Hello world!

October 22, 2008

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is my attempt at writing  a blog.    The last post is first on the list.  Move your mouse over the calendar on the right to see different posts.

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NCL Getaway Photos

August 20, 2015

Hi, We just spent a week on the Norwegian Getaway.  We were in the Caribbean and did not get off the ship at all.  We stopped at St. Thomas, Tortola and Nassau.  These pictures are all of the ship.  Our cabin was 14629 and right next to the elevator.  It was very handy and it was quiet.  It was an inside cabin.  You can find it in the photos.  We had a great time and the ship never seemed to feel like it had 4000 guest on it.  Of course we don’t know how the lines were getting off in ports.  Disembarkation was fine.  I didn’t bring sneakers with me or else I might have tried the rope course with walking the plank and zip line at the end!  I worked on a counted cross stitch of shells while aboard and also read a book.  Loved it!

June 18, 2014 ~ Gdynia & Gdansk, Poland

June 28, 2014

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Sunrise: 4:10 am Sunset: 9:35 pm

Weather: High: 69F Low: 54 F Partly Cloudy

6:45 came very early today, did not like being awakened by the phone. While putting on my sneakers today I thought again why is one shoelace longer that the other and I actually looked at my shoes. I brought 1 from each pair! Never noticed before today. Breakfast was crowded because all ship’s tours were sold out. They said there wasn’t much to see in Gdynia and Gdansk was about 40 minutes away, so the best way to get there was on a tour. We took Panoramic Gdansk for 4 3/4 hours at $24 per person. This tour was a panoramic drive with a photo stop at the Oliwa Cathedral, almost 2 hours at Long Market, together with Long Street, and the Solidarity Monument (3 towering steel crosses commemorating those workers who died in the 1970 anti-communist riots.) The Monument to the fallen Shipyard Workers 1970 (Polish: Pomnik Poległych Stoczniowców 1970) was unveiled on 16 December 1980 near the entrance to what was then the Lenin Shipyard in Gdańsk, Poland. It commemorates the 42 or more people killed during the Coastal cities events in December 1970. It was created in the aftermath of the Gdańsk Agreement and is the first monument to the victims of communist oppression to be erected in a communist country. It was designed by: Bogdan Pietruszka, Wiesław Szyślak, Wojciech Mokwiński and Jacek Krenz.  We also saw Royal Route Long Wharf. Long Street ranks among the most beautiful streets of Gdansk. Passing through the Green Gate you see the Main Town Hall, beautiful 15th century merchant’s Palace of Artus Court and Neptune’s Fountain. We tried to find a place to have a Pierogi, but they were filled with funny things so we did not eat one. There were lots of shops to look at and we went to an amber store to see them polish amber. It was a beautiful day, weather wise.

Back on the ship we had lunch and then relaxed before getting ready for our last formal night tonight. Of course Ray was able to fall asleep and I was not. After a good dinner we went to the show lounge to see the singers and dancers in ‘Ovations’ featuring songs from different plays. I think this is the most flexible group of dancers we have seen but we have heard better singers. These singers were good, however. We skipped formal pictures with the captain. I was tired so went to see the sunset and then went to the cabin to read and Ray stayed up for the Liars Club which was at 11:30 pm. He said it wasn’t as good as the last one.

June 21, 2014 ~ Southampton, Salisbury & Windsor

June 22, 2014

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Southampton to Heathrow

We had breakfast and did last minute packing and went to the Theatre on 4 at 7 am. We signed up with International Friends for a tour to Salisbury, Stonehenge and Windsor on our way to the Ibis Hotel at Heathrow Airport for 150 Pounds. We can’t go to Stonehenge because it is the summer solstice and will be a madhouse. We didn’t have to wait long before our number was called to leave the ship. The lines weren’t long at immigration and our bags were waiting for us side by side. Our tour bus wasn’t there yet so we waiting in the lounge. When it arrived I finally got the front seat for taking pictures! There were only 9 of us in the group. Our guide was a history buff which made him very interesting.

