Estonia: Fatherland, Happiness, and Joy

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After many foreign occupations, this Eastern Europe country finally gained its independence in 1991, and became one of the most digitally advanced populations, having held elections over the internet since 2005 and even provided e-residency in 2014.

A blend of modernity and antiquity, its historical Old Town cobble-stone streets and charming rustic wooden windows contrast the 314 meter high TV Tower. Vanalinn, Kesklinn, and Tallinn make up the surrounding capital district with stunning landmark highlights such Kadriorg Palace (Czar Peter’s summer home for his queen Catherine), Kadriorg Art Museum, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Toompea (limestone hill with a gorgeous view of the sunset and view of the entire capital city)…

2,300 islands and islets form the shape of the country. Estonia is 50% covered by forest land with 5 national parks. Lahemaa National Park is its gem, known worldwide for beautiful landscapes and picturesque manors: Palmse, Vihul, Kolga, and Sagadi, each features unique architecture elements with painted ceilings and exquisitely carved wooden stairs.

What keeps residents’ hearts and tourists’ footprints is the unhurried way of life in Estonia and the kind spirits of its artistic culture. As the national anthem captures it: Estonia is the fatherland of happiness and joy.

Photographer Kim Bao Tran described his short encounter with Tallinn as nothing but unforgettable, where windows beckoned his curiosity of former lives and doors lured him into past tales.