My latest two new visitors come from two small countries, Åland Island in the Baltic Sea and San Marino at the Apennine Peninsula.
The Åland Islands occupy a position of great strategic importance, as they command one of the entrances to the port of Stockholm Sweden, as well as the approaches to the Gulf of Bothnia, in addition to being situated near the Gulf of Finland.
The Åland archipelago consists of nearly three hundred habitable islands (total area 13,517 km2 ), of which about eighty are inhabited; the remainder are merely some 6,000 skerries and desolate rocks. The archipelago is connected to Åboland archipelago in the east (Finnish: Turunmaan saaristo, Swedish: Åbolands skärgård) — the archipelago adjacent to the southwest coast of Finland. Together they form the Archipelago Sea. To West from Åland is Sea of Åland and to North the Bothnian Sea.
The flag of Åland refers to the geographical and political position of the Finnish islands of Åland just off the coast of Sweden: it is the Swedish flag defaced by a red cross symbolising Finland. The flag has been the official flag of the autonomous Finnish province of Åland since 1954. It was first hoisted in the capital Mariehamn on 3 April 1954.
I have been at Mariehamn for about 20 years ago on my way to Helsinki by boat from Stockholm, and train from Åbo (Turku).
San Marino is an enclave in Italy, on the border between the regioni of Emilia Romagna and Marche. Its topography is dominated by the Apennines mountain range, and it has a rugged terrain. The highest point in the country, Monte Titano, is situated at 749 metres (2,457 ft) above sea level. There are no bodies of water of any significant size. San Marino is the third smallest country in Europe (total area 61.2 km2 ), with only Vatican City and Monaco being smaller. San Marino has no level natural land; 100% of the nation-state is built on top of the range.
The state and war Flag of San Marino is formed by two equal horizontal bands of white (top) and light blue with the national coat of arms superimposed in the center; the coat of arms has a shield (featuring three towers on three peaks) flanked by a wreath, below a crown and above a scroll bearing the word LIBERTAS (Liberty).
The civil flag omits the coat of arms.
I have never been in San Marino, but maybe next time we go for a holiday in Italy a stay in this country can be prioritized.