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Baltic Sea Cruise, Country #4: St. Petersburg, Russia

Our next stop on our awesome cruise was St. Petersburg, Russia! This was a two-day adventure and both will be included in this post.

With this particular country, as I’m sure you can guess, we couldn’t just show up like the other countries. There are a few ways we would be allowed into the country.

  1. Get a visa on your own
  2. Set up a tour with your cruise line – they’ll take care of your entrance in
  3. Find an approved off-cruise touring company – they’ll take care of your entrance in

We decided to go with option #3. The first one would probably take too long. The second option was pricier and with a larger group. Choosing the third option (we used a company called SPB Tours) was such a great decision. There were about twelve of us with a wonderful tour guide and an awesome driver!  Continue reading “Baltic Sea Cruise, Country #4: St. Petersburg, Russia”

Baltic Sea Cruise, Country #3: Tallinn, Estonia

Our second stop on our awesome cruise was Tallinn, Estonia!

Monday, 14 August 2017:

  • Arrival: 12:00pm (Clearance at 12:30pm)
  • Departure: 7:00pm (All Aboard at 6:30pm)
  • Port: Old City Harbour, pier # 25

Arriving in Tallinn, we first saw what is called Fat Margaret. Built in the 16th century, this stout tower was once used as part of the town’s defense. It was used to defend the harbor; but then became a place to store gunpowder and weapons; and finally, a prison. Currently, it houses something a bit more peaceful – the Estonian Maritime Museum.  Continue reading “Baltic Sea Cruise, Country #3: Tallinn, Estonia”

Baltic Sea Cruise, Country #2: Riga, Latvia

Sorry it took a little while between these posts – we’ll try to get them up sooner!

Saturday, 12 August 2017:

Our Day #1 on the Royal Caribbean Cruise was a cruising day. We just relaxed by the pool/hot tub and explored the ship. This was our first formal night, where we got a bit dressy and simply enjoyed our night.

Sunday, 13 August 2017:

  • Arrival: 11:00am (Clearance at 11:30am)
  • Departure: 6:00pm (All Aboard at 5:30pm)
  • Port: Zila Street 22/24, Riga

The first stop in our Baltic Cruise was Riga, Latvia. Riga contains one-third of Latvia’s population and its one tenth of the Baltic states’ population! Old Town Riga (Vecrīga) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was founded in 1201.

We first stopped by the Doma laukums (Cathedral Square). Doma laukums is the largest square in Riga and has several architectural monuments dating from the 19th century to early 20th century. The cathedral for which the square is named after was closed when we arrived, so we decided to return back to it later.

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Cathedral Square

Continue reading “Baltic Sea Cruise, Country #2: Riga, Latvia”

Baltic Sea Cruise, Country #1: Copenhagen, Denmark

We recently had the opportunity to take our first cruise via Royal Caribbean. What was cool about this trip was the ability to visit eight countries in eleven days! It was simply amazing!

We visited:

  1. Copenhagen, Denmark
  2. Riga, Latvia
  3. Tallinn, Estonia
  4. Saint Petersburg, Russia
  5. Helsinki, Finland
  6. Stockholm, Sweden
  7. Klaipėda, Lithuania
  8. Gdansk (Gdynia), Poland

Since we learned and experienced quite a bit in each country, we decided to split this trip into several blog posts, focusing on one city per post. This one will be specifically focusing on Copenhagen, Denmark. This beautiful city is where our cruise began and where it ended.  Continue reading “Baltic Sea Cruise, Country #1: Copenhagen, Denmark”

Eurotrip 2017 Part 2 – Turin, Italy

After our Paris trip, we headed for Turin, Italy for the next six days. We took the train and the neat thing about about the ride over was how comfortable and quiet it was. Even though the ride itself was about six hours, it certainly didn’t feel like it. Napping was easy and it was pretty spacious.

Just like the last post focused on Paris, this one will focus on Italy. Same as the last post, the pictures below are a compilation of pictures that everyone took during our awesome trip.  Continue reading “Eurotrip 2017 Part 2 – Turin, Italy”

Eurotrip 2017 Part 1 – Paris, France

We recently had an amazing vacation with our awesome friends from the U.S. Three couples and a 3.5 month-old baby came over across the pond for nearly two weeks. Each and every day was so much fun! We were so so happy to have them over here 🙂

The focus of the trip was Paris, France and Turin, Italy. This particular post will focus on the Paris portion only.  We were there for about 3 days. The post will be a keepsake to remember the fun we had and won’t necessarily have too many facts like the other blog posts do. If you do want to know more about some of the places we’ve visited in Paris, please visit our first trip to Paris, France, which was last December. One other note: the pictures here in this post are a compilation of ones that everyone took – thanks to everyone for letting me use them, especially the ones with crazy copyrights on them! :-p  Continue reading “Eurotrip 2017 Part 1 – Paris, France”

Orta San Guilio – Lago d’Orta

This post has been in the queue for a bit – our friends were visiting (YAY!), so we haven’t the chance to finish it.

Friday, 2 June 2017:

One of our “recent” day trips consisted of going to a nearby lake named Lago d’Orta (Lake Orta). This lake is northeast of where we live, and is a fairly quick ride over.

It was previously named Lago di San Giulio after the 4th century patron saint of the region, Saint Julius, up until the 16th century.  Continue reading “Orta San Guilio – Lago d’Orta”

Pont-Saint-Martin, Bard, and Verres – Italy

This will be a more pleasant post, compared to the one before.

Sunday, 28 May 2017:

One of the great things about living here in Italy is the ability to visit nearby towns and discover something new and unique. We took a day trip to a few small towns the other weekend to visit their main attractions.

The three cities we visited were Pont-Saint-Martin, Bard, and Verres, which are all in the Aosta area in northern Italy. A little less than two hours away for us.  Continue reading “Pont-Saint-Martin, Bard, and Verres – Italy”

Juventus vs. Real Madrid Game – 3 June 2017

I have been contemplating whether or not to post this on our blog. It is something that is not as pleasant as traveling from place-to-place, but it is a reality. Before I begin, we would like our family and friends to know that we are okay. A bit dazed, but we’re alright.

Some of you may have heard that many people in Turin were affected by a stampede of people last night, Saturday, 3 June 2017. I would like to share the experience that we had in relation to this. For a more in-depth news article on what happened, here are two articles: ESPN FC or  BBC . The ESPN one helps explains how everything got so out of hand. Continue reading “Juventus vs. Real Madrid Game – 3 June 2017”

Venezia (Venice) and Verona

We recently went on a quick trip to Venezia (Venice) and Verona. It was a very pleasant experience and one that we fully enjoyed.

Before sharing the things we did and saw, I would like to recognize what a great job Venice’s law enforcement did recently. The day before we left for Venice (30 March 2017) was a terror scare. We learned that a few men had threatened to destroy the Rialto Bridge, which is the most popular bridge in Venice, because of the pride they felt after the London attack. Luckily, the police were able to intercede prior to anything happening, but I did question the intelligence of us going. However, as Nick said, this is probably the best time to go due to higher security that would be in place. We went along with our plans and everything turned out just fine.  Continue reading “Venezia (Venice) and Verona”