Photos from my trip to Russia with Pskov, Novgorod and Saint Petersburg together with OmniaResor during 25th of May to 1st of June 2010.
To see the photos, click at the index to the left.
Tuesday 25th of May
It was quite nice weather when we departed at 8:30 by taxi to the central station. It started to rain while we waited for the connection bus to Stockholm. I looked at a statue, which recently had been placed in the waiting room at the travel centre. It is a traveller with a clock instead of a head and it's a part of the current statue exhibition of the town. The bus departed just after 9 am and we spent the 7 hour trip by reading about the destination, as well as books. We had a lunch stop midway and arrived around 4 pm at the harbour “Värtahamnen”. At the terminal we met out guide Anders Lif and the rest of the group, which mainly came from Västerås.
We got cabins at the eight deck floor, where we installed us before we went down to the restaurant, where we had a buffet dinner together with the group. It was quite an abundant buffet and we enjoyed the company looking at the sight through the archipelago of Stockholm. Even if we mostly had spent the day sitting and reading, it had been quite tiresome and we went early to bed.
Wednesday 26th of May
We went up at 8 am for breakfast, which also was abundant. We arrived in Tallinn at 10 am and as Estonia is part of EU there were no custom formalities and we quickly gathered to be on the bus. Our guide was Taimi and the chauffeur was Genadi. We passed quite quickly through Tallinn towards Tartu.
Taimi told us a lot of facts about Estonia during the trip. Tallinn was founded by Danes during the 13th century. There were a lot of both Danes and Germans during this period. The Hansa was established during the 1290th decade. Importation of salt was very important and the town flourished during the 15th century. Today Estonia has 1.3 million inhabitants, whereof 400000 live in the capital. Tartu is the main university city with 100000 inhabitants and about 20000 students every year. It is over 180 km between the twp main cities and the countryside has a lot of forest and vast unused fields, which may be the reason that there are so many storks in the area. The main building material is the limestone which can be found everywhere in the country. 9% of the surface is the 1500 islands of the country. After the freedom in August 1991 there was an economic recess and Russia increased the custom fees for Estonian agricultural products 2-3 times, which was hard for the country. Today the country is self sufficient of food, but if it had been more profitable, it could increase a lot, but a lot of the agricultural knowledge has been lost and few want to be become peasants. The main industry is importation of metals to refine it to products and export them. They also have a lot of software industry. Rapeseed oil, milk powder, cheese and fish are also important products. Narva has a lot of steel industry, where the workers still mostly are Russians, although the steering is Estonian. Anybody living in Estonia may become a citizen if they pass a language test, which also includes knowledge about some laws. Men lives until they are about 67 years old and women until 78.
In Tartu the Swedish king Gustaf II Adolf founded the university 1632 and initially it had 19 students. After a walking tour through the beautiful city centre, we went to hotel Dorpat for lunch. There was some drizzling now. The lunch was really great and we could manage a few hours at the border if it was necessary... Taimi left us until lunch and we continued towards the border. The landscape became duller and there were more forest. It also started to rain much more. We arrived at the border station Koidala and passed a long queue of lorries, which mainly imported new cars to Russia. Their border crossings could take up to 48 hours, But our worst fear were dissolved, as it just took 20 minutes to pass the Estonian border and then we were first in queue to Russia. We all had to go out and take our luggage and after checking the passports and visas, they scanned out luggage, but they were gentle and all of the border procedures didn't take more than an hour altogether.
We continued towards the Pechory monastery, where our local guide Mikhail and national Swedish talking guide Luba awaited us. The monastery is in an area, which still is under discussion, as it used to be part of Estonia during the Soviet union era. The community has 12-13000 inhabitants and many of them pass the border daily for their work in Estonia.
This was the only monastery, which was active during the communism era of over 500 before it. The first monks lived in caves, and the name Pechory is derived from the Russian word for caves and the monks used to be buried in these caves. 1473 the monastery started its construction. As it was by the border, it was immediately build as a fortress and it had never been taken during the centuries. As there wasn't any rain when we arrived we started with a view over the monastery. It is very colourful and it has even been supported with a large donation by Putin, the former president. The woman had to cover their heads and wear a skirt, but that could be borrowed, while the men had to uncover their heads. This is one of the most important religious centres in Russia and the 28th of August there are incredible mass of people visiting the monastery. There were many modern icons below the roof of a vault down to the church, which we entered during a service. The church was quite crowded.
