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Silversea Cruises' Silver Shadow
Cruise Diva's Cruise Diary
A Swedish Sojourn

At Sea, July 19, 2007
With four port-intensive days behind us, a sea day on Silver Shadow offers an ideal opportunity to relax and recharge for our final port--an overnight in Stockholm. Once again, we look forward to activities on board, highlighted by Dr. Atkins' final lecture, "Does Islam Menace European Civilizations?" His insights help us to understand the changing world demographic.

The world's richest Birthday Cake

From serious contemplation of current events, we were happy to move on to fun stuff, like a shuffleboard tournament, Martini tasting, and the Galley Lunch--a Silversea tradition. I love the opportunity to meet the chefs behind the scenes and "raiding" the galley is a gastronomic delight. While we were heaping our plates with shrimp, crab legs, and other treats, Mel noticed one of the confectioners' delights--a chocolate cake. He asked what it was (a birthday cake) and how to get a slice. The response was, "If it's your birthday, or you simply ask." So he asked and we were rewarded with one of the most exceptional desserts at sea. Trust me, it tasted as good as it looks!

Before getting down to the business of some pre-debarkation packing, we kicked back at the pool as the "games" began. Yes, there are fun things to do poolside besides warm a barstool or chow down on a fantastic freshly-grilled hamburger. While at sea, there was water volleyball and a table tennis tournament. For the more more sedate and cerebral, there are needlepoint lessons, Bingo, and spirited sessions of team trivia during tea.

While we still have another night onboard, our sea day ended in another formal evening, beginning with the captain's farewell reception, followed by dinner (with more lobster!), and another show starring Emma Sinclair.

Stockholm, Sweden, July 20-21, 2007
What a glorious day! There isn't a more beautiful city in the world than Stockholm when the sun is shining. Mel hadn't visited the Vasa Museum, one of Stockholm's main attractions, and we briefly considered grabbing a taxi to go there until the lure of a day in the sunshine changed our minds. I'd seen the museum (my report is here) and we decided instead to take the complimentary Silversea shuttle bus to the town center and explore Gamla Stan, the old city.

Pomp & pageantry at the Royal Palace

As it turned out, we had plenty of time to wander up and down the cobbled streets, shop a bit, and even stop for coffee before heading to the Royal Palace to claim a spot to see the changing of the guard at 12:15. This was a first-time treat for Mel and even more glorious than I remembered from my previous visit, when it was unusually hot and the horses were not part of the ceremony. By arriving a little before noon, we were front row center.

Afterwards, we headed back to the waterfront to try a Swedish beer at the lobby bar of the Grand Hotel... $20 for two beers! At least they were icy cold and we were served peanuts and pretzels with them. I found nearly everything in the ports we called on to be far more expensive than when I visited some of them just a few years ago.

Back aboard Silver Shadow, once our packing was done we relaxed with friends by the pool until dinner (lobster ravioli and a final order of Isabella Rossellini's signature pasta). It's always a sad sight to see luggage lining the passageways, but it's good to be home with wonderful memories of unique ports of call and a very fulfilling cruise.

Back to the Swedish Sojourn Index

Back to Arrival & Embarkation in Stockholm

Back to Ornskoldsvik, & Lulea, Sweden

Back to  Vaasa & Turku, Finland & a Day At Sea

Back to Oslo, Norway; Gothenburg, Sweden; Copenhagen, Denmark; and Lubeck, Germany

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