Our first stop was in Salisbury. We arrived a little early as there were no traffic jams so we walked through town to the meeting place before going to the Salisbury Cathedral.  One of the pictures below shows a house with a window bricked up.  They taxed houses on how many windows they had, so to save money, they bricked it up.

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Salisbury, England

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The Cathedral was not included in our tour price but we decided to spend our time there instead of going back into town. It was 5 pounds each to get in, a discount from 7.50 pounds. It was absolutely amazing. They gave us a brochure for a self-guided tour which was perfect for us. There was an amazing endless reflection baptismal font. The water spilled over the four corners into drains in the floor.

 

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Salisbury Cathedral

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After we toured the Cathedral, we went to see the Cloisters and the Chapel House. The Cloisters was very peaceful and the largest in any British cathedral and designed for processions. I found some medieval board games scratched into the stone on the inner ledges!

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Pictures were not allowed in the Chapel House, but I found a few online that I will include. It houses the Magna Carta. The Salisbury Magna Carta is the best preserved of the four originals dating from June 1215 still in existence. Written in Latin with a quill pen on treated animal skin (vellum), sealed documents were sent throughout the country after the charter was forced on King John by barons who were unhappy with the way he was ruling England.  The guide told me this Magna Carta is written on parchment made from sheepskin as were the majority of medieval charters.  The process of producing parchment or indeed vellum (which is calf skin) was a long, laborious and expensive process.  The animal skin was soaked in a bath of lime, stretched on a frame to dry under tensions and scraped with a curved knife called a lunular to produce a smooth writing surface.  The quill would usually have been made from the swan or goose wing feather, if the scribe was right handed he would use a right wing feather, if left handed he would use a left wing feather.  The ink was a mix of iron salts and tannin acid extracted from galls on oak trees, these were bound together with gum Arabic.

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The longest part of the bus ride was from Salisbury to Runnymede.   On June 15, 1215, in a field at Runnymede, King John affixed his seal to Magna Carta. Confronted by 40 rebellious barons, he consented to their demands in order to avert civil war. There will be a celebration for 800 years next year.

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During the American Revolution, Magna Carta served to inspire and justify action in liberty’s defense. The colonists believed they were entitled to the same rights as Englishmen, rights guaranteed in Magna Carta. They embedded those rights into the laws of their states and later into the Constitution and Bill of Rights.The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution ("no person shall . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.") is a direct descendent of Magna Carta’s guarantee of proceedings according to the "law of the land."

Runnymede is about 20 miles west of Central London and only about 4 miles to Windsor, our next stop. We had to go in the back way because of the Royal Ascot race. We got to see the Long Walk and a different view of the castle. From the Castle gate to the foot of the statue of King George II (The Copper Horse) the long walk measures 2.64 miles in length.

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When we got to the bus parking lot we found out that the lift up to the main road was out. The guide said there was another way and would come back to show us and another guest in a wheelchair where it was. We waited a bit and then I went through a tunnel and found the other lift. I went back to get Ray. The others waited because they were going through the castle and we weren’t. We made our way up to the train station, got directions and soon found ourselves in front of the castle.

We made our way down the street and found a place with fish and chips for lunch. To sit at a table you had to climb a flight of stairs so we ate at the counter. It was so good! We walked around a little bit, went in St. John the Baptist, Windsor Parish Church (Anglican).  The church was getting ready for an Annual Friends Event, a talk by an art restorer.  They have a painting of the last supper. 

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We went in a few stores and then headed back to the parking area. We were there for a bit and then I noticed activity near our bus. We had to move our luggage to a smaller van to take us to our hotel near Heathrow. Heathrow is almost right next door to Windsor. I wonder how the Queen feels being in a flight path. I was surprised at how many planes flew over Windsor.

