Riga, Tallin, Helsinki 2006

This was one of the coldest places I have ever been in my life.  The history here was fascinating and the people were some of the nicest I have ever met on any of my travels.

This was one of the first large travels that Brad and I and Corinne took when we all started living together.  We got some good airfare and that was one reason we decided to do it when we did.  BUT if we were to do it again I think that Feb was not the best time of year to travel to this very cold part of the earth.

If you go in the coldest months bring WOOL, wool sweaters, wool socks, wool gloves, wool everything!  If you don’t you will be miserable cold and you wont get to enjoy the touring, the churches, the woods, etc.

Also bring a boucle if you can to have around your face and mouth, it will help with the cold and the bitter cold that you breathe in.

Now we saw pictures of what it all looks like in the spring and I tell you it looks lovely.  We have vowed to go back there when things are in bloom.

The people in these countries, Estonia and Finland are so very very nice.  They love talking about America with you and how they think that it has a lot of rules for being a free country, they would be right.  They ask about the president of the United States, anything they have knowledge on regarding America they want to hear about.  But they are happy with their homes and their way of life so remember don’t try to Americanize them, just share your experiences and be polite and listen to them share theirs.  You will be amazed how much you can learn from these people.

The good thing about these countries is that you can get as much liquor as you want, there are no restrictions, in hotels, or boats, or restaurants.  Not like in the Middle East.  And the selections of Vodka are amazing!  There are great restaurants where you can order reindeer, bear, goat, anything really.  The restaurants are only lite by candle lite and they wear clothing from different time periods.  It was a pretty neat exp.  My daughter esp loved it.

I am sure that if it had not been so cold we would have seen more, the history is so amazing.  I am sure we would have toured and walked more but the weather, snow, cold, just did not permit us too.

English is mostly spoken, as are several other languages.  However there are parts of the Baltics where english is NOT spoken, not a single word.  So be careful, don’t get lost, dont wander too far.  There is no english read, or spoken or written and you could find yourself in an anxious position.

The hotels are lovely, the service perfect.  We found that you can even buy a bottle of wine and take it to the hotel bar and drink it there, there are no real rules about alcohol.

To get from the Baltics to Finland you have to take a ferry, well its more like a HUGE boat that cuts the ice in the water as it travels.  I called it a freighter. 🙂 

It is an experience being on this boat, we had a cabin so we could sleep on the long ride over.  But there are bars, and dance floors and food on the boat.  The people are friendly but most of them do not speak english.

(we had the rare opportunity to hear In the Navy sung in its original Finish)  LOL

All in all it was a fun time, good food, good people, good hotels.  I would love to go back in better weather.  We got some nice photos and have some good memories.  I do recommend it all in all.

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