S: Steph's 2012 European Adventure
BC: DEPARTED | FRANCE | 8 JUNE 2012
1: LONDON | UNITED KINGDOM | ARRIVED 5 MAY 2012 | My trip started in London on May 5th 2012. I arrived at Heathrow early in the afternoon and after waiting through an extremely long queue at the passport check I made my way across town on the tube to South Woodford where Gerard was waiting to meet me. After showing me around the main street we had a lovely dinner at a local restaurant.
2: I spent 3 full days in London. Staying with Gerard and Rob in South Woodford and catching the tube each day into central London. Pictured here is Picadilly Circus and the West End (where I achieved a life dream by seeing a production of Les Miserables)
4: SHAKESPEARE'S LONDON During my time in London I took a London Walks tour of Shakespeare and Dicken's London which took us to some of the oldest parts of the city. I also visited the rebuilt Globe Theatre on the south bank of the Thames.
6: TOWER OF LONDON
8: HELSINKI, FINLAND | The capital of Finland and the meeting place for my Intrepid tour. I spent a lovely, but cold, three days exploring Helsinki on my own. While there I took a walk around the Toolonlahti bay, visited Senate Square, Uspenski Cathedral, the market square, galleries at Kiasma and Ateneum and the National Museum of Finland. Arriving in Helsinki was quite a shock with cars driving on the other side of the road and street signs, timetables and tram announcements entirely in Suomi.
10: TALLINN | Estonia | 13 & 14 May 2012
11: THE OLD TOWN of Tallinn is a UNESCO world heritage site. It has one of the best preserved fortified city walls in all of Europe. While in Tallinn I took a walking tour, visited one of the best city museums of my trip and tried Wild Boar stew.
13: Riga, Latvia | RIGA, LATVIA We spent 2 days of the tour in Riga, visiting an outdoor Ethnographic museum and the occupation museum. I explored on my own, and after being lost for a while, I eventually found some very nice galleries, architecture and gardens.
14: Klaipeda &Vilnius | LITHUANIA
15: VILNIUS is the capital of Lithuania. On the day we arrived they were celebrating their annual music day with street performers and crowds spread throughout the city.
17: The farm stay at Aukstaitija National park in Lithuania was a highlight of the trip. Upon arrival we met Regina our host and chef at the farm, and Raymundo, our canoeing guide for the afternoon. We canoed along two creeks and across two lakes to come to a wishing tree on a hill where we could see lakes all around. The following day saw us visit a bee museum and taking a suana in the farm house before taking a dip in the lake. Definitely a good spot for relaxing for a couple of days!!
18: Warsaw was completely destroyed in WWII. The old town that stands now has been completely rebuilt. During our 1 day in Warsaw we visited the Uprising museum which gives a lot of information about how the Polish people fought against the Nazis. I also enjoyed some traditional Polish food with the few short hours that I had. Traditional Pierogi and Stuffed Cabbage Leaf. I also had a little adventure trying to find a post office, eventually ending up in a University basement! | Warsaw, Poland
20: BERLIN, GERMANY The last stop of my Intrepid tour. I spent 2 glorious days exploring Berlin on foot, and sometimes train. During my time there I visited the Holocaust Monument, the Reichstag, the East Side Gallery, Brandenberg Gate and many more sights.
24: PARIS, FRANCE The last stop on my amazing trip! I spent 3 days in Paris, taking two walking tours, one in old Paris where we learned about the former monarchy and revolutions and another around Montmarte. I took this picture of the Eiffel Tower on my first night in the city.