Sunday, September 30, 2012


Happy travels!  We were able to leave our mission for one trip so we packed it full.  Our cruise took us for four nights and three days stopping at Stockholm - Sweden, Tallinn - Estonia, and St. Petersburg - Russia.
We boarded our cruise ship at the Helsinki harbor.

Our stateroom!  Comfortable enough...

Gulls flew so close we could reach out and touch one!  Hello Jonathon...
Lots of food choices in the dining room.
No going back now...cannot see the shore!
Beautiful water and sunset...

We watched the live entertainment the first night.
Great dance team from photos allowed.

We enjoyed this saxophone player, but only stayed one night for the full performance.  
The dancers were amazing, but the music and singers were blaring and too loud.  

We woke up in Stockholm, Sweden, our first stop.
Decided to jump on the  "Hop On  Hop  Off" sight seeing bus due to the rainy weather.
Unfortunately, we had rain all three days...we made the best of it.
We boarded first so were lucky to get the best seats in the bus!  Each of us had headsets for the tour was great!

Changing of the guard at the King's palace!

Now the Hop On Hop Off Boat included in our 'Hop On Hop Off' ticket...Stockholm is multiple islands.
The boat took us to the Vasa Museum.  The world's only surviving 17th-century ship.  On it's maiden voyage it promptly sank in the Stockholm harbor.  It has been salvaged.  What an amazing process that was to read and see about.  Many died on board.  The reason for its demise was not enough balast.  It was a beautiful ship buried in the mud which perfectly preserved much of it.

Waiting in line to get inside...

Model of the salvage operation...fascinating!    

The Savior Jesus Christ is my anchor...what's yours?

Throughout our trip we followed our progress on the ship monitor.  We have just arrived in Tallinn, Estonia.
Cement pole covered in knitted fabric..unique!

Small well kept homes and obviously hard working people.

This was the highlight of being in Tallinn.  We attended church in a small Estonian and Russian branch.
We attended the Estonian meeting with translation provided by the missionaries.

Beautiful simple architecture...
Taking a walk back in medieval times.

We had to stand in line for passport
check to enter St. Petersburg.
It took a long time!
That's part of the traveling experience...

We did the "Hop On Hop Off" Bus again.  It was clearer weather most of the day.  But, because we had little time, it helped us to see as much as possible.  This is St. Isaac's Cathedral and we took a tour here.  Amazing!
Scenes from scriptures in the entranceway.

Each door told history of the gospel and its
apostles.  The painting to the right and many
others are tiny little squares of mosiac tile.
Precursor to our pixals!

Savior is through the doorway in the inner area.  Apostles flank the door on either side and above.

As the history was told on our audio headphones...
we all became emotional because it is truly a miracle
that this building was preserved during the World Wars!
This tour was the highlight of our time in St. Petersburg...

 Many of the buildings in St. Petersburg are in disrepair and just now are undergoing remodeling.

Church of the Spilt Blood...A Czar was martyred here.
Military garrison...

Shopping mall...

Russian National Library...

Water crisscrosses the city everywhere.  You can take a taxi or a taxi boat.

Queens palace...

Some of our most beautiful photos we took of the shoreline while traveling.

Here we are back in Helsinki!
Whew what a trip...we had a
wonderful time!

This was my hardest blog entry ever. 

We took over 900 photos and you have only seen a few of them. Every time I started to do this blog I would get caught up in looking at and enjoying the photos and all the while I have been collecting more photos of more recent experiences.  So, I will be posting again soon!
I think I am getting, I know I am. 

Love to all!  Hope you enjoyed our trip...

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