Today the Under and Tuglasʼ Literature Centreʼs publishing house released the travel book “A Little Travel Guide on Scandinavia: Around Northern and Central Europe in an Omnibus”. At a time when real travel is well-nigh impossible, this beautiful book is worth discovering, as it provides an opportunity to wander around in Europe with Friedebert Tuglas and Karl Ast Rumor, in the company of a smart and happy travelling party. The 217-page book was compiled by Elle-Mari Talivee and Kri Marie Vaik; design by Tiiu Pirsko, language editor Tiina Hallik.

In 1931 the writers Karl Ast Rumor and Friedebert Tuglas travelled around for a month and a half in Scandinavia and Central Europe in the omnibus of entrepreneur Aleksander Puhk. At the wheel was racecar driver Heinrich Tael. Ast published a merry running travelogue of the first part of the journey in the magazine Nool [Arrow], followed by Tuglasʼ more elevated account, which has found its way into the latterʼs memoirs and collected works. There were episodes of sleeping under a tree and a luxury hotel, drinking wine from a pail, a record player blaring into the autumn night, sparks fading into the darkness and the bustle of a large city. During their travels the wanderers kept in touch with the homeland through letters; the book includes excerpts from Tuglasʼ and his wife Eloʼs correspondence, often (sweetly) dramatic and emotional. Namely, as the itinerary kept changing Elo sometimes had no idea where the wanderers had landed.

This beautiful book brings the extant travel memoirs of the two writers together for the first time in a single volume. It is richly illustrated with photos, postcards, travel booklets and pieces published in periodicals; in addition there are reproductions of works by Estonian artists who visited the same places, taken from the collection of the Art Museum of Estonia and the Tartu Art Museum.

Norway left the deepest impression on the travellers. In the afterword to the book, Scandinavian studies scholar Mart Kuldkepp gives a broader overview of Estoniansʼ travel experiences in Norway, also calling attention to the role of the Scandinavian countries in recognising Estoniaʼs independence in 1921. The book begins with a foreword from the compilers, Elle-Mari Talivee and Kri Marie Vaik, who examine the lives of these two wandering Estonian writers and invite others to join in, slipping the book into their suitcase or backpack, or carrying it in their thoughts.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword. Elle-Mari Talivee, Kri Marie Vaik
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • Sweden
  • Norway
  • Sweden
  • Denmark
  • Germany
  • France
  • The Way Home
  • Afterword. Mart Kuldkepp
  • Place Names Index