Adventures in Tallinn, Estonia

October 18, 2018 | Shauna Cook

Written by Martyn Cook with the help of Shauna Cook

Tallinn in Estonia. What is there to say about it, that’s not already been said a million times. Oh you have never heard of it? Don’t worry, I had not either. At this juncture in time you need to make me a promise. Promise that you will go there, share no photos, and tell no one. Let’s keep this beauty to ourselves, it will be our little secret. So we can keep going back over and over again maintain its splendour, without our fellow compatriots overcrowding it. Read More >

Copenhagen – Last Day of Adventure

October 04, 2018 | Shauna Cook

Written by Martyn Cook with help from Shauna Cook

Our last day. It’s been a two week tour spending no more than two nights in each country: Iceland, Sweden, Estonia, Finland, and Denmark. We have had a few rain showers here and there. Today’s rain shower somehow feels different. The rain today seems like Europe is mourning its loss, the loss of us going back to North America. In no other place on our trip have I felt more welcomed, no where else have I been asked more questions by tourists. Perhaps I look Danish, or I look at home here. There is no question, I am leaving a changed man. Read More >

Helsinki and a Finnish Sauna

October 04, 2018 | Shauna Cook

Written by Martyn Cook with the help of Shauna Cook

The hotel is bustling with people. The lobby has groups of people with laptops open, discussing subjects that elude context and understanding. We make our way to the breakfast bar which is just off of the lobby. A lovely mix of old brickwork and contemporary furniture gives a lovely vibe of traditions held, living alongside new. The smell of breakfast offerings dances in the air, a greeting for our senses. I find the usual fair of cheese, crackers, bacon and eggs, as well as the object of my desire, local delicacies. I try a pastry with rice in the middle which is traditionally served with butter mixed with eggs. They have ginger snap type biscuits, and an Oreo type cookie that contains a minty filling. The last local offering was a candy that had a fox on the label, it was a gummy candy that was given out by grandmas, information that I garner from local sources. We leave the hotel, making our way down the cobblestones to Senate Square to join our free walking tour. We are greeted by Sara, a young history student passionate about her city and its history. We walk the streets learning about Finland’s Germanic influenced buildings, the religion, political, and social struggles, and successes of its people. One building stands out to me on the tour, The Think Company. It’s a public space like a library, it has a cafe, bookstore, and free wifi. This place is free to go into, and you can take in a lecture, or discuss ideas for social change. This is why I love the Nordic countries, they inspire creative thinking; Ideas surrounding use of taxes, social programs, and the general health of the country are discussed and debated. Read More >

Helsinki – A City of Romance and Steam

September 26, 2018 | Shauna Cook

Written by Martyn Cook with the help of Shauna Cook

Arriving at the airport, we head down the gangway. We are surrounded by light coloured woods and open windows that let daylight in. As we pass by these portals into the outside world, the landscape has changed since Iceland. The stark black rocks, lichen hung cliffs, moss and sub-Tundra plants of Iceland are replaced with trees as far as the eye can see. We blearily wander to the baggage pick up. Standing there, we watch people move to and fro in a chaotic choreographed dance, dodging and weaving between each other. The language is foreign, as Icelandic is to me; though far enough removed from influence by its neighbours to baffle me. Spending much of my time referencing Icelandic names and places, it shares a common root. Finnish is just beyond comprehension to my ears in theory and practise. Read More >

Romantic Rhine River Cruise

January 26, 2018 | Sandra Jensen

A little bit of stress while travelling is natural, especially when your stopovers are an hour in each airport and then arrive only an hour before the last shuttle departs for the town from which you are to depart on your river cruise. Sometimes you are lucky enough to have important tour people on your flights that are with you the whole way, knowing that you aren’t the only one being delayed. Perhaps next time, I will fly in a day earlier so that I could have been more relaxed and seen some of Zurich before heading to Basel for my river cruise on the Rhine. Read More >

Norway in a Nutshell

November 14, 2017 | Shauna Cook

 

Norway in a Nutshell is advertised as one of the most scenic trips in the world, and now that I have been able to take this tour, I absolutely understand why!

This tour is a flexible FIT tour that is designed to be customized to best fit your needs. It can be done either Bergen to Oslo, Oslo to Bergen, round trip Bergen and round trip Oslo.  Each direction has its pros and cons. It is designed to be anywhere from 1 day to 4 or 5 days or more!

Read More >

Venice and the Gems of Northern Italy

September 25, 2017 | Charlene Underhill

 

I arrived in Venice on April 5th, a beautiful warm sunny day (a far cry from what I had left in Winnipeg) and boarded Uniworld’s beautiful ship “River Countess” to begin an amazing 8-day journey delving into the delights of Northern Italy.

Read More >

Nice, France in Two Days

September 22, 2017 | Pearl McCallum

 

Edmonton to France is a long way to go for two days, but fortunately KLM is lovely so the flights were actually a great part of the trip.  The connection in Amsterdam was about five hours outbound, six hours on the return; long enough to run into the city.  However, Amsterdam’s airport, Schipol, is almost a destination unto itself, offering many shops and restaurants to fill time between flights.  Better yet, plan a stopover to spend some time enjoying the many highlights of Amsterdam.  Read More >

To River Cruise, or Not To River Cruise…

September 14, 2017 | Pearl McCallum

 

The relaxed pace of river cruising is one of the major benefits of this type of travel.  Picture yourself enjoying a European coffee while sailing serenely down a scenic river.  As you are travelling with only 100 – 200 other guests, you may experience the comforts of a luxurious ship without feeling crowded.  Take in the view from the outdoor sun deck, the comfortable lounge, or perhaps even your own stateroom’s panoramic window or balcony.  Staterooms are well designed to maximize space.  Motion discomfort is rarely an issue, as the ship’s movement is extremely smooth. Read More >