Outside it had started to rain again, when we went back to the bus. 7:30 pm we headed for Pskov the last 50 km. Also here is there a lot of limestone, forest and turf. It used to be a lot of agriculture and industry, but the region has stagnated a lot. The first time Pskov was mention in a chronicle was 903 AD, so this is considered as the foundation year of the city, although it probably was older. It was when Prince Igor was marrying Olga of the people, who came from Pskov. 1348 it became independent from Novgorod and 1510 it became a part of Russia. The inhabitants are less keen on celebrating the 500 jubilee of this event during the current year.
We arrived about an hour later and checked in. Anders had warned us that this was quite much of an old communist hotel, but we had seen much worse than this. At 9 pm we had dinner at the hotel restaurant. It was not bad, but we had fun as we got the “standard” schnitzel, we used to get nearly everywhere when we went around Balkan a few years ago. I ordered a glass of red wine, but it didn't arrive until the dessert, which was just as good as it was very sweet. The long day ended about 11:30 pm when it was time to turn out the light.
Thursday 27th of May
Up at 7:30 to pack and eat breakfast. When we had come down with the luggage to the reception we got to know that the bus from Saint Petersburg had broken down in the middle of the countryside and a new one had been sent, although it wouldn't arrive until a couple of hours later. We returned the luggage to the rooms and walked out in the rain. We were happy to have brought rain clothes. Mikhail told us that a week earlier it had been 27 degrees dry heat with a lot of dust in a brisk wind, so this seemed to be a better alternative! We walked towards the city centre and stopped for a while by the chapel of Olga with a view over Kremlin, the old fortress. Even with the drizzling we had a splendid view over the river. At the railing towards the river there were several “love lockers”, which seems to exist in several places along the world. Lovers or in this case just married people set a locker together at the railing and throw the key into the Velikaja river as a token of their love. The Swedish king Gustaf II Adolf tried 1611 to invade the city but failed.
We walked over a bridge and entered Kremlin, which is the core of the walled in city. We had some warmth in a souvenir shop before we went up to the cathedral, which is at the top of a stair. The cathedral has 7 rows of icons up to the ceiling. As there currently was no service we were allowed to take photos without a flash. Today there are 50 churches in the city, but it used to be the double. We walked to a cafeteria for some coffee and of course a cake.
The bus had arrived and we took it to the historical museum. The museum is mainly situated in a merchant house from the 1570th decade. It was well-known for their collection of icons, but Christina and I preferred to see the small collection of Viking findings and than I took a quick tour to see some of the icons. We heard that the guiding had been quite detailed and tedious, so we didn't regret to have avoided it. Instead we sat talking with Mikhail while we waited for the others to finish their tour.
After the museum we went to a restaurant for lunch. The waitress dropped some of the beetroot soap (Borscht) in my knee, so I was less than happy, although it's better to keep up a friendly face and good mood. Then we went back to the hotel and said goodbye to Mikhail and fetched our luggage and put it into the bus. It took a while before we had gone out of the city as there were some traffic queues. It was raining and the landscape was less than exciting. We also were warned that we soon would travel on a really bumpy and bad road and that it would take about 3.5 hours to get to Novgorod. The bumping was really true, although it could have been worse. There was constant rain, although not too heavy. We saw mostly forest with a few fields and minor villages along the road. Here and there it was a bus stop and there it always was a crossing for pedestrians, which felt a bit unnecessary as the traffix was light.
Veliky Novgorod is situated 150 km South of Saint Petersburg. It has 215000 inhabitants, which are decreasing today. Its name used to be Holmgård during the Viking era. Gorodische, the old Novgorod was first mentioned 862, when Rurik was summoned from Scandinavia to govern the area and he constructed a hill fort, which has been excavated the last years with many Scandinavian findings from the Viking era.
