Page 5 of redwatt Travel Blog Posts

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh September 10th 2018

Wow! Early brekky today, just to be sure everything goes smoothly. We motored up the Thames as we ate, and the watched the docking procedures from our balcony. Tilbury is very significant for me, for I know that my grandparents (who I grew up with but now know are not my biological grandparents), my biological grandparents, and my great grandparents all boarded ships here at Tilbury in the 1920s to migrate to Australia. What a huge step that was for them to take. As we dock I notice that the tide is out and the mudflats of the Thames are exposed (back in the old days scavengers had ”territories” in the mudflats, areas that were theirs to see what the tide had left behind to scavenge and raise money from). Other ports had hitech buffers attached ... read more

Europe September 9th 2018

What a lovely day - few plans, just cruising the North Sea! The Baltic was so calm, like a mill pond, the North Sea has waves and movement, and you know you’re at sea, not in a floating hotel! There had been many ships moored off Skagen, and when Tom had a chance to ask this morning he was told they were moored in the calm Baltic, waiting for jobs to come up in a nearby port (remember when we sat and watched the container port at Bergen 11 years ago? It was so busy and it was great just watching it in operation - thats not too far from here). And how did Tom get a chance to ask that question? When he did the bridge tour of course! He spent an hour up on ... read more

Europe » Denmark » Region Nordjylland » Skagen September 8th 2018

We watched our ship reverse in and parallel park in a small inner harbour on the Baltic Sea side of the northern tip of Denmark, then receded down to brekkie. After that we were off on our Voergård Castle and pastry tour. Along with 2 other coaches. Voergaard Castle was originally built by a bishop, to give him somewhere to meet up with his lady friend when he was visiting this part of the country. It was confiscated from the church by the crown after reformation, and changed hands many times over the next 200 years - at one stage it was one of the largest estates in Denmark. In 1955 it was bought by a Danish man who’d been living in France since 1906 and had married a countess. Her title didn’t not transfer to ... read more

Europe » Denmark » Region Hovedstaden September 7th 2018

We docked at breakfast time - moored just up the road from the little princess. After brekky we went ashore for our Fairytale Castles and Countryside shore excursion. We had a beautiful drive up the coast to Kronborg Castle. This is the castle used as a setting by Shakespeare in Hamlet. From the ramparts we could see Sweden, and all of the shipping traffic. We were only able to walk around the outside of this castle, but it was beautiful - they have an annual Shakespear festival. After that visit we drove on to Frederiksborg Castle which was made into a Museum of National History In 1878. It included Mary’s wedding dress from when she and crown Prince Frederick were married. When the tour guide asked where we were from and we said Australia, he said ... read more

Europe September 6th 2018

What a lovely day! Cruising on our way to Copenhagen (pronounced like Copp-en-hargen). Nowhere to go, nothing to do but be looked after! This morning we woke very late (for us). Brekkie up on the deck of La Terraza, then off to the enrichment lecture about Denmark. Oh dear. Nice little old man but so out of touch. “Small fact that no-one realises is that Denmark has a royal family. Fancy that! And they have their queen, but of course she’s not as famous as our queen!“ No recognition of the fact that they have Aussies on board, and that the crown prince married an Aussie from Tasmania with Scottish Ancestry. And then ”the little 🧜‍♀️ mermaid -written by Hans Andersen who also wrote the Nightingale”. That would be Hans CHRISTIAN Andersen who also wrote The ... read more

Europe » Estonia » Tallinn September 5th 2018

We arrived in Tallinn as we were breakfasting in La Travazza - our favourite breakfast spot. We were off on a tour at 9am. After walking down the long pier we were directed to the old beaten up green bus, incongruous with the sleek modern white coaches. This was our Soviet Flashback tour with a local tour guide, Comrade Jerjomin, dressed as a Russian military man. The bus was kept locked until all of us had assembled (about 14 of us, in the early morning drizzle - thank heavens for waterproof jackets) and we were told to form one line, tell him which country we were from, for he was “looking for a spy amongst us, comrades” and then marched around the outside of the bus. We then filed inside the 1991 bus (1960s model) and ... read more

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Saint Petersburg September 4th 2018

Our feet are really tired from walking 65,000 miles each day, give or take a mile, so we were happy to have this morning free. Free to do the washing and just to be leisurely! We have met some delightful people - from Camden, Newport and Riverview in NSW, and the Gold Coast and Townsville in Qld, Melbourne in Victoria and Perth in WA. Such a small world. We’ve also met some lovely English and Americans. Tom has been told twice that he reminds people of Robin Williams - the first day, on arrival at Stockholm airport the passport control man commented, and the second time was our second night on board the ship at formal dinner - the American family at the table next to us. St Petersburg has been delightful. Such a beautiful city, ... read more

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Saint Petersburg September 3rd 2018

Wow! What a huge day today! We were up early because our first tour was leaving at 9, and we’d gotten to bed after midnight last night! So after a quick brekkie, we were off, through border control and onto our tour bus with the great Andrey, the local tour guide. So we were off to the Hermitage. We were very lucky because the museum, which is usually seen by 30,000 people each day, but is closed on Mondays, was opened particularly for us. The Hermitage was built as a private museum for Catherine the Great and if you spent a minute in front of each exhibit you would take 8 years to go through it. So we toured the highlights of the highlights tour!! We went through the Winter Palace, the Small Hermitage, the Old ... read more

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Saint Petersburg September 2nd 2018

We were making our way through the entrance to St Petersburg as we awoke this morning. The sky was heavy with dismal looking clouds and we thought it was wintery but by 10am the sun had burnt the cloud off and it was a gorgeous blue sky day. We breakfasted in La Terraza and then found some more parts of the ship we hadn’t seen before, making our way up to the library lounge at the top of the front of the ship. We spent some time in there before wandering back down to our suite. I’ve been madly reading my book and just want to sit and read (The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton), but this is not to be done. We had an early lunch up at the pizzeria above the pool deck - ... read more

Europe September 1st 2018

Today we awoke to find ourselves with no view but the sea. The weather is grey and dismal. I think the northern summer has come to its end! We took ourselves to the restaurant for breakfast and found there were not many other passengers. After a lovely breakfast we went upstairs to reception and booked ourselves on the champagne and prosecco tasting this afternoon, and a complimentary orchestral concert in town on Monday night. After that we waited 10 minutes (until 9am) and booked our cruise for next year. On returning to our suite we gathered our laundry and took it down the corridor to the guest laundrette - there is one on each floor and it only has one washer and one drier, but we were lucky to find it available. We then went up ... read more

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