Today is our day at sea between Tallinn, Estonia and Gdansk, Poland ….so have a relaxing day with seminars, etc…and it is a beautiful day at sea…

We got a bit behind on my daily updates as we just got busy with excursions and they have been great …yesterday was in Tallinn in Estonia. Very impressed. The city has combined the ultimate in modern design surrounding the historic and totally restored Old Town….they are one of the most highly developed technology cities in the world, and is the seat of the NATO computer protection system. Kind of a Silicon Valley in Northern Europe….and Internet everywhere. The city mixes the old and new very well…and is obviously a very wealthy city and country……with luxury cars abounding. They have capitalized on the Cruise Ship business with 4 big ships in port yesterday….and same expected today. The setting right on the water is very impressive and with the Old Town built inside the wall you can look down from the higher ground, so views are spectacular .

Two days in St Petersburg was great. Just too much to put here…other than to say the Hermitage museum is clearly among the most impressive museums in the world. St Petersburg is very very tourist friendly…and as such the crowds are almost overwhelming. Both Audy and I said at about the same time….biggest crowds we have ever been we were exiting the museum…then the lines outside were a block long. Kind of a Disneyland on steroids……in terms of crowds. We were also able to go to Peterhof Palace….and again…..magnificent.
The evening at Swan Lake was, as expected, superb. We were in row 7….literally the best seats in the house. Truly outstanding .
The city of St Petersburg is also very impressive combining the old and the new…the pre communist with the post…and then the past 20 years making the city a world class metro area. It is now not only the 2nd largest city in Russia but now a destination resort for Russians as it is right on the water with great access to Finland and Scandinavia. A great place to visit and stay for a few days to see all. Very modern and very convenient

Helsinki was a delight to visit and a place to go back to. The excursion was perfect as we got to see the city and what has made it and the country great. Very modern and progressive and very busy with a lot of building and development. Being the shipbuilding capital of the world we were also able to see the giant ice breaker ships …

So, the Cruise so far has been wonderful. Everything we expected and the some. Overall impression of this part of the world is much as what we found in the Mediterranean……..Europe is moving ahead of the US in many ways, in my opinion. Certainly equal if not exceeding metro city development….same with technology….same with education, emphasizing science and technology. Obviously the weather here in Northern Europe is somewhat limiting, as the winter days are short and cold….but they are doing so well to offset that by modern technology in building and metro development, such as indoor malls, etc.

On to Gdansk, Poland tomorrow…….a great time.