The Baltic sea

Prestige issue 240-241 July – August 2013

The magic of the past spreads over its waters

Baltic Cruise Map Google Earth

© Archives Abdelhafiz et Laila Ajam

Located in Northern Europe and connected to the Atlantic Ocean by the North Sea, the Baltic Sea extends over 432.000 km2. Many countries border it such as Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Poland and Germany, home to a dense population. Formed of large ponds and islands, it is generally shallow, slightly salty and form, with Sweden and Finland, the Gulf of Bothnia. Indeed, freshwater river flows are very important at the time of snowmelt. Abdelhafiz and Laila Ajam take us in a memorable cruise to explore all the historical sites, spectacular scenery and cultural heritage of the beautiful countries bordering the Baltic Sea.

Copenhagen Political and intellectual center of Danemark 



© Archives Abdelhafiz et Laila Ajam

The Little Mermaid, the symbol of Copenhagen, is the brainchild of writer Hans Christian Andersen.

City of National Heritage and the Danish monarchy, and seat of government, Copenhagen, proud capital of Denmark, is located at the entry to the Baltic Sea. In 2001, Copenhagen Harbour merged with the Malmö– Copenhagen to create the Malmö Port. The main importance of this entity is to be the starting point or stopover for cruise ships plying without stopping in the Baltic Sea. Besides its picturesque landscapes, magnificent cathedrals and museums, colorful houses overlooking the sea, Copenhagen each year attracts thousands of visitors, delighted to walk in fabulous Tivoli Gardens or to cycle the beautiful heart of the city. Copenhagen is the most welcoming city in the world for cyclists and pedestrians. Many bike paths exist throughout the city and public bicycles are available for free from May to October.


© Archives Abdelhafiz et Laila Ajam

Panoramic view of Nyhavn, the old harbor of Copenhagen.


The city of a thousand charms

Oslo, capital of Norway, lively in summer, is a true ” track skiing ” in winter, lit up late into the night. Its tracks drain amateur crowds of this kind of activity. A ski jump in Holmenkollen is installed for international skiing competitions, an event that annually attracts a large number of spectators from around the world. In Oslo, tourists are attracted by the wonderful landscapes that invite you to relax, as well as by the National Gallery and museums with a great artistic and cultural heritage such as the National Folk outdoor Museum, the Norwegian Museum for navigation, and the museum dedicated to Norwegian painter Munch where masterpieces of the artist are exposed.


© Archives Abdelhafiz et Laila Ajam

The Monolitte, one of the most famous sculptures of Vigeland Park , is a column of 14m high. However, it is lined with more than 120 sculptures of human bodies. This masterpiece has several interpretations: the resurrection of man, the struggle for existence ...


© Archives Abdelhafiz et Laila Ajam

The Vigeland Park is one of the leading attractions in Oslo. More than 200 sculptures in bronze and granite make it a destination of choice for locals and tourists.


Its magic and its treasures

Berlin, the capital and largest city in Germany is enlivened by several rivers, canals, parks and lakes. Its ancient and classical architecture attracts each year many visitors who discover the majesty of a city like no other. Considered as the emblem of the city, the Brandenburg Gate, a symbol of the unification of the two Germanys, states the story of an entire country. Two towers soar in Berlin landscape: the Fernsehturmou the television tower in Berlin’s Mitte neighborhood, and Funkturmou the radio tower in the Exhibition parc of Charlottenburg. Besides the historic Berliner Dom Berlin Cathedral, with its superb interior, travelers are attracted by the Lustgarten or the garden on the Museums Island as well as by the Unter Den Linden, a former avenuewith many historical buildings. Other centers of attraction: The Gendarmenmarkt, also called the Place des Gendarmes, which is the most beautiful square in Berlin where we find the Deutscher Dom, a magnificent cathedral and the Franzosischer Dom, a French cathedral, where museums of German parliamentary history and Huguenots can be found.


© Archives Abdelhafiz et Laila Ajam


Imposing and impressive


© Archives Abdelhafiz et Laila Ajam

Tallinn, rich in history and culture, is surrounded by an authentic medieval wall. The irresistible charm of the capital of Estonia attracts many travelers, and its touristic areas are easily explored on foot. The city has protected its traditional appearance, with its windmills or watermills, its typically Estonian taverns that populate the streets. One can notice majestic historical monuments, illustrated by medieval churches, including the domes of cathedrals, red tile roofs, weathervanes and turrets of ancient castles. Visitors like to explore the artistic and cultural heritage of the country at the outdoor museum of Rocca -al- Mare, or enjoy an interesting walk at the very busy market place.


© Archives Abdelhafiz et Laila Ajam

In Tallinn, we discover all the ingredients of a fabulous stay: romance, touristic areas and hospitality … A city of total enchantment.

Saint Petersburg

City of a thousand and one wonders

Each year, more than three million tourists visit St. Petersburg, known for its many religious monuments in the baroque or neoclassical style like the St. Peter and St.Paul cathedral, the first stone cathedral. And then «the Saint -Sauveur ” on the Spilled Blood,” the only monument built according to the traditional Russian architectural style or the large choral synagogue, second largest synagogue in Europe … In St. Petersburg many centers of attraction can be found. Located in the heart of the city, the summer garden whose paths are sprinkled with Greek and Roman sculptures enchant the visitors who can also visit the Hermitage Museum, one of the largest museums in the world. It consists ofone thousand rooms featuring more than 60,000 masterpieces of great artists. The city is also home for more than 40 theaters and music halls. In June, the sun refuses to sleep in St. Petersburg for two to three weeks. It is therefore time for exceptional musical and theatrical performances, and popular shows … These celebrations attract crowds from all parts of the country.


© Archives Abdelhafiz et Laila Ajam


World Design Capital


© Archives Abdelhafiz et Laila Ajam

During a walking tour in the center of Helsinki, the traveler is fascinated by the modern architectural style of the buildings. This cosmopolitan city is characterized by its natural beauty that blends harmoniously with contemporary styles. It has many museums such as the National Museum or Kansallismuseo, the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma and the classical art museum Ateneumouor the Museum of Natural History. In Helsinki, we are dazzled by the beauty of the small islands of Suomenlinna, the esplanade and Senate Square. Various products at Kamppi Center, shopping center in Kamppi district are available to shoppers.


© Archives Abdelhafiz et Laila Ajam

Helsinki dazzles with its beautiful scenery and picturesque islands…


Or the Venice of the North

Built on several islands at the opening of Lake Mälar, Stockholm is one of the most enjoyable touristic destinations in the Baltic Sea. This capital that attracts more than seven million visitors a year, houses the main cultural centers of Sweden, including theaters, museums and opera houses. Located on the island of Stadsholmen, the Old Town or Gamla Stan consists of narrow streets and many attractions such as the Royal Palace, the Nobel Museum, the German church, the house of nobility or Storkyrkan. . As for Djurgarden, one of the islands of Stockholm, it gathers the main tourist attractions of the city. We discover the Vasa museum where you can admire the Vasa, a huge warship that sank on its maiden voyage in 1628 and was recovered in the port of Stockholm; Nordic Museum, the amusement park Gröna Lund … Södermalmestis another privileged place, a very lively area where tourists come to walk, go shopping or enjoy local dishes.


© Archives Abdelhafiz et Laila Ajam

Stockholm once inhabited by Vikings, now houses the cultural places of Sweden.


© Archives Abdelhafiz et Laila Ajam

A street in the old town.

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