Thursday June 11, 2009
Help! We’re in countdown mode now – ticking off the final few days through to June 15, when our group will meet at the airport with bags all packed plus tickets and passports clutched in hot little hands!
Some “MIDLIFE MADNESS” – that’s what we’ve got planned. It’ll start in Singapore … then continue in Amsterdam, Holland, where our elegant cruise-ship, the Prinsendam, will be waiting to take us up the Atlantic coast and into the Baltic Sea.
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 what our itinerary includes …
- magical, old, scarred, soothing, picturesque Amsterdam (Holland) with its graceful canals, ancient windmills and gabled houses
- the 100km-long Kiel Canal (Germany), the world’s busiest artificial waterway, linking the North Sea with the Baltic
- ever-changing Berlin (Germany), visibly flourishing since the fall of the Wall and offering highlights like Checkpoint Charlie, the Reichstag, Charlottenburg Castle, etc
- striking Helsinki, with its fresh sea-breezes and small-town feel (Finland)
- breathtaking St Petersburg (Russia), with its gleaming gold and marble, its glorious Tsarist palaces, its soaring cathedrals, its breathtaking Hermitage museum
- the most beautiful walled city (reputedly) in northern Europe – medieval Tallinn (Estonia)
- lovely, lively Stockholm (Sweden), one of the most stunning capitals anywhere, built on 14 islands with glorious waterfront scenes, the red-roofed island town of Visby, a famous resort much loved by Swedes
- wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen, home of the world’s oldest monarchy (Denmark)
- one of Europe’s smallest and most stylish capitals, charming Oslo in the fjords (Norway)
- the pop, pomp and pageantry of grand, enduring London (England) – with its oh-so-familiar Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Tower Bridge, and heaps more!
Anyway, only four more sleeps and then we’re off! Robyn and I still have about two weeks worth of work to get done, including PACKING – aarrgghh! We’ve got piles of clothes and shoes and medicines and cameras and Important Stuff-We-Might-Need spread out all over the spare room. Enough to fill 10 suitcases, I reckon.
So it’s goodnight from her – and it’s goodnight from me!
I’ll add some fresh entries once this adventure’s actually underway – and I’ll include some award-winning pix. So stay tuned …
Yours bloggedly – JOHN