HAL in the Baltic: The Hermitage, pride of St. Petersburg

ABOARD THE EURODAM – On a 1974 Pan Am tour (remember them?) our group was taken to The State Hermitage Museum in what was then Leningrad. As a novice photographer at that time I much preferred being out shooting in the street rather than being stuck inside a musty museum. So when I was told there was no photography permitted in the museum I abruptly bolted for the door. Subsequently I learned that skipping the Hermitage was …

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HAL in the Baltic: Raiders & Traders – The Vikings

ABOARD THE EURODAM –As we voyage through the Baltic Sea on the fourth day of our cruise, it is appropriate to imagine these waters as they were sailed by those savvy mariners known as Norsemen from the eighth to twelfth centuries. Originating from small groups scattered about what are now the Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Sweden and Norway, these intrepid explorers conquered Europe and beyond and became known as Vikings. According to a couple of theories they …

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HAL in the Baltic: Restaurant confidential

ABOARD THE EURODAM – Can the world’s best French fries be found at a floating fast food stand? Better yet, can you order these crispy, crunchy, double-fried delights without standing in line? Just place your order – naked fries, smothered in melted cheese, or with a side of secret sauce – then go lounge by the pool until your beeper alerts you that your piping hot potato-strips-from-heaven are ready for pick up. Only one of the new …

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HAL in the Baltic: Reacquaintance with the Eurodam

ABOARD THE EURODAM – The Swedes have a word for the racing of the heart at the beginning of a journey when anxiety and anticipation collide, “resferberer.” On a morning that began under all-over baby blue skies, then turned leaden and drizzly during passenger emergency drill, ultimately concluding with spots of sunshine, the Eurodam departed the harbor at Copenhagen. A long line of 20 wind turbines, which, on a very windy day can produce up to 140 …

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HAL in the Baltic: An inland sea of raiders and traders

ABOARD THE EURODAM- I’m not looking for sympathy, but I feel compelled to reveal that I’ve been afflicted for many years with writus interuptus, an impairment known to but a few professional scribes. Long ago — in the last century during the disco era of the late 1970s — I tried my hand at writing for magazines with some success. Nevertheless, after a dozen published articles on travel and photography — produced with great agonizing effort by …

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