Posted on February 20, 2013
When we made the decision to move overseas, I made a decision to leave behind my world of scrapbooking. I started my scrapbooking business when Catrina was a baby (she’s almost 8!) and I found it to be so enjoyable (and even somewhat profitable!). I was so happy to have an outlet for my creativity. I don’t consider myself an overly artistic person… I loved to draw as a child but I was never good at it. With scrapbooking, I could be artistic and create beautiful work without actually being artistically gifted.
So, in Romania, they don’t have a Michael’s on every corner (or anywhere for that matter) and scrapbooking supplies are few and far between. I have moved into the digital age and began creating layouts using my photos and elements from all over the web.
The best thing about these digital works is that they can be printed and posted just like any photograph. I find it’s a great way to print & frame one thing yet have several photos used (like a collage but on steroids).
My first love will always be hands on scrapbooking but the one good thing about digital? No mess to clean up!
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Posted on February 19, 2013
Can you believe the kittens are almost a year old?? I still remember the day they were born. We had been expecting them… we thought Kitty was going to be pregnant FOREVER! I left the house to pick up the girls from school… around 3:30 my phone rings and it’s my housekeeper (yes, I have a housekeeper… DON’T JUDGE ME! She only comes one day a week and she is fab) telling me that the cat had given birth to 4 babies! The best part? She actually used the box I had set up for her in the attic (I had naturally assumed she’d use something warm and cozy, like a laundry basket of clean towels).
2 of the kittens have moved on to other homes (we keep up with them on Facebook and other updates) and 2 have wormed their way into our lives. We adore them and they have really helped us to adjust to life over here. We are happy to have them (well, most days… I had a different response the day the gorgeous guy in the above photo broke my favorite vase).
As for the mother cat? Well, as much as we enjoyed having her, she is a free spirit and did not want to be cooped up in this house anymore. We see her often but she won’t come in. This makes us a little sad but we know she is happiest as an outdoor kitty. We had her spayed (Romania has enough stray animals and we wanted her to be able to live free and not have to worry about handling more kittens) and vaccinated.
The two that live here are working kitties…. modeling is a rough job!
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Posted on January 17, 2013
This is the most frequent question I get from friends/families who think that living in Romania is the equivalent to living on the moon. Obviously, things are a little different than in the states and have taken some time to get adjusted to (some things… like the driving and the line cutting… I will NEVER adjust to!). I could go on and on for days about the day to day/ins and outs of live in Romania but let me just focus on a few:
I frequently see the “scoala” cars out there, teaching new Romanian drivers how to drive terribly. I honestly do not know what they learn in driving school because once that “scoala” comes off the top of the car, all manners and logic disappear… never to be seen again.
Drivers are keen to get where they are going… and you are just in their way. You (as a driver on this same road) do not have anywhere NEARLY as important as the driver behind you… who is now in front of you… having overtaken you into oncoming traffic. Victory is his as he has gained one car length.
When they get to where they are going they need to park. Not that I relish forking over a paycheck to park my car in Manhattan but at least it’s a fine line between us and animals. Parking garages are key to civilizations. Romania does not have such things (ok, one new one with a completely illogical exit) so we all must just make our own way. Since the police are busy doing other things most of the time, people are left to their own creativity when it comes to parking. The most logical place is in a parking spot but in a city with 3x as many cars as it was designed to hold, these spots are few and far between. The next logical place is on the sidewalk. I have NO PROBLEM putting my car on a sidewalk. First of all, it’s not my car (it’s a rental) and second of all, it’s a Toyota Rav4. It’s sort of an SUV and able to handle rugged terrain (stop laughing Jeep owners). I have seen Bentleys parked on sidewalks!
I can honestly say that we’ve almost been legitimately killed by Romanian drivers once (on a roadtrip up to Bran Castle) but anyone with driving training similar to the test stuntman take in Hollywood can handle the roads in Romania (I have also been laughed at by friends who have lived anywhere in Asia… where the driving is even worse). My strategy in dealing with the driving: heck, I’m from NY, I use my horn as an educational device. It is effective. My strategy for dealing with parking is 2 fold…. 1. only go to places with parking lots or 2. take the metro to places where I know parking will make me break out in hives (Strategy 3… just stay home… very effective)
Even in the US I wasn’t threatening Martha Stewart when it came to culinary arts. Moving to Romania has only magnified my shortcomings in the kitchen. In America we have a wonderful thing called “Taco Seasoning”. It is made up of OTHER seasonings and placed into an overpriced little bag. ”Just Add Water” is not a phrase you often see on the packaging here. Most recipes are from scratch and require grinding/grating/shredding and hours in the kitchen. Even cheese is sold in blocks and must be shredded (except for the Mozzarella at Mega Image… perfect for pizza!) Feeding 2 picky eaters now means I have a repertoire of exactly 5 meals that they will eat at least 75% of the contents.
