The Romance of Northern Europe (1): A Brief Overview of our Cruise

IMG_1157Alan and I just returned from a couple of weeks cruising the Baltic Sea on the Emerald Princess, Alan and Kathi on Cruiseinvestigating all the fascinating ports on their Northern European itinerary.  IMG_1859 We visited 8 ports, & I took thousands of pictures of our incredible tours, a few IMG_1931of which I hope to share with you each upcoming Tuesday during my next  IMG_0214“Travel Tuesday” series. We visited the Den Gamle By in Aarhaus, Denmark, Tallinthe gorgeous medieval city of Tallin, Estonia…that I knew virtually nothing about Oslo Ski Jump…but then places like Holmenkollen, the ski jump in Oslo, which I recognized Oslofrom Disney’s Norway movie, along with this ship from the Viking Museum! 🙂 BerlinBerlin is a vibrant city and especially precious to us because of our German IMG_1427 daughter-in-law, but I think for sheer opulence, we were most amazed by St. IMG_1291Petersberg, the cultural capital of Russia and home to some of the world’s  IMG_2317grandest palaces, most exotic cathedrals, Rembrandt Abraham's Sacrifice 1635and world class museums such as the Hermitage, with its gallery of Rembrandts. HelsinkiBecause of our “Finnish” connection, we visited a lake cottage when we were in  Finland  Helsinki and enjoyed a quiet respite, getting to know a sweet Finnish family. Vasa MuseumIn Sweden we visited Stockholm’s Vasa Museum and their famous  city hall,Stockholm City Hallwhere the Nobel prizes are awarded every year. After the cruise ended, we spent Cope Harbora little extra time in Copenhagen and enjoyed some of its special charms, The Little Mermaidincluding the famed “Little Mermaid” statue in the harbor Tivoliand the splendid Tivoli Gardens, which I’ve heard about “forever”…but also some Cope Botanical Gardenslesser known (to me) attractions such as the world’s oldest glass house in their Russia Caviarbotanical gardens. All told, we tasted a lot of new dishes, enjoyed many new Vigeland Sculpture Parkexperiences, read several books together and on our own, learned a lot, DSCN8904and in general had a royal time! Best of all, we came home deeply refreshed St. Issac's Cathedral (albeit with bad colds) and with expanded spiritual vision. IMG_2433 Plus, we have renewed courage for the work before us! DessertIf this sounds as appealing to you as it was to us, I hope you join us for my IMG_1093upcoming “Tuesday Travel” reminiscences and reflections on the cruise!IMG_2354“Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits” (Psalm 103:2)   “What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me?” (Psalm 116:12)