North America, Europe · 36 Days · 69 Moments · April 2018

United Kingdom, France, Spain, Portugal

2 June 2018

May 30th. Travel Day. Flight left two hours late but it was all good. Uber Brenda was there to meet us, which we appreciated. Was an amazing trip pretty full on but saw and did some wonderful things. Have lots of photos to enjoy, but they never really show it as we saw it..but nice to have. Bye until next time.

29 May 2018

May 29th. Cont. Had a hot drink at a cafe and then walked from there down to St. Germaine’s Pres. Walked through the cemetery of Montparnasse...very old and so Interesting. Went around about way and saw lots. Had a beer and wine and subway back to Cadet and had supper. Had light rain a bit this morning and then a beautiful day. Not long back in hotel and now having another massive thunder storm. Boy they sure no how to do a good thunderstorm here. This is the third night we have had one. Had a Starbucks for the team after dinner tonight. Saw massive grapes on our travels today.
May 29th. 26,903...18.13klms On the road 8.30am and walked the 1 1/2 klm’s up to the Basilique du Sacre Coeur. Beautiful church and well worth a visit. Took the Funicular up and walked back down. This is in the Montmartre area it is a really neat area. Walked back to the hotel and then another way down to the Opera House and went through there. So much beauty it is hard to describe and unfortunately the photos don’t do it all justice. Only got a quick glimpse inside the theatre as they were setting up for a performance and a guy shunted us all out and took us to another area which had heavy plastic up so know photos through that. Looked around all we could and a special place. Continued walking and had lunch in a cafe. Then took the subway out to the Italian area went 11 stops and got off and walked up to The Catacombs. Arrived there to find out they were on strike, we even got an e-mail from the place we booked our tour this morning and no mention of a strike. Very ticked off.

28 May 2018

May 28th. 21,321 Went to get subway down to Louvre area and waited for three trains to go by and squeezed ourselves into the throngs of people on the fourth one. There was a problem so took forever to get to our stop. Spent four hours at the Louvre, saw the Mona Lisa first and other spectacular paintings. Walked for miles and saw lots but the Egyptian and Italian things we had seen before so didn’t spend a lot of time there. Walked through Jardin des Tuileries and des Champs Élysées, stopping for lunch along the way. We then climbed the 269 steps up and back down the Arc de Triomphe. I think we have been up and down 30,000 stairs since being feels like that. You don’t see a lot of overweight people here and the ones we do see are tourists. Had dinner down by the Louvre and subway back as it started to rain. Massive thunderstorm after we got back. Another fantastic day. More snails tonight.

27 May 2018

May 27th. 24,955..16.66klm’s. Record day. Started the day by spending three hours at the Eiffel Tower...fantastic experience along with the Champagne at the top which was special. Walked from the Eiffel Tower to Notre-Dame Cathedral along the River Seine. There was a special Service going on, not sure if it was a first communion as there was lots of kids dressed in white, it was packed, they still let the tourists in so quietly did our thing. Another delight to see. From there we walked up to the Pantheon and it was stunning absolutely take your breath away. Spent a lot of time there and then walked to Luxembourg Park and walked around there. A beautiful area and was busy as was another gorgeous hot, sunny Paris day. Love Paris and Terry said earlier why haven’t we been here sooner. Had a Gelato for a treat after all the walking. Sat on the side walk at a cafe and had beer and pizza for dinner. Subway back to hotel, another fantastic day.

26 May 2018

May 26th. 22,542 Took the subway to where to pick up the tickets and join our Versailles tour. 9am. To 5.30. We had a Family of four with us and our own English speaking guide. Who was excellent. We toured the inside of the palace and got a lot of information about the period etc. We got to do the gardens on our own and saw some amazing sculptures and water fountains. Meet the guide who took us to a lovely place where we had a delish lunch with again with lots of red wine. From there we walked over to Louis the XV’s house or maybe the 14th can’t remember. Was interesting in that he had his bed chamber but had to get up and go to the official bed chamber to wake up for the day, where people watched him wake up and dress etc. Did a tour of the Petit Trianon... Marie-Antoinette’s house, was not as elaborate but just lovely. We toured the grounds and saw her farms and some buildings. Walked back to hotel stopping for a drink on the way. Nice dinner close to the hotel, great weather day.

