Tuesday, July 19, 2011


 We ended our cruise here in Stockholm.  So we hopped on a bus from the port and made our way to the City Bus Terminal downtown.  We found a locker, stored our suitcases, and then went out to see the sites!  We stopped in a few churches, of course.  We saw the Royal Palace and explored the old town.  We ate lunch at the most amazing little place right outside the Nobel Museum.  If you visit Stockholm, it's the little restaurant on the corner.  There's not much seating inside, but tables aplenty outside.  I think I had the most amazing dessert I've ever eaten in my life here.  It was made out of caramel and hazelnuts..that's it..what else do you need/?  We took a guided tour of the City Hall, where the Nobel Prize dinners are held.  Definitely worth a stop!
The City Hall, the room where the Nobel Prize Dinners are held.
The City Hall


The full moon rises on one side of the ship..

We enjoyed the land of the White Nights while we sailed through the Baltic Sea.
While the sun sets on the other side..

Helsinki was another favorite city of ours!  We spent the day here walking around the small, beautiful city.  We did take the bus to the Church in the Rock.  This was worth a stop.  Then we went to see the Lutheran Church as well as the lovely Finnish Orthodox church.  Both of these were great, but the Finnish church was amazing.  Finland is known for their coffee apparently, so we had to partake.  We found a great little coffee shop where we sat, read books, and drank the best cappuccino ever!  We stumbled upon an open air market selling not only great looking produce, but fur hats too!  Now, I have wanted a fur hat for some time and didn't really like the ones we saw in Russia.  But here, I found a beautiful black rabbit hat!  I can't wait for winter!

St. Petersburg

St. Isaac's Cathedral
In order to get past border control, you must either secure your own visa prior to visiting or be part of a tour that has your visa as part of the tour price.  We chose a tour that would give us a city tour in the morning and then we visited St. Isaac's Cathedral, one of the largest cathedrals in the world.  It was amazing inside.  Then we went to the Hermatage Museum, which is the largest museum in the world! It's made up of four buildings, one being the Winter Palace.  That one was my favorite.
Hermatage Museum



Riga was one of those places I couldn't picture in my mind.  I was so excited to visit this part of Europe though.  We spent the morning visiting all the must do's in Riga.  That took about 2 hours to do.  :)  We then headed to the shops where I picked up a really pretty bracelet.  We stopped for coffee and enjoyed some people watching.  The people here speak better English than where we live in Germany.  And credit cards are excepted everywhere, which is nice since a lot of places where we live do not accept them and we are not cash carrying types of people!  I was just glad we    
                                                                                       didn't have to exchange money!
The view from the top of the church


Copenhagen was one of our favorite cities!  We took the Hop On, Hop Off Bus so we could see all the sites the city had to offer.  We also took a boat ride, which was really great.  The picture is taken on the famous street there, right across from Hans Christian Andersen's house.  The city had a Newport, RI kind of vibe, which reminded us of home of course.  We stopped here to hear a band and have a beer.  What an expensive city!  The beer cost us something like $16!  Now, here in Germany beer cost less than a soda..everywhere!  Copenhagen would be a perfect chill weekend, just to walk around, catch a boat ride, and enjoy the scenery.


Inside City Hall
The city hall is supposed to the thing to see in Oslo.  It was beautiful inside.  We spent an arm and a leg on a taxi from the bus station to the port to meet our cruise and asked him to wait while we ran, literally, into city hall, snapped some pictures and then took off for the pier.  Oslo looked like any other big city.  We weren't hugely impressed.