Even in summer, the weather in the Baltic region is cool, sunny and a little rainy at times. Lovely!  A  7 day cruise goes quickly when hopping between small countries and having a port everyday.   I hadn’t been to Stockholm in thirty years and it hasn’t changed much considering the age of the buildings, cleanliness and standard of living.  I went on the hunt for the traditional very delicious shrimp sandwich with dill and mayonnaise and found it in many places bringing me back to thirty years ago.  Chris devourved lots of Norwegian salmon and oysters, very fresh and he was happy.

St. Petersburg, Russia was intense, just like I had heard from others who visited the Baltic.  Old Leningrad may have some new freedoms but the feeling of the occupation carries on with attitudes and clothing.  Little laughter or smiles and stern attitudes only made me imagine what the people went through during occupations. I’ve only known freedom my entire life, how fortunate I have been.

The palaces in St. Petersburg are filled with gold and more gold and now churches are being called what they are, churches and not museums as they were referred to in the communists era.

Delicious borscht soup, hearty bread, boiled potatoes with dill and rich ice cream are mainstays and filling.  A good beer goes well and then there are the shots of vodka