Anders told us about the legend of Ingegerd, the daughter of king Olof Skötkonung, who 1019 reluctantly had to marry Jaroslav the wise of Novgorod. But she had a long, good and eventful life there, although he was 25 years older than her, She was called Irina and got 10 children, whereof 3 were married to different princes around Europe. One of the daughters complained about living in Paris, which she thought was a filthy, small and Barbaric city. Jaroslav was the grandson of Rurik, so he had also the Scandinavian heritage. Her son Vladimir let construct the Sophia cathedral and she was the first Scandinavian Saint as “Anna of Novgorod”. 1100-1500 was the city really flourishing partly due to the fact that the Mongol never tried to invade the city. On the other hand the Swedes went there a few times. 1240 Birger Jarl tried to invade it, but failed thanks to Alexander Nevskij, who was the lord of Novgorod. The city became part of the Moscow kingdom at 1478. 1611-17 it was occupied by the Swedes in the lead of Jacob de la Gardie. Before they left, they brought the city archive with them to Stockholm, which is a great source today for Russian historians. 1941-44 was the city occupied by the Germans and after the war were only 40 of about 2300 houses inhabitable. The Swedish company ASEA wanted to create a trading partner with Soviet Union to continue to serve the area with power plant equipment and after pressures on the Swedish government, Sweden became one of the first to acknowledge Soviet Union as a new state,
We arrived in Novgorod to the hotel Volkhov (named after the river) just after 6 pm. We checked in to our rooms, which had a higher standard than those in Pskov and had a 3-course dinner at 7 pm. It had at least stopped raining outside. We had some entertainment with Russian folklore dancers and then they sold CD, DVD and ocarinas, The meal was good with fish and today we got dry wine instead of the sweet one, which the Russians love. It was still light outside after dinner, so we went out for a short walk in the park and looked at a partisan statue and the governor’s residence, which is opposite the hotel. It had been another tiresome day and I just edited the photos and diary before we went to bed.
Friday 28th of May
It was a late morning as we didn't depart until 9:30 am. Our local guide Victoria joined us on the bus. It was a cloudy morning but without rain. Novgorod is considered founded 862 AD and it has about 2 million tourists per year. During the bus tour we passed quite many of the more than 50 churches in the city. Many streets are bordered by trees. The houses are often very colourful, but quite shabby with a few exceptions. This used to be the trading capital of Russia and it was one of the four main foreign Hansa cities (the other were London, Bergen and Bruges). Each merchant guild had their own church, so that's why there are seven churches situated in the same area. The bottom of each church was used as storage for their wares. The cupolas were seldom gold plated here, but mostly it was lead or wood. We stopped nearby the churches and made a walk among them. There is also a statue of Sadko, an old fairy tale hero and a new fountain celebrating a meeting among the modern Hansa cities. Many of the churches survived the World War II, as they were so well constructed that they could survive anything but a direct hit by a bomb.
We continued to walk over a small bridge to the other side with a splendid view over Kremlin, the old city and its wall. The wall is about 800 meters long and was built during the 15th century. 1862 they built the 1000 years memorial of the foundation of the city. It has 129 historical and art figures, among them Rurik from Sweden (long before Sweden was a country) who was called to govern the new city 862 AD. It’s made of granite and its weight is about 100 ton. Originally it was covered in bronze and the Germans tried to dismantle the monument and send it to Germany, but they never transported it before they had to retreat. There had been 26 battles with the Swedes during the years. There are 3 occupation Novgorod wanted to live without, When Ivan the terrible took the city, the Swedes 1611-17 and the Germans 1941-44.
Then we went into the historical museum. Most people followed the guide to the famous icon museum at the top, but we preferred to see the findings from the Viking era, among them from the excavation of the fort of Rurik at Gorodische. It was better than the exhibition in Pskov, although Christina was missing textile findings. There were several others in the group who thought it was enough with one icon museum and joined us.
Afterwards we went to the Sophia cathedral, which is the largest in Russia. The word cathedral means in Russia a church with several service rooms with a closed door between them, in contrary to the European meaning that it's the site of the archbishop. It is 40 meters high and it has an iconostas in two rows and the icons are made 15th to 17th century, but there is one icon from the 12th century, Christina said that the clothing style of the icons were mostly from Byzantium. There are two floors in this cathedral. The large chandelier from the ceiling is made of bronze
After the tour we went through a park to the restaurant “Holmgard”, where we got a 5-course lunch. There is no risk that we would starve on this voyage. About 2:30 pm we continued by bus to the monastery of Jurev at the West side of the Volkhov river a couple of kilometres South of the city. We could also see the large lake of Ilmen nearby the road. We passed through an area where there seemed to be quite a lot of water. When we stopped at the monastery, we could see over the river to the hill fort of Rurik and the remnants of the chapel of Annunciation. Inside the walls there are places for studies, eating, and living and of course a church which is named “Georgevskij sabor”, which was built 1119. It was nicely restored and some parts of the church are still under restoration. The monastery had nice blue and golden cupolas.
