Dean and I added stops before and after the Russia portion. First, we stayed with friends in Copenhagen, Denmark, where we toured the city and explored the local traditions (including their traditional Christmas dinner meal Flæskesteg - aka roasted pork with crackling). While there, we took a day trip via train and ferry into Sweden and explored Malmo and a few other cities.
On the company trip in St. Petersburg, we toured The Hermitage (second largest art museum in the world and a former palace of the czars), learned out to make borscht and pelmeni, sampled caviar, visited the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, and celebrated our achievements with a wonderful dinner, awards ceremony, and dance party.
After the company trip ended, we trained to Tallin, Estonia, which was a wonderful surprise. We thoroughly enjoyed the quaint old town (we stayed in a bishop's chapel built in 1400s), visited many museums, and climbed any tower or church steeple we could find. Dean loves old churches and good views!
From there, we ferried to Helsinki, Finland, for three more days of vacation. While in Helsinki, we toured Suomenlinna island military base, a super unique art exhibit with a floating concrete block, and even went to a 1920s-era authentic, wood-fired Finnish sauna!
Two weeks. Five countries. Planes, trains, and boats. It truly was a trip to remember, and I can't thank my clients enough for helping make this a reality!