Make no mistake: we may call Estonia a “Baltic” state (see Region Map
), but this is not how the “Balts”
see themselves. To start with, they see important differences between themselves. The history is different,
and so is the culture, and the language. In the case of Estonian, it is very close to Finnish, so close in fact
that a Finn can make himself understood perfectly well in Estonia. Given further that Tallinn - the capital of
Estonia - is only some 60 km away from Helsinki, it will not come as a surprise to see half of Estonian business firmly in Finnish hands by now.
If the “Baltic” states have anything in common, it will be that they will consider themselves “Nordic” states (nevermind that Norwegians,
Swedes, Finns and Danes see little commonality between themselves except geographical closeness). The main trade route available to Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania to the West is by ferry - to Sweden and
Finland, mostly. Evidently, since they try to gain some distance from the Russian bear, Belarus is currently a basketcase, and they don’t want to drive lorries through Poland.
Tallinn has a very attractive Old Town, which had obviously been spared both the ravages of war and Soviet town planning...