The seventh edition of Bradt travel books on Estonia was unveiled in Tallinn on Tuesday, but will be the last from author Neil Taylor, who has written the series since 1997.
The collection presents an overview of not only Estonia, but the journey the nation has taken in the past two decades. The first edition was published in 1995 after which Taylor took over the task of mapping Estonia to foreign tourists.
Speaking at the launch at Tallinn's Slothrop's bookstore on Monday, Taylor said Estonia has come a long way since 1997, when he began travel writing about Estonia. He said the Soviet legacy was then all too clear for tourists to see, but now the nation has a more modern, with Korean restaurants in Valga and Chinese restaurants in Narva.
“Now they (tourists) can travel throughout the country without being aware at all of its history between 1945 and 1991. They can also be sure of high, if not luxury standards wherever they travel,” he said.
Speaking about the difference between the new, and the previous edition, published in 2010, Taylor said the major development for tourists is the disappearance of the kroon.
“As far as sights are concerned, I have tried to do justice to all the new museums and attractions. In Tallinn there is the Seaplane Harbor Museum and the renovated Estonian History Museum. In Tartu there is the Ahhaa [science center] and the observatory. Small places too have their role in this constant expansion of Estonian culture. Take for instance the Seto Museum in Saatse which was completely redesigned in 2012,” he said.
If forced to choose one hidden gem in Estonia, Taylor said the Road Museum between Tartu and Põlva is interesting for small children, teenagers and adults, and suitable for a visit in any weather.
Taylor said he hopes the company continue with an eighth edition, adding that Estonia deserves a guidebook to itself in English, and not just a section in a Baltic guidebook.
Taylor was awarded the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana V class by the President of Estonia in 2012 for his services to the nation's tourism industry.
Bradt guides tend to be written by local experts and are heavier on local and cultural detail than many commercial guidebooks.