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Published: September 25th 2017
We dined in the Lido again for breakfast, and I was back to having a couple of sandwiches. “You do that just to annoy me,” Sharon complained. What was really annoying Sharon was that they were out of chocolate croissants in the Lido. I went up to the Explorations Cafe to get a bottle of San Pellegrino and a chocolate croissant for Sharon. The bar refrigerator with the San Pellegrino was still locked up; but, they did have one final chocolate croissant for Sharon. I brought it back to the cabin for her.
We got off the Koningsdam around 10:30AM with the plan to walk around. As we left the ship, Sharon spotted a Hop-On-Hop-Off bus, and it seemed like a good idea to go for a ride around Aarhus. There was a line, so we didn’t catch the first bus; but, another came in about ten minutes. There are less than one dozen stops around town, passing museums, parks and churches, a market. We should have gotten some headsets before we sat up on top, and we might have gotten something out of the commentary. We later talked to Joan who was also on the HOHO, and she claimed
she learned more from the bus commentary than she did on a whole tour in Hamburg (which she wasn’t very happy with). We went to the final stop before the bus returns to the cruise terminal. We took some pictures in the square by the cathedral, and asked directions for finding a place to eat. We walked down to a number of restaurants along a narrow canal, bypassing a couple that looked too much like coffee places. When we came upon one place with people on the sidewalks eating sandwiches and such, and drinking beer, I figured, this looks like the place for me. I ordered the “Chicken Burger” along with 50cl double Bier, which was a very tasty local dark beer on tap. There was sliced roast beef with roasted potatoes that suited Sharon; although, she’d have preferred if the potatoes had been cooked a bit more. I paid by credit card, and I saw the bus tickets fall from my pocket. I thought, we probably don’t need them anymore, because we planned to walk back to the ship; but, I reached down anyway and stuffed them into my pocket. When we were done, I wimped out, and suggested
that I’d prefer that we walk back to where the bus dropped us off, and take the HOHO back. “We could leave now, and be back before the bus comes,” Sharon said, clearly wanting to stretch her legs. “Is your toe hurting?” “No,” I admitted. I managed to get my red shoes on and both feet were feeling pretty good. But I was pretty stubborn, and so we waited, and we must have waited more than twenty minutes before the bus finally came. That’s when I couldn’t find the bus tickets. We were almost resigned to walking back after all; and, I thought that Sharon was about to growl at me again. I reached back into my pocket one last time, and this time it came out with a crumpled receipt that could pass for a bus ticket for two. We got back in plenty of time for Trivia.
Our team size seams to have settled down to a core of five, plus one of the Aussies that Tina introduced to the group; but, we’re still competing with Steve on the sidelines. I was of no help when Christina asked, “What was Filippo Berelleschi’s contribution to the cathedral in
Florence?” Jackie had already written down “The Doors” so that was that but it was actually the ceiling. Now the obligatory question from the “Classic Movie” category, “In the movie, ‘Casablanca’, where was the airplane’s destination to escape the clutch of the Nazis?” Joan first put forth “Portugal” and when that was questioned with “Don’t you think they’re looking for the city?” Our answer was refined to “Lisbon”. And thanks to Becka’s Evening Trivia where she gave us part of the question, “How long is the average life of a toilet or cast iron tub?” Well, we already knew that this was 50 years; and, we didn’t need the four multiple choices that Christina also gave up. “How high is a tennis net in the middle in feet?” Joan was really pushing for four feet. I stood up and showed them limiting the height just above my belt, “It’s this high.” I don’t know how many times I’ve watched tennis covering the majors, and the announcer notes the cross court shots just clearing the net over the lowest point at 36 inches; and how often a change in direction down the line will clip the net which is higher towards
either sideline. Well, everyone agreed that the answer wasn’t 4 feet. Can you imagine trying to serve over a 4 foot net. Well, we got the answer right. “What body of water must a sailor cross to earn an ‘Anchor Tattoo’?” Joan had already written down “Equator” and we all knew she’d written it down before she heard the whole question. Joan reminded her, “That’s not a body of water?” Joan then suggested “Pacific Ocean”; alas, it was “Atlantic Ocean”. For the bonus, worth one point each: “What are the three types of muscle?” Now, this is where it’s good to have a physician or nurse or maybe even a health worker on your team. We were sort of on the right track coming up with “Tendon”, “Flexor” and “Contractor”; but, a medically more precise answer would have been “Skeletal, Smooth and Cardiac Muscles”. We had good reason not to be too happy with our twelve points. The winning team had earned 16 of the 18 possible points.