25 May 2018

May 25th. 10,348 Bed 23 Travel day, were off the ship by 8.15am got a cab to South Hampton railway station. On the nine am train to Waterloo station, a cab from there to St Pancras. Had a sandwich and drink, then on the 1.30pm Eurostar to Paris, 2 and 3/4 hours. Had four women across from us who were having a great time drinking champagne and a woman with two little boys in front of them. Was a very noisy trip and ten minutes before we got into Paris the women gave the two boys some medicine which said ??calm and the older one promptly threw up everywhere. Thank goodness we were close as had that happened ten minutes out of London it would of been a sorry state of affairs. The line up for cabs was horrendous so walked to the hotel which wasn’t that far away. Checked in got sorted had a shower and headed out for dinner. Checked out the train station for the morning and then found a place to eat. While their we had a massive thunder storm got wet on walk back...another shower.

24 May 2018

May 24th. Sea Day. Terry got up and went and worked out, I didn’t here him leave and woke up when he came back. Had a big, long leisurely brunch today and watched the ocean flow by. Got sorted and packed up for leaving early in the morning...Paris here we come. Was a good show tonight and had a our second bottle of complimentary Champagne with dinner. Maps show the routes we sailed.
May 23rd. 15,760 Virgo, Spain today, did the Pioneering Spirt of Galicia tout. Very scenic drive out to La Guuardia which is right on the border with Portugal. We visited a Celtic Iron Age Settlement. Drove up to a look out on Mount Santa Tecia and the views were unbelievable. Unfortunately it was hazy so not the best pictures, it was certainIy a wow moment. From there to Baiona this is the village where the Pinto arrived after Columbus returned from America. We stopped for drinks and snacks before returning to Virgo and went to the highest point for views of the city. We walked into Virgo after we got back had a look about and the went to the famous street for Oysters. We had drinks and I ordered 3 Oysters, they were amazing so had three more. Have never had Oysters as good as these ones before...I can still taste them! Was a another super day liking Spain and Portugal.

23 May 2018

22 May 2018

May 22nd. 14,201 Docked in Oporto, Portugal and did a tour out to Minho Province. This still remains one of Portugal’s most uncharted territories. We started in Guimaraes the first capitol of Portugal, there is a lot of preserved medievil structures. The historical centre is a UNESCO site, had some free time here after our tour. Then onto Braga with a stop at Bom Jesus Sanctuary, there is a magnificent staircase consisting of 600 steps which unfortunately we did not have time to climb. Spectacular up there. Went up a mountain where we had another delicious three course lunch with lots of wine. From there we drove to The Medieval city of Guimaraes where we did a walking tour and a bit of free time. Back to ship and we hopped on the dock shuttle which dropped us to the end of the dock. Had a walk about and then had a drink on an outdoor patio by the ocean. Very nice day, didn’t sail until 8pm.

21 May 2018

May 21st. 14,677 La Corunna...Spain. We did the Historic Santiago De Compostela tour. Short drive today only about an hour. This city is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Just spectacular, saw a lot of pilgrims who have made the five day trek to the Cathedral. They have to walk 100klms over five days and it is a very religious, emotional experience. There was a lot of them and some not so young. They use a long wooden cane and the symbol of the area is the clam shell so there was a lot of them about. The guide did an excellent tour of the whole old town before lunch. Lunch was in a very nice hotel on the square which use to be the hospital and as in a beautiful room. We had four courses so didn’t eat much tonight. After lunch we had free time, we went into the Cathedral and walked all over the place. They have very nice jewelry and the black stone which is mined in the area is called Jet. We got back to the ship ten minutes before we had to be on board. Was a very full day..amazing.
May 20th. 17,504 Bilbao...Spain. We did an amazing tour to San Sebastián often referred to as “The Pearl of the Sea”. This city was made famous by Queen Regent Maria Cristina in 1866. The guide gave us a tour through the old city then we had free time. We went to the Cathedral plus other churches and places of interest. We walked the streets and it was so quaint and interesting. We had Tapas for lunch and that was a neat experience having lunch the Spanish way. Stopped at the top of a hill after leaving the town for amazing views over the area. Amazing scenic drive there and back, the different colours of greens was a treat. Was a warm sunny day and we really enjoyed it all.

