Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Baltic Cruise--Part 1

We had an absolutely amazing time on our cruise of the Baltic Sea. It was incredible to see so many cities and countries in the Baltic area--especially since we didn't think we'd really get that far north. Our cruise was 9 days so we'll have to post pictures by day and place otherwise I think I'd never finish this post! Jon is our master photographer and did an awesome job documenting our trip. Enjoy!

We started our trip with a 10 hr train ride from Stuttgart to Copenhagen. The girls did wonderfully--thanks to our ever-present backpacks full of stuff for them to do. (And snacks, of course) Here we are with one surprise on the ride up--a ferry ride on the train. Of course, we had no idea what was going on until someone (very kindly and in English) told us that the train was boarding a ferry and we all had to get off during the ride. OH! This took us from Germany into Denmark.

Tracks right on the ferry, just for our train!

We spent the night in a hotel close to the train station and then set off to explore Copenhagen the next morning. Here is our tour guide for our canal tour. We started at the famous Nyhavn Canal (Hans Christian Anderson lived on this street!) where they have outdoor cafes equipped with blankets and heaters. Our guide gave the tour in Danish, English, and Spanish.

One of the many low bridges our boat passed under.

 Much to our surprise, we saw this other boat tour on the canals being followed by US secret service. Our guide told us that Hillary Clinton was visiting Copenhagen this same day and was taking that boat tour. Hence the secret service...and the hovering helicopter.

Jon, Jon! Take my picture with my Danish in Denmark.

 Another unique experience--seeing a lighthouse ship. Always thought lighthouses were affixed to the ground!

 This church staircase was mistakenly built on the outside of the spiral. Legend has it when the builder realized his mistake he jumped off the top. But our guide said that wasn't true. One could climb up to the top...it's not stairs but a big ramp. Sounds great for a three year old, eh? :) Impressive nonetheless.

Here was a fortress island built to withstand invaders and keep Copenhagen from being taken by enemies...unfortunately after Admiral Lord Nelson made his way in. (Said our guide.)

A highlight for the kids--the Little Mermaid. She's the statue with her back to us, up on that pale rock. The girls were thrilled to see her, even from the back! She certainly attracts her own crowd.

After our canal tour, we walked back toward Tivoli Gardens. The girls loved chasing all the pigeons. They never tired of it! And you can't really see it, but in the background, dead center, is a 7/11. We came across so many 7/11s in Copenhagen it was funny. There were two right next to each other in the central train station. I guess the Danish love 7/11!

The town hall which was at the end of the square in the picture above.

A thrill for all of us was to disover the Lego store. Legos are made in Denmark and this store was quite impressive! Unfortunately, the factory is too far out of the city for us to visit but they had an amazing street scene made completely out of Legos that was too big to photograph.

Tivoli Gardens! Our last stop in our brief tour of Copenhagen.

I think Ellie's smile sums up how we felt about seeing this beautiful, vibrant, bike-ridden city.

We left Tivoli, took another train, and found ourselves at the dock where we boarded our home for the next nine days...the Norwegian Sun. More to come!


Anonymous said...

OH MY GOODNESS! We are THRILLED to see this first and oh,so,wonderful blog! We are nearly w/o words, it's so exciting. And only the first day! God has indeed showered you all w/a rich blessing. So much to see+do. How wonderful that K+E had such a super time. A LEGO store to boot, AND the Little Mermaid,sweet. And your sweet, Jen...a Danish in Denmark!You all work so well as a family seeking adventure together. Hats off to you all! Thank you so much for sharing. Love the family pic! Love, G+P

b.niel said...

Wowie! What an amazing adventure. Copenhagen is one of Uncle Ev's favorite places. He even still has family there! What a gorgeous place. So glad you had an amazing time and can't wait to chat about it! Love you guys!
aunt b
"you may call me aunt vicky"

Evan said...

Aunt B is correct again! Copenhagen is one of my favorites! Glad you got to see a little of it, especially Tivoli (though it's a shame it wasn't warmer and you couldn't stay for the light show at dusk). The Little Mermaid is always a crowd-pleaser; glad the girls were so excited. I thought the story about the steeple was that the stairs wound the wrong way... Also, I'm very jealous about that LEGO store, which I did NOT see when I was there! Can't wait to see more! Much love.

Nana said...

What wonderful pics. The sky is so blue and the countryside beautiful. I love the colors on the Nyhavn
Canal. The sky reminds me of the sky we saw in Normandy. And a moving lighthouse?! Ellie's smile is great and it's so fun to realize what those little girls have seen. I wonder if they will remember this wonderful trip. Keep 'em comin'. We're loving it!