Thursday, 30 May 2013

Helsinki/St Petersburg/ Tallinn

We had a relaxed walking tour on our own in Helsinki after getting the Ship's Shuttle Bus to the town.It was cooler than Stockholm with a bit of drizzle but we managed to get around. The famous senate square with the commanding St Nicholas Church was a must for us to see,so was the Russian Orthodox Church an the fairly new and modern Church carved out of Rock with a copper dome at the Northern side of town.we walked along the esplanade parking browsing through the Sunday Market,window shopping and stopping for a coffee in the cafe in the park, opposite which some youngsters were performing in a band on a stage!
St Petersburg obviously is The Place of importance in this cruise,that's why we spent two days here.
It's historical with the wide river Neva with its tributaries,canals and bridges.the weather was kind to us both days getting upto 24C.we saw the famous Splitting Blood cathedrals,which really was awe inspiring.We were warned about the place being notorious for thieves and pick-pockets.we had boat ride through the river and various canals seeing the places and cathedrals,forts and administrative
Buildings,which are well preserved and maintained.We could however feel the signs of old communist regime now turning into a sort of dictatorship.
The second day gave us the opportunity to visit the famous Catherine Palace t o experience the marvel of its interior design: gold painted mirrored walls of entrance hall following onto rooms full of paintings,chandeliers ,clocks and antique furniture.there was also the most important Amber room,followed by room decorated by individual artists painting decorating the walls with Delft corner features.we also visited the Amber workshop where a pleasant Young Russian girl explained us about Amber(Sap of pine trees of over million years of age!),and the workmen (100) turned amber into artistic features and ornaments and emblems etc,We returned after walking through the Gardens  To have a well earned rest.This was purely a magical experience.

Tallinn,Estonia: a small medieval town still keepi ng its originality in Architecture and culture.Visited this time on our own taking the shuttle to the town and walking around.there was a market in the town square.visited the town hall,castle,St Nicholas cathedral,fort and fort wall and th Catholic Church.we can see they are trying improve th pace with fundin from the European Union.sad to see a few people begging.there was a slight rain but not too bad.

Rest day at sea today Thursday! Sunny and warm hoping for. Good weather to visit Warnamunde in Germany tomorrow.

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