Luckily, takeout and eating out are relatively inexpensive so that helps break up the monotony of pasta/chicken/soup/sandwiches that are a part of our weekly rotation. Unfortunately, when we do eat out the kids usually just order pasta… plain.. no sauce <sigh>.
Having regular shipments of necessities from the US makes us very popular at school parties… all the kids know the difference between a Dunkin Hines cupcake and one made from scratch.
Aside from communism and gymnasts, Romania is not well known to many people in the states (and I’m being generous when I say they know about communism). One quality of life topic that is on the forefront of conversations here but is only slightly known by the outside world is the problem with stray dogs. When Nicolae Ceausescu decided that Bucharest was a shanty town and needed some sprucing up… COMMUNIST STYLE… he relocated the population from their pathetic shanties into even more pathetic Communist Bloc Housing… but at least you now had running water and electricity (well, maybe, unless you lived on a higher floor and the water pumps just weren’t feeling like working that hard that day). Families moved in whole units into these small dwellings but Fido was left out on the streets (literally). So what did Fido do? Well, he went off and found Fifi… what else would he do? So Fido and Fifi (and all the other street dogs with nothing to do) decided that populating the city with a million strays was a good use of their time and talents.
The street dogs here are, for the most part, pretty harmless. They keep to themselves and most are friendly. I wouldn’t recommend petting one but, chances are, if you encounter a street dog, you will live to tell the tale. My biggest beef with the dogs is that they don’t respect the alarm clock. I call them “Romanian Roosters”. Sleeping with the windows open to enjoy a nice breeze? Not unless you want to be serenaded.
4. Out and About:
Want to go out and about in Romania? I don’t blame you… it’s a beautiful country. Do not mistake this with me suggesting you come to Bucharest. Bucharest is NOT beautiful. Sure, there are some beautiful things to see (the Athenium, the Palace, the old town area, Herastrau Park) but overall… it’s lacking that charm that you get in other European cities. If you want to be blown away with the beauty here, you must go to the mountains and visit the smaller towns (Sibiu, Sighisoara, Brasov, etc). They are charming and quite lovely.
Want to talk to Romanian people? GREAT! A huge percentage speak English. When you ask them if they speak English many will sheepishly say “Only a little” and then proceed to understand everything you tell them. When I tell people I “hablo un poco de espanol” I really, REALLY mean it. So getting around in Romania is relatively easy. Ironically, the person you are most likely to encounter with limited (or no) English is taxi driver (you’d think they, of all people, could communicate with English speaking visitors). You can say “well, maybe you should learn Romanian”. In Europe, the common language is English. When a Romanian wants to speak to a German, they both speak English. There is no question in schools about which language you learn as your second language… it’s English. To learn English opens many doors for Romanians in terms of career so they make it a point to learn it.
Want to sit and chat with a Romanian? Hold on there… there’s a pretty good chance that person smokes. I don’t know the percentage but when I go to the old town (where are the bars/pubs are located) I’m pretty sure that 100% of the people are smokers. You cannot go out to dinner without the person next to you lighting up… yum!!! All of your clothing will smell of smoke after a night out.
Want to go for a night out? I highly recommend it! The food is pretty good and very affordable. One big complaint of people traveling to Europe is how expensive it is. These people are not traveling to Romania. Romania is not on the Euro and their currency exchange is $1 US = 3.30 Lei. That 10 Lei drink? Yeah… that’s less than $3.50… drink up. That 18 Lei pizza? Eat up… it’s $6 and, yes, that is for a WHOLE PIE>. Need to get out of the house? No problem, taxis are 1.39 lei per kilometer… the train into Bucharest costs the equivalent of $.30 US. (and it runs more smoothly than the NY Subway system which costs HOW MUCH?) We loved getting “leid” in Romania! ha!
