SITTING on the beach in St Lucia watching the waves crash onto the white sand just six weeks after booking a Caribbean cruise was a proper pinch yourself to believe it moment. We hadn’t really thought about this year’s holiday until New Year’s Day, when we had some news that just made us want to make
I think Russia was the whole reason Stew let me book this cruise – he hadn’t really seemed keen on the idea of a cruise before, but Russia seemed to do the trick … Must be the Russian heritage he goes on about! St Petersburg was the port he was most looking forward to, and the
TALLINN was the stop I was most looking forward to on our cruise. I was expecting it to be a fairytale-pretty little city with quirky streets and squares to wander around. It turned out to be exactly that … But so much colder than I anticipated! The old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site,
STOCKHOLM is the city where Santi truly found his feet. He’d been on the move for quite some time, but always holding one of our hands and before long asking to be picked up. So to end up pushing an empty buggy around half the city while he explored the streets was a bit of a shock!
A FEW years ago, Stew and I decided to set ourselves a challenge – to visit every capital city in Europe.
I can’t remember why we came up with the idea, possibly just to visit places we wouldn’t usually think of (but more likely because we hadn’t long got back from an 11-month round-the-world trip and needed something to look forward to). In either case, we were soon drafting up a spreadsheet of capital cities and searching EasyJet for the cheapest flights.
Within a couple of years we squeezed in quite a few little adventures – getting engaged in Lithuania, spending Stew’s 30th birthday in Paris during a week-long holiday including Rome and Madrid, and getting stuck in a blizzard in Copenhagen when I was pregnant.
We managed to rack up 11 cities by the time Santi was born – and now we have an additional challenge member, who notched up five capitals on our first proper family holiday! Not bad considering the furthest he’d been from home prior to our holiday was a week in Bluestone.
As soon as we’d registered him last June, we booked a two-week Baltic cruise with P&O which we’d been eyeing up for ages – visiting non-capital cities Skagen, St Petersburg and Blankenburg, and adding Stockholm, Oslo, Tallinn and Helsinki to our list (as well as revisiting Copenhagen – this time in the sun).
The only criteria to the challenge is that we have to pose for a photo with the country’s flag at a monument … taking Santi with us added a whole new dimension to this as he will not stay still for a photo!
Here are our Capital Challenge photos from the Baltic…
So there you have it! I’ll be writing a few more posts about our holiday over the next few weeks … but in the meantime it’s back to work and planning our next trip away!