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Norwegian Dream Cruise : Trip Report
I had spent 2 hours in London a few years ago and always wanted to return and "stay a while" this time. I decided to fly out early and spend four days in London to get a better look. Since we need to fly to London for the cruise we decided to fly out 4 days early and spend some time touring that great city, as well as to start getting used to the time change.
This is just some miscellaneous stuff we saw around London that wasn't extensive enough to warrant it's own page. Here you'll see some monuments around London, Big Ben, 10 Downing Street, etc.
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We weren't in London during the 2 months of the year when there is a possibility of a tour of the Palace so here's the rest of it. At least we did see the changing of the guard.
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One of the highlights of visiting London is visiting the incredible British Museum, one of the best collections of antiquities in the world. The most famous objects are The Rosetta Stone and Elgin's Marbles.
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Tower of London
This is probably the most popular tourist site in London and was Lily's favorite, mostly because it combined jewelry and turture. This is actually a very historic castle dating back to the year 1078.
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Here is some general info about getting on and getting around the ship.
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Our first shore excursion. It was one of those where you could do if you absolutely didn't want to sit on the ship all day as it passed slowly through a canal. The excursion wasn't great but it was nice to spend the day somewhere other than the ship.
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Our second shore excursion to Tallinn, Estonia. It was billed as the one of the best preserved Medieval cities in northern Europe. It was ok, definitely more interesting than Hamburg.
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St. Petersburg, Russia
Finally arrived at the highlight of our trip, the amazing old city of St. Petersburg, the capital of Russia under the era of the Czars. This city has been known by other names in it's history, Petrograd and Leningrad.
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Catherine's Palace, St. Petersburgh
On our first day of excursions the first place we visited was Catherine's Palace not far outside of the city. This palace is best known for its Amber Room which was only recently restored. It was amazing!
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The Hermitage, St. Petersburgh
Our second major visit of the day was the world famous Hermitage Art Museum. Part of what makes this museum interesting is it's inside a spectacular palace, which in and of itself is worth the visit. The priceless art inside is a bonus.
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Peterhof Summer Palace, St. Petersburgh
Our second day began with the amazing Summer Palace about an hour outside of the city. This palace is known as the "Russian Versailles". Very cool.
Peter and Paul Fortress, St. Petersburgh
Another visit was to the Peter and Paul Fortress. This is famous for two reasons, it's the burial place of the Czars and it's still the tallest building in St. Petersburg.
I hate to be so blunt but this is one stop we could have skipped altogether. The tour was quite boring and too much time was spent on the bus. The historic town of Porvoo was no big deal.
Stockholm surprised me, I didn't think it would be interesting but it was. I think the highlight was visiting the Vasa Museum but the city itself was very beautiful and had a pleasant feel to it.
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This is one town that I really wish we could have spent more time in. The only things we saw inside Copenhagen was Tivoli Gardens and of course a 2 minute visit to see The Little Mermaid. We spent an entire day visiting castles which I left in a separate section below.
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Castles of North Zealand
We spent our only full day in Copenhagen visiting three castles in the area outside of Copenhagen known as North Zealand. Unfortunately we were only able to visit the inside of one of the castles.
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To top of our trip we visited the beautiful city of Oslo, Norway. The tour we were taken on didn't do the city justice. If we weren't so tired we would have spent more time exploring on our own.
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For your convenience I put information about all the books and web sites we used to plan our travel in one place.
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Norwegian Dream Cruise 2003
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