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The Cruise Issue

April 11, 1993

Anne Kalosh's excellent article "Testing the Waters of a New Era on a Voyage to the Baltic States" (March 28) opened up a floodgate of memories for me. She mentioned a number of her fellow voyagers, one of whom collected chess sets. Would that I could have tagged along to collect Baltic amber.

I first fell in love with amber in 1934, when my mother and I sailed through much of the same waters traversed by the Kristina Regina. We, too, sailed into Stockholm, the island of Visby, Helsinki and St. Petersburg (then Leningrad). We had the thrill of wandering through the Palace of Catherine the Great, before its destruction by the Germans during World War II. One magnificent room was covered with Baltic amber, a gift to Peter the Great of Russia by Frederick the Great of Prussia. In return, Peter gave Frederick 50 soldiers.

The amber panels were removed before the destruction of the palace. Some say these panels were placed on a ship that was bombed by the Germans and that all that amber is lying somewhere on the bottom of the Baltic Sea.

BECKY LEE LUKEI

Carlsbad

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