Today was finally the catch up day – the day in which all of our days of non-blog writing came back to haunt us. Sorry, but as Caleb says (I was reading over his shoulder), “we were having to much fun to write a blog”, (C. Anderson, 2017). Note the APA referencing style! So I will do a brief summary of each of the days and then finish with and overall impression of our time spent cruising.
Day 1, Arrival
We arrived, hence the title.
Day 2, Berlin (Warnemünde):
Being the only one that could pronounce the port correctly, I thought it was appropriate that I could be the only one that could write about it. Alas, no one else believed this and so sadly you will have multiple accounts of this great day (I feel your pain). We began the day by getting up at 5:15 am (ah yes, the cruising lifestyle) to have breakfast and then line up to get off the boat. It turned out that we did not need to get up so early in the end, because we got off the boat straight away! Then after a 15 minute wait for the bus and then another 3.5 hour drive we arrived in Berlin. Our tour guide was great! He was hilarious and also showed us many important sites and explained a lot about them. We had lunch in a pub underneath the railway lines (as you do) and then finished up with the great bus ride back to the ship again (my phone lasted the last 1/2 an hour on 1%). After that we again ate too much in the ship’s buffet and then had a early night.
Day 2, Talinn
This time everyone could pronounce the name, so I have no arguments there. However, Caleb (and assumedly Daniel) are writing about the terrible (but funny) puns we made during the day and onwards. I’d just like to point out that I was the original joke with, “hey, they moved the Kremlin here (it was a five shaped dome Church). Now we don’t have to go to Moscow! There’s no ‘Talinn’ how the moved it! And then for the rest of the day people copied me with my joke. MY JOKE. Anyway, Talinn had some really nice buildings and a wall. Although there was not a lot to see, I really enjoyed relaxing after our huge day in Berlin.
Day 3, At Sea
This day was a sea day. A day to ‘see’ many things, and ‘dive’ into many adventures! This was my time to try out all the on-board activities. It was too windy for the water slides to I went on the ropes course and almost fell off (yes it was windy enough to almost knock off an experienced OAT climber). That was the sea day.
Day 4 & 5 St Petersburg
Probably the most stressful time of the whole cruise was the passport control zone in St Petersburg. You go into the queue for an hour and then when you get to the front, you hand them your passport and they stare at you for the entirety of about 5 minutes like you’re some international criminal about to commit a crime again. And then they let you through. We then met our guide – Maria – and then began our tour of this epic city. Such a different style to anything I’ve ever seen! Russia (and St Petersburg) only changed from being communist around 30 years ago, and the evidence can still be seen. Grey high rises dot the islands of the city amongst the beautiful old buildings that are still standing too. We visited many sites in the city and also went on canal tour through the waterways. After 3 palaces I was pretty palaced out!
Day 6, Helsiki
Thankfully our ship hadn’t ‘sinki’ed by now, and so we managed to get to Helsinki. We boarded the hop on hop off bus, and visited around 5 sights there. The town had a really nice market where we bought some delicious chocolate. This is also where I decided I would start collecting chocolate wrappers in each country to bring home.
Day 7, Stockholm
I wasn’t feeling too well on this day and so consequently did not see much of Stockholm. By far the most ‘vasta’ highlight was the Vasa museum. A 16th Century ship that was ‘sinki’ due to having too many cannons. The King ordered it and because the craftsmen were ‘russian’ around they built the ship wrong and it sunk. It was preserved under the water until someone brought it to the surface and put it in a museum. So now it’s a main attraction in Stockholm.
Day 8, at Sea
This is where I’m writing my blog. I went on a waterslide today that had a loop. Unfortunately, something went wrong and I didn’t make the loop. This meant that I had to be lifted out of the waterslide. I didn’t do it again! After this I jumped in the spa (which was amazing). Now I’m sitting here with my hot chocolate and looking out at the ocean trickling past. “this is the life for me,” (C. Anderson, 2009)
So that was cruising for the second time. I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it and we got to see a lot of the world! Amazing! I would definitely do it again.
I know it was a rather short blog so if I have some more time when we are in Germany next I will expand Berlin and Russia.