2 September, 2013: Here We Go Again

From the Wind to the Whisper…it’s a wonderful life.

After a short break to recharge our batteries…and the ones in my cameras, cell phones, GPS, and toothbrush…we’re headed back to Europe to meet up with Silversea Silver Whisper. [whohit]-Embark v4323 Stockholm-[/whohit]

We’ll come aboard in Stockholm on September 2 and then head to Tallinn for the day and on to the glorious city of Saint Petersburg. Russian politics are always complex, but in the past few months we seem to be back in the days of a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.

The full quote, from the eminently quotable Winston Churchill, was this: “I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest.”

Churchill said that in 1939, when the Soviets were temporarily allied with the Nazis. Later, Russian national interest would align with the Allies.

In any case, we will be in Petersburg during the G-20 Economic Summit. And so a city that always presents  a few extra levels of complexity will probably be more difficult than usual.

The summit will mostly be taking place at Constantine Palace, which is between Saint Petersburg and Peterhof.

I expect motorcades, traffic jams, lots of extra security, and some cold stares between Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama and a few others thrown together in a place they might otherwise prefer to avoid. Or perhaps they’ll keep the conversation to caviar and blinis.

After Petersburg, we will work our way out of the Baltic by way of Helsinki (cloudberries and chantarelles), then Rostock/Warnemünde (are the strawberries still in season?) and through the Kiel Canal into the North Sea. From there a stop in Amsterdam and Zeebrugge (Belgian chocolate and beer) before reaching an end in Southampton, U.K.

Voyage 4323 from Stockholm to Southampton
Voyage 4323 from Stockholm to Southampton

We will be on board Silver Whisper for all of September and October, heading across the top of the globe from Southampton to Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis in northern Scotland (shopping for Harris Tweeds), then Iceland and Greenland before arriving in Atlantic Canada for a series of cruises from Montreal (smoked brisket and a cream soda, hold the poutine please) to New York.

It’s a nice time to travel (actually, when is it not?) and we can hope for good weather on the transatlantic crossing and for fall foliage in Quebec and New England.

I’ll be posting from our ports of call, and I hope you’ll join me here.

Silver Wind in Zadar, Croatia
Silver Wind in Zadar, Croatia
Silver Whisper in the foreground, Silver Cloud in the background on the River Neva in Saint Petersburg, Russia
Silver Whisper in the foreground, Silver Cloud in the background on the River Neva in Saint Petersburg, Russia
Silver Cloud passes beneath the Tower Bridge in London
Silver Cloud passes beneath the Tower Bridge in London