Being out and about can have it’s drawbacks (besides dealing with smokers and stray dogs). You will be dealing with some pretty seriously oblivious people (read my section on DRIVING) who are pretty much set on doing what they want to do, when they want to do it. This is quite frustrating. When you go to any store (Supermarket, mall, fast food) you have to forever be on your guard. For what? Pickpockets?? No…. Armed assault/robbers…. No. You have to always beware of LINE CUTTERS. Line cutters make the lives of normal non-line cutting people hellish. Line cutters often don’t realize they are line cutters (see my point “seriously oblivious”). 4 people are lined up to make a purchase… lined up on the right… inevitably a person will come from the left and set their items down. If I am next in line, I speak up (heck, if I’m 4th in line I speak up). Equally frustrating are the people that allow this and do not speak up. There is a fine dance that takes place in Romania between the overly placid people and the overly aggressive people. As an outsider, I observe this phenomenon with a mixture of respect and disgust.
Maybe it was the years and years that they had to spend in lines while under communism but Romanians take their line standing VERY SERIOUSLY (except for the line cutters…. they have the opposite approach). While out and about you are guaranteed to feel like you are on an episode of Seinfeld as you deal with CLOSE STANDERS. These people are, like me, combating line cutting. If there is room between you and the person in front of you then you risk being cut… this cannot be tolerated. The best defense is good offense so NO SPACE means YOU CANNOT GET IN FRONT OF ME. As a New Yorker I just have this “get outta mah face and mah personal space” mentality so I have come to carry very large purses. If you are too close, chances are, you are gonna be on the receiving end of some Coach to the arm/neck/face… whatever is too close to me.
5. The Little Things:
There are many things that Americans take for granted but no two stand out to me at this moment than the US Postal Service and your local highway department.
In the US, when you have a package sent (and who doesn’t love having packages delivered??) you are presented with this package at your door… bliss. On the off chance that your post office cannot deliver your package directly to your door, you will be given a nice slip of paper indicating that you should come to your post office to pick up said package (ok, now, what happens at that post office is not necessarily bliss… I’ve spent many precious life minutes in line at the New Paltz post office). If you have a package sent via the Romanian postal service from another country you are given a piece of paper telling you to go pick up the package. As a newcomer, I made the silly assumption that this package would be at my LOCAL post office. So naive… of course it’s not there, silly! You have to drive 40 minutes across the city to pick it up… oh, and they close at 2. I showed up at 2:10 and guess what?? WRONG… They hurriedly gave me my package (whewwwwww)…. after I paid the “pick up your package fee” (Around 24 Lei… see above conversion). But wait… there’s more. The very next day I was presented with ANOTHER package slip…. ugh… back I go to the post office across the universe…. this time I went during their business hours since I’m pretty sure they hung up a photo of me after I left. I get there and they say “oh, this package was already picked up”. Yup, the one I had picked up the day before! I don’t discourage the sending of packages by loved ones (we rely on them… how else will my kids get their supply of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese… see “cooking”) but all are encouraged to use a courier service
Regular mail? Oh that comes right to the house (in case you were wondering). We also get lots of mail for a previous tenant who left… hope he doesn’t need all of those insurance letters.
It’s not every day you think to thank the highway department (especially since EVERY YEAR the snowplow tears up a good 2 feet of frontage on our property in New Paltz) but I gotta give it up to NY and their snow removal abilities. Last year, we had about 5 feet of snow in Bucharest. The main roads are cleared by plows… modern technology at its best. Those of us living in the “suburbs” do not have these luxuries. The main road (singular… yep, we have one road) is cleared by the plow… back roads? Better have 4 wheel drive (and watch out for the dogs). Most plowing is done after all the snow is done falling… same for shoveling. Where I live, the maintenance guys come out of hibernation to shovel and they manage to do so until they hit the ice layer at the bottom. At that point, depending on temperature, they will just leave the ice as is or set to work attacking it with shovels and ice stabbie thingees (or brooms as Andy once saw)
So after all this…. why do you like living in Romania? I am often presented with that question. First, and most important, is that living as an expat allows my 2 girls to get an education at an amazing school that we could never afford in the states. More than that, we love the adventure and, even with the adversity, at the end of the day we just laugh at the differences that bother us and embrace the ones we adore (like the AMAZING AMAZING MALL with the AMAZING AMAZING movie theater! The friendliness of the Romanian people when we are out and about! The travel!!! I’ve visited 11 countries so far! Obviously, I have embraced the opportunity to take loads and loads of PICTURES)
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Posted on January 9, 2013
Who doesn’t love a great portrait? I Heart Faces has issued another fantastic challenge for fans to submit their best work of 2012. I have taken MANY portraits but could only choose one. ONE… How can I choose just one???? It wasn’t easy but I have chosen:
I’ve photographed many beautiful children and families so choosing was NOT easy… I will be posting a “best of 2012″ Gallery soon.
