Estonia's shores stretch out towards the Baltic Sea overlooking Finland and Sweden on the other side. It is also the most northern of its Baltic siblings, Latvia and Lithuania. Estonia is a place where Scandinavia is beautifully mixed with Eastern European roots.
Central to Estonian culture is the epic Kalevipoeg that was written in the 19th century by F. Reinhold Kreutzwald and Tallinn-based Arvo Part is one of Estonia's most renowned composers who settled back in Estonia after years of living abroad with his family. Estonia has also produced a number of interesting writers, such as Mati Unt, Jaan Kross who is probably most famous for his novel The Czar's Madman, and Tartu-born poet Jaan Kaplinski.
In addition to this, Estonia has produced a fair number of films as well. The very brutalThe Class by Ilmar Raag is a recent example of the quality of the country's filmmakers. The same can be said about another dramatic film, I Was Here, which was written by Raag and directed by the talented Rene Vilbre.
A rare musical treat may also be found within this small Baltic nation in the form of medieval folk-metal band Metsatoll. Although probably not to everyone's taste, they do serve up a rare experience that ought not to be missed.