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Windsor, England

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We dropped the other family at Heathrow and then we went to our hotel, the Ibis London Heathrow Airport Hotel. I booked all our hotels at Booking.com and this was 42 Pounds or around $70. It was definitely a standard basic room, but clean. It also had a restaurant. We ordered a wake-up call and a taxi. The taxi was only 1 pound more than the Hoppa Bus and no stops. The next morning we left for Heathrow and checked in with no problems. We found a place for breakfast and then looked on the departure board for our gate. It said to go to gate now – it would take 25 minutes. They weren’t kidding! Good thing the moving walkways were working. At one point we had to go down a long escalator, walk a bit and then go back up. We were on the 2 seat side which was great. It was an eight hour flight to Charlotte but wasn’t all that bad. Ray watched movies, did games and I finished another book. I think it is easier to fly during the day. Good thing we had plenty of time in Charlotte as we had a bit of a wait for bags because it was such a large plane, rechecked our bags and went through security and to our next gate. A short ride and we were home. We made a quick stop in Wal-Mart and then headed to Ryan’s to bring home a sub. Ryan’s was closed so we ended up at Gino’s. This was another great trip. The Celebrity Eclipse was beautiful but we loved the service on Holland America. Our next cruise will be on Princess as we put a deposit down for one on our last Princess cruise. Stay tuned!

The End

June 20, 2014 ~ At Sea

June 21, 2014

Friday, June 20, 2014

Sunrise: 4:11 am Sunset 9:15 pm

59F Partly Sunny

The captain was right! Boy did we rock last night! It finally felt like we were on a cruise ship. The bathroom door would not stay open and I actually rolled in bed. By morning it was pretty good and kept getting smoother. We slept a little late and got to breakfast around 9. Ray went to the Chefs cooking competition and I went to the cabin to try to nap — didn’t happen. I went upstairs to read while waiting for Ray. I was excited to see beef stroganoff but the meat was tough. It was also tough the day I tried the beef goulash. I had turkey piccata instead and Ray had a hamburger. I went to the iLearn class all about iCloud and still don’t get it. I did get the handout of his notes. The passenger Choir sang and they were very good. I then went to water color where we worked on our old paintings and I tried to do a London skyline. Back to the room to get stuff ready to pack. After dinner our show wasn’t until 9, the farewell show called ‘Voyage to Remember’. We packed some before the show and finished after and got the bags out by 11 pm. We have a 5:15 am wake-up call for tomorrow.

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June 19, 2014 ~ At Sea

June 20, 2014

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Sunrise: 4:30 am Sunset: 10:27 pm

58F and Cloudy and Windy

We went to the dining room this morning for breakfast and I took a picture of the wine rack that holds 2200 bottles.

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Back to the room and then packed our largest suitcase to just under 50 pounds. I was looking forward to the Backstage Tour at 10, but we were set to sail under the largest bridge again and I missed that the first time. It was so windy and cold on deck 14! So much for curling my hair this morning! I didn’t even have my jacket. 

The Great Belt Fixed Link (Danish: Storebæltsforbindelsen) runs between the Danish islands of Zealand (Copenhagen is partly on its eastern shore) and Funen (Odense is the main city). It consists of three structures: a road suspension bridge and a railway tunnel between Zealand and the small island Sprogø located in the middle of the Great Belt, and a box girder bridge for both road and rail traffic between Sprogø and Funen. The "Great Belt Bridge" (Danish: Storebæltsbroen) commonly refers to the suspension bridge, although it may also be used to mean the box-girder bridge or the link in its entirety. The suspension bridge, officially known as the East Bridge, has the world’s third longest main span (1.6 km), the longest outside of Asia. Operation and maintenance are performed by A/S Storebælt under Sund & Bælt. Construction and maintenance are financed by tolls on vehicles and trains.  It is 235.00 DKK or about $42.00 per car.  The link has reduced travel times significantly; previously taking about an hour by ferry, the Great Belt can now be crossed in about ten minutes. The construction of the link and the Øresund Bridge have together enabled driving from mainland Europe to Sweden and the rest of Scandinavia through Denmark. Cyclists are not permitted to use the bridge, but cycles may be transported by train or bus.