We continued to the Vitoslavsky museum, which is said to be the best of 23 outdoor museums in Russia. It used “Skansen” in Stockholm as a model when it was established. Most of the houses are small wooden churches. It is in an area of 35 hectares and it is 46 years old. We entered one of the houses to see some of the former daily lifestyle. A man was doing birch letters and other things of birch bark. The place was not our cup of tea, but most of the others seemed to appreciate it. When I was at the toilet I saw the first floor toilet in Russia and it smelled terrible. But the worst with the place were all mosquitoes, which were really annoying and they itched all over the bodies.
Afterwards we made a very quick tour in the compulsory souvenir shops, which seem to duplicate the wares and then it was time to return to the hotel. A few hundred metres from the hotel the bus had to stop as another bus had been in an accident and they waited for the police to arrive. We decided to walk to the hotel, which was lucky as the bus driver had to wait quite long time before everything was settled.
Outside the hotel Luba arranged with a taxi driver to take us and Hans to “Gorodische”, with the old hill fort of Rurik. It is just a couple of kilometres downstream, but by car it is about 10 kilometres. Even the asphalt road was quite narrow, but the last kilometre was on a sand road with really large holes, but the driver calmly got us through. There were actually a couple of other cars belonging to fishermen along the river. When we arrived by the river we went out and had to walk the last part. Immediately there were a few centimetres of water, but we continued. But when it was about a decimetre Christina had to return, as she was afraid of falling due to bad balance. Hans and I continued, but the water became deeper and when we maybe had 100 meters left to the end of the road, we had water up to the knees and were forced to return, so we shouldn’t stumble and destroy our cameras. We could see the ruins of the chapel behind some bushes plus a shed, which probably had been built during the excavations. With wet tennis shoes we looked around the place where the taxi stopped. It was just beside a bridge foundation and we saw a few other over the river, but we think it was for an old removed (or bombed) bridge, which never had been reconstructed, There were many telephone poles in the water nearby, so it was probably extremely high water just now. We went back with the driver and made a short stop by a war memorial in the shape of a tank with flowers, before we went to the hotel. It had only taken about 1½ hour, so we had time to go up and change to sandals and wash up and try to dry the other shoes.
A quarter to 7 p.m. we went with the bus back to the restaurant opposite the Vitoslavsky museum. We had as usual an abundant meal and there was a couple who sang and played music for us. When we went home, the mosquitoes were terrible and all around us in the bus. We were back at 9:30 pm and it was still very light and warm, so we decided to take a walk to Kremlin and we were joined by Sten and Carina. Just when we had passed a crossing we heard a big bang and a couple of cars had crashed into each other behind us. It seemed that nobody had been hurt, although the cars were in a bad shape. We continued into the park and walked along the wall of Kremlin, which had a beautiful light on the walls now, We weren't back until over an hour later and then we both were really tired when we came up to the hotel room.
Saturday 29th of May
After packing and breakfast the bus departed at 9:30 am. It was quite warm and sunny, which was luck as the shoes still hadn't completely dried.
Vladimir, the son of Rurik chose the religion of his people according to the possibilities. He thought vodka was too important to become a Muslim, so that's why he chose Christianity. When Ivan the terrible invaded Novgorod he lay siege of Kremlin and killed about 100 inhabitants per day until the rulers gave up, but they were finally also executed..
In general the Russian people today earn 9000 roubles per month in average. If it is academics, he or she will get about 40000 roubles per month. The rent for a two room apartment is about 3000 rubels. The taxation is 13%.
At about 11 a.m. we made a coffee and toilet stop at a petrol station. The mosquitoes were terrible again. The houses along the road were often very colourful with three windows at the gable, but mostly shabby. The highway parted the villages in two, so it can't be too nice to live in them.
The siege of Leningrad had duration of 900 days during 1941-44. Pushkin with the summer palace of Ekaterina was just in the front line and it was heavily bombed. When the Germans retreated they mined the rest of the palace, just like they did with Peterhof. The communist said that as the palace is owned by the people it was important to rebuild it while the handicraft masters still were alive. But the decisions sounds incredible, as so many were starving after the war. It took about 30 years to restore it to the current state.
We were quite lucky with the heavy traffic so we arrived already 12:30 pm at Pushkin. It's a suburb to Saint Petersburg just 30 km from the city centre. First Ekaterina built a wooden palace here, but it was her daughter Elisabeth, who built this splendid palace. But she decided to name it after her mother. It became an important representation palace for the tsars. It has two parks and many Italian sculptures. During the Soviet era it became a town where many orphans were taken care of both with homes and schools. The poet Pushkin lived here until he died 1936.
