The Baltic region tends to be a mix of Estonian and Latvian cultures. It is one of the prime areas for the European trade and commerce. This region itself gets its name from the Baltic Sea and dates back to the 11th century. You can easily witness a nice mix of Indo-European people that have settled over here for a long time now. Three of the major regions that form the Baltics are Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. There are has been various cultural changes in this region over the centuries. You can witness this while you travel across the landscape of this region. There is demand for almost everything; even if you trade in paints you can easily order the michiana paint from www.michianapaint.com.
Baltic has been one of the most important parts of the sea transport for various countries around the world. If you’re involved in a shipping business you can never avoid the Baltics. Situated in the Northern European region it is able to interact with most of the European countries and has healthy relations with all. You will just love the atmosphere and the scenic beauty of the Baltic region. Along with traders this region also tends to be one of the most favored areas by travelers around the world.
The entire region bordering the Baltic Sea is steeped in history and replete with historical landmarks that’ll surely leave you with a feeling of déjà vu if you crisscross through the places. Touring the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania will let you cover a substantial hinterland of the sea. The availability of cheap food, drinks, and accommodation in these erstwhile Soviet states make them top notch tourist spots in the European travel circuit. What augments the attractiveness of these destinations as travelling hotspots is that these places are greatly safe for women tourists. Travelling from one city to another is also affordable if you hop on an ‘Ecolines’ or Simple Express bus.
You can start your tour with a stop at Vilnius, the scenic capital of Lithuania which also happens to be the most quaint and quietest amongst all the capital cities in the Baltic. You’ll simply love to lose yourself in the city’s cobbled streets and Baroque-styled edifices. The best way to see around the town is by taking a walking tour where you’ll come across the Republic of Artists, a statue of Jesus as a backpacker, and the Square of Genocide at a leisurely pace.
Your next stop could be Riga-the Latvian capital that takes about 4-5 hours to reach by bus. The sprawling indoor market is easily the prime attraction which once was the largest in the continent. Since the city is remarkably small, you can get to any place by foot. Visiting any area in Riga will take you back in time by several centuries.
You can wind up your Baltic tour with Tallinn-the capital of Estonia that takes roughly 4 and a half hour to get to by bus from Riga. The old town of Tallinn is larger than that of Riga and Vilnius. You’ll have the feeling that you’re living in the Middle Ages as you see locals attired in traditional garbs. Most of the ancient Baroque-patterned buildings have yellow and pastel pink facades. Don’t forget to take your woolens while you’re travelling to the Baltic as the region is definitely chiller throughout the year.
The Hanseatic League established by German mercantile communities based in North German cities and abroad controlled trade & commerce in the region surrounding Baltic Sea. The influence of the Hanseatic League or Hansa as far as commercial activities in the Baltic maritime zone was concerned, peaked during the 14th century when the Nauvo shipwreck occurred. The league held complete sway over the trading where goods like seed rye, fur, meat, hides, butter, dried fish, and tar were exported. Wines, metal goods, clothes, and salt were the chief items of import.
However, there is concrete evidence to corroborate that commerce in the Baltic Sea happened during the 10th and 11th centuries. Lubeck was the chief trading town of the Hanseatic League during the middle ages. The Swedish king Magnus Eriksson probably in 1350 prohibited Finns from trading anywhere in the region except Stockholm. However, inhabitants of Uusimaa and Turku were allowed to ply their trade in the Baltic towns. Owing to the king’s stricture, merchants hailing from Lubeck were hardly witnessed in Finnish coastal towns even though they dominated trade.
On the basis of archaeological relics, it can be inferred that the principal trading route during the 14th cent from the Northern Germanic towns of the Hanseatic league to Finland passed through Tallinn, capital of Estonia. Turku traders proceeded to Tallinn with the sole objective of carrying out transactions with businessmen belonging to the league who in turn were scheduled to head eastwards and westwards. Hogholmen Island belonging to Sweden was an important loading and offloading port for the Turku traders. Stockholm, the present day capital of Sweden was also a significant transit point for the merchants. Seaborne trade based around the Baltic largely consisted of exchanging foodstuffs, minerals, and raw materials with homegrown industrial produce.
The Baltic region essentially comprises the Baltic Sea and the countries adjoining or contiguous to the sea. Baltic Sea lies in Northern Europe with Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Germany, Norway, and Denmark having or sharing a coastline with the water-body. Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia are known as the Baltic countries and the cities of St. Petersburg, Helsinki, and Tallinn are situated on the sea. Two of the cities, Tallinn and Helsinki are capitals of Estonia and Finland respectively while St. Petersburg is the second largest metropolis of Russia. Adam, a reporter from Bremen in Germany was the first to christen the water-body as Baltic Sea (Mare Balticum).
The sea stretching longitudinally from 10˚E to 30˚E and latitudinally from 53˚N to 66˚N drains into the Atlantic Ocean. Baltic Sea comprising the Gulf of Bothnia, Gulf of Finland, Bothnia Bay, the Gulf of Riga, and the Gdansk Bay is approximately 1,600km in length with an average width of 193km and is about 55 meters deep. The Baltic flows through the Straits of Denmark and into the Atlantic in a somewhat complicated manner as the normal water circulation or movement is anticlockwise. The flow is northwards on the eastern flank and southwards on the western boundary.
This cross-flow (of water) results in the sea carrying vast amounts of freshwater. Water from over 250 streams that comprise the large tributaries of Neva, Vistula, Daugava, Neman, and the Oder, flow into the sea. The salinity of the sea is significantly low-between 1.0%-1.5% which is much less compared to ocean (that has a salinity of about 3.5%). The gradient of brackishness is balanced by a grade of temperature variation that facilitates in the thriving of numerous species of flora and fauna as well as distinct maritime environments in a very narrow area of the sea.