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approach to the bridge from both sides

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Going under the bridge above.  Below, pix from the stern.

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I then went to the Oceanview Cafe to read and wait for Ray. I don’t know what the occasion was, but there were beautiful ice carvings all over the place. We had a quick lunch and went to the Grand Foyer on 3 to watch the Hot Glass Show Auction. They had 7 pieces to auction with 6 of the proceeds going to glass scholarships and the last to breast cancer research. Most went for $500 to $600 and one went for $900. They were beautiful, but you would have to carry them home. We could feel the ship moving while watching the auction. They don’t list the wave height on TV. In today’s program they said the Slots in the Casino paid out $26, 572.44 but they didn’t say how much was put in!

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Ray tried to catch the end of a show by Jayne Curry and I did some typing and then went to the water color room to do some reading before class. Today Liz showed us some more techniques. We used salt and saran wrap and did sky and water. I then tried painting the Church of the Spilled Blood. LOL Dinner choices were not that great. It almost seems like lunch has better choices. I wanted an iceberg salad and got Romaine, I wanted 1 slice of onion and got a dozen. There was only one show tonight, Mel Mellers. He does some comedy, magic, and light insulting of the audience. I enjoyed it. Instead of the second show, they showed the Fifa Soccer World Cup Game of England vs. Uruguay.

The captain said it would get rough tonight. We also set our clocks back one hour for the last time.

June 17, 2014 ~ Klaipeda, Lithuania

June 18, 2014

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Sunrise: 4:51 am Sunset: 10:30 pm

High of 58F and low of 51F, 50% chance of rain

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I finished my book last night and got up about an hour earlier than Ray. After breakfast we just made the free shuttle bus into the Old Town. There was a crafts market in the square and we bought a magnet and a piece of driftwood and amber to hang in the front hall. The cobblestones are murder to walk on. We then went to the Information center and got directions to a place that might sell tee-shirts. We found one that Ray liked, but we have to get Lithuania embroidered under the symbol of the Curonian Peninsula. It just started to drizzle a bit and we decided to go back to the ship. We were on the bus and I discovered I did not have my camera. We got off the bus and went back to the last shop, they did not have it and I took everything out of my purse. It was full because I took the iPad, just in case. I then went back to the craft fair to see if I put it down when paying for a purchase. No. Went back to where I left Ray and he had it in his pocket. Back to the ship, had a quick lunch, dry out and then go back out for our tour. I took the iPad out of my purse.

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The bus loaded early as it was raining. We drove around town and all my pictures have rain drops on the bus window. We went past the Clock and Watches museum, the Neo-Gothic Post Office, Park of Sculptures and the Soviet WWII memorial. We drove through typical residential areas built in Soviet times. We went back into town and they were going to spend 1/2 hour at the Old Town Market. We told the guide we were going back to the ship on the shuttle. We had to walk a little bit in the rain to get to the shuttle stop and then the sun came out. We missed going to the amber processing factory and a visit to the amber antiques gallery with a taste of amber tea and Lithuanian cake. We got the feeling from the guide that they do not like the Russians. This is the first time the Celebrity Eclipse docked in Klaipeda and is the largest ship they can handle. Everyone in town was friendly but most stalls were selling the same things. They did have a band and singers in the center. We’ll find out at dinner how things went at the beach. We saw people using free WiFi as we were getting on the ship so I went to the cabin and got the iPad. It was so cold then! I just sent a quick email saying all was fine and went back inside.

 

I brought 2 hot chocolates back to the room to warm us up. We relaxed before dinner and then went downstairs. We have not been too thrilled with the menu selections, they are too fancy and possibly geared to the English. The desserts are not all that thrilling either, which I guess is a good thing. Mary Ann and Allan had a good time at the beach, it only rained when they were in the bus. Tonight’s show was Jon Courtenay, a British showman with comedy and singing along with brilliant piano playing. He was excellent. We then went down to the Grand Foyer for “Dancing with the Officers” which was very funny. Richard the techspert won as he brought silly props and his partner totally went along with him.

