Copenhagen and Start of Baltic Sea Cruise

Blog Copenhagen and Baltic Cruise August 2010

It was so sad to say goodbye to Kate.  We had just spent time with her on her birthday and it was great. 

Kate and Jo in Brighton

 In addition Suryana the daughter of our friends in Dunedin who lives in England had come to Brighton to see us – and we had a lovely day with her. 

Lunch on Kate’s Birthday with Suryana

As the flight to Copenhagen was early in the morning we stayed at Yotel, at mini hotel inside Gatwick Airport itself.  It was fascinating and like something from star wars.  A mini pod / room with an electronic bed that acts like a couch and then zzzzzzzzzzz goes down to a bed.  Large and comfortable too.  Internet access, ensuite and just there – right in the departure area. Fascinating. 

Yotel room through window - internal only

This is the bed that goes down – behind it is the ensuite. http://www.yotel.com/Find_out.aspx

Caught the plane to Copenhagen – quite uneventful except for the huge airport and departure area at Gatwick.  From inside customs it takes 25 minutes to walk to the plane itself. 

Copenhagen is beautiful.  We had only one night there (but three days when we get back) before we took the cruise up the Baltic sea.  But even in the one night we already love it.  The buildings are lovely, the atmosphere great………. photos later when we go back there.

The cruise left at 5pm the following day and boarding was from 2pm – or so we thought.  Actually as it turned out boarding had been from 11am so no queues, simple process and took all up of maybe 10 minutes.  As we boarded we were offered a glass of pink champagne and then we went to explore and find our cabin.  We were so excited.  It was like going to Disneyland or something.  However we weren’t sure that playing the music from “Titanic” over the p.a. system was such a good idea……….

Our ship from back

Our cabin is wonderful – a deck with a table and 2 chairs and inside everything you want.  Great butler service and without even asking things turn up in your room like newspapers, ice, soda, water, towels, night time chocolates…………. Mmmmmmmmm.

We are lower level deck, third room back

The first night we tried the main restaurant (wonderful), explored the ship and then at 10.30 went to the nightclub.  Hmmmmmm we were the only ones there.  Turns out we are amongst the youngest on the ship and everyone else was in bed! Oh dear!  But that didn’t stop us dancing to the live music……. By ourselves……….  A great night.

Next morning we were berthed in Warnemunde, Germany.  We had chosen not to do a tour that day so as to get used to the ship, explore the local area etc.  Warnemunde is a quaint little seaside town and we were so lucky it was having a festival (summer holidays here) and lots of sailing ships from all over the world were descending.  A beautiful and majestic sight indeed.

Double decker trains!!

They also had a market at the beach so we explored that and Peter sampled some of the local fare.  

Peter buying "fish n chips" at floating fish boat

 

Sailing SHips Germany

Peter's beer stall!

The next day we went on a planned tour to Berlin.  2.5 hours on a bus each way, but worth it. Berlin was something else – incredible history and guided by a local person who had experienced the wall etc.  We were surprised by the spaciousness of the city and how green it was.  Huge parks etc.  It brought home the terror people must have felt.  Just touching the “WALL”……… A very poignant visit.  It touched both of us.

Checkpoint Charlie "Tourism"

Bradenburg gate

Peter in Square Berlin

The bus journey back seemed to take forever and as always sensible Peter had his book and I didn’t….. We got back in time for dinner and then for the ship to leave.  And as Warnemunde had a festival, and as it was the last visit of this ship for the season, they put on a huge fireworks display.  It was stunning.  We were sitting on the deck at the restaurant having dinner as we sailed past the display.

The food on the ship is great.  We have met an extremely good and very fun sommelier – and we have fun and laughter with her each night at the restaurant.  She has put our names down for a degustation dinner – which is invitation only. So we are very happy with that.   

There are four restaurants on board – two of which are “special” restaurants.  We ate at one last night and really, it was fantastic, but not much more so than the mainstream one. And as you have to pay an extra $15 USD each for the special ones that makes us happy. 

Today was Helsinki, Finland.  I had to work in the morning (yes I am doing some work while I am away!!) and Peter had a tour organized for a fishing trip around the Archipelagoes.  He left at 10am and I left at 1.30pm for my harbor tour.  As it turns out the boat he was on lost its propeller and the tour was cancelled.  In the end the three men on it (Peter and two others) were transferred back to our ship by the Police Boat.  The three of them had such fun and much laughter and last night we had dinner with them and their wives / daughters etc. 

My tour was OK and full of facts like there are 50 ports here and only 28 are kept open in the winter by 9 ice breakers, there are 3 million people and 2.5 million saunas………. That sort of thing.  Yes, 2.5 million saunas – and in the winter they cut holes in the ice and dive in to the sea after being in the sauna!!

Now we are on our way to St Petersburg Russia.  We imagine that will be quite something!!!!!!!

Lots of love to you all

 A few more…………

Jo and Peter xx

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2 Responses to “Copenhagen and Start of Baltic Sea Cruise”

  1. Toddy & Sheila Says:

    Hi Guys …

    Another great effort Jo. The photo’s of Berlin took me back in time. I was stationed there with the British army before the wall went up and had a few very hairy moments. I nearly got shot twice, once from an East German cop and on another occasion by a short arsed Russian Commissar. Just a month before I got to Berlin a guy from the eastern sector was shot as he tried to rip the Soviet flag from the top of the Brandenburgh Gate. It was an extremely dodgy time in the 1950’s with kidnappings and murders. We weren’t allowed to wear civilian clothes and had to wear our uniforms all the time because if we inadvertently strayed over the border into the eastern sector we could be held by the Soviet authorities and possibly shot as spies after some serious questioning (torture). The borders were not defined very well.

    Keep ’em coming and I hope you enjoyed Denmark and the trip. I can’t wait to hear about France.

    Love to you both

    Toddy and Sheila

  2. Chris Says:

    I think you should rename this “Eating Around The ….” you sure are tempting me with all the food!! Bags a place at the table for your first international dinner party when you get back home!! Beautiful sunny day here but the winter does seem to be dragging on now & thoughts are turning to lighter clothes & salads. Elizabeth home with light cold but schools & businesses asking people with coldlike symptons to stay home – some of our schools have half away. You keep on enjoying the balmy weather & keep up the fliud intake!!
    XXX

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