Page 3 of Royv1 Travel Blog Posts


Europe » Estonia » Tallinn May 30th 2016

An early morning rise this morning as we were setting off to Tallinn, Estonia in the former Soviet Union. This was the part of the trip I was most looking forward to. Growing up during the Cold War and hearing so much about the Soviet Union, it was amazing that I was going to be stepping foot here, albeit for just a day. The ferry crossing into Estonia took a little over an hour and as we pulled into the Tallinn, remnants of the Soviet era quickly caught my eye. In fact, the harbor that we pulled into, Linnahall, looks like a military fortification but is actually a former Soviet era concert hall and ice hockey rink. From the top of this complex, we could easily see Tallinn's Old Town, one the best preserved medieval cities ... read more
Pulling into The Harbor in Tallinn
Fat Margaret Cannon Tower
Fat Margaret Cannon Tower

Europe » Finland » Uusimaa » Helsinki May 29th 2016

We pulled into a cloudy Helsinki, Finland at approximately 8am and were fully disembarked by 9:30am. At the ferry terminal, we caught a taxi to take us to our nearby hotel, Glo Hotel Kluvvi, just off Helsinki's main pedestrian thoroughfare, the Esplanadi. I had figured that at this point in the trip, we would all be tired of sharing the same room in such close proximity. So for our final destination, we all got our own separate rooms! It was still too early in the morning to check in so we dropped our bags at the hotel and set out to explore. We walked over to the nearby Helsinki Cathedral, one of the most visited sites in Helsinki. This Lutheran church is well known for it's tall green dome which is very distinctive in Helsinki's skyline. ... read more
Sailing Along The Finnish Coastline
Helsinki Cathedral
Helsinki Cathedral

Europe » Sweden » Stockholm County » Stockholm May 28th 2016

After 3 days in Stockholm with dreary and drizzly skies, we finally woke up to blue skies with the sun shining high above us. We had just a few more hours to explore here in Stockholm before having to head over to our overnight ferry to Helsinki. So with just a few hours to kill, we headed back to the Gamla Stan in order to have a look around at the Nobel Museum. This small museum is devoted to Alfred Nobel, the founder of the Nobel Prize and to all the prior recipients of the Nobel Prize. There wasn't a huge amount to see and it didn't take very long to explore everything. We were only here for about 30 minutes. We probably should have taken one of the guided tours as it would have been ... read more
The Nobel Museum
Storatorget
Swedish Meatballs with Lingonberries

Europe » Sweden » Stockholm County » Stockholm May 27th 2016

We awoke this morning hoping that we would be so fortunate as to see the sun today. My first look out the window this morning shattered those hopes. It was another drizzly morning as we ventured back over to the Gamla Stan with a plan of checking out the Nobel Museum. As soon as we got off the metro stop, we noticed a free tour gathering so with no concrete plans, we decided to join in. Our free tour guide was a Ukranian girl living in Stockholm for a few years and as we all opened up our umbrellas, we were off on our walking tour of Stockholm. We walked through the Gamla Stan heading towards the Parliament House. With it's impressive architecture, and beautiful surrounding gardens, the Parliament House lies right in between the Old ... read more
Exploring in the Gamla Stan
Swedish Parliament House
Swedish Parliament House

Europe » Sweden » Stockholm County » Stockholm May 26th 2016

We awoke this morning to some very gloomy skies. Of course, while traveling you can't really let this slow you down so we put on our warmest attire and walked over to the nearby grocery store to buy each of ourselves a cheap umbrella for the day. With umbrellas in hand, we caught the Metro over to Stockholm's Central Station and made the short walk in the rain over to Stockholm's City Hall. We explored the grounds for a bit and decided that we would ascend the City Hall Tower for great albeit cloudy views over Stockholm. While waiting for our 10:00 time to ascend the tower, we explored the waterfront and the surrounding gardens. I chose to take the steps up the tower instead of the elevator and about halfway through the ascent, we were ... read more
Stockholm City Hall
Stockholm City Hall
Stockholm City Hall

