Friday, March 29, 2013

Baltic Summer

Our Baltic Cruise in 2010 offered a smorgasbord (pun intended) of sights and experiences. We traveled with a great group of people, and our dinners back on board at the end of the day were opportunities to share what each of us had done and seen. One of the many highlights for me was the slow trip through the Stockholm Archipelago. I rose early to spend time on deck with my friend Dudley to enjoy the meandering of the ship as it plied the waters into Stockholm. We were there about three hours before hunger took control and we headed for breakfast. Tallinn, Estonia, was interesting until other cruise ships arrived and overwhelmed the old walled city with tourists. We went back early and sat around the pool before dinner. The band in the square was entertaining and brought out dancers of varied ages. Saint Petersberg, Russia, is a must-see for all cruises headed North. We stopped for a break during our walking tour so people could buy stuff they didn't need. I sort of wanted to buy a Russian nesting doll, but refrained as I make it a point of honor never to buy tchotchkes. The day before we had flown to Moscow for the highlight of the trip. I like taking pictures of advertising in foreign countries, but Russia takes the cake. Virtually no English anywhere to be seen! Walking up to Red Square was thrilling. A tour of the Moscow subway system was next and it didn't disappoint. Just magnificent. We got an unwanted visitor on our way back to England as a passenger suffered a heart attack and had to be air-lifted back to Denmark. It took about ten tries before the chopper could hover safely over the deck to lower baskets to get the man and his wife on board. Those pilots and medical staff were real pros.

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