According to a DNA test, I am 100 percent from Russian decent. Being fascinated for decades about the Baltic region finally seemed less random! Last year, I went on an Azamara cruise to the Baltics, and it’s such a wonderful way to discover the area; I completely recommend it!
My journey to the land of blini, caviar, and chocolate began in August 2018. My BFF and I started in Stockholm where we readied ourselves for a 15-day trip that would take us among some of the most interesting and historic regions in our world by land and by sea.
, has one of the most intriguing museums I have ever visited: the Vasa Museum. Who knew that I would love a maritime museum that had only one, albeit important, ship. (This warship, dating back to 1628, was kept a secret for a long time due to embarrassment about its failure to sail and sinking in their bay!)
After Stockholm, we were off to St. Petersburg, Russia
! I found the land of my ancestors to be opulent. While not my favorite locale to ever visit, I must admit that the Hermitage and Faberge Gallery were well worth the stop. Also, the comparison of moving about in a land where your every move is accompanied was a bit awkward and strange to this American who enjoys roaming about freely.
Riga, Latvia, was modern with happy, proud, very amicable citizens in an uber clean area. The people there were also willing to chat with foreigners. If you travel to Latvia, be sure to check out the nouveau district and area landmarks, including the Freedom Monument. Don’t miss the Riga castle; it is extraordinary! Be sure to meander along the Moscow cobblestone district. There is also a lot of Jewish history in Riga.
Klaipeda, Lithuania, was unique but similar to Riga in the sense that the old is juxtaposed to the new. Friendly people were all around. Love gems stones? You will see a lot of amber in Klaipeda; it is known for being an area where it is “harvested” and where artisans reside. (Don’t leave this area without purchasing at least one amber souvenir!)
Next stop: Gdansk, Poland
. Poland is becoming an increasingly popular area for tourism. I was looking forward to this part of the trip. Our cruise line chose this location to have their special event, which was a concert featuring a classical pianist and violinist playing Chopin. What a wonderful auditory treat!
Our trip concluded in Ronne Bornholm, Denmark
. Denmark is where my retail therapy kicked in! This little island had some awesome bargains for sweaters, purses, and Beck’s chocolate. Streets were sprinkled with many lovely galleries. This island is snack-sized and easily walkable. But be prepared for the cobblestone streets!
Our last two days were spent in the majestic city of Copenhagen where we relished the number of museums throughout the city. The highlight was Tivoli Gardens, which I think is a must-see!
Copenhagen offered the perfect last chapter to our journey! If you are interested in learning how to visit the Baltic, reach out to TravelStore
! Until then, I will be munching on my Beck’s chocolate.