It isn’t often you read “balmy” and “Baltic” in the same headline, but here you are. We have just returned from a cruise that began in Dover and ended in Stockholm, with stops along the way at Oslo, Copenhagen, Visby, St. Petersburg, and Helsinki. And the weather everywhere was FABULOUS!
Left: The gilded spires of the Catherine Palace outside St. Petersburg, Russia, glistened in the brilliant sunlight.
We’re talking about places where they get only 20 sunny days the entire year, yet we were awash with sunshine almost the entire time. This winter was one of the severest in the region in many years, so the warm weather was welcome and unexpected. In Gotland, an island that is Sweden’s Hawaii, there had been so much snow this winter they had to truck it out of the capital city of Visby in order for cars circulate and park. It gets so cold in the Sea of Finland that it freezes over in the winter, which, before icebreaker vessels, closed the harbors in Helsinki and St. Petersburg. The summer months are normally the rainiest in these countries. But we saw nary a drop.