Estonia: June 9 – 12, 2019
The history of Estonia was a real eye opener for us. We learned so much and continue to, as we visit the neighbouring countries of Latvia and Lithuania.
The territory of Estonia consists of a mainland and 2,222 islands in the Baltic Sea. 67% of Estonian citizens speak Estonian as their native language, 30% Russian, and 3% speak other languages. The most typical foods in Estonia are black bread, pork, potatoes, and dairy products.
Since 1869 Estonia has had a tradition of Song Festivals which continue today. Every 5 years over 110,000 people attend what are considered to be the largest amateur choral events in the world. 30,000 singers perform for an audience of 80,000. We visited the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds on our tour. Our local guide, an Estonian woman in her late 70’s, was clearly emotional and passionate as she described this event. During our bus ride, we were treated to a heart wrenching video called ‘The Singing Revolution’. It’s a powerful story of what the people of Estonia endured and achieved and the important role their singing played in their independence! Here’s a short trailer if you care to watch…
Estonia has endured a long history of unrest with continuous invasions by Germany and other countries but primarily The Soviet. Estonia was (illegally) occupied by the Soviet Union for 48 years. But in 1988 some courageous Estonian’s began forming several political movements and started demanding their independence. Over the next two years, almost all other Soviet Republics followed Estonia’s demands for independence. On 23 August 1989, 2 million Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians joined hands and formed a human chain across the three republics as a peaceful demonstration – 675 kilometres long!
The tiny county continued its power struggle and finally, Estonia was able to declare restoration of independence on August 20 1991, followed by The Soviet recognition days later. In December of the same year, the Soviet Union disintegrated into fifteen separate countries. The world watched in amazement!
The Old Town of Tallinn – the red roof tops are always lovely
Alexander Nevsky Russian Orthodox Cathedral built in the style of a 17th century Moscow church.
Peter the Great’s Kadriorg Palace and Royal Gardens
The Canadian Embassy – the door was locked when we tried to go for a visit. Pretty sure we are on video though! LOL
We loved Tallinn!
See you soon as we explore Latvia!