Run over to I Heart Faces to enter their challenges!
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Posted on December 13, 2012
I am jetting overseas but before I go I just wanted to say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to my friends on both sides of the sea.
May you always have work for your hands to do.
May your pockets hold always a coin or two.
May the sun shine bright on your windowpane.
May the rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you.
And may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.
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Posted on December 7, 2012
A common thread I’ve noticed this fall. In over 90% of the shoots, the parents and kids spoke in their native languages to each other. Each family had their own English/Native tongue lingo that they easily conversed with each other in. Naturally, I assumed when they weren’t speaking in English that they were talking about me (probably judging my shoes… they are an easy target).
This family had me listening to Turkish! I have to give this dad credit… dads aren’t always comfortable taking photos but I think he was more at home in front of the camera than the rest of his family… and these ladies knew what they were doing! Loved this shoot.
With this next photo shoot, I got to hear some Pakistanglish (Pakistani/English). I said this family had “hair to spare”… gorgeous! We even braved traffic as we had to cross a very busy avenue to find the perfect spot. My friend, Muneezah, is an excellent photographer so I was really honored to be asked to photograph her family. Part of me was leery that she was really inviting me to meet up so she could return the kitten she adopted from us (she is the proud owner of “Patches” who they renamed “Kitty” who has the temperament of quite a diva).
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Posted on December 6, 2012
The second half of 2012 was deja vu for me… it’s like I never left New York. I was booked solid and so happy to be busy working with the expat families in Bucharest. We had a very long fall and we took advantage of every moment. I have too many shoots that I loved so much so I will break them into individual posts (they are out of order and I apologize for that)
Up first!!!!! My good friend Kay and her awesome family. Kay is such a character… love her. When I first moved to Bucharest she came up to me (she was actually Catrina’s substitute teacher for a few weeks when we first arrived) and eagerly announced that we were to be neighbors. I was psyched. She’s from New Zealand (and she’s not a hobbit!) so I knew she would be one to just be chill and relax with. I wish she didn’t work so darn much but we have our fun. Her daughter has been a life saver here. My girls have really taken to her so it was an easy transition.
I can’t believe it took her a year (and seeing that other people’s pics weren’t half bad) to finally agree to a session for her and the family. We had a great day at Herastrau Park, followed by the obligatory lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe (where my family joined us because you can’t get real nachos anywhere else in Bucharest). Good times!
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Posted on October 11, 2012
Things are finally cooling off in Bucharest… but my phone is getting HOT. This time of year always brings out the families. The colors of fall are always perfect for photos. We are still quite green around here but as October progresses I’m sure we will be seeing even more color and I will be doing even more shoots (hopefully!).
I have worked with some fabulous families. I have had the opportunity to work in some very different locations. I’ve gone to the old town area (Lispcani), Herastrau Park (the Central Park of Bucharest), and a local field that felt like I was out in the countryside. I love to be back at “work” (is it really work, though, when you enjoy it so much!?)
I loved the Herastrau location so much that I took my family there for our own photos:
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Posted on September 15, 2012
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I agreed to travel with a tour group to the annual gypsy festival in Costesti. I know that the gypsies are a very colorful group of people so I wasn’t disappointed to see them in all their grandeur as they celebrated and came together to meet, have marriage proposals, and just basically eat lots and lots of meat.
First stop was to a monastery where many of the families gathered to pray to a relic contained within. The relic is reported to be the body of a saint that was on display in a shop in Turkey. A Christian offered to buy the relic from the owner for an agreed price. The price was to be the weight of the relic in gold. When weighed, the relic was much lighter than expected so the Christian got a great deal. Probably the only time in history that a westerner got a good deal from an Arab trader! I should have said a prayer to him too!
