Amongst the Baltic States, Estonia is the smallest country with a population of 1.7 million. Tallinn is the capital of the country and is a small city having about half a million inhabitants. The city of the Danes, as the word Tallinn means, tells the story if the country’s history. At present, Tallinn is full of people of many nationalities and this old Hansa city is surrounded by a 2.5 kilometers of stone wall, which dates back to the Middle Ages. Tallinn offers its visitors with many museums, small restaurants and galleries displaying new Estonian Art. The town is known for its international yachting events of the 1980 Olympic Games. The National Singing Stadium, on the outskirts of the city, holds world renowned song festivals, which is one of the attractions for the tourists in Estonia.
Estonia is a low lying country with forests, lakes and many rivers, most of which are draining into the Gulf of Finland to the north or eastward into Lake Peipus, its largest lake. Being separated by the narrow Gulf of Finland with Finland, it has strong cultural and linguistic ties with the country. When you visit Estonia, you will see the old soviet army barracks of the yester years, which was once off-limits even to the Estonian themselves. You will also find the modern Estonia, which is presently a member of the European Union, where 67% of its citizens voted in favour of joining the Union.
Estonia has a very short summer and a long winter, which have made Estonia in into two different countries. People living in Estonia have two different lives – a summer and a winter one. The winter which sets in October, plunges the country into darkness and the light does not appear till March. During November and December all light disappears and at midday there is a short period when of daylight. Night once again draws in by three o’clock in the afternoon.
Nostalgia is one that reflects in the lives of the Estonians with uniting qualities. This is the theme that has appeared time and again in their poetry and folk songs. Estonian culture has grown on the line dividing the Eastern and Western Europe. This has happened through centuries. There are number of small region within Estonia, where the people have distinct variation of the mostly homogeneous culture in the country. Amongst these regions, the most notable is Setumaa, which is located in the southeastern of the country and was, in previous times, separated from Estonia for a long period of time. The people here developed a culture strongly influenced by the Russians, which still exists today. Another area, Mulgimaa, where the patterns of the culture goes back to the middle ages. The ancient food, such as, Mulgi cabbage, curd cakes, and kama – roast mixed grain, which originated from this region, are now popular dishes all over Estonia.
Estonia has gone through countless external influences, so much so, that it is impossible to determine what the real Estonian architecture might have been, if the country did not go through the invasions from the Germans and Scandinavians. In course of the centuries, the Estonian architecture has been repeatedly destroyed and re-built. At the beginning of the 20th century, professional architectural firms appeared in the country and professional architecture began to emerge in Estonia. In the country-side, people having money began to change their life style and rebuilt their low, chimney-less dwellings into modern houses with chimneys, bigger windows and a separate kitchen.
Estonians have their own way of food habits. One of their main dishes consists of blood, grains and pieces of fat found in a bowel of a pig. They prepare this by killing the pig, draining its blood, cutting off the rectum, stuffing the intestine with blood, fat from the bowel and grain and then eating it. This is a type of what they call as blood sausage, known as verivorst. Even the fast food chains in Estonia, like MacDonald’s serve blood burger. You can get blood in the supermarkets and are sold in a pouch, like juice. Presently the Estonians eat various kinds of food.
If you are taking your mobile phone on your visit to Estonia, there is a way where you can economise on your communication expenses. At first, consider these two instances which you might have experienced when you travelled before, to countries abroad.
At the time when mobile telephony was not available, you had reasons to get in touch with your associates and friends, both locally and abroad, and also with your family back home. In order to do this, you might have used the telephone in your hotel room. The telephone bills that you had to pay at the end of your stay in the hotel were quite large.
At the time when the mobile phone began to be a necessity, you had taken your handset on roaming to the different countries that you visited. You had exorbitant outgoing call charges, especially with your mobile being on roaming, and you had also paid for your incoming calls at roaming charges. In order to provide you with the roaming facility, your service provider has entered into a service contract with the network operator of the country that you are visiting. This contract has certain financial agreement which stipulates that your service provider would be paying the other, for such connectivity services and for any calls that you make and receive through the concerned network of the country that you are in. Hence your service provider charges you extra for providing this facility to you. This arrangement is expensive as reflected in your month end bill, perhaps more expensive than what you had spent while calling from your hotel room telephone.
A pre-paid SIM card for Estonia gives you a saving up to 80% on your mobile air time usage bill. When you buy a pre-paid SIM card for Estonia, you get a local Estonian number and your outgoing calls are charged at the local rates. This means that you pay as the locals do. Further, all your incoming calls are free and you do not pay for roaming. You do not need to enter into any contract what-so-ever, and you do not get to receive any month-end bills. When you buy a pre-paid SIM card for Estonia, you receive a certain amount of talk time credit along with the card and this would mean that you can start using your phone right away. As and when you need to replenish your talk time credit, you can do so by purchasing recharge coupons or vouchers from practically any shop in the Estonian cities. These coupons or vouchers are available in many denominations and you may choose the value of the talk time credit that you want. Being pre-paid, you are always aware of the expenses that you are incurring for your calls and hence you are being able to control the budget that you have set for the purpose.
