Page 6 of Tizwoz Travel Blog Posts

Europe » Norway June 29th 2017

We boarded the M.S. Serenissima, a Noble Calodonian ship, at Tromso. Lovely cabin with balcony at the top of the ship and very friendly relaxed crew. We were the first on board as the rest of the passengers were delayed at the airport , so I am glad we travelled here independently. The ship sailed later out into the North Sea and then into the channels of the Lofoten Islands, to moor up at Svolvaer. We were driven through picturesque villages surrounded by jagged granite mountains to the Viking Museum at Borg. Here we had lunch in the long house, a recreated building of one which had stood on the site during Viking times. Wenches in the appropriate costume gave us the history of the local Chieftain, who would have owned the long house and then ... read more
Cabin 702
View from our balcony
Stefan the unlikely Viking!

Europe » Norway June 25th 2017

We have now warmed to the Norwegians. Last night we met a crowd of 30 yr olds in an outside bar and they were more than happy to chat to a couple of old fogeys. This was after we had a Chinese meal thinking it may be cheaper! One bowl of soup, one plate of rice ,2 mains and a bottle of wine- over £100. Friends- never again say London is expensive! We left a warm sunny Oslo to fly up to the rainy town of Tromso which is one of the most northernmost towns in Norway. Despite the rain it was not as cold as I thought it would be. The hotel, the Clarion With ( pronounced Wit) is nicer than the one in Oslo, situated on the harbour and with a larger room. Still ... read more
It is not cold!!
It is cold!!
Ted with cousin polar bear

Europe » Norway June 24th 2017

Oslo is not a pretty city. Perhaps the Norwegians think that because they have a pretty countryside the buildings don't need to be. They seem to believe in being plain and functional. There are a few older buildings but even with some decoration they are still a bit Spartan. The only thing not plain is the unintelligible language- thank heaven they all speak English! Our hotel is the Clarion Connection Bastion which is a short walk from the opera house. It is similar to a Premier Inn in the UK so there is no shampoo etc but a dispenser on the wall in the shower and over the basin. Our room 507, is quite small with a view of a wall, a fridge but no water. This you have to buy from downstairs. However the tap ... read more
Watch that Child!
Looks uncomfortable
Stefan catches the baby

Europe » France » Aquitaine » Bordeaux May 16th 2017

Geo: 44.8374, -0.576144Our last day back in Bordeaux. We opted for the Botanical Gardens tour on the opposite side of the river. This is an interesting project which is educational and research rather than a pretty place to visit. They are running out of funding and it is beginning to show. They don't charge an entrance as they say no one will come if they do. It is good that school parties can come here and learn about plants you can eat, plants which only grow on rocks or sand etc. They have a big greenhouse and at the moment they are showing Mediterranean plants which means they don't have to heat the greenhouse so it is cheaper. They do have solar panels on top to help with the electricity bills and they collect all the ... read more
Monty Don gives a lecture
Tiz and Stefan talk to Monty

Europe » France » Aquitaine » Bergerac May 15th 2017

Geo: 44.8533, 0.48295We had the choice of going to Saint-Emilion or Bergerac and has we had never been to Bergerac we chose that tour. It is a lovely small town on the river with tudor type houses in the oldest part. There are two statues of Cyrano de Bergerac despite the fact that he was never there and took his name from the Chateau Bergerac owned by his parents. There is also a tobacco museum as the place used to be really into growing tobacco. We didn't go to this, instead we wandered around and came across a delightful shop selling Pate de Fois and Montbasillac which we tasted before buying. On the river there are special flat bottomed boats because the river is so tidal the boats have to cope with high and low tides. ... read more
One statue of Cyrano de Bergerac
Second statue of Cyrano
Flat bottomed boat

Europe » France May 14th 2017

Geo: 45.1333, -0.66667The sun was shining on the river when we arrived at the city of Blaye. ( Pronounced Bligh).A short walk from the mooring point is the very impressive Citadel of Blaye, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. It was built in the 17th century for Louis the 14th by the military architect Vauban mainly to protect Bordeaux which is further up river on the Garonne. Despite being massive it only took 4 years to build. It has 3 massive outer walls with original doors but bridges have replaced the draw bridges. The views over the estuary are wonderful. Surprisingly once inside the walls there is a whole town and a lovely hotel which I would certainly fancy staying at one day.Back at the ship for a lovely sit down meal. There were ... read more
Town inside the citadel
The ship at its mooring in Blaye
Cannon ready to protect the Citadel

Europe » France » Aquitaine » Pauillac May 13th 2017

Geo: 45.1992, -0.748886The ship docked at Pauillac on the left bank of the Gironde and from here we had a short drive to St.Estephe passing by many famous vineyards and chateaus such as Lafitte Rothschild and Mouton Rothschild. This year there was an early spring followed by a frost and many of the grapes have been lost. We stopped at a family owned cooperage and saw a Cooper make one of the barrels from French Oak. I didn't think I would enjoy seeing this but in fact it was fascinating and worth seeing. He didn't speak a word of English so we had a little French girl from the ship doing the translating which was very amusing. It is a time consuming process and only between 2 and 5 barrels are made every day.After this demonstration ... read more
Barrel taking shape
Hammering down the rings
Vineyards with roses at the ends of rows

Europe » France » Aquitaine » Cadillac May 12th 2017

Geo: 44.6374, -0.319413We boarded the MS Amadolce in Bordeaux. Smaller cabins than we are used to on a cruise ship but everything fitted in. The ship has a lovely sun deck, a main lounge and dining room all beautifully decorated. We are travelling with Botanicals, an Australian company which is part of APT so lots of Aussies aboard. Alistair Sooke, the Art Historian also came aboard and remembered we had met a couple of years ago. After the welcome drink and safety briefing we had dinner with Alistair in the Chef's Table, a small separate dining room where we had a 7 course tasting menu with appropriate wines and excellent arty conversation. A good start.The following morning the ship docked at Cadillac and we split into groups for a 90 minute guided walk. It is a ... read more
MS Amadolce
Old gate to Cadillac
The main street to the church

Europe » France » Aquitaine » Bordeaux May 10th 2017

Geo: 44.8374, -0.576144Bordeaux is a very attractive city with all the 18th century buildings at the same height so only the church spires can be seen reaching upwards to the sky. It is nicely situated on a bend on the Garonne river which was the source of all the trading and wealth, and being flat it is easy to walk around the mostly semi pedestrianised narrow streets of the old town. One other way to see it is via the Red Bus tour which at least gives you the stories behind the buildings and gardens even though the piped music is pretty dire. Sit on the right side if you want to take photos. One of the very few modern buildings is the magistrates court designed by Richard Rogers which has peculiar pods looking like oast ... read more
18th century buildings along the front
An enjoyable lunch
The 3 muses fountain

South America » Colombia » Cartagena January 27th 2017

Geo: 10.4137, -75.5336Cartagena in Columbia, South America has been fought over bythe British, French and Spanish mainly in the 1700s. Eventually the Spanishconquered it , built a thick city wall and a fortress and kept control. Unfortunately they also brought over lots of slaves from Africa and the SpanishInquisition which went on for nearly 200 years in South America. We visited thePalace of the Inquisition where they used to torture probably mostly innocentpeople for made up crimes of witchcraft and heresy. The instruments on view arereplicas because at the end of the Inquisition, the people went in anddestroyed anything to do with it. Now it is converted into nice houses and asmall museum. It is situated in the old town which is a lovely place to walkthrough with wooden balconies and little stre... read more
Madonna of the Candellaria
Photo of Madonna being carried thro town
Monastery at the top of the hill

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