War of 1812

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When sea travel was the primary means for commerce and communication, Estonia provided an ideal port environment to access the heartland of Russia with direct access on the Baltic Sea. The waters near Talinn remained passable in the cold northern winters, which made it very practical for year-round travelers. In medieval times, that also meant an intense combination of cultures coming together.

The capital city, Tallin, is a wonderful mixture of old and new. With structures dating back over 1000 years to the latest in fiber-optic and wireless communications, Estonia is constantly evolving to find its new position in the global marketplace. The oldest part of the city offers numerous opportunities to capture the spirit of history in beautiful buildings, which are still in active use.

Although the weather can be less than hospitable during the cold winter months, in summer the atmosphere is positively vibrant. The rich tapestry of ancient cultures comes to life in the quaint streets and wonderful people.

The visuals are strinking. Architecture reflects the various backgrounds of residents and their remarkable history at almost every turn throughout the capital city.

The center of modern government for Estonia is housed in a spectacular building. It is particularly significant after the many years of Soviet domination. Their sense of national pride is certainly evident.

It is here that great minds can gather to discuss important issues. There are many lessons to be learned from the history in this part of the world.

One description of the experience in this magical city was that it seemed like what Disneyland was trying to imitate. The castles are there. The excitement is there. The potential for learning through direct interaction is definitely there. One Cavalry trooper was so impressed with the country that he took over 400 photographs and many hours of video just in a two week visit. Almost every image is stunning. Those images can be made available through email at

That is what makes this an ideal location for NATO Exercises, such as Baltic Challenge. Miltary units from around the world take part in practice exercises here to gain valuable experience. Recognition skills are put to the test.

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