By Margot

I would be surprised if I was the only Leger lady to have more than a passing interest in the latest James Bond film Skyfall. I’d like to say it comes from my passion for one of Britain’s longest-standing cinematic legacies and NOT just Daniel Craig…but that might be a bit of a porkie.

I’ve grown up with Ian Fleming’s super spy and the last half dozen actors to have taken on the role will always hold a place close to my heart. I will always remember the first time I saw ‘Goldeneye’- I was less concerned about the super weapon falling into the wrong hands and more the safety of Pierce Brosnan! It certainly kept me gripped, anyway.

Putting one of Ireland’s best exports to one side, I also couldn’t help but be captivated by the locations in the film, especially Russia. It left such a lasting impression that I decided to make the trip myself a few years ago, taking my son for his 21st birthday.

We both agreed that it was one of the best holidays we’ve ever shared.

It was probably down to the fact that we managed to visit so many different places in the same trip, including Berlin– to see the Brandenburg Gate and The Wall – and Warsaw: the Belvedere Palace was beautiful and the city itself was great for a little shopping on a budget!

When we did reach Moscow, though, the Red Square really surpassed my expectations – I remember my son rolling his eyes as I commented on clean and well-kept it was (unlike his room as a teenager, I might add.) The guide on the tour was absolutely fantastic and really helped us appreciate some of the aspects that others might overlook. The tube stations, for example, were adorned with chandeliers, oil paintings and statues – they were quite breath-taking.

Also, it had been a life-long dream to take in the ballet in the place where it originated, at least where I think it did! I went to see a production of Swan Lake in St. Petersburg and I’m so happy to have enjoyed it in Russia, world famous for its dancers.

We both loved exploring the markets in Helsinkiand sightseeing tours through Stockholm and Copenhagen. However, no matter how hard I looked, Sean Connery wasn’t lurking in the shadows! With such a varied itinerary, including everything I’d hoped to see and some sights I hadn’t expected, I think it’s safe to say that I managed to put 007 out of my mind, if only for a little while.

If you have any further questions about Leger Holidays’ Grand Explorer tours, including the Grand Russian Spectacular and Highlights of Scandinavia, please do get in touch through our Facebook page or call us at 01709 787 463.

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