We arrived in Helsinki, Finland at 7am and had to leave by 12:45pm. Before we set foot on land, we felt gypped by this schedule. We were really looking forward to touring this city of 590,000 people. Our original tour was cancelled, so we turned to the travel book. Suomenlinna, a sea fortress, was a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but it required a 15 minute ferry to the 6 islands and four hours according to Fodor’s. As such, we opted for the other popular sites in Helsinki…Senate Square and its green domed cathedral which towers above the city, the Olympic Stadium constructed for the 1957 games, the Sibelius Monument, Temppeliaakio Church which is carved into the rocks, the Esplanade and its Havis Amanda statue, and finally the local market. Continue reading “Helsinki Hell!”
Cruising to Tallinn
Tallinn, the capital and largest city of Estonia was quite enjoyable. It may have been our favorite city on the tour thus far. Perhaps it was a pleasant surprise because we hardly knew anything about Estonia or this medieval city whose old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Continue reading “Loved Tallinn, Estonia!”
We are at sea today with sails fully trimmed. This morning I finally visited the bridge. I checked out a few monitors and spoke with the second officer. She clicked on the ships on the monitor to show the details of each vessel. That was kind of neat. I could also see the path we were taking around a shallow area and learned that the Baltic Sea is relatively shallow and warm, at least for whales and large sea life. I suppose I won’t be outside looking for Orcas today. Though I’m not sure how much time I will spend outside anyway. While the sun is out, there is a cool breeze! Continue reading “A Day at Sea”
Touring the Curonian Peninsula
Today Suman, Brian, Erin and I took the 7 hour “Explore, hike, and lunch on the Curonian Peninsula” tour in Lithuania. The activity level was rated “strenuous”…perhaps for the average age of the cruise which is likely 65 years old.
Our boat arrived in Klaipeda, Lithuania’s only port at 8am, and after being greeted by music playing, we hopped on our bus to begin the tour. A ferry transported our bus across the Curonian Lagoon to the Curonian Peninsula, a 60 mile long spit which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Continue reading “Klaipeda, Lithuania and the Curonian Peninsula”
The skies were clear when we awoke today and the forecast called for mostly sunny in Gdansk, Poland. While I was hopeful, the barometer in my head suggested otherwise. My head turned out to be right. The day turned colder and wetter by the hour, though fortunately we were able to get most of our tour in before the drizzle. Continue reading “Kayaking the Motlawa River in Gdansk, Poland”
Cruising to Bornholm
Well, we travelled to Bornholm last night in four foot seas. The boat didn’t seem too rocky to me, but those who get motion sickness could feel it moving around.
Bornholm is a Danish Island east of Denmark and south of Sweden in the Baltic Sea. Its main industries include fishing, arts and craft, glass production, and dairy farming. Bornholm has a long history that goes back to the Vikings. It was a well established trading point with Sweden, Germany, and Poland all within 100 meters. Now Bornholm is a popular travel destination for summer tourists. Continue reading “Visiting Bornholm”
Crusing from Copenhagen
We planned on getting up early and trying out Granola, a breakfast place Sarah suggested, but I suppose we were still catching up on sleep. We got up with enough time to check out of our hotel, store our luggage, and test out another coffee shop (much better than our stop yesterday) before spending a few hours in the Nationalmuseet or the National Museum. Continue reading “Boarding the Boat…Wind Surf”
Somehow we slept in a little and got a late start to the morning though it really didn’t affect our plans. We found a not so good coffee shop by the visitor center with good pastries (though I accidentally got an almond croissant filled with rhubarb) and bad coffee. Today we planned to visit a few castles including Christiansborg Slot and Roseborg Slot. Continue reading “Copenhagen’s Castles”