Bridge, Vilnius, Lithuania
The Baltics and Beyond, 2018
The Baltic states, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, gained independence from the Soviets in early 1990s in a bloodless revolution. After years of oppression during the Soviet era, these three small nations along the Baltic Sea have perservered to rekindle their own government and national identity. They are now members of the European Union and NATO. The historical Old Towns of the Baltic capitals (Vilnius, Riga, and Tallinn) are well preserved and have been declared UNESCO Heritage Sites. With forested countrysides, many waterways and bridges and a slower pace, the Baltics are a charming alternative to Western Europe.