Friday, February 22, 2013

Mini Vacation with Mirela to the Black Sea

This is Mirela!  She's my girl...

She saved her money to go on vacation and then asked Jen and me to go with her.  I found a pretty cheap but nice hotel over at the Black Sea and we stayed for a couple of nights.  We had fun in the water, took walks, went to the mall and even played in a fountain!

Baltic Cruise Vacation-Part 2

Day 8 and 9
We spent two incredible days in St. Petersburg, Russia!  The sights were amazing...we had a great tour guide and I took a picture of an amber room that I wasn't supposed to.  What a rebel I am!  St. Petersburg is the former capital city Leningrad with an amazing history, beautiful palaces and gardens, churches and museums.
I could have gotten busted for this picture that I took on the sly...this room is made of all mosaic amber!  Very beautiful!

Lunch with people that were on our tour

Today we visited Helsinki, Finland--where there are a lot of lakes and a lot of trees.  We started out our tour visiting this really cool sculpture, followed up by a visit to a church that was made in the rocks.  Also, did a little shopping, visited another church and the sites around town.

Day 11
We arrived in Stockholm, Sweden where it was raining, overcast, and a little foggy.  Actually, all the places were a little cooler that what we were used was a nice break from hot and humid.  Stockholm is made up of many different little islands.  The views going into Stockholm were supposed to be beautiful so we decided to get up early to go see them from the Observation Deck.  However, because of the weather, it was a little difficult.  We saw them on the way out though, when the sun started to peek through.  I was sure glad that we had a tour to go on today because it would have been hard to navigate by ourselves.
It was very windy...
...and COLD!!!
Day 12 was another day at sea!  Rest and relaxation were the order for the day as our vacation was quickly coming to an end! It was another cold and rainy day, but we were determined to sit outside and also sit in the hot tub one last time!
Another cooking demonstration!

The last supper on the ship

Day 13
Time to go home!  We disembarked from the ship, caught our bus and had a lot of time before we had to catch our plane.  We could have toured around Copenhagen a little bit more.  But, no!  We searched high and low to have rhubarb ice cream one more time!!!  This made me very happy!

Baltic Cruise Vacation-Part 1

I know that some people probably live vicariously through my travels so this is what I did last summer.  My roommate Jen and I went on a dream vacation.  We spent 12-days in six Baltic countries.  Each place was very different, yet we enjoyed each country.  I'll try to give a summary about each place.  
 Here we are on our way out the door.  I had someone snap a picture of us so that we could post pictures each day as we went along.  We traveled through Viena and arrived that night in Copenhagen, Denmark!

Day 1
 We did a whirlwind 24-hour sightseeing adventure in Copenhagen.  We bought a Copenhagen card which allowed us to use all public transportation (this made things very easy to not have to figure out how to pay for buses, etc.) and entrance to many museums and attractions.  We saw Trivoli Gardens, took a canal tour and visited 3 or 4 museums!  Copenhagen is a very beautiful city!

This is where I first experienced Rhubarb ice cream!  It is soooo good!
Day 2

 During the afternoon of Day 2, we got on a train to go from the eastern side of Denmark to the western side of the country.  Maria used to live in Romania and she her family live in Esjberg so we took the opportunity to go visit them (and eat more Rhubarb ice cream)!

Luca and Silas were perfect gentlemen and so glad to have guests!  They drew pictures for us and had them waiting on our beds!  The pictures included the Romanian flag and the Denmark flag.

Day 3
We went to the oldest town in Denmark with Maria and her family.  It was a quaint little town.  There was even a parade of Ferrari's which the boys just loved!  We also went to the seaside and visited the North Sea and had the hugest pizza ever!

Day 4
On this morning, we said good-bye to our friends and boarded a train back to Copenhagen so that we could get on the big boat.  It was about a 3-hour train ride.  We left early in the morning so that we would have time to get to the cruise ship.  When we arrived to Copenhagen, we had to figure out how to take the bus (and pay for it) because our Copenhagen Cards had expired.  It was actually pretty easy.  We arrived to the cruise ship with plenty of time to spare, got all registered, explored the ship and did a little relaxing!  Anchor Away!!

Day 5
Today was a tour of Berlin.  We boarded a bus for a 3-hour ride to the city!  It was amazing to see all of the sites and even stood within a portion of the Berlin Wall!

Day 6 was a day at sea!  It was cold and rainy, but, we enjoyed relaxing by reading on the Observation Deck, a cooking demonstration and a movie in our room!  We even went to the captains reception and had our picture taken with the captain himself!

Day 7
This was also a cold and rainy day, but, we made the most of it in Tallinn, Estonia!  This was a cute little town that reminded me of one of the towns in Romania.  Even though it rained, our tour guide continued on and we even got a little shopping in at the end.  We ended up walking back to the ship since we were so close and didn't wait for the bus.