We arrived 1 pm, but it was difficult to find a place to park. We had lunch at 1:30 pm in a restaurant in the park. This tower used to be the house where the peacocks and other beautiful birds lived during the winter. It was again an abundant meal. During lunch it had started to rain quite a lot, so after lunch we walked in the town centre to look into some shops and a local market.
At 3:30 we could enter the palace. The façade sculptors were made of golden plaster, but after the restoration this was avoided as gold has difficult to remain on plaster. It is only the towers which still are golden. Peter the Great and Ekaterina I had 11 children, but only three girls survived the childhood. Elisabeth promised the people that during her reign nobody should be executed and there wouldn't be any wars, instead she spent a lot of money on this palace.
The palace is decorated in baroque style and most of the current paintings and furniture are taken from the hermitage exhibitions. The stoves of ceramic tiles are all fakes, as the palace only was used during summertime. The ballroom hall is 850 square metres. It was made as a museum during the 1920th. A dinner used to take 5-8 hours. The amber hall has 350 different nuances of amber. Ekaterina II didn't like the baroque style and decorated some rooms in new classicism at the end of the 18th century. After the tour we made a walk in the park below the drizzling before we went back to the bus and the sun returned again.
We departed 5:30 pm towards Saint Petersburg. We went through the suburbs in the sun. There were many police guarding the streets as they were celebrating the anniversary of Saint Petersburg during the weekend, as it was founded 28th of May 1703. Finally we arrived at Hotel Park Inn Pribatiskaja on the western part of the Vasilij island just before 7 pm. After check-in we went down to the dinner buffet, which was very chaotic mainly due to the fact that a large group of Italians arrived at the same time and they were both noisy and pushy and the queues were long, but we had an okay dinner. It had started to rain, so after going around the souvenirs shops, we decided to go up to the room. It was getting late and it had been a long travel day.
Sunday 30th of May
The last full day in Russia and it was a bit cloudy when we departed at 9:30, which we thought was a bit too late. Most of the buildings on the Vasilij island are built during the 50-60th decades.
We made a short stop at the island to see the Winter palace straight over the river Neva. It was not far from the Peter Paul cathedral and fortress, which were the first constructed parts of the city, which was founded by Peter the Great 1703.
The city has a large diversity of industry and it has about 5 million inhabitants, The river Neva is 11 metres deep and have several minor rivers and canals running through the city.
The next stop was at Nikolaij church, which is in the city centre. Here was the only place we saw any beggars, which otherwise seemed to have disappeared since we were hear 8 years ago. It was built during the 18th century and it's the only church here with two levels of service rooms. As it was Sunday there was a service, which we visited, but we were not allowed to take photos during the service. This was the only active church during the communism era. The service is in old Slavic language and the visitors seldom understand anything. Also are the songs sung by a choir and the participants are only inserting a hallelujah here and there. We made a short toilet and coffee stop in a souvenir shop before we continued. More than one time we had to take an extra turn, as the police had closed several streets due to the cities celebrating.
We just made a photo stop at the Isac cathedral, as it was closed due to a visit by the Moldavian president. This was built 1818-58. It's the 3rd highest cupola building in the world. The gold was applied with a new technique, where the gold was mixed with mercury and then applied at the copper. It still holds well, but many people died during the process, but also during all of the construction. During the communism it was a museum about atheism and even now there is only a service during Easter and Christmas. Outside the cathedral is hotel Astoria, which was constructed by the Swedish architect Lidmark. But the hotel is most known because Hitler ordered the winner's banquet at this hotel and he had even let print the invitation and menu cards in advance, but he never arrived to the city.
We also passed the cruiser Aurora, which pointed its cannon and fired at the Winter palace as a start of the October revolution 1917. We also saw the balcony where Lenin held his first speech, when he arrived to Saint Petersburg after a while in exile.
The last stop before lunch was beside the “church of the saviour on blood”, which is a reference to the place where tsar Alexander II was murdered. It was inaugurated 1913 and has a fantastic mosaic pattern outside. We walked around the souvenir stalls and were fascinated that it was possible to sell so many matryoshka dolls and other stuff, but if were no demand, there wouldn't be any for sale…
We walked to a nearby restaurant for a 5 course dinner with local entertainments, When we came out, the sun had broken through the clouds and it was getting warm when we went to the hermitage. Outside we had to go through security checks, as the entrance was in a large square where it was a lot of celebrations and music. Currently it seemed to be more policemen than people in the square.
