I have written about Kihnu Island for a while. So this issue is about Estonia.
From the story of Kihnu, you can guess Estonia is a kind of slow life country.
But contrary to that, Estonia is one of advanced IT countries. Free Wi-fi
is widely cover the city, not only indoor facilities but also in a park
and public transportation.
Thoroughly no cash economy by using a charge card or e-money. Public service
is generally onlined. I heard the situation of IT has been dramatically
improved for the last 10 years. I saw old people some time to hesitate
to use the online bus ticket reservation terminal. Yeah, me too. It's still
more simple to buy a ticket at the counter than online.
Estonia highly aware of environment. Cities or public spaces are clean
up, no litters at all. Trash box is settled even in woods. The separate
collection system of waste is established. A town has air of neat and secure.
There is no excitement of danger of the city. But you must feel so easy
to stay there. That's the reason why Estonia is popular destination for
The price level is much lower than the Scandinavia. Lower than the west
Europe. It's slightly lower than Japan. Whereas you can get much higher
quality service and contents for the same price in Estonia.
( I wrote "Estonia's economic level in the EU members was on the upper
middle from balance for the EU. However the financial contribution to EU
is still few percent at this moment. I correct it)
The country apart from the post war Russian control in 1991. Then it took
part in the EU in 2004. Estonia has been grown up quickly. Meanwhile I
saw the TV documentary about Estonian young who goes to London to get a
job. It's still necessary for Estonian to go to another country to make
About 30% of the population is Russian. Nevertheless I've not felt the air of Soviet Union. There must be several reason. Because I don't hear the Russian so much. Because all street sign is written in Estonian. That's a big difference from Latvia or Ukraine, the countries I know. I remember a nostalgic "CCCP Cafe" was in trend in Berlin. But here, it seems like people doesn't want to look back the Soviet days.
I heard Estonian language is close to Finnish, Japanese and Hungarian.
For Finnish, I cannot say anything because I don't know the language. For
Japanese, Umm ... maybe the grammar and clear sound? For me, some how a
name of place in Estonian sounds like Japan's Ainu people origin place
name in northern Japan. So how about the resemblance to Hungarian language?
Estonian itself it's quite strange the resemblance of both languages. Is
In the face of Estonian people Finnish and Russian elements are co-existing. It's all my impression.
As my conclusion 'Estonia is close to Finland', in the geographic of course, people, wooden house and sauna culture ... So If you ask me "How is the Estonia?", I simply answer "Finland alike". Although I've never been to Finland. Actually Estonia takes after Finland in many aspect. It's an excellent text book. It must lead them to the right direction. But at the same time the text book is in really high level to execute.
Finally I'll mention of Estonian architecture. Old towns are generally
well preserved. It includes both traditional wooden house and a concrete
made building of Soviet era. I talked to a colorful wooden house owner
"It's really beautiful house, uh?" " Oh, Thanks" She
smiled in pride.
Of course Estonian architecture has modern and avant-garde design too.
The good point of Estonian architecture is well thought of matching to
the surroundings. They never make a chaotic landscape like Tokyo.
The architecture that I was impressed after seeing old wooden houses was
the modern "Hedon Spa and Hotel". With watching the photo I noticed
it's consist of consecutive combination of doglegged line and the reversed
dogleg. Dozens of columns fill between them. Quite modern but it never
interfere the surrounding woods.
" Hedon Hotel " Parnu, Estonia 2016