Page 3 of Trabern Travel Blog Posts

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Rio de Janeiro March 25th 2016

Today it is Good Friday in Rio! Maybe not the best day to be going to visit one of the world's most famous religious icons? But ... more on that later. When we looked out our window this morning we could see people out an about early on this religious holiday on Copacabana Beach and there were frigate birds wheeling overhead - the first we have seen since the Galápagos Islands. After breakfast we commenced our bus tour of the city. Our first stop was at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint Sebastian which was surprisingly deserted on Good Friday morning. When I asked Gina about this she told me that its main service would be later in the day as the final stop of an Easter procession. Built between 1964 and 1979, the cathedral was designed ... read more
Cathedral Interior
Christ the Redeemer
Christ the Redeemer

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Rio de Janeiro March 24th 2016

We had agreed last night that we would go for an early (-ish) morning walk along the canyon path beside the falls for one last look at the amazing Iguaza Falls before we departed for Rio. Ha, this plan coincided with Richmond's first game of the season this morning (Thursday night in Oz) so Bernie and Meredith weren't doing anything until the game was finished. Bernie was watching it live on Foxtel Go and Meredith was following it on the AFL App. Phew, a win to Richmond so, finally, two happy Richmond supporters could be dragged away from their electronic devices to go for a walk. It was lovely and quiet on the canyon path just after 8.00am this morning before the park was opened to visitors. It was quite overcast, but the falls were still ... read more
Cheeky Birds (Plush-crested Jays)
Our last view of the falls

South America » Brazil » Paraná » Iguaçu Falls March 23rd 2016

Gina and Arlete wanted us ready to go early this morning to cross back to the Argentinian side of the falls. I woke up feeling a bit like death warmed up and had to get myself showered and breakfasted and ready for a very full day of sightseeing by 7.00am. Ugh! At least this morning's gourmet breakfast buffet was a vast and very welcome improvement on the fare that was on offer for the last two days in BA! A decent breakfast - and a cup of coffee - certainly helped to improve my mood. As always our very punctual group was ready to go at 7.00am. Julio drove us to the Brazilian border check point and Arlete went in to have all our passports stamped. Then we drove to the Argentinean border check point and ... read more
Devil's Throat
Devil's Throat
Iguazu Rainbow

South America » Brazil » Paraná » Iguaçu Falls March 22nd 2016

When we left home a month ago we had been to see Icehouse and Alex Lloyd the night before and I couldn't get the chorus from Alex Lloyd's song 'Amazing' out of my heard. I think the phenomenon is known as an ear worm? Anyhow, after last night's performance I have a new ear worm, I just don't seem to be able to get 'Don't Cry For Me Argentina' out of my head!! Annoying ear worm aside, this morning we took a short flight from BA to the airport on the Argentinian side of the Iguazu Falls which is spelt variously: Iguazu, Iguasu, Iguassu or Iguaçu Falls. That's probably the Argentinian, Brazilian, English and Paraguayan spellings?! Humph, it was a short flight, but our 11.15am flight was delayed until after noon. Just what we needed, more ... read more
Iguazu Falls

South America » Argentina » Buenos Aires » Buenos Aires March 21st 2016

We went down for breakfast this morning and it has to be recorded that it was a big disappointment. The breakfast buffet offered by the America Towers was easily the worst breakfast that we have had during this trip. The juice was watered down, the only fruit on offer was some very tired looking fruit salad, the only cereal was cornflakes with tepid milk and the coffee was undrinkable. Ha, and if you wanted toast, the toasters were the slowest toasters ever. John stood over the toaster for ages and finally decided to eat his toast dried out on the surface, but with no colour whatsoever. Our itinerary for today said 'Enjoy a day at leisure to relax and explore the grand city of Buenos Aires. You may choose to hit the shops of Calle Florida ... read more
Love the BA Buildings
Gallerias Pacifico
BA Obelisco in Landscape

