Handsome Pop & Bird

Handsome Pop

Handsome Pop & Bird


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Joined: January 1st, 1970

Europe » Sweden » Stockholm County » Stockholm July 23rd 2018

Back to where it all began...Stockholm. City and people as great as June yet many more tourists. Great job Bird planning an early trip:) On the way from St. Petersburg we spent the day in Helsinki, which also continues to be wonderful, but compared to Stockholm a bit of an outpost. Who cares, great folks, wonderful temps, and a nice park to spend the afternoon waiting for our last ferry. Have a pix or two for you. Okay, we'll say it, the Viking ferry is markedly superior to St. Peter Line. We can even drink the water! What a great idea. Food is also a tad better (yes, understatement), but the smorgasbord on this ferry is not quite as good as the trip outbound from Stockholm. Of course, we ate it nonetheless. After breakfast we strolled ... read more
Suomenlinna Fortress
Stockholm Archipelago
Cute Island

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Saint Petersburg July 20th 2018

Your trusty travelers had two exhausting days in St. Petersburg. A ton of walking, but most thankfully the city is flatter than a pancake. Pete usurped the land upon which the city was built from the then powerful country of Sweden who attacked him through Poland and the Baltic countries. He eventually defeated Sweden during the summer campaign of 1709 and continued construction of his magnificent city. Indeed the city is magnificent. The roads are wide and arrow straight. Buildings majestic, yet we wonder their condition and use during the soviet era. Our street is the very long Nevsky Prospekt, which is filled with commercial enterprises interspersed with historical buildings and monuments. These capitalistic shops were not here in 1955, we feel sure. We have a couple of pictures as we walked "a gazillion miles" according ... read more
Peter and Paul Fortress
Distant Sight
St. Issac's Cathedral

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Saint Petersburg July 18th 2018

Hello from St. Petersburg. We have now made an overnight ferry trip on the Princess Anastasia (the Princess was a member of the Czar's family the Communists murdered almost exactly 100 years ago). Our first impression of the ship was favorable compared to the Viking we have previously sailed and will two more times. Newer paint, carpet and other décor. However, when we were confronted with the ship's systems and meals we quickly altered our view. The buffets do not approach Viking. Can't drink the water-must buy bottled water from them. Furthermore, at the buffet where potable water is available a sign is posted not to fill water bottles. Really? Nonetheless they delivered us to St. Petersburg. Now for customs. Upon leaving Helsinki we were thoroughly assessed by a Russian official. Fully two occasions of seriously ... read more
Admirality Buildings

Europe » Finland » Uusimaa » Helsinki July 17th 2018

We have now been in Helsinki for a couple of days before departing tomorrow evening on a ferry (Bird says surprise Vicki and Carol Ann) for St. Petersburg, Russia. Even bumped into our ship as we departed Tallin, we'll show you. Helsinki doesn't have a great number of sights. For the considerable majority of it's history Finland was the property of someone else (Sweden and Russia). It was not even founded until the mid sixteenth century (by the Swedes who owned the place and wanted to compete with the trading city of Tallin). It remained a speck on the map until the nineteenth century. Thus, there is little history here. However, the people are wonderful. There were a number of times someone noticed airhead tourists struggling and spontaneously offered assistance. Just nice. Yet they clearly think ... read more
Lutheran Cathedral
Temppeliaukio Church

Europe » Estonia » Tallinn July 15th 2018

Spent just one night in Tallin, which was sufficient. The old town is fairly condensed with encroaching buildings that obscure the view. Folks here are rather different than Scandinavia. Drivers more aggressive, especially the taxi delivering us to our apartment. There is less refinement. We board another ferry for a hop across the eastern Baltic to Helsinki. Unfortunately Trump and Putin will also be there, creating a traffic nightmare and making our movement more difficult. There seems to be no reason for the meeting, other than assuaging Trump's narcissism. Oh well, we do have a few shots of Tallin for you.... read more
Got 'em Here Too
One of Two Major Gates
Great Coastal Gate

