Sunday, June 27, 2010

Stockholm Day II and Setting Sail to Estonia and Russia

First, we have been out of internet contact for a few days, mostly because I am too cheap to pay Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines $0.65 per minute to use their internet connection, so we have a lot of catching up to do.

On Sunday we were up early again to see more of Stockholm's highlights before we set sail for Tallinn, Estonia and St. Petersburg, Russia.

I love the Guards at the Royal Palace

This one is guarding the entrance to the Skattkammaren, Sweden's Royal Treasury. Here Laurie found the Swedish Crown Jewels. She tried to talk them into selling a couple of pieces that she really liked.

No deal.

Storkyrkan Cathedral

It was open today so we had to go inside to see the place where the recent wedding of Swedish Crown Princess Victoria had taken place.

It had a beautiful altar

The Cathedral offered a
HUGE St. George statue

Now that's a fierce looking dragon!!!

Laurie exiting the Cathedral

We think this is the same route that the Royal couple used to exit the Cathedral after their wedding.

Thor's Hammer!!!

Guard Duty with a Drawn Sword

I love this country!!!

The Royal Armory

Our timing was off, they didn't open for another hour, so we will visit this highly recommended museum on Thursday when we return to Stockholm.

Alien Conspiracy Theory?

Only from high in the air, six feet, could one recognize these as being train tracks. How could they possibly be here? Where do they lead? The only possible explanation was that aliens from outer space had laid these tracks thousands of years ago.

I could be mistaken.

Chicks dig fat guys!!!

That has been my mantra for many years now.

Stockholm's splendid waterfront

More of the Stockholm Waterfront

The Nordiska Museet

The Nordic Museum houses exhibits on 500 years of traditional Swedish lifestyles.

King Gustav Vasa

This massive statue of the Father of Modern Sweden greets you in the Nordic Museum's main gallery.

Swedish Bridal Chests

Coffee and cookies time at a canal side café

Yes Bill, Rotary is everywhere!

Boarding "The Vision of the Seas"

Sun with Acne

The overnight ferry to Helsinki

We'll be on board this ship next Thursday night.

The Skärgården Archipelago

While Stockholm is made up of 14 islands, this archipelago is made up of 24,000 incredibly beautiful islands that lead from Stockholm to the Baltic Sea. It took us over three hours to navigate our way through them!

Many of the islands are inhabited

It was now getting close to time for our 8:45 sitting for dinner and I was a little apprehensive. This is our sixth cruise (two Mexican Rivieras, two Caribbeans and one Mediterranean) and we had always cruised with at least one other couple, Brian and Koreen FitzGerald, and usually with a third or fourth couple/family. This was our first solo cruise and we were well aware that the dinner table with the same people can make or break a cruise.

We hit the jackpot!

We were first to sit at the table and were soon joined by a family of five from Pennsylvania, the Wrights, Dave, his wife Cindy and their three daughters Shaina, Kylie and Samantha. Cindy is a Health Sciences teacher at Gettysburg College and Dave is the Athletic Director at Gettysburg. The Bullets are a Wing-T school and I have heard their coach, Barry Streeter, speak at clinics on a few occasion. INSTANT BONDING!

Our final two tablemates arrived, Mike and Ruth Weiss. Mike is a Syracuse University graduate, a sports nut, an assistant prosecutor for Middlesex County in New Jersey and really funny. No, he has never heard of Jay Shelton. Ruth has worked in military intelligence and now works for the Federal Government in HUD in their anti-fraud division. A very fascinating couple. They were taking a four day, last second cruise to break away from their recent frustrations trying to adopt a son in Kiev, Ukraine. Another great pair, WE BOND YET AGAIN!

As beautiful as Tallinn and St. Petersburg proved to be, the four nights sharing dinner and stories with these seven new friends might be my best memory of the cruise. All four nights our table was probably the last one to leave the dining room. We'll have photos of the nine of us up on an upcoming blog.



Andrew said...

Good to have you back posting - missed ya!

Anonymous said...

I wonder if im the only one who think Dave look a little bit like Bill Cowher in one of those pictures.