When we had entered, Christina and I went by ourselves and said we would go back to the hotel by ourselves. Christina knew quite well where she wanted to go, but it took a while before we understood the directions and we first came to the general room exhibitions. It's rather difficult to walk between the two sides on the ground floor, as you have to get up a floor. The first exhibition we found is about well preserved clothes and other textiles from Mosjevaya Balka in Northern Caucasus. They are from 8th and 9th century and thanks to the cold in the mountains they are better preserved than most found textiles. Christina walked around there for nearly an hour and I took photos of nearly every text and finding.
Then we tried to find Central Asia<exhibitions with Dunhuang and Bezeklik. It should be at the third floor, but unfortunately this part was closed, We also wanted to see the elder European findings, where there is the best chance to find stuff from the Viking era, but also this department was closed. Still there were a lot of interesting things to see from the Russian and Central Asian parts, so we spent a lot of time there. After looking into the bookshop we went out just before closing time at 5 pm.
It was really warm and sunny when we started to walk down Nevskij Prospekt. There were plenty of people out who probably had planned to join the celebration, particular in this warm and fine weather. We went down with the metro at Grosny Dvor and went towards the hotel. It wasn't difficult to find our way, but it was longer to walk to the hotel than we had anticipated, so Christina was really tired when we finally arrived after 6 pm. We went immediately to the buffet dinner and it was much calmer than yesterday. Most of the others were already sitting there, After a little rest in the room, we decided that we should join the trip to the folklore theatre, even if we had been reluctant before.
We departed 8:15 pm and there were already a queue when we arrived, We were met with champagne and the performance started at 9 pm. The best was probably the men's choir, but the dancers were also formidable. Unfortunately they had to do the usual embarrassing part of dragging up a few from the audience. It was usually a pain to watch, but it shorter than expected and not part of the final, so we could really enjoy the performance. In the pause we got some wine or vodka and they were selling DVD, CD and other souvenirs, The performance ended about 11 pm and we went back. It was still very light and warm outdoors.
When we came back it was time to pack most of the stuff, as it would be an early departure and we wasn't in bed until just before midnight.
Monday 31st of May
The wakeup call rang already 5:35, instead of 5:45, but we went up and got ready. It was already warm and sunny outside and we put the luggage at the bus at 6:30 before we went to a quick breakfast, We departed at 7:10 and the traffic was still quite calm. Luba said that it would be rush hour quite soon. We said goodbye to her in a suburb just before we went out of the city towards the Finnish border,
As we were early, we made an extra tour around Viborg to see the old fortress, which has been built by the Swedes. But Viborg was taken by the Russians during the World War II. We also passed Saimaa canal, which is long-term rented by Finland, even if it's in Russian territory.
The custom clearance was relatively fast and according to Anders it was a new record and in less than 1½ hours we had passed the border and the worst annoyance there were the mosquitoes. We passed outside the border town of Hamina (former Fredrikshamn), where a peace treaty was written between Sweden and Russia 1809. Nowadays there is military school in the little town.
We made a lunch stop near Kotka before we continued to Borgå for a stop, as we had plenty of time. This is a nice little town with many beautiful wooden houses and a small cathedral on the hill. It also has a candy factory, which we visited to buy some chocolate. Finally we arrived in Helsinki harbour just after 3 pm. We said goodbye to Alexander and went into the ferry terminal. We had to wait a quarter of an hour before we were allowed to board the ferry,
The cabin was with a view over the sea, but the sea seemed to be calm, so it probably would be good enough. In any case this was more spacious than the one to Tallinn, The ferry departed at 5 pm and just after that, we went to the early buffet dinner and had a nice time. Afterwards we walked around the ferry for a while and both heard some classical music, as well as saw some air acrobatics in the central area of the ferry, Christina was still tired and we went back early to the cabin and I had time to write the diary and take care of the pictures from the trip before it was bedtime.
Tuesday 1st of June
We went up 8 a.m. to pack and have breakfast. We said goodbye to those we found before we went off the ferry at 9:30. We had been told to be in good time for the bus, but that was exaggerated, as it didn't depart until 10:30 just as written in the papers. With just a lunch stop the bus tour back to Borås was uneventful and we was home about 5:30.
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