20 May 2018

19 May 2018

May 19th. 14,483 Docked in La Rochelle as the port we were to go to had a strike on. As a result of this our tour into Bordeaux was changed from four hours in the city to three and in fact ended up with two and a half. Were not to impressed as was a five hour round trip in the coach. Bordeaux was ok was not overly impressed we ran around and saw the Cathedral along with other points of interest. The city centre is based on a triangle so got to do a lot of that. A lot of high end shopping but did have on the run macaroons, chocolate, a banana...the only healthy thing...and French pastries followed down with a bottle of water. Found the place to be messy and a bit dirty. No need to go back there. Fantastic warm weather day.

18 May 2018

May 18th. 11,018 Sea Day. Both went to the gym, was busier than last cruise. Went to the card room and played golf a guy in his twenties...I’m guessing as he’s a finished uni etc. came and played nine holes with us. He lives in Brooklyn, but was very hard to hear as he spoke softly and it was noisy. Had dinner with an English couple, no show tonight as saw it on last cruise and wasn’t worth going again to.
May 17th. 13,038 Le Harve...France. Had the most fantastic day, I think the best tour of the cruises so far. Went to Giverny to Monet’s house, the grounds were just as I had visualized and absolutely spectacular, the gardens are planted according to the original design of Claude Monet. I will never forget this place. Went to a delightful country barn for lunch, which was very good. From there to Rouen which was lovely old town, saw where Joan of Arc as burned at the stake in 1431. Walked up to the cathedral went inside. Had yummy more Guinness, just as well! The drive there and back was long but beautiful countryside, so was no hardships. I’m sorry the photos don’t do Monet’s justice but will just have to keep it all in my head.

17 May 2018

16 May 2018

May 16th. 19,756 Had a leisurely breakfast then went ashore in South Hampton. Went to the Sea City museum, had quite the Titanic exhibition. Had a look around the shops and went to the mall. Had our last dose of medicine for this part of our trip. Just as well as it is showing...I think! No photos today.
May 15th. 13,040 Sea Day today, both worked out. Played cards in the afternoon with the Aussies all went to dinner. Weather was disappointing as was very foggy, they kept blowing the horn all day. Did not see any land and disappointed we did t see the White Cliffs of Dover from the ocean. Did go to the towel animal demo. Had a male Violinist on tonight and he was excellent.
May 14th. 13,680 New Castle today we did a city and around tour today saw the Leaning bridge which is a draw bridge and quite an engineering feat. We saw the Angel of the North which is an amazing structure. We spent quite a bit of time in Washington and went to the house. The guide was excellent it was a good tour. Got back and jumped on the free shuttle into Tyne mouth a neat area, Walked down to the Priory great views from there. Had fish and chips and our medication and bus back. We chatted to three little old ladies through the fence before we got on board, they were interesting. Had dinner with the four Aussies we have got to know.

15 May 2018

14 May 2018

13 May 2018

May 13th. 18,061 Great day in Edinburgh today, got the first tender off the ship and then bus into Edinburgh. Walked up to the Royal mile and on the way down we stopped in at Starbucks. Got to Palace of Holyroodhouse at 10am. Spent a good couple of hours there and it was well worth the visit. Great to see and had a nice feel about it. Went through the Abby...which is a ruin and walked out in the grounds. Walked up the mile and back down the way we had walked up from the bus, stopping at another Starbucks and then got back on the public bus and back to the pier. Hopped on the free shuttle down to The Royal Yacht Britannia and did the tour. It was amazing there another good two hours. Both places had audio guides so really got a good feel for everything. We had tea with the Queen...well not quite but we did have afternoon tea on the Britannia which I thought was special. Walked back to the pier went to the local medicinal place. Back to ship on last tender...great day.

12 May 2018

May 12th. 16,184 Invergordon close to Inverness today. Walked into town early this morning, saw some great murals, not a lot open as it was Saturday. Went on an afternoon tour to Culloden the sight of the Jacobites and Parliamentary war, hard to understand what it was all about but suffice to say a war that was a waste of life and should never have taken place. From there we went to Caldaw Castle which we though was more like a stately home. It is lived in and had a very warm feeling about it and was certainly worth seeing, the tapestry hangings were amazing. The enclose garden was lovely but was a bit early for us to get the best of it. The scenery today was spectacular Back to the ship and went to a pub across the road for our daily medication! Saw lots of oil rigs on the sail out to the North Sea. Was not to impressed with the white stuff we saw today.

