Our honeymoon (5 years ago) took us to Russia, East Germany and Estonia. I was surprised how the latter two had fared after the fall of the Eastern Bloc and was pleasantly amazed at how welcoming and progressive these nations were. I don’t know how much of my “conditioning” to this is as a result of western propaganda but I had assumed all Eastern Bloc countries were a little like Russia, which was frankly still depressing, corrupt and crime-ridden.
Both Estonia and East Germany were fabulous. It then pleases me further to see this short tourism video from Georgia.
Georgia, on the right hand side of this picture, borders on the Black Sea. It’s up there with Russia, the Ukraine and other far-off places that a Cold-War teen would recognise as “the baddies”.
It seems that the countries who endured the Cold War on the other side of the Wall, seem to have embraced the future in different ways when the war ended. Some, like Estonia, have become a model of digital citizenship and engagement. Some, like Germany reunited, have become an economic powerhouse that even a recession cannot falter. Others like Croatia and Georgia seem to be absolutely thriving as the best-kept secrets of Eastern Europe.
I do hope that Northern Ireland is able to some day receive the “peace dividend” of the war ending here. We will have to wait until the war ends, I imagine.