I went up to get a glass of iced tea at 10:30 pm and watched the sunset. Usually they come at dinner time and I miss them, or on this cruise I’ve been in the cabin. It was so pretty and I did not have my camera. When I got back to the cabin there was a note from Polish Immigration saying they wanted to stamp all non-European Union passports. I had to go all the way to the back of the ship again to bring them to the desk and then back to the cabin. This means that from the time I left the cabin (near the front elevators) till I returned for the evening, I walked back and forth 6 times. Good thing we get to turn the clocks back one hour tonight. We have a 6:45 am wake-up call.

June 16, 2014 ~ At Sea

June 17, 2014

Monday, June 16, 2014

Sunrise: 3:48 am Sunset: 10:37 pm

I could feel the ship last night, but I think it was the speed. The seas are still extremely calm. I was up a little earlier than Ray and went to the Oceanview Cafe for coffee and to read my book and to wait for him. We are getting used to where things are in the cafe and we will be getting off soon. I figured out I have enough clothes left and I won’t have to do any more hand washing on the ship. The cabins have good ventilation and most things dry overnight. We had breakfast and then I went to the Sky Lounge to do some typing and read. I can’t even remember the first 2 books I read as I got them from the library and returned them. Most of their paperbacks are in a foreign language. The 3rd one is The Forgotten Affairs of Youth, set in England. When I finish this one, I will start on one of the 2 I brought from home. I haven’t started my knitting yet and might save it for the flight home.

I tried the Asian area for lunch and it was okay. At 1 pm I went to the iLearn class and it was packed! Richard does give lots of tips, but doesn’t give out notes until the last class. Today I learned that I am using a lot of half lives by charging my iPad too often when it is just under 80% charged. He said that is the magic number. You can charge as often as you like if it above 80%, but it uses a half-life if it is under 80%. So, if it is under 80% you should wait until it is down to 10 – 15%. I learned how to read it easier in daylight by inverting colors, if you turn it on the background goes black.  Use “Invert Colors” (Settings>General>Accessibility).  If you put your iPad in airplane mode and no one can get in it, but you have to turn on wi-fi and Bluetooth each time. Some Bluetooth gadgets: JBL Charge ($150, powerful wireless speaker that charges your gadgets.), Pebble Watch (getpebble.com is $150 –$250, Sphero 2.0 ($120, remote controlled ball, can add a golf app to it or Sharky the Beaver), a headphone that goes around your neck, LG HBS-700 – the best pair of Bluetooth headphones you can buy.   Under ‘General’ you can find out capacity & you should always have a few GB’s free. 1000MB in a GB. You can also find out your serial # and wi-fi address or MAC adress serial # of wifi card (Make a copy by a screen shot in case it is stolen). Other gadgets: Anchor 40Watt 5 port USBHub ($30) – 1 plug to charge 5 things; NERDgasm, 1 cable replaces all cables – 3 cables INNERGIE 3 in 1 charger. I hope he gives us all this written out. There is a case that will charge wirelessly being put it Starbucks and McDonald’s. I think it is a PowerMat for iPhone ($100). "ReFresh Screen Cleaner" is an iPad portable screen cleaner with a built in spray nozzle.

I went up to the room where water colors would be held and started arranging my icons after Richard told me how. In painting we did a kind of weird 4 area painting with 4 styles. One was a flower, overlaping, dots, and negative space. While Liz was on tour yesterday, her husband had his pocket picked and lost his wallet. She was carrying his wallet in her Kevlar purse, he took his wallet to pay for something and then just stuck it in his pocket.

(As a side note, there are some children on board and a few babies. The baby on our floor just went by crying — it is 10:15 pm. It is not the first night I heard him. What are the parents thinking?)

