Planning a trip to the Baltics

Old Nov 28th, 2014, 02:55 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 12,670
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Planning a trip to the Baltics

I'm in the early stages of planning, and I'm overwhelmed.

I want to go to the Baltics and St. Petersburg, with a stopover for a couple of days in Warsaw.

So far I plan on flying out of Seattle to Frankfurt. I want to stay overnight near Frankfurt airport and then take a flight to Warsaw. After that I'll go to Vilnius, Riga, Talinin, with a side trip to St. Petersburg. I'm not sure how I should return. Ferry to Helsinki? Then fly out of Helsinki back to Seattle?

I haven't checked out flights out of Helsinki.

I have only one guidebook so far--the Eyewitness Guide. I need more information.
I'll be back with some questions, but it's almost time for the Gonzaga/St. John's game, so I'm out of time.
Pegontheroad is offline  
Old Nov 28th, 2014, 04:06 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,903
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I used Lonely Planet Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania.
gertie3751 is offline  
Old Nov 28th, 2014, 04:29 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
How much time do you have?

And what time of year? You definitely don;t want to be here in any season even marginally cold.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Nov 28th, 2014, 04:34 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 17,008
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yep, what time of the year are you going.?
Percy is offline  
Old Nov 28th, 2014, 05:12 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 6,818
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Percy...guilty of hi-jacking..mea culpa..but how is your full recovery going?
stu
tower is offline  
Old Nov 28th, 2014, 05:28 PM
  #6  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 22,983
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
FWIW, I thought St. Petersburg worth at least 6 days.

If you haven't been there yet, I wholeheartedly recommend Krakow (for something on the order of 4 days, and do consider including Auschwitz/Birkenau).

You might check into options to take the train from St. Petersburg to Helsinki; depending on your interests, you might want something on the order of 2 days in Helsinki.

Enjoy!
kja is offline  
Old Nov 28th, 2014, 05:30 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 6,818
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Peg, we (UCLA) are facing Gonzaga in the next week or two... Bulldogs look great...too bad about the kid who broke his jaw..should not have happened. We're playing for 7th place in the Bahamas tournament vs. Alabama Birmingham. Embarrassing!We'll be unranked once again on Monday.
If you can maybe stretch the time to include Krakow, do it. I once flew Finnair from, Helsinki to Seattle, connect to L.A. After flying Soviet iffy aircraft for a month at that time, it was a pleasure beyond belief!!
Have a fun trip...fascinating part of Europe. Everybody's warning of extremely cold weather should be heeded. Last trip in the new Russia was Oct. 2008...and it was freezing cold every day, especially on a riverboat cruise Moscow to St. Petersburg. If you have time in Helsinki, take in the unique Sibelius monument and the underground church. Let me know how much time you'll have in Helsinki and I'll post some Finnish pics.
stu
tower is offline  
Old Nov 28th, 2014, 06:05 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 17,008
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Slow recovery tower ugh!
Post those Helsinki anyway. Would love to see them.
Percy is offline  
Old Nov 28th, 2014, 06:14 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 17,008
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
tower:
The Sibelius Monument is rather unique.
At first there wad only those organ pipe, but people objected, so they added the face only

Sibelius hated the organ by the way.!
Percy is offline  
Old Nov 28th, 2014, 06:16 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,903
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Train Krakow to Warsaw is easy. Lux Bus also easy Warsaw/Vilnius/Riga/Tallinn. Tallinn to Helsinki ferry. Train Helsinki to StP.
I was there May, a time of long days and warm weather though some coolish early mornings.
Ask any specific questions you may have.
gertie3751 is offline  
Old Nov 28th, 2014, 06:39 PM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 12,670
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the responses, folks. I'll be going back to Gertie's trip report (which I've already read several times). I want to review her bus travel, since that seems like a good way to see some of the countryside. I want to spend 3 or 4 days each in Talinin, Vilnius and Riga. Also a couple of days in Warsaw and St. Petersburg, depending on how much there is to see.

Odds and ends: Stu: The Zags have one of your former players on the team, Byron Wesley. He graduated from UCLA in 3 years so was eligible to play for GU without a red shirt. Good player.

Yes, it was a shame about Josh Perkins having his jaw broken--poor kid. GU was red-shirting Silas Melson, so he's playing now. We barely skinned by the Johnnies tonight. Either they're better than expected, or the Zags weren't as good as the hype claims.

I'm very interested in history, esp. WWII and the Cold War, so I will want to see museums and monuments dealing with those times. I want to see whatever memorials to the Warsaw Ghetto are are available, but I've never gone to a concentration camp like Dachau or Auschwitz. Just can't do it. I have been to Krakow and thought it was wonderful--especially the art nouveau or jugendstil churches.

