English| $ USD
We had a great time. It was a joy being with my daughter. Funny, there was another mother-daughter traveler in our group whom we really liked. In fact, everyone who had ever been on a tour before said our group was the best. Everyone was thoughtful and enjoyable to be with. The group had the perfect mix of ages, nationalities, and senses of humor. That goes a long way traveling.
The balance Firebird planned each day was perfect. We enjoyed getting an overview of each city and then having the rest of the day and evening to explore on our own or return to something we saw with the guide. The guides were welcoming and each represented their country beautifully. They answered all our questions about each place. Each guide seemed to have an interest in a particular aspect of their country so I learned a lot. For instance, the guide in Oslo who took us to Vigeland Park knew a great deal about the sculptor and his ideas in creating his life's work.
There was not too much time on the bus. We were very lucky that it was early June so places were not crowded with many tourists. And did you hear that we had perfect weather the whole time in Scandinavia? It was unbelievable. We had one overcast, misty morning in Bergen that cleared off by afternoon. The temperatures were lovely. We enjoyed the midnight sun a great deal with the people of Bergen. All the stores stay open late for sales. It was fun being outside with others seeing what they do with so much light in mid-summer.
The hotels were top notch. I liked that each hotel was so different from the other. We looked forward in each place to see what renovated the historic building and well-located hotel awaited us. The central locations allowed for easy access to where ever we wanted to go. Plus it was easy to find restaurants in the center of the city that weren't just for tourists. The Scandinavian breakfasts were amazing. There was so much food offered that we could pack a little picnic for our lunch and enjoy more of the city.
The boat rides were a lot of fun. We will never forget the extraordinary beauty of the fjords and the Baltic Sea. Going to Bergen was so beautiful and we took so many photos. I liked that our guides appreciated their national history. They were very willing to talk about WWII and the occupation of their countries. I could have stayed another day or more in Helsinki as I found it very interesting. The quality of design in Sweden and Finland was particularly inspiring. Oslo surprised me. It was the most diverse city. We took the metro to the Edvard Munch Museum which allowed us to see another area of Oslo than right where we were staying.
I'd say that one has to be physically fit to take this trip. All the transports were very smooth and drivers helpful. But getting on the boats with luggage was hard for some of the older people. I love water so it was perfect for me to travel through so much of it. I found that I did not need the summery clothes that I brought along.