The ship had a big Russian bazaar today — and it was crowded! We made our first purchase today. I traded in the red wine our TA gave us for a Riesling and had to pay $4 more. The bottle we received was $37 on the menu and the one I wanted was $41. It was a good thing only 6 of us were at the table because that emptied the bottle! There was a short talk on Klaipeda before the show and they said there would be a free shuttle to town but the walk was only 800 meters away. We don’t meet our tour until 1:15 pm. Jayne Curry entertained us with her vocals and a few observations on life. She was good, but I think there was too much reverb in her mike. The seas are still very calm and I am going to try to finish my book tonight.

Here are some photos of some of the art on the ship:

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June 15, 2014 ~ St. Petersburg, Russia

June 16, 2014

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sunrise: 4:36 am Sunset: 11:34 pm

We had a nice breakfast and then met Mary Lou and the others for our tour. DenRus is giving us everything that was planned and I would recommend them. We had the same driver, Andrew, and guide, Elena. The first part of our tour was a boat trip on the River Neva and Canals. We had the boat to ourselves and it had indoor and outdoor seating areas. It truly felt like Venice of the North, or Amsterdam. It was an hour and a half and was wonderful! I just fell in love with the beautiful buildings, they are majestic. It will take me a long time to Photoshop all my photos.

 

We then went to Our-Lady-of-Kazan Cathedral for a visit and then walked over to Nevsky Prospect to a large bookstore inside an old Singer sewing machine building. It was beautiful. On the second floor there was a coffee shop where we had a snack. It was much better than yesterday’s snack. I had a ham, onion, and cheese pirogee (not pierogi) and Ray had an almond pastry. Our waiter spoke wonderful English and told us he was collecting State quarters, but we left all coins in the cabin. Elena helped me look for a book on quilling, but we couldn’t find one.

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We then went to the Russian museum. It used to be a palace. There was a big flight of stairs to get to the first floor and it was enough for Ray. There were two more flights to get to the second floor and was too much for him. Elena stayed with him as we had to have a museum guide for the tour. The museum was divided into periods with paintings sorted accordingly. It was warm inside and not too many places to sit. Some of the paintings were huge and the frames were gorgeous. We were not allowed to take pictures. It is so hard to image living in a place like that.

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Our last stop was an inside visit to the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood. They charged 230 Rubles to enter. The entire Orthodox Church was decorated with mosaics. Some wanted to tear it down because it didn’t "go" with the area. That would have been a shame.  There are icons all over. Elena said some of the mosaics were done on the floor and then put on the walls and others done right on the wall. The ceiling was also covered. They have services in the summer on Sunday mornings. We then returned to the ship.

 

We were invited to a private visit to the navigational bridge because we were on the Cruise Critic Connections list. Again, it was very interesting. Our guide was a First Officer from Poland and she was so beautiful. Her blue eyes and dark hair was so attractive.

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After dinner we went to the show to see Jonathan Stamp, one of the world’s greatest jugglers. Ray says we saw him before. He uses audience participation which makes it very funny along with his skills. We enjoyed it.

We went up on deck to see the ‘white night’ and it was amazing. It was almost 9:30 and the sun was still high in the sky. I didn’t have the camera with me, so when I got back to the cabin, I took a picture from the TV.  It was taken around 9:30 pm and the sun was still high in the sky.   It was a long day and I went to bed early. We got to set our clocks back one hour tonight.

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June 14, 2014 ~ St. Petersburg, Russia

June 15, 2014

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Sunrise: 4:30 am Sunset: 11:22 pm

It is called the White Night in St. Petersburg now because the sun sets so late. We had a 6:45 am wake-up call and I woke up about 6:35. We had breakfast in the dining room, gathered our things and went to meet Mary Lou for our tour with DenRus. After our AARP discount the tour cost us $381.60 for both of us for a 2-day tour.

