It’s kind of sad when you take your summer vacation trip and then in a blink of an eye (and 55 martinis later) it’s all over, you know? But I don’t want to be sad, I just want to remember what an amazing time I had floating on the Silver Sea Whisper from port to shiny port. Pulling out of the Stockholm archipelago started our journey (all 300 of us) into the Baltic for a week of bliss. It was just all so great, nee the moment when our very interesting tour guide was in the middle of telling us the history of Tallinn, Estonia on the bus and the couple from NYC just had to tell, or better yell, to the Australian’s “oh yes, we have a place in the Hamptons but we live on 86th and Central Park West, have for years, we love it and our son lives in Tribeca”. It was then that I jumped out of my seat, waved my arms at them and told them to BE QUIET!” (I had several guests thank me later). They just wouldn’t shut up and of course had loud, nasally voices that only a crow could screech over. And who cares where your son lives!?! I wanted to tell her that my dog Bernie recently moved to a brownstone on the Upper West Side except everyone knows that’s not true. He’d prefer a modern flat in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen; he does love his off-Broadway theater and a good choice of gay bars, what can I say.
Back to cruising of another kind. Here was the itin.
Stockholm, Sweden – Beautiful green country (when it’s not covered in snow), lots of Volvos, blonds and smoked fish. Nice people who believe in using only the smallest amount of words necessary.
Talinn, Estonia – unbelievable and fairly recent escape from Russian occupation (singing got them through it, no joke). Interesting old town with friendly people who all speak English. Want to go back and explore their forests more.
St. Petersburg, 3 days – you need at least that to get through the major palaces, my god. Elizabeth loved her glitz and gold, Catherine not so much. The palace and gardens at Peterhof were unbelievable only to be topped by the Hermitage museum at the Winter Palace where we were treated to a special musical performance. Brilliant. In St. Petersburg (and maybe all of Russia) it’s really lacking in any fashion sense and it appears a sense of humor but what do I know. The city is truly beautiful but they say they only get at most 60 days of sunshine a year so that might account for the droopy faces and poor fashion choices. Moving on.
Helsinki, Finland – a lengthy bike tour through the old town, woods and residential areas showed me this is an amazingly beautiful place with hearty people who appreciate every second they’re not frozen right through.
Copenhagen, Denmark – this is where the cruise ends but the fun keeps going. The most bike friendly city I’ve ever seen, Ken and I rode to every last corner. We ate amazing food, visited the Mermaid sculpture, saw Jamie Cullum at Tivoli gardens (we also rode a roller coaster there), drove through “hippie town” where I considered buying a joint and/or hash being sold and living in one of the wooden shacks for the rest of my life. What a great city. What a great trip.
In no particular order