
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