Things have changed with Russian customs! The new dock is very nice with lots of booths. The ship cleared around 7 am so when we left at 8:30 there were no lines. You don’t have to fill out an immigration card, they just scan your passport and give you a landing card to carry with you for the day, stamp your book and you are on your way. There is some shopping in the terminal. A sign said fast WiFi, but not free. Our Guide, Elena, was there to meet our small group of eight. It was the perfect size to see the town. We had 8 empty seats on our little van.

This was a tour for those that had already been to St. Petersburg, so we did not return to the Hermitage or Peterhof. We had a city tour with some photo stops. We went inside the Eliseev Delicatessen shop — my, my, what a fancy place! There was a piano playing music, a huge pineapple looking palm tree in the center, stained glass, and many goodies! You could not take pictures unless someone in your group bought something. We went to a little gift shop for a comfort stop and then to the Yusupov Palace and also saw the Rasputin basement. They had so much money and then lost it all during the revolution. We had a brief snack at the Stolle-pie coffee-shop. Ray and I split an egg and onion pirogee and a pepsi for 140 rubles. We then had a chance to ride on their metro. The line we went on was very, very deep. We rode between Admiralteyskaya to Sportivnaya station for 38 R. Just outside there was a park and we went in the Prince-Vladimir Cathedral and then back to the ship. It was just long enough.

 

We had a hot dog and drink on the ship and then relaxed until it was time for dinner. Many were going on evening tours, so the ship did not have regular shows tonight. There was the game show, ‘Newlywed not so Newlywed’ at 9 and then at 10:30 "Moroshka", a cultural and musical extravaganza featuring "The Stars of St. Petersburg". A troupe of dancers, singers and musicians gave us a sense of Russia. Steve Womack had another late night comedy show for adults only at 11:30 pm. We went to the show but left early. He wasn’t really funny to us, only the Brits. The jokes we did understand we had already heard. We don’t have to meet Mary Lou until 9:15 tomorrow morning.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXlibXIcZpc is a link to see a short piece I videoed of Moroshka.  I could not get the video to upload here.

June 13, 2014 ~ Tallinn, Estonia

June 14, 2014

Friday, June 13, 2014

Sunrise: 4:10 am Sunset 10:38 pm

I just realized that today was Friday the Thirteenth! We had a great day. We had a nice leisurely breakfast again talking with other guests. Unfortunately the weather was not the best today. It was spitting in the morning, then drizzle, then rain, and then cleared up. We were to meet for our tour at 12:45 but there were some shops at the pier so we got off a little after 11 and looked around. They had lots of souvenirs and some food for sale. I took so much time picking out jewelry (Thank You Susie, used your birthday gift money) that we didn’t go into the shops with hand-made woolen and cotton items. Ray noticed that busses were loading and hurried me along. We were on the bus and leaving by 12:30. We took the Panoramic Tallinn tour which lasted about 2 1/4 hours for $48 each. Our guide was okay, but she would point out things right as we got to them and then they were gone. I don’t think my out the window shots will be too good. At the first stop we opted to stay on the bus as it was raining and you had to walk up a hill and then up 15 steps to get into the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. We could see the Tall Hermann Tower from the bus at Toompea Hill. About 6 of us stayed on the bus. We then drove past other sights and stopped at the Song Festival Ground and this time only 6 got off the bus. We drove by the Forest Cemetery and went into Pirita for a scenic view of the Old Town and the ships, but it was foggy. No one got off the bus. We then drove back to the ship. There was free WiFi at the dock but the iPad was on the ship. Estonia invented Skype.

Lunch was over when we returned to the ship and it was tea time. We tried the pizza and it was not good. Ray watched some golf and I napped before dinner.

After dinner the show tonight was Peng Fei Su with contemporary Chinese magic. He did the face changing the first night, the loose wire act last night and magic tonight. He is very talented and did some amazing tricks. He did quite a bit of close-up work with a camera on his hands and you could not figure out how he did it. There was a late night comedy show at 11:30 tonight with Steve Womack, but we have a 6:45 am wake-up call for tomorrow, St. Petersburg.