Category Archives: Uncategorized

Religions in Lithuania: An Eclectic Past and Present

by Dr. Denise R. Ames I stopped at the port of Klaipeda in Lithuania on my Baltic Sea cruise. As the cruise ship lecturer, I gave a talk on Lithuania (see previous blog) and spent some time describing Lithuanian religious … Continue reading

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Klaipeda, Lithuania: A Baltic Sea Port City Ordinaire

by Dr. Denise R. Ames Back to the Baltic Sea. I am continuing with my series of travels on the cruise ship Nautica to different ports along the Baltic Sea. After boarding in Stockholm, Sweden, the Nautica steamed its way … Continue reading

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Latvia: A Fleeting Glimpse of a Baltic Parkland pt.2

by Dr. Denise R. Ames As can happen on cruises, the weather often does not permit docking at scheduled ports. Unfortunately, this was the case with docking in Riga, Latvia. The port was just a distant speck viewed through the … Continue reading

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Latvia: A Fleeting Glimpse of a Baltic Parkland pt.1

by Dr. Denise R. Ames Our ship, the Nautica, chugged out of the port of Helsinki and into the turbulent Baltic Sea bound for Latvia. I was looking forward to seeing Latvia in person. I did one of my cruise … Continue reading

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Helsinki, Finland: An Egalitarian Oasis, pt. 3

By Dr. Denise R. Ames We only had one day in port in Helsinki, Finland. I could have spent much more time exploring the city and talking with the people, many of whom spoke English. But I would have to … Continue reading

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Helsinki, Finland: An Egalitarian Oasis, pt. 2

by Dr. Denise R. Ames Helsinki, Finland stood in stark contrast to St. Petersburg, Russia. I had just arrived in Helsinki via the Nautica cruise ship from our last docking port in St. Petersburg. While St. Petersburg was big and … Continue reading

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Helsinki, Finland: An Egalitarian Oasis

by Dr. Denise R. Ames Next stop on my cruise of the Baltic Sea aboard the Nautica was Helsinki, Finland. Situated on a peninsula on the southern coast, overlooking the Gulf of Finland and the Baltic Sea. Helsinki has a … Continue reading

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St. Petersburg, Russia: Reflections on an Enigmatic City

By Dr. Denise R. Ames As I exited the Winter Palace—my head still spinning from absorbing hundreds of exquisite art pieces at the Hermitage—and threaded my way through throngs of museum-goers to board my bus that would whisk me back … Continue reading

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Spilled Blood and People Watching: Travels to St. Petersburg Russia

By Dr. Denise R. Ames Next stop on my whirlwind tour visiting a slice of St. Petersburg was the interestingly-named, oddly-colorful Russian Orthodox cathedral—Church of our Savior on Spilled Blood. I wondered: “Whose blood had been spilled”? As our tour … Continue reading

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Travels to St. Petersburg: The Peter and Paul Fortress

by Dr. Denise R. Ames Next stop on a whirlwind tour of St. Petersburg was the grand Peter and Paul Fortress hugging the Neva River. Tsar Peter the Great (r. 1682-1725) commissioned the building of the fortress to protect his … Continue reading

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