Thursday, July 21, 2016

Baltic Wrap-up

Ended our Baltic trip with a bit of a bang.  We both came down with colds on the way home (there's just something about cruise ships.....).  Doesn't seem to matter how much hand-sanitizer we use, we've been sick the last couple of times.  Someone in those 4,000 strangers is bound to cough on you.  Lost interest in the Blog for a few days.

Anyway, thoughts on the trip:

Enjoyed Cornwall, though St. Michael's Mount isn't a patch on its French counterpart, Mont St. Michel.  Doc Martin's village is every bit as scenic as it looks in the TV show.  The small tour size turned out to be essential; the places visited just can't handle mobs on buses, nor can the roads.

The brobdingnagian adaptors required for Britain's 240V system aren't required on the cruise ship which is wired for 230V (a totally different, incompatible adaptor) and North American standard 120V into which your laptop can plug nicely.

Copenhagen was lovely, Tallinn was learning to smile again after 70+ years of Soviet rule.  St. Petersburg was clearly wildly extravagant during the Tsarist days and also clearly horribly grim during the Soviet era.  Helsinki was strangely charming and though modest in attractions, lovely to visit.

You know how TV shows like Wallender or The Bridge, portray Scandinavia as always gloomy and overcast?  Well, it certainly was while we were there; sort of a West-Coast-Vancouver-Seattle effect.  Probably why the Vikings were always angry.  The people now though, are lovely.

It's a part of the world that we would never have visited but for the opportunity to take a cruise.  If you're interested in seeing countries with tiny populations and thriving economies, I recommend it.  They are unashamedly social-democracies and ranked by the UN as among the happiest places in the world, in spite of the weather.

Now to plan our next trip!

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