The undiscovered Baltic countries—Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania—prove at least two things. Never underestimate the human ability to create change, and that a country’s history is often discovered in its songs. Indeed, music mobilizes mortals. These Baltic countries have always been surrounded by much larger countries with intimidating armies creating a tug of war that lasted centuries. After 50 years of Soviet repression, in August, 1989, two million Baltic citizens created an unbroken 350-mile human chain linking the countries in their call for freedom. The likeminded people clutched hands, and changed their destiny; this singing revolution was a Baltic Woodstock. The three original flags of the Baltics had been outlawed with possession punishable by prison and torture. Swiftly, these flags—hidden inside walls and ovens for decades—began waving all over their proud homelands. Come celebrate the liberation of the Baltics on one of our amazing tours. The locals will welcome you with open arms.
Reborn Baltic liberty is in the air! Stunning architecture, rich history, incredible museums, unspoiled nature, dazzling cuisine, and a welcoming culture—all for at least half the price of Western Europe. What are you waiting for? International Experiences has a tour that will not only suit your vacation needs, but outperform all of your expectations. We also offer Baltic tours that explore Jewish heritage and the neighboring countries of Belarus, Kaliningrad, and Poland. Don’t be a stranger!
OFF THE BEATEN PATH
Western Europe tends to be overrun with tourists. Break free from the hoards and discover the historic Baltic States. Estonia is where medieval meets modern. Inspired by the fall of the Iron Curtain, Estonia symbolically overcame its final suppressor, the U.S.S.R., when country-wide choir jam-bands sang themselves free. Here, choirs still outrank sports as a national pastime—some attracting as many as 30,000 singers. Song festival fairgrounds, with their signature bandshell arches, are everywhere. The keynote battle-charge song, My Fatherland is My Love, has since become an unofficial national anthem. Healing conflict with music, now that’s a concept. Follow your melody, and come sing along!
Latvia is another safe place to presume that small countries have big outlooks, by necessity. As opposed to huge countries like the U.S., where some residents can live lifetimes without encountering foreigners, residents of small countries with numerous neighbors have global outlooks by necessity. A tiny country with a big reputation for nightlife, Latvia has been free from Soviet occupation since 1989. Its photogenic capital, Riga, overflows with inviting and inexpensive bars and restaurants. Riga’s immense European-style central market is a destination unto itself. You’ve got to see this place. Art Nouveau, anyone?
Lithuania is the southernmost Baltic country and speaks one of the oldest languages in the world today. Basketball is the most popular sport in this country; several Lithuanians have gone on to NBA fame. One of the most famous Lithuanian dishes is Cepelinai, named because of its oval shape which resembles a Zeppelin airship. Every year the river Vilnia is dyed bright emerald green for St. Patrick’s Day. The idea originated in Chicago in the sixties when Irish plumbers discovered an entirely harmless way of dyeing water. You’re going to love it here, too.
Good to know
Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, & Belarus
Tallinn, Riga, Vilinius, & Minsk
Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, & Russian