11 May 2018

May 11th. 14,498 Orkney Islands today, went to the capital Kirkwall and did a tour of the South Island. The highlight was the Italian Chapel, the only relic of Camp 60 which housed several hundred Italian prisoners. The Chapel is hand painted and absolutely spectacular. Got back to the ship and took the shuttle into the village. Went to St. Magnus Cathedral, founded in 1137, was amazing as are all these old places in this part of the world. Walked the town and saw all kinds of things of interest. Ended our visit in a pub as one does over here! Sailing out was very scenic as passed all kinds of Islands.

10 May 2018

May 10th. 13,233 Sea Day today. Was a rough night and morning waves were 26 feet but we didn’t feel it during the night and both worked out this morning. Had a lazy day enjoying the sail between the Outer and Inner New Hebrides along with sailing close to the Isle of Skye. Went to a next Cruise presentation which talked about the ships and itineraries. Went to main dining room and show. We are rocking pretty good right now.

9 May 2018

May 9th. 23,459 Got a cab to the train station and took the 8.30am train into Glasgow, got there 9.10am. Walked up to the Cathedral, quite spectacular, went form there up the hill to the Necropolis...cemetery... Very old and interesting, great views from up there. Went to Provand’s Lordships built in the 15th century and the oldest house in Glasgow. Walked for miles passing the oldest pub in Glasgow, went to the Scotia Bar for a’s claim to fame is it’s the cosiest bar in Glasgow. It was a really old neat pub, drinks there. Continue walking up to St. George’s Square where there was European Day on, lots of stalls from different European Countries. Went to Weatherby’s for lunch, I had curry Terry another steak pie. Walked through the shopping areas by now was raining quite heavily, great excitement we came across a Tim Hortons, I had Chia Latte and we got Tim bits to support the cause! Train back and walked back to the ship in the rain, on board 4.30p

8 May 2018

May 8th. Took the shuttle into Dublin and meet up with Ian at the Oscar Wilde statue. Did lots of talking and walking and had lunch at the Kennedy Pub. We walked up to St. Patrick’s Cathedral and all did a tour of that. Spectacular stained glass windows and a very good free tour. The guide was good and it was very informative. Said our goodbyes to Ian and walked many more miles and ended the day at a pub near Oscar Wilde where we got the shuttle bus back to the ship. Was a great day, was a bit of rain first thing but turned into a gorgeous sunny, warm day. We have been very lucky with the weather so far. Had dinner with two Aussie Couples tonight.

7 May 2018

May 7th. Cobh (Cove) went from here into Cork and did a walking tour which ended in a pub. Of course a Guinness and Irish Coffee were in order along with Terry’s beers. Drive there and back was good and we had the best lady guides, they were a hoot which help make the tour. Went to an amazing Cathedral where a Guide told us all about it. Back to Cobh went on board dropped of backpack and had lunch. Then walked up to the church and all around town Ending in a neat pub...forgot to get a much Guinness muddles the brain! It was called Kelly’s and had an Irish band playing whom were very good. Looked around the shops and back on board 5.30pm, sailed at 7pm. tonight. Weather so far been great, not to cold and no rain. Really do like Ireland.
May 6th. 14,225 Docked in Portland UK. This is part of the Jurassic Coast, World Heritage Site of Dorset and East Devon. Did the Corfe Castle and English Country side tour. It was a great tour, it was an re-enactment between the Saxons and the Vikings weekend saw a lot of what they did and how they lived. The Castle was magnificent and the little town ship of Corfe was so lovely. Had a look about there after the castle and even had time for a beer at a neat pub. The drive there and back was lovely and saw some neat little villages. We hav really lucked out wi5 the tours we choose to date and very pleased with what we have seen and done. Meet some people at dinner last night who have been to Guernsey 15 Times, they just live it as we did. There was a number of authors...Andrew Norman, Thomas Harding and Enid Blyton to name a few whom lived in the area and their books referenced lots of places in the area.