Once at the gypsy fair, I admit, I was out of my element. Too many people, too many cars, too much dust, and it was really darn hot. I made the most of it walking around and soaking in the sights and sounds. I saw pigs roasting on open fires, already roasted pigs proudly displayed on tables, more Fanta bottles than I’ve seen in one location, dancing, and musicians. My friends were a little more daring and actually saw bear meat (I think one of them even tried it, said it was salty). We all saw the Ferrari that was presented to one of the young men about to be married (we later learned that the Ferrari was destroyed by a rival family upon their return home… seriously, not making this up)
The monastery on a picture perfect day:
Lighting candles for loved ones:
Ok, I admit, this picture is pretty cool. I couldn’t do it again if I tried and, believe me, I wasn’t trying to get skull reflections in the wax drippings but it just happened. Right place, right time. I think I know a good photo to use on Halloween cards this year!
I saw this girl browsing for skirts with a large group. To me, she was the personification of what a gypsy looked like in my eyes. I was waiting for her to separate herself or turn to me for a better shot but she never did. When I got home and saw this picture I found out that I really liked it (and with a little post-production work I made her stand out). I am slowly learning that not every shot has to be a perfect portrait in order for me to like it. I’m hoping that I continue to develop a more photojournalistic eye through my travels and meeting people.
The next day I was happy to visit the home of a pottery maker. We saw the tools and workshop of a very gifted artist. The tools are rudimentary and the setting was a little bleak but the items created here were beautiful.
An unexpected photo op. This little girl was rescued, along with her more portly brother, by the family of potters. She is the tiniest little thing, she could fit in my hands. She was shaking all over from the excitement of getting so much attention from so many new people. We were all smitten.
She is a happy ending story that we rarely hear about in Romania which is full of so many stray and helpless animals and I wish the best for her and her brother.
I have decided to enter this shot into the Rock the Shot Forum’s contest for the month of September featuring pets. Though she is not my pet, I’m just happy she is someone’s pet.
On the road as we traveled home:
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Posted on August 12, 2012
One thing this American of Irish heritage hates is HOT WEATHER. I do not enjoy vacations relaxing on beaches and my idea of a good time is not basking in the warm sunny days of summer. I mean, I’m the one who went on a honeymoon to Scotland and celebrated my 10th anniversary in Ireland (both of which were the most wonderful trips I could imagine) so when I moved to Bucharest I was dismayed to learn that although it is on the same latitude as New York, it lacks the mountains and the sea that we have in New York so summertime is, literally, a hot mess. We were in the 90′s starting in June and didn’t dip below 95 for most of the summer. And refreshing rain? Forget it… Bucharest is practically a desert (thank goodness for the 3 feed of snow we had in the winter or I’m sure everything would have dried up).
Months ago we anticipated the warm weather and carefully planned our summer vacation. We decided that a Baltic cruise was the answer. I happily packed our warm weather clothes and we headed to Copenhagen! Actually, we headed to Warsaw for our connecting flight. Let me tell you something about Warsaw… and please take this advice… do NOT get a connecting flight through Poland’s capital. In Poland, I was required to completely empty my camera bag to go through security and we were required to go through passport control (we never left the transfer area of the airport yet I am now the proud owner of 2 Poland stamps). This was mildly irksome on our trip to Copenhagen but on the return flight which was delayed out of Copenhagen we were literally running to make our connecting flight and I had the Polish passport control scrutinizing our passports …. WE ARE JUST TRANSFERRING. We were THAT family, the last ones on the bus (oh yes, European travel mostly requires you to take a bus to your plane…. I feel like Obama as I climb the stairs). We would have been the last ones on the plane but the beautiful modern jetways sit empty.
In contrast, I feel like Copenhagen would have let us in with just a warm hug… there was no passport control getting in to the country!! We were bummed, we like to get the countries stamped in our passports… guess we can pretend our Poland stamps are Denmark. Speaking of Denmark…. what an amazingly beautiful place! We met a Danish man on our cruise and learned that to own a car in Copenhagen you pay almost double the sticker price in taxes… most use public transport or use bicycles. They take their bike riding seriously…. every street had a bike lane and every bike had a bell and they were ready to run you down if you were in their way (in a friendly way I’m sure since the Danes are an incredibly nice and fun people) We had a blast visiting the second oldest amusement park in the world, Tivoli Gardens. We spent the day enjoying the rides and the atmosphere (and the short lines! Take THAT Disney World Paris!). On our 2nd day in Copenhagen we decided to take the hop on hop off bus to see the highlights before heading to our ship.
