Estonia

Old Sep 15th 2018, 7:54 pm
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Default Estonia

Friends in Germany tell me great things about Estonia. I hope to visit in 2019. Does anyone here have experience living there ? My motives are just to have a hholiday- and pergorm a pilgriamge to the grave pf another Fifer - Samuel Greig who founded the Imperial Russian navy under Catherine the Great.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Greig


In his time Estonia was Russian fiefdom. It gained independence in 1918 - and lost it again nin 1940.

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Old Sep 16th 2018, 12:02 am
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Default Re: Estonia

scot47 this is one of the most underrated countries in Europe, and Tallinn probably the most underrated European city. We love it. We would seriously consider moving there if the finances ever allowed it (we are not at the point of our lives where we can survive on Eastern European-level incomes).

Latvia and Lithuania are also very close by for day trips, and the three countries are all very different from each other, there is such a diversity of landscape and culture in such a short distance. Helsinki is also a 90 minute ferry ride from Tallinn. Tallinn's old town competes with any in Europe.

I would take something like 2-3 weeks and do all three countries, Estonia-Latvia-Lithuania with maybe a day trip to Helsinki. I usually encourage Americans, Australians and Canadians to be a bit different and do that instead of the beaten track.

English is hit-and-miss, if you know some Russian that is universally understood, just say "Sorry, may I speak in Russian?" first and it's all OK.
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Old Sep 16th 2018, 8:10 am
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Default Re: Estonia

My German is fluent and I can understand Russian (and Serbian) since I am a Bulgarian speaker.
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Old Sep 16th 2018, 8:24 am
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Default Re: Estonia

Definitively worth going. As mentioned it’s very underrated and easily the nicest of the Baltic states. Other than Tallinn I can recommend visiting the island of Saaremaa.
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Old Sep 16th 2018, 8:32 am
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Default Re: Estonia

Let me sort out a Dialysis Clinic for a week and I will do it !
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Old Sep 16th 2018, 9:29 am
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Default Re: Estonia

Where is your home base, I thought it was Saudi Arabia?

German won't help you in Estonia - I don't know how closely related Bulgarian and Serbian are to Russian so can't comment.

Also worth noting is that it's never been easier for most Westerners to visit Belarus. If you enter the western provinces (Grodno and Brest) overland, you get 10 days visa free, good only in those regions, and there are some great national parks and reserves there. If you fly into and out of Minsk you get 5 days visa-free. Easy enough to tack Belarus onto your itinerary and enter/exit overland through Lithuania.

So, sort the dialysis machine!
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Old Sep 16th 2018, 12:06 pm
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Default Re: Estonia

Originally Posted by carcajou
Where is your home base, I thought it was Saudi Arabia?

German won't help you in Estonia - I don't know how closely related Bulgarian and Serbian are to Russian so can't comment.

Also worth noting is that it's never been easier for most Westerners to visit Belarus. If you enter the western provinces (Grodno and Brest) overland, you get 10 days visa free, good only in those regions, and there are some great national parks and reserves there. If you fly into and out of Minsk you get 5 days visa-free. Easy enough to tack Belarus onto your itinerary and enter/exit overland through Lithuania.

So, sort the dialysis machine!
The five day visa waiver via Minsk has now been upped to 30 days. Another vastly underrated country, yet to be spoilt by Western stag and hen parties. Done two trips and planning a third!
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Old Sep 16th 2018, 6:36 pm
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Default Re: Estonia

Belarus ?
I am planning on Estonia ! And on flying there direct from my home in Scotland !

I am sure Russian and German will be useful in that part of the world. Only tabloid readers believe that English is universally spoken.

I left Saudi Arabia in 2011 and am now retired in Scotland. Travelling throughout Eastern Europe I hav found German to be a useful lingua franca. Bulgarian is close to both Serbian and Russian. The three languages have a high quotient of mutual inteeligibility.

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Old Sep 16th 2018, 7:04 pm
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Default Re: Estonia

Still baffled by the introduction of Minsk and Belarus.


https://geology.com/world/europe-satellite-image.shtml


and here is what Wikipedia has to say on the role of German as a Lingua Franca

German served as a lingua franca in large portions of Europe for centuries, mainly the Holy Roman Empire outside of the sphere of influence of the Hanseatic League, which used Low German.

Previously one of the official languages of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, German remained an important second language in much of Central and Eastern Europe long after the dissolution of that empire after World War I. Today, although to a much diminished degree after World War II, it is still the most common second language in some of the countries in the region like Slovenia (45% of the population), Croatia (34%),[30] the Czech Republic (31%) and Slovakia (28%). In others, it is also known by significant numbers of the population (in Poland by 18%, in Hungary by 16%).

World War II and its following resettlements during 1945-1950 had a disastrous effect on the use of the German language in Central and Eastern Europe, where it was often suppressed and eventually dropped as a lingua franca by the mid-to-late 20th century.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, German was a prerequisite language for scientists. Despite the anti-German sentiment after World War I and World War II, it remains a widespread language among scientists.

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Old Sep 23rd 2018, 2:12 pm
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Default Re: Estonia

Dialysis Clinic in Tallinn says that I can go. I will, by the Grace of God, in 2019. And explore this music -
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Old Sep 24th 2018, 12:03 am
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Default Re: Estonia

Raving about Estonia to a friend and after 4 minutes he threw me off my striude with the question, "Where is this place ?" I despair
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Old Sep 24th 2018, 12:45 am
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Default Re: Estonia

Advise him to watch the film "Encino Man."
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Old Sep 24th 2018, 3:08 am
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Default Re: Estonia

As with 80% of the population of the State of UKANIA also known as AIRSTRIP ONE he never goes to the cinema and knows nothing of this Artform.
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Old Sep 28th 2018, 4:32 am
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Default Re: Estonia

Originally Posted by carcajou
English is hit-and-miss, if you know some Russian that is universally understood, just say "Sorry, may I speak in Russian?" first and it's all OK.
Off topic - although there's plenty of that on this thread, and why not? - but I'm reminded of travelling from south to north through Eastern Europe back in the '60s in places where the only foreign language understood was German - and that, not always well. I could speak some pathetic pidgin-German, and I always began a conversation with the words (in German) "I am English, but I speak a little German". To speak in German (however wretched) without that introduction, might have been suicidal, bringing up memories of German occupation!
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Old Sep 28th 2018, 4:45 am
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Default Re: Estonia

That was still the case in 1991 when I first went to Bulgaria. You could use German a lot more often than you could English.
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