We decided to go all out for our honeymoon. We did, in fact, pick the date of our wedding AFTER we picked the dates for our trip. We knew we wanted to do a lot of traveling in a relatively short amount of time, and we knew we wanted to see Russia sometime in our lifetime. A cruise through the Baltic Sea seemed perfect. We saved a lot. We researched a lot. We did a lot to make this dream happen. At times I thought we were crazy to plan such a big trip in the midst of so many life-altering events. We probably were a bit insane, but we did have the most incredible time on this vacation.
In all, we were gone for 19 days and traveled through 7 different countries. We went through so many different time zones and traveled through so many different cities in such a short amount of times. We met so many fun and kind people from all over the world. This trip ignited our love for traveling and experiencing different cultures. Our only complaint was that we could not stay longer! Ah well, I guess it’s just an excuse to go back.
Over the course of the trip I kept a hand-written journal about our adventures. Let me tell ya folks, this was WORK. The last thing I wanted to do after walking 10 miles on cobblestone and drinking a glass (or 2) of wine was write down what we did. It seemed mundane at the time, so unnecessary. I thought “how could I ever forget these incredible cities and the things we did?” Well, in the end I am SO glad I slaved away at writing that journal because while I may never forget the names of the cities I visited I will forget all the little details that made our time there so remarkable. It’s the little things, that’s what I’ve learned.
So, because I have this nifty little journal, I can now easily blog about all the cities we explored and the things we did. Today I’ll share some of my favorite memories from the trip, and then I’ll make individual posts for the majority of the cities.
One day we spent the morning exploring the German countryside and then we went to Schwerin Castle, a Disney-like fairytale princess castle. The exterior and the gardens surrounding the castle were truly breathtaking. We even saw a couple taking wedding pictures there (Jealous!). The inside was less than princess-like, and we did get lost trying to get out of the darn place. For a hot second I felt more like a damsel in distress wandering around the halls and sweating through my skinny jeans than a princess.
In Helsinki, Finland we went to the Old Market Square and scoped out a local treat, reindeer. While I did have some remorse eating Santa’s travel team, I must say that Rudolph tasted delicious. Yep, I’d eat him again. Below are the smoked reindeer balls that we gobbled up.This is called the Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood. It’s located in St. Petersburg, Russia. This is one of the most beautiful churches I have ever seen, and I regret that the pictures I took just don’t do it justice.Our favorite city, Tallinn, is located in the small country of Estonia. Never heard of it? Yep, we hadn’t either. Once we visited it though we agreed that this is one the world’s best hidden secrets. The town is such a beauty, and the people there are incredibly kind and welcoming. We love you, Tallinn.Our day in Amsterdam was spent exploring the Anne Frank museum (no pictures allowed) and almost getting killed by cyclists. If you’re ever craving a near death experience by simply just walking on pedestrian streets I recommend you check out Amsterdam. Wanting a short detour from exploring busy cities, we found ourselves wandering the estate of Leed’s Castle. For a moment I thought I was living in Downton Abbey and was waiting on the Crawley family to invite me over for tea. While that didn’t happen, it did not stop me from at least pretending I was an aristocrat living during the turn-of-the-century. While in London, we found Tower Bridge, which we immediately mistook for London Bridge. After taken a bajillion photos and singing “London Bridge is Falling Down” we were disappointed to discover this was not the actual London Bridge of our favorite childhood song. The actual “London Bridge” is pretty unremarkable, so we decided to just keep the photos of Tower Bridge and appreciate those instead.More pictures to come!