Our Baltic Trip - 2003

Our Baltic Trip

Our trip was 21 days with ten days for a cruise. We took flight from SFO to Copenhagen and toured the city for three days.

We boarded the Regal Princess and cruised the Baltic. Our Itinerary:
1 Copenhagen, Denmark
2 At Sea
3 Stockholm, Sweden
4 Helsinki, Finland
5 St. Petersburg, Russia
6 St. Petersburg, Russia
7 Tallinn, Estonia
8 Gdansk (Gdynia), Poland
9 At Sea 10 Oslo, Norway
11 Copenhagen, Denmark

We enjoyed the architecture and landscape of Copenhagen and here are photos of many things we visited.

Copenhagen is a lively city in Denmark with storybook charm. As tourists weviewed the Little Mermaid statue, inspired by the fairy tale; visit Tivoli Gardens, the world-famous amusement park; and witness the changing of the guard at Amalienborg Palace, the residence of the members of Europe's oldest royal dynasty. You can also see the Kronborg Castle in nearby Elsinore, the setting of Shakespeare's "Hamlet."

Tivoli Gardens

Next we went to Stockholm, Sweden. This immaculate Swedish city sprawls across more than a dozen islands connected by bridges. The best half-day shore excursions tour Gamla Stan, or old town, with its narrow cobblestone streets and buildings that date to the 17th and 18th centuries. Stops typically include Stortorget Square and its historic stock exchange; the hall where Nobel Laureates are honored; the great warship Vasa; and the Royal Palace to watch the changing of the guard. A trip to Drottningholm Palace, which houses a splendid working 18th-century theater, also is popular.

Helsinki, Finland. Finland's national capital is a lively, neoclassical city. The most obligatory site here is the tremendous Temppeliaukio Church, carved from solid stone. Popular excursions cover the Senate Square, the Lutheran Cathedral, Sibelius Monument, Finlandia Concert Hall, market square and Esplanadi Park.

St. Petersburg, Russia. This city along the Neva River embodies some of Russia's greatest treasures, and some ships stay in port overnight to allow passengers time to see the myriad sites. A few of the major attractions include the famous masterpieces at the Hermitage Museum, the baroque-style Winter Palace, St. Isaac's Cathedral with its 300-foot gilt cupola and the Bronze Horseman, a monument to Peter the Great.

Tallinn, Estonia. In this Hanseatic city founded in the 13th century, nearly every building is a sight to see. Its medieval spirit is reflected in the main square, towering spires, cobblestone streets and the stone walls that encompass the city. Explore the gothic Church of St. Olai, handicraft shops and the 13th-century Danish.

Gdansk (Gdynia), Poland. We shopped for crystal, silver, amber, embroidered linens and nice arts and crafts such as wood carvings and painted wood articles in the historic center of Gdansk. We visited one of Gdansk's museums to learn more about the history and culture of the area.

Oslo, Norway. Norway's cultural and political center sits at the end of a 60-mile-long fjord. From the many Viking museums to the Hollmenkollen ski jump, the sites here are unique. Tourists will also want to visit Frogner Park, with its modern sculptures, and the Munch Museum. The island's landscape of lush mountains and cloistered coves is a sight in itself.

We returned to Copenhagen and took a plane to Warsaw Poland. We spent two days in Warsaw and then took the train to Krakow and stayed for five more days. Then we took the plane to Copenhagen and back to SFO 21 days after we started. Poland was a surprisingly delightful country.