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Ports of Call: Northern Europe and the BalticsAuthor: dfreeman
Date of Trip: May 2006
Change $100 and get anywhere from 43-50 pounds! (Ugh) What have we done to our dollar! This place was expensive as well and you just had to put you head in the sand and ignore the gaffing. Highlights were certainly the shows, which we would give "Billy Elliot" the one not to miss! For nice DIM-SUM restaurant go to Royal China located at 13 Queensway. Tube stop Queensway or Bayswater.
This was our first cruise and aside from the down-time cruising at sea, it was a nice trip. While in port, go with what the locals eat! European food is incredibly interest and good. From hot dogs to pastry - all good stuff! I noticed that many cruisers were too cheap to eat on shore and just waited until they got back to the Boat. What a shame - to miss the good food of each country we visited. It is part of the experience!
Nothing does it like European hot dogs - first stop in port, go to the dog stand. Ask someone which hot dog stand is the best! You will be pleasantly surprised.
St. Petersburg: Use Red October Tours instead of the crusie line tours. Less people and more flexibility. No Visa required. Our guide was outstanding, insist on Katya Chystiakova (Katerina). Very knowledgeable, flexible and good looking!
In St. Petersburg go to Mamep Cafe for lunch - great place and for the young people! Katerina introduced us to this nice place! We went to the Folklore Show that evening and it was a real disappointment - try to see an Opera instead or go to Mamep Cafe for a Jazz Show and dinner!
In Copenhagen, don't miss "Groften" at Tivoli. Order: Start with Herring and Fish Roe assortment (tell them half and half). Then main dish Skipperlabskovs and of course Aalborg Extra Akvavit. This is top-of-the-line Akvavit- nice bubbly feel on palate as you swallow! You can feel the difference.
Helsinki: Go to Kappeli for lunch in the fancy upscale sit down part of their restaurant and order Reindeer! Unexpected treat!
London: Go see "Billy Elliot". Skip "We will Rock You".
Oslo: Take the Cruiseline tour as it is best way to see Oslo.
In most ports they have "Stop and Ride" independent tour buses that take you around the City. Usually they are waiting outside as your depart from the boat. Also very cost effective.
Copenhagen: Just take a seat in a coffee shop on the main shopping street, enjoy coffee and watch the most beautiful and fashionable men and women walk by. Great people watching. Don't miss the Ice Cream and a Hot Dog! Also, take a Canal Boat Cruise - don't miss it!
For more, visit my blog http://pccollecting.blogspot.com/.
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