Wednesday, July 2, 2014

North Sea to Baltic Sea……………

The weather was kind to us most of the cruise, and even beyond when we arrived back in England.
Days at sea consisted of non-stop interesting pastimes, lectures, classes, entertainment, eating, and most important, exercising………to walk off overindulgence in the restaurants. Days ashore were healthy as they brought miles of walking over cobblestones in fresh air and sunshine. We did a 2-day guided tour in St. Petersburg where we covered a lot of ground in a minibus, canal boat and hydrofoil……we walked and walked in every other port of call, thankful for comfy shoes and temperatures.

Funny thing is, after the third day I realized, regarding the eating part of cruising -
  1. I would never eat like that at home
  2. I'd worked hard to lose 10lbs before I tripped lightly up that gangway in Southampton
  3. I would hate myself for the remainder of the Summer if I arrived back home carrying those 10lbs and having to start over again
  4. Bread, no matter how fresh from the ship's ovens below my stateroom, all crunchy and delicious, is not required at every meal
  5. Walking three - six - nine laps of the Promenade Deck (3 were a mile) was fun, easy, interesting,  scenic, and a lot better for me than lazing by the pools, turning lobster red, and putting myself in danger of melanoma. I no longer sunbathe, and anyone in their right mind shouldn't as we all know by now, don't we?
So, hopping on the scales the first day back I was pleasantly surprised to see I had only gained back two of those pounds despite eating much more than usual. I didn't diet and enjoyed lovely meals, but made better choices after those initial three days when I stuffed everything in sight and felt horrible!

One of many signs around the Promenade Deck.

Here are a few pics from around the ship taken as I walked at different times 
of day and evening………………

After rounding Denmark's Cape Skagen, we proceeded on a southerly course following the Danish and Swedish coastlines toward the 'Great Belts', sailing between the islands of Sjaelland and Fyn. Excitement was felt as we neared Ostbroen (East Bridge), the quite amazing and largest part of the Great Belts Bridge, which is actually a series of bridges and tunnels connecting Sweden and Denmark.

Everyone was out on deck or their balconies as we passed under the bridge, which 
seemed awfully close to the Queen Victoria's smokestack, and a general sigh could be 
heard followed by a cheer…………………

……and we left it standing, an amazing feat of engineering in the beautiful waters of the Baltic Sea.
On the return we actually passed under the bridge again, but during the night so missed seeing it.

Sir Francis Drake, Vice Admiral and born in my home county of Devon, was the second sea captain to carry out a circumnavigation of the world, 1577-1580.  Knighted by Elizabeth 1 in 1581 he was a legendary hero to the English. 
I loved his words quoted on our breakfast tray placemat and must say I'm beginning to agree with him.

Next time, heading to Estonia, and our first port of call, the beautiful little capital Tallinn.


  1. Good for you in keeping your weight off while on your trip! That must make you feel so great to return home and not have to diet again. The photos are stunning of the bridge and passing under it. Hugs. Pam

  2. What lovely blue skies! Those deck chairs look like a wonderful place to relax and enjoy the scenery, but only after walking those laps around the deck to whittle off the calories consumed. Sounds like you made some very good choices and congratulations on gaining so little. Did you find the vegan diet worked for losing weight better than other eating plans?
    Love the Sir Francis Drake quotation - I'll be passing that along to my husband, who loves being out on his boat. (I love it, too, but with less intensity.)

  3. Oh, how I've loved your travel pictures! The Baltic Sea looks absolutely beautiful.

  4. Welcome home, Mary. It's been fun traveling along with you on this cruise. One day I hope to sail on one of these ships.
    Congratulations on the weight loss. I'm trying my best to drop some weight this summer. It's slow going, but I keep telling myself, "Little drops fill the bucket." ;-)
    Happy 4th of July!

  5. I love the photos of the wake and the shadows on the sea.

  6. Yeah for all the walking you did to help with keeping the weight off. What wonderful pictures of the ship, blue water, sunset and bridge!

  7. Now I really, really want to go cruising. Good for you only gaining 2 pounds.
    Love that they use the quotes around the ship and at meals.
    Sounds like a wonderful adventure.

  8. The voyage is beginning and I am so happy to be aboard! Wonderful photos as always.
    Good for you for showing such restraint at mealtime and for making those laps.
    Farm Gal in VA

  9. Love the shot of the sun caught between the clouds and the sea. That bridge is certainly amazing.

  10. What a grand ship! I love this series of photos!


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