Claire Cates


Claire Cates

I love to travel with Family and Friends and travel is always an adventure

Europe » Germany » North Rhine-Westphalia » Dortmund November 22nd 2021

Our last day, so sad. We got up early so that we could do the 3 hour drive to Dortmund. Dennis had bought us tickets to the soccer game. Dortmund is supposed to be the 2ndbest team in Germany and tickets are typically impossible to come by BUT, with Covid and the requirement of a vaccine passport to enter, tickets were available. We got to Dortmund way before the game so we ventured into town to visit their Christmas market. It was similar to the one in Bremen that we visited the other day. We then headed to the game so that we could find parking. It still was a challenge to find a place to park. We got close to one lot and then they closed it so we had to find another one and ... read more

Europe » Germany » Bremen November 22nd 2021

On the 5thday of our trip, Dennis took us to Bremerhaven. Our first stop was the Emigration and Immigration Museum. It turns out Bremerhaven is where many Europeans emigrated out of Europe and many arrived in the US via Ellis Island. There are records there from the 1600s through the late 1900s. When we bought our tickets, you were assigned a person to follow. My person was a lady named Margret and she was born in the 1820s. She didn’t emigrate to the US until she was in her late 20s. There were stations all through the museum where you could find out more information about her. We each had a different person. The museum had exhibits that depicted the different time periods and all the people would have had to endure on their trip. I ... read more

Europe » Germany » Lower Saxony November 19th 2021

Today we drove to Oldenburg to see where Dennis had gone to college and to visit the old town and Christmas market. When we arrived, we first drove around the campus and he pointed out buildings where he studied and places where he lived. He also pointed out places that he had told us stories about. Afterwards we drove to the old town. It was not as old as Bremen (or at least didn’t seem as old) but it was huge. All the narrow streets had hanging Christmas lights, and we knew it would be beautiful at night. We strolled the many avenues and then stopped at a place they like to eat. After eating, we went through more of the old town and we heard a street musician. Emil was fascinated by the father (playing ... read more

Europe » Germany » Lower Saxony November 17th 2021

We made it to Germany on Monday after several flights, but we were glad to be here. We didn’t sleep much. On the long flight, right as we both were falling asleep, the flight attendant made an announcement. “This is important, you must listen” or something like that but in the tone of something major has happened to the plane. She then started again and again said whatever it was in the tone followed by, “you need to fill this paperwork in before arriving in France”. What, ok, but did you have to say it in that tone? Can you say adrenaline rush? Well, that is what we heard and then we couldn’t relax enough to fall asleep. Dennis picked us up at the airport and drove us back to his house. We arrived and got ... read more

Europe » Spain » Cantabria November 20th 2019

Tom and I started the day with an nice breakfast at a café. We then headed to the Hop on/off bus tour we decided to take today. It would be a leisurely day. I woke up with a swollen foot. I wasn’t really sure why but oh well. Our first stop on the bus was Park Guell and the bus did not drop us off at a convenient location and gave us horrible directions. We did finally find it after a long hike. Then we had a problem finding the ticket booth. We found the exit and followed the signs but there were several people wondering around trying to find this place. Well, the park does have a lot of free space and hiked thru all that and saw some great views. As we were leaving, ... read more

Europe » Spain » Catalonia November 17th 2019

Well they switched out flight to a new plane and guess what, it too had problems but those problems only took 30 minutes to fix. we finally took off 2.5 hours late. I was exhausted by then and fell asleep immediately. Tom waited for dinner before retiring. We arrived in Barcelona at 12:30 and took the metro towards the hotel. We transferred to the red line and then got off at our station. It was then about a 10 minute walk (well it would have been but we took a wrong turn). Oh well, we made it to the hotel and checked in. Our room wasn't ready yet so we left our bags and went in search for lunch. we had a nice tappas lunch and then came back to the hotel to change. oh the ... read more

North America » United States » New York November 15th 2019

Tom and I caught our flight from RDU to JFK and we headed to the skyclub to await our flight to Barcelona. Tom worked and I read. They had free champagne here so we celebrated our first major trip together with a glass (plastic but it was sparkling wine), Sorry HT gang, i still got my champagne tonight. Our trip is a "Taste of Barcelona". It is a short trip, but it should be fun. So, it was time to board our flight to BCN and we settled into our seats. Then the pilot said over the intercom, "sorry, we are having a mechanical problem and we need to fly the part in from Atlanta, everyone has to get off as it will take at least 2 hours." I suspect it will take more. Tom and ... read more

Europe » Italy » Lazio » Rome December 18th 2018

We woke up and got ready and then crossed the street to the café we found last night across from the hotel where we got fresh orange juice and a chocolate croissant. The guy running the café remembered us from last night when we stopped by and asked if he served pastries in the morning. We went back to the hotel and checked out, but we got them to hold our luggage. We then walked the 15 blocks to the metro station and took the metro to the Coliseum. The Roma pass we bought in the states and picked up yesterday allowed us to get on the metro free, but we couldn’t figure out how to use it. We showed it to a guard and he smiled and opened the entrance for us. Ok, so that ... read more

Europe » Italy » Lazio » Rome December 16th 2018

We started in Raleigh and boarded our flight from RDU to Rome. Susan loved the first-class seat that included champagne, a large pillow, lie flat seats… Of course, I did too. We had a nice meal and then tried to crash. I slept some but again you just don’t get too much sleep on a flight when you are going to bed at 8 and waking up at 1. Your body just isn’t used to those times. We got to Paris, went thru passport control and headed to our flight to Rome. Air France first class was nothing more than regular class except the service. It was disappointing. We arrived in Rome and took a taxi to the hotel. Our first stop after the hotel was to get our Roma pass that we had purchased online. ... read more

Europe » Netherlands » North Holland » Amsterdam July 28th 2018

We knew the day was going to be long, what we didn’t know was it was going to become 2 days. Neither of us slept well. Susan still didn’t feel great after last night and then we had to wake up early so that we could get on the shuttle to the airport. We arrived at the airport and we were the only ones from Viking taking TAROM air (the Romanian airline) Almost everyone else was on British Air. We got to the check-in desk and she checked me in and said, “you will have to pick up your bags in Detroit”. Wait, our flight is thru JFK. Originally it was thru Detroit but when a schedule change happened that gave us 15 minutes in Detroit to go thru customs, go thru immigration and passport control, ... read more

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