Thursday, June 11, 2009

June 11 Kiel

Rain, rain, go away...come again another day. But it didn't, so I ventured out on my own, getting pretty darn wet despite a slicker to wear and an umbrella. Now I can say I've been in Germany on this trip!

Sadly this is the last post of this trip. It's been fun teaching myself PSE 7. Hopefully my brain is growing somewhat in keeping with my waistline on this trip. I only wish.

June 10 Ronne, Bornholm

Ronne is on Bornholm, a small Danish island off the Swedish coast. The day started out beautifully sunny and warm, became overcast with threatening thunderstorms (never materialized) and ended with warm sun. It's good to be prepared for all weather! Ronne was a tantalizing taste of Denmark with friendly (blond) people and compact tidy homes. There is also a small Thai community and I happily traded some memories in a Thai-English mixture. I know I started the shopkeeper with a Sawadee Kha! The fun of travel.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

June 8 and 9 Stockholm

Stockholm was advertised as two days but in effect it really wasn't with the over two hours it took to get people unloaded via tenders. Paid tours always go first and there were also a lot of people visiting family. I think there were over 40 tenders going from ship to shore the first day. Nonetheless, Stockholm is a lovely city and we used our 24hr transit passes a lot! While we didn't see the midnight sun, we did stay up to see the 11pm sun butI can imagine how long the winters must seem with the very short days.

Friday, June 5, 2009

June 2 Edinburgh

btw in case you wonder how we got from the ship to Queensferry from whence there was a bus into Edinburgh, here are the tenders.

June 1 Newcastle

Our day in Newcastle was another brilliantly sunny day with temps that promised to be warm - into the 70s. Arrival from Rotterdam was scheduled to be around noon with a mid-day departure from the ship. We never knew the exact time for tenders or a shuttle bus for sure each day until a few hours before and the times still changed after arrival in a port. Those people taking a tour with HAL always had priority in leaving the ship so it could be hard and frustrating to plan much of a trip outside of strolling around the main part of a city. Fortunately this suited us most of the time but it was hard for dh to wait till 11am or later to leave the ship when he is such an early bird in the a.m.

I had seen Newcastle years and years ago, and despite the boast that the city had been cleaned up and modernized, I decided Newcastle would be a r&r day aboard ship for me. Reading, computer time with the pictures and just a relaxing day before Edinburgh, which I DID want to see. DH decided that he would be adventurous and explore on his own. I saw the looong line waiting for the shuttle bus into the city and wondered how his patience was holding out.

From what he tells me the city still has the look of an industrial city - which it was - and thus had no 'old' buildings with most being either modern architecture or Victorian era still needing some clean up. Sandblasting makes the limestone look lovely again but it is costly.

Where once a city might be full of scaffolding with ancient buildings etc being restored, it seems that today more construction and replacement or repair of infrastructure might be happening. Newcastle was a place dh said had some of that and some of the 'normal' occurrence of a metro stop being closed for x,y, or z and the trains rerouted.

All in all, he can say he has visited Newcastle and I can say I had a good leisurely day with no pressure to walk or see something new. A daily diet of anything can get old.

Monday, June 1, 2009

May 29 Le Harve

Oh the food we saw, oh the views from the Haute Ville! So far one of my favorite 'new' cities and so so beautiful on a perfect sunny day.