JAMIE & DANA
Au revoir mes amis!
On the last day of May we cruised into the Bay of Lisbon. However, it appeared like we were cruising into San Francisco Bay. I was looking around for Alcatraz! