FYI, y’all

I am leaving today at 4 on my first international trip since Jan 2019. Fucking Covid cancelled the previously attempted four. I will be gone 7/6-25, and I am depending on all of you to maintain or to lengthen this lead. Go Astros!


Have fun Jim! Where all you going?

Free cruise (an art gallery I have purchased from sends many folks on free cruises hoping to sell more in real auctions separate from the ship’s program; I will disappoint them this trip) from Amsterdam to Amsterdam. There are stops in (not the correct order) Berlin, Stockholm, Riga, Tallinn, Helsinki, and Copenhagen. I have not been to any of those places. After the cruise, I will spend five days in Belgium at Bruges and Brussels. I fly home 7/25.


Enjoy the trip.

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I miss Berlin; hope you enjoy it. And if you are going to Brugge & Brussels, you might try to work in a day at Ghent — architecture & history similar to Brugge but less touristy.

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I doubt I will but I may. I have an extra day in Belgium thanks to Lufthansa’s cancellation of my 7/24 return flight. I do not mind “touristy” at all. I am a tourist too after all.

Berlin is why I picked this cruise from the ones the Gallery offered me. I am excited to see it.

I agree, it bugs me when people put down seeing places like the Vatican or Eiffel Tower because they’re touristy, but as you said, you’re a tourist, what else would you do? Especially for people who can’t afford to travel much–if you’re only gonna be in London once in your life, by all means see the tourist stuff.

Not that anyone should or does care, but Berlin is one of my top five? top three? favorite cities in the world.

Not entirely sure where along the Spree they dock the cruise ships but I’ll roll with it. Tallin is a place I’ve never been but have heard nothing but great things about.

I reckon I likes me some Iberia best of all but I sure likes me some Baltic Yurp too.

Tallinn is great too — especially the small hilly old town. Very Teutonic.

And my point about “touristy” had nothing to do with avoiding being a tourist. Rather, one can see the architecture and history of medieval Flanders just as well or better in Ghent than you can in Brugge. And I would especially avoid the eateries on the main square in Brugge (as too the ones just off the Grand Place in Brussels) because they cater to tourists only and never have to worry about repeat business.

One last comment on Berlin — try the Flammenkuchen (a thin pizza-like flat bread) at Ständige Vertretung just across the bridge from the Friedrichstraße S-Bahn Station. And if you have time, take the U-3 to Rüdesheimerplatz for the summer wine festival.

The ships dock 2 1/2 hours from Berlin. I am taking an excursion there on a train.

Does it dock in Kiel? There’s a train that runs from Kiel to Berlin through Hamburg.

Congrats!! Enjoy the hell out of the cruise. I still haven’t been to Berlin, which is criminal, but it’s high on the list of where to go next.

Kara and I just got back from a week and a half in Spain (my second visit, her first). Aside from being robbed on the highway outside of Barcelona, it was an amazing trip. I’m already planning the return visit in my head, while Kara is figuring out how to retire in San Sebastian.

Btw, what I did miss while I was gone? Anything important happen?

Robbed as in someone stuck a gun in your face or robbed as in someone broke into your car? Either way, sorry it happened.

Joey Chestnut won the Nathan’s contest again.

That’s about it.

Sorry it happened too. I’m interested in how one gets robbed on the highway as well. Although I know in Venezuela they throw crap onto the road to get you to stop and then rob you that way…

Warnemunde. The excursion I am on takes a train.

Places are touristy for a reason. I’ve never understood the bad connotation of that. “No one goes there anymore, it’s too crowded.”?


I think it depends on the experience you’re looking for, really.

Some people like touristy.

Personally, I’d rather eat what the locals eat and check out the spots the locals like.

Generally, this is way easier on the wallet and you tend to meet some cool, local, people.


I think one can do both, and I like doing local stuff also. “Touristy” to me does not include food and drink. I like to find local places for those like we did in Normandy.


100 percent. Sightseeing generally is a touristy activity, and you’ll find a lot of geared toward tourists places near big, popular areas. They can be fun too.