Claire Wade

RedPlanetClaire

Claire Wade

I started these blogs as a record for myself- something to read and comfort me when I'm old, cold and broke, wondering where all my money went...

With time, my blogs have developed as it turned out other people were reading them! This has inspired me to improve my writing (well I try) and add more photos. I hope you enjoy reading my blogs and please do leave comments.

The photos in the blog are taken on my phone, but when I return home, I always have lots of images from my DSLR, that I upload to Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wadeyc





Europe » Norway » Northern Norway » Honningsvag July 20th 2019

After staying up till gone 2am waiting for a sun that never arrived, I woke around 10am to find it was back. Phew! It’s still warm in the arctic circle but when the sun goes behind the clouds, it can be a little breezy and maybe time to put the shorts away. Glyn and I have yet another favourite spot, now the back of deck 10 where the fjord and landscape drifts by as we gazed at it. We had a few visitors but I was able to blog, take photos and read! Afterwards I took the many flights down to deck 3 where our cabin is situated, changed into warm clothing, then climbed back up to Deck 10, where it got really hot again. I passed a man on the stairs who uses them for ... read more
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Europe » Norway » Western Norway July 19th 2019

Have you ever waited for a couple of hours for the sun to rise and it’s teasing you on the edge of the world, dotting up between distant islands, but just not quite making the effort? It was windy and cold, so by 2am we gave up and went to bed. That’s how my day ended - waiting for the sun to rise. Welcome to the Arctic Circle! My plan to start the day was to get up around 3am again to get a timelapse of the sunrise, but when it came down to it, I decided bed was better. Yesterday must have been long, as my sleep was also long and I didn’t wake until 10am. So breakfast was late and we missed the first landmark of note - some bridge. The next landmark was ... read more
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Europe » Norway » Western Norway » Ålesund July 18th 2019

Getting close to the Arctic Circle in the summer can only mean one thing (for me) - getting up at 3.15am for the sunrise! Hooray! I peered out of the porthole above my pillow and could see a sliver of pink between the mid blue of the sea and sky. It had been a bit dim last night, but not properly dark. Glyn wasn’t so keen at leaving a warm bed to stand on a windy deck, but as always, I knew better. We climbed up the many stairs of the silent ship, passing occasional staff cleaning pictures and other important jobs that can’t wait for a decent hour to be done. Like the majority of the ship, the front of Deck 10 was empty except for the sun loungers we’d dragged across yesterday. We were ... read more
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Europe » Norway » Western Norway July 17th 2019

It’s crazy that we got up early (7.15 am) whilst on holiday to go to the gym, but it was the best way to avoid the Pilates and yoga classes. They also cost extra. I wanted to get in as much whale watching as possible, so actually it makes sense. And let’s be honest, Glyn and I will doze off intermittently throughout the day what with all the sea air and food. After breakfast we headed up to the front of deck 10 where we’d met the whale watching gang yesterday. They work for an organisation called Orca and one lady was giving up teaching so that she could do Whale Cruise Conservation full time instead. Who knew that was a thing? The sun was shining and the sea very calm, so ideal for spotting marine ... read more
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Europe » Norway July 16th 2019

In the digital age we sometimes expect too much, so despite being told we’d cross time zones in the night and would need to put clocks forward, we didn’t. We presumed that our phones would automatically adjust and sync with our watches. We presumed wrongly. The only signal I have is ‘Cellular at Sea’ and no data, so no updates. I’ve switched off all signals now after the text I received on rate advice. All this means is that we got up later than planned. We had breakfast outside by the pool, with views of a distant oil rig and offshore windmills. We were 15 minutes late on the talk about our first port of call, Andalsnes, but it appeared that we didn’t miss much. It looked good; the talk was informative if a little dull ... read more
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Europe » United Kingdom » England » Kent » Dover July 15th 2019

I’ve been on this boat for 4 hours and we’ve not gone anywhere yet. Apparently we are waiting for crew to get here from Heathrow, but it’s a lovely warm evening and I’m sat on deck supping a Tiger beer with my hubby, enjoying the view of the white cliffs of Dover. People who know us were very surprised that we chose to go on a cruise; we usually do everything on the cheap and never relaxed! However, I really wanted to go to Svalbard (which is half way between the top of Norway and the North Pole). Flying there would mean 3 flights: to Oslo, to Trømso and finally to Svalbard. It would take longer to get there and back than the amount of days you could afford to stay because it’s Norwegian and Norway ... read more
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Europe » Germany » Hamburg » Hamburg May 12th 2019

A few hours after going to sleep it was time do get up. Despite the many beers drunk and the very few hours slept, I felt surprisingly chipper as did Zanne. She put it down to German beer being of better quality than the crap we get in the UK. We drove to the central Hamburg station, the Sunday morning roads being very quiet, we got there quickly, but no David. Being overtired and unsure, he disembarked at another Hamburg station and was a further 19 minute drive away. We found him looking rather sheepish and worn, but after the food Zanne had brought him and a rest in the car, he soon was laughing and joking about his epic adventure that will give him much to talk about at parties for years to come. We ... read more
Just before the St Pauli v Bochum match.
The beer refill man
Just before the St Pauli v Bochum match

Europe » Germany » Hamburg » Hamburg May 11th 2019

The day started at 3am because we were going on holiday. Travelling for the first time with another couple, Zanne and David, Glyn and I left in the dark as David drove us to Manchester airport. The flight left at 6.40am with just three of us and David took the train for a transcontinental journey he won’t be forgetting in a hurry. It turns out that the rail system in Germany isn’t as good as hoped; trains ran late with little info given and David got accosted by drunks and a Nazi in Cologne. Meanwhile, Glyn, Zanne and I landed happily in Hamburg after an uneventful 80 minute flight. During the descent into Hamburg, I noticed that The city was thick with dark green trees, like a dense forest with buildings poking out. Plus many bridges, ... read more
St Peter's Church
Old building
Rathaus

Africa » Tanzania » Zanzibar » Zanzibar City September 22nd 2018

The ferry port at Zanzibar is something Glyn described as a well oiled machine. This is sarcasm, as sheer chaos with a lack of information and people blocking the entrance as they swarmed to get through immigration is not oily. But it is sweat-soaked as the heat was intense stuffed with packed bodies and luggage. It was a necessary evil to get us on our way home. Earlier I put a cleanish tshirt and deodorant in my hand luggage so I don't stink too badly on the plane, but things aren't looking hopeful and pity the poor people sitting near Glyn and myself. After packing, we had time for a last wander around Stone Town, buying essential souvenirs and tat before doing a self tour. We were stuck in there for ages getting lost, having gone ... read more
Stone Town
cat in souvenir shop
Stone Town Kitten

Africa » Tanzania » Zanzibar September 21st 2018

Today is our last full day in Zanzibar/Tanzania and we'd left it free as a relaxation day, only there's things to do and see. The question was how to fit it all into a day. So I went on TripAdvisor and searched out a driver to get us around and organised. 'Friendly Taxis and Tours' had consistent 5 star reviews, so I contacted them and Salim arrived at just after 8.30am. The first place was Jozani Forest, going south on the island. It is home to a colony of Zanzibar Red Colobus Monkeys of which there are only a few left in the wild. Salim left us with another guide along with 4 other tourists after purchasing the permits we required to enter. We stepped into the forest and quickly came upon a group of small ... read more
red colobus monkey
tiny from on leaf
mangrove




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