The lavish lifestyles and warring ways of kings and courtiers of old left behind the extravagantly decorated Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, the undoubtedly haunted fortress of the Tower of London, and the majestic Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris for you to explore. There is also a new Europe, as many cities are experiencing a burst of architectural creativity that is adding excitement to the scene. Not to be outdone, Mother Nature offers the splendors of the far north, in the breathtaking majesty of the Norwegian fjords, and the unique landscapes of Iceland, realm of fire and ice.
Port Combination (change selection): Stockholm, Sweden to Copenhagen, Denmark
Lively, cosmopolitan Stockholm sports an appealing mix of modern Scandinavian architecture and fairy tale palaces, watched over by a Board of Beauty, responsible for preserving the city. One third of its area is devoted to green space, and another third to waterways, providing lots of room to breathe. Gamla Stan is the oldest section, retaining the medieval layout of narrow meandering paths. For the contemporary take there's Sodermalm, known trendily as SoFo, with welcoming restaurants and pubs, specialty shops and boutiques. Stieg Larson fans hang out here, as it is the area of the city where most action in the Millennium novels takes place.
Copenhagen is known as a city of spires: the skyline of its medieval core is punctuated only by the steeples of churches and towers of palaces, though a modern building boom has overtaken other parts of the city. Today's Copenhagen is known for its excellent quality of life and environmental consciousness - with many parks, it is green both literally and in today's sense of the word. It is also bicycle-friendly, with bike paths lining almost every major street. After a ride or wander through the old town, stop for a local repast of Smørrebrød, traditional open-face sandwiches, or a mouthwatering Danish pastry.
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