Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Cruising the Baltic with Mickey ~ Part 1

After all of the countdown and waiting and, we finally cruised!!! We left The Netherlands Friday June 12th after watching Cody's play. We stopped at a hotel in Flensburg, Germany just on the border of Denmark. Saturday, the next day, we drove the remaining three hours to Copenhagen and went straight to the ship. Once we figured out where to park, we dropped our bags off and checked in. We only had to wait a few minutes before it was our turn to board!

And we're off!

The longest bridge in Europe, 2nd longest in the world. 

We see it!!!
Day 1: Exploring the ship and sailing away!

Waiting our turn

We're on!  It's Meeska!

 Exploring the ship

The first ice cream stop...

I love my brother!

Dinner, night one, in Cariocas

You have to try this!

Sprite and Chocolate Milk at the same time....

Day 2: At Sea ~ Sailing from Copenhagen to Tallinn

Swimming, meeting our Hero's, and of course, more food!

Spiderman Grandpa gets to meet Spiderman!

 Dinner at Lumiere's means escargot! Yummy!!!  If you don't know, Disney Cruise Lines has rotational dining, which means you rotate each night to one of three places. Lumiere's is French, and probably had my favorite food. Of course the best part is that if you can't decide what you want to get, you just get both!

Day 3: Tallinn, Estonia

Can you even find Estonia on the map???   I couldn't until we booked this cruise! This is was probably my favorite city on the tour. We booked an excursion through the ship because we knew nothing about the area, and I am so glad that we did. Our tour guide Annie was amazing, she really made the tour personal and told us about her own life. Estonia governed itself before being occupied by various other countries, most notably the Soviet Union for 50 years before gaining their independence back in 1991 after the Soviet Union broke apart. Communist government apartments were given to the people that were living in them at the time if they chose to keep it. This was a one time opportunity, and once the person decided to keep the apartment, they could do whatever they wanted with it; keep it in the family or sell it and move somewhere else. 

Estonia is a poor country, everything is cheap, and from our perspective it is cheap to live there, but the average wage is just enough to cover a month's rent, so people do not have money left over for anything else. The city of Tallinn relies heavily on tourism, but even this is going down because of everything going on the last few years with Russia and Russian sanctions. It effects the whole region because less and less tourism companies are coming to the area. So, if you need somewhere different to go in Europe, put Tallinn on the list! The place is beautiful and the people are nice. (Super shy according to Annie, but very nice!) There are multiple ferry's every day that go between Tallinn and Helsinki. 

We took the long way around on our tour, stopped at a palace and a church where we listened to some medieval music, ate lunch (delicious chicken) and had a short tour of the old part of the city. It was a busy day but well worth it. 

Have to fit those naps in somewhere!

Tell us how you really feel :) 

Annie, our guide. Super nice and super funny. We lucked out with her!

Mom, come on!

The oldest, continually operating Apoteek in Europe

Dance Macabre. When it was loaned to a museum in Russia it came back two panels shorter. 

Ridiculously windy!!!

The first time I have seen a towel flower :) 

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