We were pleased to see so many highlights of this great city including the yellow houses that are found throughout the city, the Little Mermaid Statue (which was, oddly, VERY accessible, people were climbing on the statue for photo opportunities which was quite frustrating for me as I wanted to get “the shot”), the Amalienborg Palace, and NyHavn (an ultra awesome “old town” section on the water featuring restaurants and canal cruises). I knew our vacation was off to a great start with our visit to Copenhagen.
Our first stop on our cruise was to Stockholm, Sweden. We took a guided tour of the Vasa Museum, the Royal Palace, and it’s vast Old Town area. The Vasa museum was very interesting. It features the almost entirely intact Vasa warship which sank on its maiden voyage and was preserved in the harbor for over 300 years. We took our chances and ditched our tour to enjoy a longer tour on our own (and SHOPPING) in the old town.
After leaving Stockholm, we didn’t really know what to expect next. We were off to the town of Tallinn in Estonia. What we were met with completely blew our minds. This town was amazing. The beauty almost overshadowed the fact that we were practically kidnapped by the hop on hop off bus that we decided to take. We completely missed the palace and the bus took us past some communist houses and onto the freeway. We were really getting upset that this town was a total disaster but the driver eventually dumped out a bus of angry people in one of the most beautiful old towns I’ve ever seen. It reminded me of Sibiu, the town in Romania that I had fallen in love with earlier this summer. The girls were able to make coins the medieval way (ok, they swung the hammer a few times and then the guys finished making them) and we enjoyed a nice meal in the town square which turned out to be the warmest day of the trip. Reluctantly, we boarded the hop on bus to take us back to the ship and onto our next adventure.
The entire reason why I booked this particular cruise was for the stop in St. Petersburg. To visit Russia was a dream come true and would have been impossible if we weren’t living in Europe. Visiting Russia is very expensive and can be complicated. Acquiring a visa is almost as big a headache as getting an American one (luckily, I don’t need one of those!) but we found out that if you cruise into Russia and take a group excursion then you are part of a group visa and you do not have to go through the hassle of getting your own.
The morning in St. Petersburg dawned and it was POURING RAIN. I felt like crying out my own version of pouring rain but I said, “we’re here, what can you do?” and sadly left my sunglasses in our room and grabbed the free ponchos that the cruise was giving out. We were then herded into passport control which can only be described as a hot mess. They were scrutinizing every passport and I almost feared some of us wouldn’t make it in. I don’t know why they were being so difficult to 2,000 people who were only there to spend $$ in their country but we waited… and waited. I was hoping for an authentic Russian experience where they’d give me a loaf of bread at the end but, alas, that didn’t happen. Once cleared, we boarded the bus to experience another great aspect of Russian life… TRAFFIC. In the end, it was worth it. As we sat in traffic, the skies cleared and we were treated to a rare sunny day. Our guide told us the people of St. Petersburg have “9 months of expectations and 3 months of disappointment” when it comes to weather and that we were very lucky to have such a great day (Andy and I shared a laugh about that because if there’s one thing we haven’t been lucky with in our life together is weather… maybe our luck has changed!)
In St. Petersburg we saw the amazing palaces of the Czar. Catherine’s Palace (aka the Summer Palace) and the Winter Palace which is part of the Hermitage. We also were taken to the burial place of the Czars, including Peter the Great. Most important, Andy and I were able to check “had a shot of vodka in Russia” off our bucket lists! St. Petersburg was stunning, if you can get past the ridiculous passport control, I recommend it highly!
Our last stop was in Kiel, Germany. I knew we weren’t in for a treat when I went on Trip Advisor and searched for “things to do in Kiel” and it returned 0 results. Unfortunately, the only interesting excursions available through our cruise were for those disembarking in Kiel. The rest of us sorry saps were stuck siteseeing in Kiel and there wasn’t much to see. All of the bad weather we had been avoiding caught up to us here as well… TORRENTIAL RAIN. We decided our best bet was to hunker down in a brewery where Andy sampled some of the brews. I even took a sip because you can’t go to Germany and not try the beer even if you hate beer. I’ve come to the conclusion that someone in power in Kiel has naked or otherwise compromising evidence against the owners of MSC Cruises and that is why Kiel remains a port of call on the Baltic Cruise. We won’t hold Kiel against them though as the rest of the cruise was fantastic. You will notice that I don’t have a collage from Kiel. The camera hardly left the bag that day and I couldn’t find 7 decent shots…. Not really a way to end on a high note so let me add this photo: (beautiful Copenhagen sky)
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