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The Rough Guide to Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania Paperback – 1 Apr 2011
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The book adopts the normal format of rough guides, giving the general background and overview of each country, including travel to and around each country, major events and festivals, outdoor activities, accommodation, food and travel essentials comprising topics such as safety, visa requirements, health, insurance etc.
We visited Tallinn, capital of Estonia and so had the opportunity to assess the accuracy and usefulness of the information given for that city. Generally the main sights of the Old Town were summarised, though I did think that the information given was somewhat brief and as it is a very interesting area, could have included more to look out for - we saw a number of things we would have liked to know more about which were not mentioned. The listings of hotels and restaurants appeared to be up to date as far as I could assess. Generally, however, we use rough guides to find out what we should be looking at rather than for an assessment of accommodation etc. Tripadvisor and similar resources are fine for the latter, and as this is not a particular lengthy book I would have thought there was scope for the sightseeing aspect to be more comprehensive.
Unfortunately we did pick up an inaccuracy in the map of the central area which showed two Cathedrals of St Mary the Virgin which was quite confusing. We eventually worked out that the northern most one was, in fact, the Convent of St Michael which, whilst being very worthy of a visit with a fairly incredible illustrated screen in front of the alter, was not mentioned in the book at all. In the 3rd Edition of this book I would have expected this sort of inaccuracy to have been ironed out unless this is a gremlin which has just crept into the latest version but I am mindful that the budget given to the unfortunate editor to do an update is not generous and hence new editions tend to be titivations of previous versions rather than a proper root and branch job.
So a reasonably adequate general guide of the Baltic republics, but if you are visiting a particular area as opposed to travelling about, you may consider investing in a more specific and comprehensive guide to that particular city or area which is what we should have done in advance of our visit to Tallinn.
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