Baltic countries are situated in Northern Europe on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea. The countries are Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. After the Second World War they were part of the Soviet Union, but have again been independent from the year 1991.
Besides one of the Baltic countries Estonia (the Republic of Estonia) is an important neighbor country of Finland. Finland and Estonia are both situated on the coast of the Gulf of Finland. Finland on the north and Estonia on the south side. Many of these impressions from Estonia are results of boat trips to Estonian coasts and islands.
Naissaar is an island about 8.5 kilometers northwest from Tallinn. It is 8 kilometerss long and 3.5 kilometers wide. There are three villages on the island: Lõunaküla (Storbyn), Tagaküla (Bakbyn) and Väikeheinamaa (Lillängin). Before the war the population of the island was mainly Estonian-Swedish origin. On Soviet time the island was a military area and closed for outsiders.
In 1991 the island became demilitarized and 1995 it became a nature reserve and tourist destination. Before opening Estonia had to gather and destroy thousands of dangerous mines. The remains of the Mine factory, the buildings and structures where big marine mines were constructed, are still there. You can still see big empty marine mine shells all over the island. They are not dangerous but gives an exiting surplus for this interesting place.
Prangli is an Estonian island in the Gulf of Finland. During Soviet times it formulated so called Iron Curtain because it situated just between Finland and Estonia. Prangli has diverse and untouched nature. There are pine forests, coastal meadows, juniper fields and lonely sand beaches.
Its main village and harbor is Kelnase. In Kelnase you can see old open-top soviet trucks, jeeps and other very old cars, which are legal only on some Estonian islands due to the special “small island law”. Local householders organize willingly small trips around the island. A curious tourist can see for instance unique natural-gas grill, rough and simple but beautiful St. Laurentius Church or special underground sauna.
Pakri Islands are two Estonian islands in the Finnish Gulf. The bigger is called Suur-Pakri and smaller Väike-Pakri. Administratively they belong to the town of Paldiski, which is situated about three kilometers from the islands. Like Naissaar the Pakri Islands have been inhabited by Estonian Swedes for centuries but during the Second World War the population was forced to escape.
After that the islands were restricted only for military purposes. That’s why the islands appear to be nowadays almost untouched. There are no roads or similar marks about man made civilization but much free nature, birds and other animals. Only few local inhabitant take care of bull cattle. Even some kind of common harbor is lacking. Empty bomb wrecks reminds from the past. I can by my heart recommend for all curious tourists and nature lovers.
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