6 May 2018

May 5th. 18,611 Had a wonderful day in Guernsey. Got the 8am shuttle over and walked through the town and area. What a delightful place really enjoyed it. Went to the Tapestry Museum and saw the 1,000 years of local history depicted in ten tapestries done by local people from each Parish. They were spectacular. We did the afternoon tour of the German Military Occupations. Drove over a lot of the Island, went to a bunker museum, there are over 600 bunkers still intact on the Island. Guernsey is part of the Channel Islands and not part of Britain, a stand alone country. Last shuttle back to ship a really amazing day.

5 May 2018

4 May 2018

May 4th. Bed 22 Terry went out and got coffee and green tea. Left hotel around 11am. Took a cab to the ship. Easy check in and we are now gold members so get a few extra perks. Went to shore options desk and got sorted out what we wanted except a couple of 5e trips are now afternoon. Went up to deck 12 and had breakfast/lunch, then did a walk around the ship and sorted out where things are. State rooms were released about 2pm and my case came not long after, I unpacked everything and realized I had left my black jeans in the closet at the hotel. Terry went back, hotel was about 10 mons or so away. They had them there but their was two pair, my other black ones as well.went up to 12 to watch us sail. Terry’s case arrived so he got sorted. Went to main dining room for supper and sat with two Aussie guys. Went to the show, showed a taste of what we will see over the next two weeks.

3 May 2018

May 3rd. Bed 21 14,730 Left Hastings 9am. drove through Chichester, it looked to be a very neat place but was very busy. Dropped car at South Hampton airport and got train into Central Station and cab from there to hotel. Checked in and headed out to walk down to the river Test and back up to the shopping area. Had a look In a couple of stores was looking for a skirt but nothing to be had. Think the weather is going to be warmer than we expected. Did three pubs and had fish and chips at the second one for supper. Was good to talk to Brenda and a quick hello to David. Was interesting to see this town as we drove by. They just needed to change the E to an O.

2 May 2018

May 2nd. 19,000 Started the day off at the Hastings Museum it was so good and bigger than we thought. Spent a good two hours there and found it very informative and well worth the visit. Came out of there to rain and 12deg. Rained until about 3pm. and then turned out to be a great sunny late afternoon, evening. From the museum we drove over to Rye, it was so wet but we had our rain gear on and braved the elements and walked the old town. Was a neat area and would of been wonderful on a better weather day. Terry got a couple of fine knit sweaters from the Edinburgh Woollen Mill. Headed back to Hastings, dropped the car off and walked down to old town. We did the Funicular up to the castle had a walk around up there and walked down the path and stairs back to old town. Had round three of our pre dinner drinks! Went to Whites Seafood and Steak Bar for dinner. I had a fish stew which had a Whelk fish in the shell in it. Bought the shell home with me, thought the fish inside was chewy

1 May 2018

May 1st. 17,080 Really nice English cooked breakfast which set us up for the day. First stop was Bodiam Castle which was built in the 13th century. Very impressive, well maintained, climb many narrow winding staircases and saw all there was to see. From there we headed over to 1066 Battle of Hastings and Abbey. Walked the battle field with a very good hand held audio, was very informative and really helped you visualize the scene they were speaking of. Did the Abby spent quite a lot of time doing this and did not take the time to visit the quaint town of Burwash. We then headed over to Bateman’s House the home of Rudyard Kipling, had a tea and scone at the cafe and then toured the house. It was very well done and had a lot of pieces of the Kipling’s in it. Really enjoyed visiting that, they had a guide in each room who explained the room. Drove back to old town Hastings drove up the castle hill and saw the views. Had supper in a pub in old town.
Shout out to our Uber Driver, highly recommend the Keswick airport service. Very nice chatty driver who I would call again. Thank you Brenda for the drive.

30 April 2018

April 30th. Bed 20 Arrived at Heathrow and three hours after landing finally were through Immigration, picked up luggage and had a rental car. Was quite the zoo. Drove to Hastings which took close to three hour, checked in at BnB and are staying in the Rose room. Very nice but I think the bathroom used to be a closet. Walked down to the town and had a nice meal in a local Pub. Terry Steak and Kidney pie and me a curry was delicious. Walked back up the hill, Terry in bed asleep at 8.30pm...hope he sleeps all night.

28 April 2018

Leaving Toronto on April 29, 2018