BALTIC BLOG 01
Sunday June 10, 2012
It doesn’t seem to matter how many times we do it – the countdown to a Big OE is always chaotic, shambolic and stressful. A month ago, it felt like we had forever. A week ago, it felt like we had a month. And here we are, with 19 things still unticked on our To-Do list … and stuff strewn from one end of the house to the other.
Right now, it feels like we’ll NEVER be ready on time – so, if we’re not at the airport on Tuesday, PLEASE START WITHOUT US!
We’ll make it, of course. We always do. And once we settle our bums into our Singapore Airlines seats … once we’re taxiing down that runway … once we up-up-up-and-away … it’ll all feel FAN-DIDDLY-TASTIC!
This Mad Midlife Adventure will start for-real in Singapore … then continue in Heathrow (where the Queen and her corgis are excitedly awaiting our arrival) … then pick up speed in Holland, where our elegant cruise-ship, the Rotterdam, will sound its horn, rev its engines, and move slowly away from the terminal.
Our destination? The Atlantic Coast, the North Sea, and the Baltic – YEEHAA!
These beautiful lands at the top of the world promise welcoming cities, fascinating histories, drop-dead-gorgeous scenery. And we Kiwis are gonna get amongst it all – from the decks of our floating hotel. We’ll be going ashore and packing in as much sightseeing as possible … with heaps of time in-between to kick back, relax and have fun.
As we’ve said all along, we’re gonna have a BALL!
It’s hard to know where to start – because they’ll just keep coming, day after day, night after night, highlight after highlight. But here’s a taste of our itinerary …
- the pomp and pageantry of grand old London (England): “Oh, wouldn’t it be luverly …?”
- wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen (Denmark), home of the world’s oldest monarchy
- the charming, cultured, historical city of Hamburg – Germany’s Gateway to the World
- ever-changing Berlin (Germany), visibly flourishing since the fall of the Wall
- the most beautiful walled city in northern Europe – medieval Tallinn (Estonia)
- St Petersburg (Russia), with its gleaming gold and marble, its glorious Tsarist palaces, its soaring cathedrals, its breathtaking Hermitage museum – just wait and see!
- striking Helsinki (Finland) in the far north, with its sea-breezes and small-town feel
- lovely, lively Stockholm (Sweden), one of the most stunning capitals anywhere, built on 14 islands with glorious waterfront scenes
- The Hague (Holland) – capital of the Netherlands and home of Queen Beatrix
- Delft (Holland), famous for Vermeer (the artist) and Blue Delft ‘porceleijne’
- magical, old, scarred, soothing, picturesque Amsterdam (Holland) with its graceful canals, ancient windmills and gabled houses
PLUS … for those who are joining us for an extra seven days in the NORWEGIAN FJORDS:
- Bergen (Norway) – an ancient Viking seaport, founded by King Olav the Peace Loving
- Geirangerfjord, nestled in the shadow of Mount Dalsnibba, with an ever-changing kaleidoscope of teetering peaks, waterfalls, lakes, streams and farmlets
- the Art Nouveau town of Alesund, known far’n’wide for its turrets and spires
- scenic Hjelterfjord – and bustling Eidfjord, famous for its spiral tunnels, mountains and waterfalls … and voted “the most beautiful town among many in this part of Norway”.
Anyway, I’ve gotta go and help Robyn squeeze everything-plus-the-kitchen-sink into our two small suitcases.
Stay tuned, won’t you. I’ll add lots more words, pix and tall-stories as soon as I’ve got something to report.
Just make sure you look after New Zealand while we’re gone – okay?
Yours bloggedly – JOHN