Friday, May 27, 2016

Day at Sea - Monday 16th May, 2016

Today was a lovely relaxing day - what can I say  !!! Another massage and spa !!!Breakfast, Morning Tea, Lunch, Afternoon Tea/drinks, Dinner, Show, Drinks, and then fall into bed.

Copenhagen - Sunday 15th May, 2016

We arrived in Copenhagen for the 2nd time this morning.  The weather today was overcast and a little rainy, very different to last week. Together with McDuff (Donna) and Lena, we caught a taxi directly to the Little Mermaid.  As it raining the taxi driver offered to wait for us to take photos, and the take us to the Queens Palace.


After wandering around the courtyard, and having photos taken with the Guard, we continued up the street to a church, which was lovely

When we came out of the church we had blue sky and we thought that the weather had improved - it did, but only for about 10 mins.  By the time we had walked down to the canal, it was raining again !!
Being a chilly and miserable, we all though it was time for hot chocolate :)
The canal has lots of canal barges that are being restored and the buildings along the canal are very colourful.
After walking down the other side of the canal, we ended up in the shopping district, and after some souvenir shopping as the day was getting quite miserable and we were all getting a little chilly, we decided to catch a taxi back to the ship.  We really enjoyed Copenhagen, it is a very beautiful city.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Kiel - 14th May, 2016

Today was disembarkation day for the majority of the people on board the ship.
Thankfully for them, the ship arrived on time, actually early, not like last week.
We decided that as the ship was docked a long way from the city, that we would spend the day relaxing on board.  I had another massage, while John listened to his book.  We then had lunch on the 13th Deck and caught up with Donna and Lena, and a late afternoon spa, as the ship sailed, was very relaxing.

Day at Sea - Friday 13th May, 2016

After an exhausting day yesterday, it was lovely to have an relaxing day at sea.  Lunch in the restaurant with Donna and Lena, followed by a spa.
Dinner tonight was the Gala Dinner, and the last with the friends on our table, as they are all disembarking in Kiel tomorrow.
 During dinner there was another amazing sunset in the Baltic

St Petersburg - Thursday 12th May, 2016

Today was a huge day, we met for our Excursion  City Tour and Hermitage at 8.00am.The bus took us through streets of St Petersbugh on the way to the waterfront, which is the Neva River. There were quite a few high-rise apartment buildings from the Soviet era, and it has the appearance of a modern city, with lots of traffic as it was peak hour. There are quite a few parks throughout the city.

St Petersburg is built on the islands of estuary of the Neva River. At the place we stopped there were 2 Rostral Columns and from here we got our first glimpse of some of the Old town of St Petersburg.

We continued on to the Peter and Paul Fortress, and the main gate St Peter's Gate. Inside the fortress we visited the Sts Peter and Paul Cathedral.  The spire of the Cathedral is an integral part of the city skyline. The inside of the church is very ornate and is typical Baroque style.  It contains the tomb of St Peter the Great, Alexander II and his wife Empress Maria Alexandrovna and also St Catherine Chapel, which contains the remain of the last Russian Emperor, Nicholas II and the various members of his family and household members, who were shot to death.

We were then taken to a good vantage point on a canal for photos of the Church of Spilled Blood.
We then went to a souvenir shop, the biggest and best organised that we have seen.  It had everything from trinkets to lacquered boxes that cost hundreds of euros - they were amazing, unfortunately they are still there !!!.  A short walk later was out lunch stop.

After about 1 hours break for lunch we were taken to the Hermitage, which was the summer palace, built by Catherine the Great.  As a palace it is beautiful, but completely over the top.
The Art collection would have more paintings of the Virgin and Child, than most other museums in the world.

They also have more paintings by Rembrandt that the Rijks Museum in Amsterdam

There were also some amazing pieces pieces of sculpture, including an unfinished Michelangelo

We only got to spend 3 hours in the Hermitage, not nearly enough time !!!
So after a 9 hour day, touring St Petersburg, with 10mins of being back on the ship, I was in the spa and John was at a meeting (in other words asleep).

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Tallinn Wednesday 11th May 2016

The Ship arrived in Tallinn, Estonia around 9.00am today.
Instead of doing an organised tour today, we decided to catch the Hop On Hop Off Bus that was waiting at the port. It took us directly to the Old Town, where we visited 2 beautiful and very different Orthodox Churches.
The first, The Cathedral of St Mary the Virgin, baas built in 1240 and is now a Lutheran Church, was white washed inside and out, there was very little gold, but had the most incredible wood carvings. It had a last Organ and some beautiful candelabras

The second church, The Alexander Nevesky Cathedral, is a Russian Orthodox Church and was very ornate, with lots of gold chandeliers, but photos were not allowed inside this church

The streets of the Old Town were quite narrow and some had interesting sculptures on the outside of the buildings.
We then caught the bus again and toured around the newer part of the city with its High Rise buildings and modern shops,

Beautiful gardens and busy freeways. 

Eventually we returned to a different part of the old city, where we saw "Fat Margaret's Gate" and the Maritime Museum. We had lunch in a Boutique Hotel, called the 3 Sisters Hotel, and the building is 600 years old just inside the Gate, before returning to the ship for the Gala night.

After dinner tonight we were witness to one of the spectacular sunsets in the Baltic Sea, while we

sailed between Tallin and St Petersburg