Europe » Sweden » Stockholm County » Stockholm May 25th 2016

Flying out of LAX, we flew non-stop on Norwegian Airlines to Stockholm. Norwegian Airlines is one of those budget airlines where you pay for everything in order to try and keep the fares as low as possible. We chose to not pay the $40 for 2 meals so we had to endure a 10 hour flight with just the snacks we brought for ourselves. Arriving in Stockholm, we took the Arlanda Express for the quick ride to Stockholm's Central Station. From here, we caught a taxi to our nearby hotel, the Best Western Kom Hotel. We settled in and freshened up before heading out to do a little exploring. Using public transportation, we rode the Metro to Gamla Stan, Stockholm's Old Town. It was almost 4pm and upon arriving, the first thing we did was grab ... read more
Tower of the German Church in the Gamla Stan
Snacks and Drinks at a Spanish Tapas Bar
Bikes Outside the Gamla Stan Metro Stop

North America » United States » Hawaii » Big Island » Kailua-Kona February 14th 2016

Today was our last day in Hawaii but with our flight home not leaving until just before midnight, we pretty much had a full day to do whatever we wanted. We started this trip by snorkeling so we decided to end it by snorkeling. Lisa knew of a nearby spot that she had snorkeled before so we made our way over to Kahaluu Beach Park just south of Kailua Kona. First thing we notice here was that it was really crowded. However, we staked out a spot on the sand, put on our fins and mask and got into the water. I was not expecting much as far as the quality of the snorkeling but I was quickly shown to be wrong. The reef was teeming with a huge diversity of fish and other sea life ... read more
Snorkeling at Kahaluu Beach Park
Snorkeling at Kahaluu Beach Park
Snorkeling at Kahaluu Beach Park

North America » United States » Hawaii » Big Island » Kailua-Kona February 13th 2016

Today was going to be a full day of driving with the goal of heading as far as Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Driving down Highway 11 towards the southern end of the Big Island, we made our first stop along the side of the highway in Naalehu to stretch our legs and enjoy the views. After the quick break, it was a short drive to the most famous black sand beach on the island, Punalu'u Black Sand Beach. Created by the erosion of volcanic rock, the first thing you notice about the black sand is that it is very hot to walk on. Like most sandy beaches, I thought it would be easier to walk barefoot but I quickly had to put the flip-flops back on. We walked over to where a crowd had formed to ... read more
The View of Naalehu
The View of Naalehu
Punalu'u Black Sand Beach

North America » United States » Hawaii » Big Island » Kailua-Kona February 12th 2016

Our third day in Hawaii and it was another early morning wake up. Today's adventures would bring us into the northern part of the Big Island near the town of Kaaau to ride some ATVs. It was about an hour's drive to ATV Outfitters Hawaii. Although we arrived a bit late, we quickly signed the required forms, got our helmets, goggles, and gloves and were on our way. We had to go through a rather long introduction on safety and usage of the ATVs. Once our guides determined that everyone was ready, we set off through the Kohala Ditch Trail making our way up to the coastline of North Kohala. We rode along well marked trails through private ranchlands and pastures until we arrived at a very scenic spot along the coastline overlooking Keawaeli Bay. Taking ... read more
Keawaeli Bay
Keawaeli Bay
Keawaeli Bay

North America » United States » Hawaii » Big Island » Kailua-Kona February 11th 2016

Today's plan was to make our way over to the eastern and wetter side of the island with the highlight of the day being zip-lining. Driving along Highway 190, we made our way up the slopes of Mt. Hualalai and through the barren landscape of the interior. After the town of Waimea, the landscape quickly transformed to verdant and lush vegetation. Making our way down the Hamakua coast of the island along Highway 19, we made a quick stop at Akaka Falls State Park. It was a relatively quick half mile hike along an uphill trail through the rainforest shaded in wild orchids, bamboos, and draping ferns. The trail eventually leads you to one of Hawaii's most famous waterfalls, Akaka Falls which plummets 442 feet into the gorge below. We soaked in the view before continuing ... read more
Trail to Akaka Falls
Trail to Akaka Falls
Akaka Falls




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