We had our gala dinner, so we dressed up, and met Linda and John that had been at mass with Sharon for dinner. I enjoyed my jumbo shrimp cocktail in brandy
sauce; although, I’d have preferred a traditional horseradish based sauce. I also had the parsnip soup, which was a new treat for me. And I got one of my vegetarian favorites, the mushroom ravioli. Sharon got the “Surf and Turf” which means filet and lobster on Holland America; and, that means that I get the lobster. And to think, there was a time when Sharon would ask them not to bring the lobster. We both enjoyed the flourless chocolate cake, and it was every bit as good as it was when we had it two weeks ago. Can our cruise really be coming to an end. We told the other couple of the results of the meeting that we’d attended the day before at 5:00PM, just before dinner, that a couple had requested with the excursion team because they were so unhappy with how we were treated in Moscow. Everybody was pretty upset about not seeing Red Square; but, stuff like that can happen, and we appreciated that. The issues were, when Red Square got cancelled, there was no Plan B, they had nothing planned but to let us wait an extra hour and a half in the train station. Somebody at the meeting actually speaks Russian, and she reported that she heard three of the guides talking. One tour guide said, “Well, what do we do with them now.” Another replied, “Aah, they’ve seen enough.” My gripe of course was the food. I figure that there was a ten hour period where we had no chance to get food or drink. There were others who said that it was closer to twelve hours for them, and I guess that according to when you got fed on the train, that could very well have been the case. Holland America had offered to return part of the tour cost which we thought was quite generous. HAL reported that the tour operator was refusing any refund, and HAL was returning its cut to those at the meeting. We’d planned to only complain during the post-cruise evaluation; but, then we found out about the meeting so were added to the list of those that would get the partial refund.
For Becka’s nighttime Trivia, she announced that she was going to take the advice of one of the Regulars at Evening Trivia, and to give everyone in attendance this evening to offer her one question to be used for tomorrow’s Evening Trivia. I asked if we had to give her the answers as well. She said that would be very helpful. That “Regular Trivia Player” was our very own Joan. It was as if Becka was throwing us bone, and we started strong. Joan said that she knows her Geography when she asked, “What is the sea that separates Turkey and Russia?” Jackie wrote down her sister’s answer “Black Sea”. I didn’t need to even write down the question, “How many squares are there on a chess board?” Some people were “Figuring it Out”, and even though the case can be made for the answer “204”, I had Jackie write down the non-trick answer of “64”. We’d gotten three in a row right when we were confronted with “How long must an animal species go unseen before it is considered extinct?” We went with 100 years; well, our answer was too big by a factor of two! And some how Sharon came up with “What Mediterranean Island capitol is Valetta?” She started to write down “Sicily” but we all pooh-poohed that. Then she came up with “Malta” and nobody pooh-poohed that! None of us looked very smart when Christina asked, “What was Frank Sinatra’s middle name?” I asked, “Did he have a middle name?” Then Joan had a brilliant idea (along the trick question line) and suggested, “Maybe ‘Francis’ was his middle name.” So we went with that. Frank A. Sinatra, and the “A” stands for “Albert”. We were pretty sure of our answer to the question: “What Motown performer first recorded ‘Respect’?” It just had to be Aretha Franklin. Unfortunately, Otis Redding had recorded this piece two years earlier. It looked like it might come down to the bonus question if we were to have any hope at all. And then she asked that elusive “Catholic Question” and we all looked at Sharon. “What were the names of the three Wise Men?” All she could say was, “I don’t think that their names appear in the Bible.” We drew a blank. I suggested that we go with “Aremis, Porthos and Athos”. I mean there were three musketeers too! The points were available to anybody who could come up with “Balthaser, Melchiur and Gaspar”. Missing the bonus, completely, TWO trivia-games in a row, we were crestfallen. We had twelve points, again, and that was all. We couldn’t believe that our score held up, and that there was no tie! I’ll be looking for my “Hippophobia” in tomorrow’s trivia. Normally I would have offered up my favorite “Berlin Wall” question; but, that one got used earlier on this leg of the cruise (“What structure was erected overnight in 1961?”)
Sharon decided to go and have a go at Bob; while, I returned to the cabin. When Sharon finally returned she was mumbling something about Bob toying with her, leading her one, pretending to be her friend but never quite delivering the quintuple jackpot. She also went to the last set of the Piano players in Billboard OnBoard and was there for the Chocolate Parade at 10:15 which she said was really good. The waiters came around with trays of different chocolate goodies. She tried a chocolate macaroon, chocolate truffle pop, and small ice cream cone with chocolate mousse and meringue. She thinks there were about 10 different types of treats.
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