SIM card is the short form of Subscriber Identity Module, which renders your mobile handset intelligent. It is a smart card of the size little smaller than a postage stamp, that goes in a slot at the back of your mobile phone. You can get to this slot as you take off the back cover of your mobile handset. A SIM card holds unique information about you and your phone, like, the SIM card number, your subscription information, the International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) of your mobile phone and other security details. As you switch on your phone, the information is transmitted to the nearest tower in the city that you are visiting and after it is verified for correctness and security checks, you are logged in the network. You are now ready to make and receive your calls. A SIM card also holds your address book, where you put in the name and telephone numbers of the people you call frequently. The SIM card also logs your incoming and outgoing calls and the calls that you fail to answer. All these are logged along with the respective date and time.
You would need a GSM mobile phone to use your pre-paid SIM card for Estonia. You could be having a GSM phone, but it is unlikely that it will work in Estonia. This is mainly due to the different GSM frequency bands that are used in Estonia. The networks in Estonia operate on 900MHz and 1800MHZ GSM frequency bands, where-as, the networks in North America, Canada, and a few other countries in the Americas, operate on 850MHZ and 1900MHZ frequency bands. This sets these countries apart from the other GSM countries. The majority countries use a different set of GSM frequency bands from that of the North America, Canada and a few other neighbouring regions.
Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) is an open structure digital mobile telephony technology. This second generation (2G) technology replaces the old analog first generation (1G) technology. GSM is being used by over 214 countries and has over 80% subscribers amongst the total mobile users in the world. GSM works on four sets of frequency bands, which are distributed to different regions, with a few regions having one or two frequency bands in common. These are 850 MHz, 900 MHz, and 1800 MHz and 1900 MHz bands. There are multi-frequency mobile handsets available in the market. The Quad-band phone operates on all GSM frequency bands and can work in all the countries operating on GSM technology. The Tri-band phone works on 800MHz, 900MHz and 1800MHz frequency bands and is compatible with most of the GSM regions. The Dual-band operates on 800MHz and 1900 MHz GSM frequency bands, being compatible with some specific countries in the world. Therefore, whether you are taking your phone, buying or renting one, you need to make sure that it is compatible with the frequency bands in the country that you are visiting.
The GSM phone that you are taking along with you must be SIM unlocked as otherwise your pre-paid SIM card for Estonia would not work. A SIM locked phone is meant for a particular SIM card and would not work with any others. To site an example of why mobile phones are SIM locked, consider the following:
The contract that you have signed with your service provider has a clause, stipulating that you will be required to use the service for a definite period of time, which is usually one year. After you have signed the contract, you receive a mobile phone, free of cost to you, and a SIM card, from your service provider. The mobile handset becomes yours at the end of the contract period. Now, the phone that you received free of charge is SIM locked by the service provider. This is done to prevent you from using the phone with any other SIM card. After the contract period is over, the service provider provides the codes for unlocking the mobile phone. It is absolutely necessary that you should ensure that the phone that you are taking with you to Estonia is SIM unlocked as otherwise the pre-paid SIM card for Estonia will not work. For more information on buying or renting a compatible mobile phone, visit http://www.planetomni.com/FAQ_gsm.shtml
A pre-paid SIM card for Estonia is affordable and saves you substantially on your mobile call expenses, where you pay for your calls as the locals do and you do not pay for your incoming calls, no matter where it generates from. Since it is pre-paid, you can always keep a track on the expenses that you are incurring. Further, you do not pay anything for roaming.
Cell phone use overseas.
In 99% of the world the local cellular service standard is called GSM. We use this in the states as well. When combined with a SIM CARD (which usually goes under the battery of the phone) the phone is able to communicate and the SIM CARD also holds the telephone number and memory for pre-paid credit. Rates can be extremely low using this system. For example in 99% of all SIM CARDS incoming calls are free and calls to the states can cost a trifle. Such as, from the UK to the USA 7 cents/minute, from Israel 22 cents, from Australia 27 cents. Yes, USA Dollar cents! There are today even prepaid service providers in the USA offering rates of 10 cents per minute to call anywhere in the US to any type of phone. No contracts, no credit card checks, no bills. Pre-paid always means no minimums no contracts, no obligations. You only pay for the calls made. You’ll need an unlocked GSM tri-band or quadband UNLOCKED phone. You can buy factory unlocked phones and sim cards for more than 170 of the 193 countries on earth from http://www.planetomni.com Tel. # 800-514-2984
Source by John Dulaney