Earlier this week, I received my first Greetings From postcard. This is a series of similar-designed postcards sold by the firm of Postallove in Poland. In portrait mode, rather than landscape, they feature a colorful photo representative of a different country, overlaid with interesting facts about that particular nation. Currently, there are 68 countries available, with postcards for Egypt and Morocco recently added. There are an additional six card (Germany, Finland, Canada, Japan, China, and an alternative card for Poland) that are listed as “sold out.” These cards have proven very popular amongst the various postcard trading communities.
I ordered a batch of the “Greetings from Thailand” cards last month and offered them in various Facebook groups once they arrived. The first to arrive was sent by Taimi in Tallin, Estonia. She mailed it on 16 July 2016 and it arrived in Phuket on 4 August — 8,317 kilometers travelled in 19 days. Not only is this my first card in the series, but it is also my first postcard from Estonia
The Republic of Estonia (Eesti Vabariik), is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe, bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia and to the east by Lake Peipus and Russia. Across the Baltic Sea lies Sweden in the west and Finland in the north. The territory of Estonia consists of a mainland and 2,222 islands and islets in the Baltic Sea, covering 45,339 km2 (17,505 square miles) of land, and is influenced by a humid continental climate.
The territory of Estonia has been inhabited since at least 6,500 BCE, with Finno-Ugric speakers – the linguistic ancestors of modern Estonians – arriving no later than around 1800 BCE. Following centuries of successive Teutonic, Danish, Swedish, and Russian rule, Estonians experienced a national awakening that culminated in independence from the Russian Empire towards the end of World War I. During World War II, Estonia was occupied by the Soviet Union in 1940, then Nazi Germany a year later and again annexed by the Soviets in 1944, after which it was reconstituted as the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1988, during the Singing Revolution, the Estonian SSR issued the Estonian Sovereignty Declaration in defiance of the illegal Soviet rule, and independence was restored on the night of 20 August 1991, during the 1991 attempted coup by the Soviets.
Modern Estonia is a democratic parliamentary republic divided into fifteen counties, with its capital and largest city being Tallinn, situated on the northern coast of the country on the shore of the Gulf of Finland. The city was founded in 1248, but the earliest human settlements are over five thousand years old, making it one of the oldest capital cities of Northern Europe. Due to its strategic location, the city became a major trade hub, especially from the 14th to the 16th century, when it grew in importance as part of the Hanseatic League. From the 13th century until 1918 (and briefly during the Nazi occupation of Estonia from 1941 to 1944), the city was known as Reval.
Tallinn’s Old Town is one of the best preserved medieval cities in Europe and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tallinn is the major political, financial, cultural and educational center of Estonia. Often dubbed as the Silicon Valley of Europe, it has the highest number of startups per person in Europe and is a birthplace of many international companies including Skype. Providing to the global cybersecurity it is the home to the NATO Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence. It is ranked as a global city and has been listed among the top 10 digital cities in the world. The city was a European Capital of Culture for 2011, along with Turku in Finland.
Thank you very much, Taimi, for the lovely card — my start to collecting the Greetings From series.