Europe » Sweden July 15th 2018

Since we last chatted with you folks, the wanderers have accomplished a bit of traveling. From the Lofton Islands, through almost the entirety of Sweden to losing our wonderful car and boarding a ferry in Stockholm with a Tallin destination. We'll show you some shots along the way. Our fright at not seeing Rudolph above the Artic Circle in Norway has been assuaged. We spied not only Rudolph, but Dancer, Prancer, Vixen and others in Lappland (Sweden). We had always heard of the area and expected something exotic. Well no; have you ever been to south Georgia? If so, you have a good representation of Lappland. From there we continued south until arriving at the IceHotel. It was okay. The roads we traveled in Sweden were a tad varied. There were a couple of times up ... read more
Bird at the IceHotel
Representative Bedroom

Europe » Norway » Northern Norway » Lofoten Islands July 9th 2018

We are now above 68 degrees latitude, and the temp is reflecting the change. Recall our bragging about the pleasant seventies in the large cities. At that time we too laughed at our folly over bringing jackets and sock caps. No more, we are some smart folks to bring them. Its cold and windy here. Temps in mid fifties and sometimes windy. No not like Iceland, but still windy. And this is the middle of summer! What's the temp where you are? These are the islands of craggy sharp mountains. There is some grass farming here, but not like we saw at the lower latitudes where folks bailed their back yards. Growing season is shorter even for grass. Yet, there are sheep and even some cows, but no horses have we seen. We are sure the ... read more
Lofton Approach
Lofton Approach
Reflecting Pool

Europe » Norway » Northern Norway » Brønnøysund July 8th 2018

Yes yes, we know a promise was made that the next post would be delivered from the Lofton Islands. But, but the six ferries over 7 and 8 July were so amazing (at least to us) that we took too many shots to piggyback on a Lofton post. Did someone recently complain about the cost of ferries? Please slap that idiot. Views from the ferries were worth well more than we paid. We crossed the Artic Circle, and kept a sharp lookout for Santa, his Elves, or even Rudolph. Imagine our shock at not only seeing none of this, but noting only a slight change in the landscape and housing. There were even sheep wondering the road, as always, a cow or two grazing, ditto a few horses. All of this above 66 degrees North! No ... read more
Waiting on the Ferry

Europe » Norway » Western Norway July 5th 2018

We continue our journey north, arriving at Trondheim after eight hours and three ferries. Cost of these (expletive deleted) ferries is adding up. Insult to injury we waited on one 45 minutes. When combined with road tolls and eight plus dollar gas, moving about the country ain't cheap. Traveled much of the day on an E (European) designated road. In Germany, France, Italy, or most any other country an E designation is equivalent with our Interstate system, and generally better constructed. In Norway, not so much. There are limited access highways near major cities, like Bergan, Oslo or Trondheim, but out in the country, the E designation carries a bit more variability. It seems to mean the road will be wide enough for two cars-most of the time, and generally have a marked center line, although ... read more
Back/Side of Cathedral

Europe » Norway » Western Norway » Ålesund July 4th 2018

We made it to Runde Island, home of Puffins. The trip required two buses and a high speed ferry. BTW, have you ever been on a boat with seat belts. Neither have we, until today. Yes, there were actual seat belts on the boat. No, we didn't use them. The entire trip took a shade under two hours before we boarded the Good Ship Kunde. The captain soon inquired, "does anyone want life jackets?" What? And two people accepted! Bird, recalling the Pulpit Rock, eyed HP, "you did it again". The trip out not so bad as we had a following sea-the return, well that's another story. One couple became entirely soaked (yet remained in place with the sea flowing upon them), and everyone acquired varying amounts of salt water. Yet, it could have been worse, ... read more
The Sea Voyage Begins
First Stop
Not a MARTA Bridge

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