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  • Estonia- A Baltic Tiger Today

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                                                                               The colorful Old Square in Tallinn has a storybook feeling.

    Among all the former Soviet Bloc Republic States, one of the brightest in today’s world is shiny Estonia. A Baltic state in Northern Europe that borders Latvia and Russia, it is closest in character to its neighbor across the water of Finland. I have done the short ferry trip between Finland and Estonia several times and each time I visit it seems Estonia is newer, shinier and more successful.

    Estonia is one of the smallest countries in Europe with only 1.3 million people in the country. The language is Finno-Ugric and it is very similar to Finnish. In spite of its size, Estonia has the highest gross economy of any of the former Soviet Republics and this robust economy is because of the close trading ties with its three main partners - Germany, Finland and Sweden.

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                                           The colorful wooden buildings in the old parts of towns look similar to old Russian houses.

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                                                                                A typical small farm home in Marjamaa.

    In the pictures I have taken in the Capital of Tallinn and throughout the country, I can see how interestingly they mixed the old buildings with the new shiny ones. New buildings and color are everywhere and the people know they have a future that is both free and prosperous.

    As a photographer traveling with camera in hand, I found the people in the cities and villages very approachable.  They posed for me and signed model releases freely and they also wanted to know so much from me about America.  The food, the drinks and the beautiful woman everywhere made my photography and travel a wonderful experience.  I wish more countries had warm people eager to talk and pose for photographs.

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                                                                               The new and shiny bright buildings are everywhere.

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                                                                                Beautiful woman are plentiful in Estonia 

    After so many years of Soviet domination, when the USSR started to break up in 1989 Estonia started a famous “Singing Revolution” of 2 million people -- forming a human chain stretching through Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia. It worked for these three Soviet Bloc countries as they received full independence in 1991.

    As a newly free and independent leader, Estonia forges into the future with bright prospects. If you get an opportunity to travel in the Northern Baltic States, try to schedule some time in this gem of a country with its spotless capital Tallinn. You will come back with a new appreciation of a former repressed government that now sees the future brightly.

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                                               Interesting churches in Estonia include a Russian Orthodox Church in Tallinn and an old painted one in Pernu Jaagupi.

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                                                              The most famous church in Estonia is the white Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

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                                                                      The Old Fort Tower and wall in the capital downtown

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                                                                A fast and modern ferry travels the short waters to and from Finland.