The Baltic States

Why not try this little game…

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Before you read any further, just for a moment, picture in your head the map of Europe. I’m sure that you know it well and that you’ll be able to pick out all the big countries, Germany, France and Spain. Italy is easy to spot isn’t it? It looks just like a high-heeled boot, and of course the United Kimgdom and Ireland are the islands just off the mainland. But here’s the big question… Can you put the Baltic States on the map? You get major brownie points if you can, but I suspect that many of you might not be able to. So let’s start with a quick introduction to the Baltic States.

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Three States!

There are actually three Baltic States, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Compared to the rest of Europe, they are small countries, and – no surprise here – they border the Baltic Sea, which lies just below Scandinavia and Finland. In fact, if you put your finger on the southern point of Finland and drew a line straight down to the south, you’d go straight through all three countries, one after the other.

If like me you have difficulties remembering which Baltic State is which, remember this handy clue: they are in alphabetical order from north to south, so Estonia in the north, then Latvia and finally Lithuania in the south.

Baltic Borders

As you can see from the map above, Estonia and Latvia share borders with Russia on the east, while Latvia and Lithuania both share borders with Belarus.  Of course they all border the Baltic Sea, that goes with the name 🙂

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There is one more border to consider – and it is that of Lithuania with Russia. How is that possible, I hear you ask. Well, the area called Kaliningrad, to the west of Lithuania, is still part of Russia, although it is completely separated from ‘the mother country’. To the south of Lithuania lies the mighty Poland (which is so big that it would neatly fit all three Baltic States!) and further to the west lies Germany.

So now you know where to find the Baltic States, but do you know anything about them? Well, maybe it is time you did, so let’s find out a bit more.

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After all, this is the land of Crusaders and Knights, fairytales and folklore, and mystery and music.

Your first question might be, why three small countries, surrounded by such big neighbours. Why not one bigger country? The answer to that is quite simple. Although they share a huge amount of their history, they are really three very different countries, with their own language and their own culture.  So let’s explore.

This is a sample text taken from the introduction to ‘My Travel Kit for the Baltic States’.  If you would like more information please contact me.