Published: August 1st 2012August 1st 2012
UK Tour on Queen Elizabeth
Wednesday 1st August
Yesterday we woke early and had a very light breakfast in our stateroom as we would be leaving the ship by tender for a tour round the South Islands. We were sailing into Kirkwall on Orkney and a beautiful sight from our balcony met our eyes as we drew back the curtains. Fine morning and pleasant sail with the sea like a mill pond. The arrangements were good and we only had a short wait before climbing into the tender. A very smooth trip across to the jetty and the coaches were already lined up so no big wait before we were off on our journey. We had an excellent tour guide who originally came from Germany over 20 years ago, studied here and liked it so much decided to stay.
Our first stop was at the Italian Chapel built by Italian prisoners of war on camp 60. It is so beautiful and hard to believe it had been built out of the Nissan huts. It and a concrete statue of St George is all that remains of the camp site. The POW’s were there to build the Churchill Barriers around Scapa Flow to protect the British fleet. It is here that a u-boat sunk the Royal Oak. Quite moving stories about this period were told to us. Our next stop was for a photo shoot at a spot overlooking the Scapa Flow before arriving at a little fishing village for a little wander round. Needless to say we found a very pleasant café for our tea/coffee/cake break little realising that a short journey on and we had an official break with beverages and cake and scones all laid on - we couldn’t refuse of course. After that we headed back to the jetty. We decided to take a walk round Kirkwall before going back to the ship and walked along a very pleasant shopping precinct which took us up to the cathedral of St Magnus - magnificent is one word I would use as it is simply magnificent. Who would believe such a huge cathedral would be built on such a small island. The stone work is beautiful in various shades and stands so high. We spent some time admiring its beauty before making our was back down the other side of the shopping precinct, And oh dear, we had to make another stop for refreshments. An excellent café for light lunch a drinks. It started raining so we took our time and by the time we were leaving it had stopped raining so we made our way to the jetty and onto the tender to take us back to our ship. Back to our room to refresh and the time for afternoon tea!.
Dinner was pleasant as usual (semi formal attire) and then we made our way to the theatre for the show. 17 piece orchestra and the 4 singers. Unfortunately we didn’t like the choice of music (too much Lionel Richie, Diana Ross etc.) so we decided to leave and sat having a fresh lemonade watching the sun go down. Back to our room for some light reading before lights out.
Wednesday 1st August
Tea and coffee arrived at 7.30am and after enjoying our cuppas we showered and went down for breakfast. We sat with a lady from Kent, a lady from New York who wrere friends who meet up each year for a cruise and a lady from Dorset. During conversations Leighton Buzzard was mentioned and we said that both daughters went to school there - Which one asks the lady from NY. Cedars we said and sho told us that she regularly entertained children from Cedars as her friend Bob Pearson had started the exchange system with Mr Smith. Not sure whether Jill our younger daughter met her as she went on one of the exchange visits with Mr Smith. What a small world we live in!
I am calling a halt now as we need to get ready for our first booze up of the day at 11.30am with the Commodore Christopher Rynd and his senior crew. Bring it on.