I was in St.Pete back in the late 60's, but had the flu or a cold and stayed in the hotel, so it will all be new to me. I especially want to see the Hermitage. I know that we took a long train trip--from St. Pete to Helsinki, if I recall correctly. I wasn't very impressed by Helsinki, except that it was so good being away from the oppressive atmosphere in the USSR. I'll be sure to check out the Sibelius monument, since he's the composer of one of my favorite pieces, Valse Triste.

I remember going on tours in the 60s with Deutsche Reisebüro on Tarom, Romanian national airlines, which used the Ilushin 18, as I recall. The Russian attempt at a Boeing aircraft. It was pretty bad. One of my fellow passengers referred to it as a "rattlesnake" because...well...it rattled.

I will be going in June or Jury and plan on staying about 3 weeks, but how long I stay really depends on how much money I decide I can spend. I may stay as long as 4 or 5 weeks.
Pegontheroad is offline  
Old Nov 28th, 2014, 06:50 PM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 12,670
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Stu: Why were you flying Soviet aircraft. A cheesy tour like the ones I used to take when I lived in Germany in the 60's?

I'd love to see your pics of Helsinki.

Gertie: Would you recommend taking a bus from Warsaw to Vilnius? When I checked out the bus, the travel time was over 8 hours. I've also checked one plane flight, which I saw was $538. A bit pricey. I will take a lux bus if it's comfortable.

The bus/ferry/and train route sounds good. Perhaps if I just follow in your footsteps, I'll save myself some agonizing.
Pegontheroad is offline  
Old Nov 28th, 2014, 06:51 PM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 12,670
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
P.S. I'll get the Lonely Planet as soon as I can make myself leave the house.
Pegontheroad is offline  
Old Nov 28th, 2014, 07:24 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,903
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Peg, the Lux bus was fine for me. Not full and space to stretch out. I too had thought 8 hours would be hard, but in fact the time flew by. It stopped once or twice, enough time to get out for a few minutes. City centre to city centre, no hassle of getting out to airports and hanging around. The flight is a silly price!

For StP, which was a separate trip for me, I like the Rough Guide as it is good on history and culture. I was lucky enough to stay with a Russian friend who took me around. I was there about a week, certainly needed that amount of time and still there was a lot I didn't see.
gertie3751 is offline  
Old Nov 29th, 2014, 05:40 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 20,245
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Warsaw itself is not great, do try for Gdansk/Gdynia and Krakow
bilboburgler is offline  
Old Nov 29th, 2014, 06:04 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,124
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Peg, I will be following your plans. Did a Silverseas cruise with stops in Talinn (wearing the socks I bought there right now because even in May it was cold); St. Petersburg (Hermitage is amazing) and then Helsinki. I absolutely fell in love with Helsinki. Like a small Paris.

Planning a river cruise in 2016 but would like to start in Krakow so keep us posted.
SharonG is offline  
Old Nov 29th, 2014, 08:26 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 17,008
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I liked Helsinki very much, and if you can, take the 20 minute boat ride to Suoemenlinna Island Fortress.
Percy is offline  
Old Nov 29th, 2014, 08:32 AM
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 12,670
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I've been to Krakow and loved it. What's in Gdansk except Lech Walesa?

I want to go to Warsaw more or less to honor those who fought and died in the ghetto. I was at the site of the ghetto briefly in the late 60's, but I didn't know much about WWII or the Holocaust then.
Pegontheroad is offline  
Old Nov 29th, 2014, 08:35 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,903
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Peg, there is a new Jewish Museum just opened in Warsaw.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesin...-into-culture/

There is also the Uprising Museum which I really recommend.
gertie3751 is offline  
Old Nov 29th, 2014, 09:51 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 6,818
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Peg: In answer to your question, having been to the USSR during the early "faux war" days, on "joint cooperative assignment", flying the "rattle snakes" as you put it...mostly TU-types..Aeroflot. Later in the early 80's, went on a 30-day Inturist "adventure" (same planes..some even had working seat belts and stale salami sandwiches with tea from a samovar)...as far east as Uzbek SSR (now Uzbekistan), Tashkent, Samarkand and Bukhara. In 2009, we returned to do a superb Viking river trip, Moscow to St. Pete...with changes that were nothing less than monumental. I liked the older trips better!

In Warsaw, went to the 50th anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto uprising in '93, and en route, driving, also was invited to stop by Steven's filming of his "Schindler's List" Production in Krakow. Amazing. also visited Treblinka, 75 miles north of Warsaw for an eerie walk through the death camp (after closing time!)Will share some pics. Totally different than Auschwitz..same results.

Here are some selected pix of Finland:

http://picasaweb.google.com/stuarttower/Finland#
tower is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:14 PM.