South America » Argentina » Buenos Aires » Buenos Aires March 20th 2016

Earlier in the week we were asked to complete a form electing the time that we wanted to disembark this morning. Gina had told us that she would meet us at the port in BA, but no one in the group could recall a time being mentioned. We discussed the completion of the form amongst ourselves and decided that we would all nominate to disembark during the earliest time slot between 8.15am and 8.45am. With nearly everyone leaving the ship in BA the Lido was chaotic as everyone tried to grab a quick breakfast before going ashore. We thought we were doing well as we returned to our stateroom at 7.55am to clean our teeth quickly and be ready for our groups disembarkation announcement expected at or soon after 8.15am. BUT they were running early and ... read more
Cementerio de La Recoleta
Cementerio de La Recoleta

South America » Argentina » Buenos Aires » Buenos Aires March 19th 2016

This morning at 07:43, after sailing 124 nautical miles at an average speed of 11.5 knots, we arrived in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The ship has tried to make us all terrified of venturing out in Buenos Aires on our own by disseminating information about how dangerous it is in Buenos Aires. No doubt this is to encourage the passengers to book Holland America Line on-shore excursions!? Bernie and I decided that BA is probably no more of a risk than any big city in the world and, provided you remain aware of your surroundings and exercise a sensible level of caution, all will be well. Apparently the big scam in BA is to squirt or spray something onto your clothing and then tell you that you have bird poo on your back/shoulder which they will help ... read more
Womens Bridge
Sarmiento and the Womens Bridge

At 08:47 this morning, after sailing 1,042 nautical miles at an average speed of 17.1 knots we docked in Montevideo, Uruguay. After two gloriously fine and sunny days sailing the Atlantic Ocean we were greeted this morning by a monsoonal downpour in Montevideo. Ideally we would have waited for the downpour to abate somewhat before venturing ashore, but we had a 'Wine Experience' booked and needed to get ourselves ashore - in torrential rain! - to meet our guide, Ryan. We put our raincoats on and headed down the gangplank and promptly got soaked from mid-thigh down. We followed the pedestrian path from the boat to the gate out of the port area. With no sign of Ryan we took shelter in the Tourist Information Centre. This ended up being the perfect spot to wait as ... read more
Three damp Aussies
Ryan tasting the grape juice
In the cellar

Oceans and Seas » Atlantic March 17th 2016

Day two at sea coincided with St Patrick's Day so overnight the whole ship had been decked out with green decorations. Crew members were sporting silly St Patrick's Day hats and even some passengers had entered into the spirit and were parading around the ship in green clothing and/or silly hats. Yesterday we had a glut of activities to keep us amused while the m.s. Zaandam sailed towards our next port of call, Montevideo. Today we slept in, had a late breakfast, walked a few laps of he deck, blogged, ate again, enjoyed mid-afternoon nana naps (this doing nothing really makes you tired!!) and Bernie caught up with his photo processing. When we boarded nearly two weeks ago, we found a voucher for dinner in the Pinnacle Grill compliments of Bunnick Tours. With our voucher we ... read more
Morning walk
Lunchtime by the pool
Much nicer arvo

Oceans and Seas » Atlantic March 16th 2016

Ho hum, the first of two full days at sea today as we sail the 1,042 nautical miles to Montevideo, Uruguay at an average speed of 17.1 knots. We had a pretty lazy morning ahead of all the activities we had scheduled for the afternoon. At 2.30pm it was time to head for the Ocean Bar for the South American Wine Festival. For just US$25.00/head a few of us had signed up to enjoy a selection of wines from Argentina, Chile and Uruguay. The beverage selection was rounded out with four cocktails and there was a table groaning with bread, crackers, cheese and grapes. I took it pretty easy at the wine festival because I was mindful of more eating and drinking to be tackled later in the afternoon and evening. I'm pretty sure that Bernie ... read more
Wine Tasting
Atlantic Sunset
Dessert time

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