The second stop on my cruise was Saint Petersburg, or St. Petersburg, in Russia. A city I had really looked forward to visit. So I was very excited when we arrived there. Now Saint Petersburg was the only city where we had to have a Visa if we wanted to enter. But if we booked a tour with the cruise ship we did not have to worry about applying for a Visa. So we did.
However we chose to book a tour where we had around 6 hours free time to walk around in Saint Petersburg, which I thought would be good amount of time. But it was not at all enough time! Saint Petersburg is a big city with many, many things and places to explore. Oh well, I will just have to go back one day and continue my exploration. Because it was an amazing city!
What I did manage to squeeze in though was mostly visits to some of the historic and insanely enormous beautiful buildings. So below are some of the photos I snapped there.
Nevsky Prospect, the main avenue in Saint Petersburg.
And along Nevsky Prospect there are many stunning buildings to see.
Like this magnificent church. It is the Church On Spilled Blood which was built exactly where Emperor Alexander II was assassinated in March 1881.
I thought this building looked really spooky! And when I researched the building it turns out it is a Swedish granite building. Lol! It was built in 1912 and was originally a bank.
At the end of Nevsky Prospect lies this glorious palace named The Winter Palace. This palace is located at the historic Palace Square. The big column in the middle is the Alexander Column which was built between 1830-34. It is the tallest red granite column in the world.
Peter the Great founded Saint Petersburg in 1703 and this palace was commissioned by his daughter, Empress Elizabeth Petrovna, in 1754 as an official royal residence (finished 1764). And until the Russian revolution in 1917 this was where the Russian tsars and monarchs used to live.
Can you see me? :-)
Opposite The Winter Palace lies the The General Staff building, built between 1820-30.
And another gigantic building!
There are about 60 small rivers and canals that run through Saint Petersburg.
There are also more than 400 bridges in Saint Petersburg.
My favourite bridge, of those I saw, was this one. Not sure about the correct name though, I think it is something like Wild Horse Tame Bridge. Anyway, there are four statues on this bridge of a wild horse being tamed by a young man. And each statue symbolizes a stage in taming a wild horse.
These are the four horse statues on the bridge. I really think the artist have managed bring these pieces of stone into life. Because I found them so intense and vivid, like I was staring at a live horse being tamed. They truly captured me.
Snack time at a cafe in Saint Petersburg. Sooo good!!! (I did not eat all of that myself by the way.) :p
On the bus back to the ship.
Where I got to enjoy this lovely sunset.
Thank You and Good Night Saint Petersburg!
After our day here we had 2 nights and 1 entire day at sea before we arrived in Stockholm again. I then stayed a few days in Stockholm after the cruise to visit relatives. I also of course went into Stockholm city to snap a ton of photos! Which I will share in my next post. :p
The first stop on my cruise was Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. I had never been there before so I had no idea what to expect. But it was a very beautiful and picturesque city indeed! We had about 6 hours to spend in Tallinn and we chose to enjoy them in the "Old Town" part of the city. Below are some of the photos I snapped while I was there.
Here I am by the Tallinn sign. The church in the background is St. Olav’s Church and Tower. A church that was actually the tallest building in the world between 1549 to 1625.
Entrance to Old Town in Tallinn.
Where horses have been replaced with segways these days...
By the way, Old Town is very popular among tourists.
So I was not the only one who took photos
and gawked. Lol!
But seriously, there were a lot of really stunning old buildings and churches to see in Tallinn. Like this 14th century Holy Spirit Church with its 17th century clock.
In fact the Holy Spirit Church clock is the oldest public timepiece in Tallinn today.
Town Hall is another cool building in Old Town. It is located at the Town Square and was first mentioned in 1322 in records, although it was not until 1402-1404 it was given the appearance we see today. Town Hall is also the only intact Gothic Town Hall in Northern Europe.
Town Square seen from the Town Hall side.
Where I, and many others, enjoyed an ice cream on this lovely day. :p
Up by the tree in the photo is a perfect lookout spot in Tallinn!
But I had to wander up this hill to get there.
Then squeeze myself in among all these other tourists to get a glimpse of Tallinn.
But it was definitely worth it!
View of Tallinn, Estonia.
Old and new.
More Old Town charm in Tallinn - Cute shop signs!
Old style vendor in Old Town.
Hanging out in Old Town.
Souvenir shopping in Old Town.
And me, constantly looking for fun ways to capture my surroundings.
Next post will be all about my visit in St. Petersburg, Russia! :p
I will start off my Cruise Week Theme here with some photos of the ship I travelled with, Vision Of The Seas. Now I had only been on 2 night cruises before so this 4 night cruise was a new experience for me. And it became a very pleasant experience indeed!
But before I jump into the photo section, here is a short recap of what kind of cruise I was on. It was a 4 night cruise from Stockholm in Sweden with stops in Tallinn, Estonia and St. Petersburg, Russia. During the cruise I stayed in a normal cabin on third deck. No complaints about that one.
The food was also tasty and I ate way too much!!! But I guess that is to be expected when there is a buffet for every meal and snack, lol! All staff was friendly, service was good and there were always plenty of activities going on around the ship. A huge bonus on this cruise was the weather! I swear if I had not looked out the windows I would not have known we were at sea. That is how calm the ocean was. So all in all I did indeed have a wonderful time on this little trip!
And below are some of my captured cruise moments.
Vision Of The Seas in Tallinn harbour.
Aboard Vision Of The Seas.
Lots of floors and two glass elevators.
Wonderful buffet food decorations!
And tasty food! Especially the sushi and mushroom risotto (left) as well as the duck with blackcurrant sauce (right).
More food art. Cheese face.
Fun by the pool. The guys by the pool participated in a "belly flop" competition.
Where the one who made the biggest belly flop won.
Delicious evening drinks and showtime.
Of course I had to inspect the casino aboard. :p
Slot machines worked fine. As did the video poker machines. Which also inspired me to perhaps start to play some online poker again. Hehe.
Deck 3 where we had our cabin.
And where we were greeted by these cute towel animals. When I saw the doggy to the left I instantly thought of my Lisen. Aww!
And beyond beautiful!
A perfect way to end my first cruise week post. Next post will be all about my visit in Tallinn, Estonia. :-)
Yay! So today I drove 500 kilometers from Karlskrona here in Sweden to my departure destination, and Swedens capital, Stockholm. The cruise I'm going on is a 5 day cruise with stops in Tallinn (Estonia) and St. Petersburg (Russia). And I'm so excited!!! Especially about St. Petersburg! A city I imagine to be very beautiful with grandiose buildings and a deeply historic atmosphere. Although I'm sure the entire cruise thing will be a fun experience too!
Of course I have brought my camera with me and I plan to take tons of photos! However I'm not sure how often I will be able to update my blog during this trip. Mainly due to limited internet access out at sea. But I will try to post something as soon as and as often as I can. The same goes for responding to comments, emails and other online connections.
But for now I will leave you with some photos from my drive to Stockholm today. :p
Lake at a rest stop along highway E22 from Karlskrona to Norrköping in Sweden.
Another rest stop where we had lunch.
And where this lovely little bird came by to say hello.