Estonia is a small Baltic country which borders Latvia to the South and Finland to the North. Its Western Coast borders the Baltic Sea.
In 2016 the population was an incredible 1.32 Million.
Its size is probably 1/3 of that of England but with only 1.32 Million inhabitants is very sparsely populated and I’m guessing most of those live in Tallinn.
The whole Western area of the Country is incredibly flat, and we never saw any hills what so ever.
How best to describe Estonia ……….. Take Norfolk, multiply it by 10, remove 90% of its populous and go back in time 100 years and this is the real Estonia.
It obviously suffered greatly under Soviet rule, and the language is 95% Finnish.
Farming practices are old and only small amount of Spraying was seen. Fields range from small meadows to huge plains. The Huge plains only have Common species like Lapwing and Skylark, with the occasional Raptor, whilst the small meadows appear to be more fruitful.
If you think that there is a bird sat on every tree, there isn’t. It can be hard work and like this country don’t try searching for Conifer specialities (Capercaillie etc) without help.
Owls are not possible without help and unless you are truly lucky, you’ll not see any.
Woodpeckers again, you need help but probably April time may be more productive.
The Estonians don’t appear to have much money so there are no Restaurants outside the Towns. You will have to resort to Service Stations for food. Most people speak good English so communication is easy.
There are some really nice Restaurants in Haapsalu, with a Chinese, Pizza place and the pick of the bunch, which is called “Karme Kuulik” which is the first Restaurant on the Right hand side as you enter the cobbled square. The food is excellent and for 40 Euros 2 people could have a great meal and drinks, so its relatively cheap as well as good food.
Petrol is the same number as per in the uk, but its in Euro’s not £’s, so cheaper.
Car Hire is relatively easy and cheapish. Driving on the Roads is easy as most of them are totally empty. I would advise adding a “Sat-Nav” option though as there don’t seem to be any really good road maps ( I tried Amazon etc but couldn’t find anything suitable).
The Roads are either good or Forest Tracks and sometimes you think you are going way off track, only to discover that the tarmac starts again in another 3 miles further along.
Mosquito’s are a real problem. Once the Temperature increased don’t venture into the forests on an evening or you will get eaten alive.
The Temperatures ranged from 12 – 25 Degrees C and if the wind changed the temperature responded to this, quite quickly. We had barely any rain on our 10 day stay, and the grounds and meadows were very dry, so its obviously been dry for a long period.
There is good Wi-Fi within the towns and at the Hotel.
A lot of the properties within the Countryside are Wooden, in need of modernisation and generally with asbestos roofing. Lots of adjoining sheds and barns are in a state of disrepair with roofs long since past their best.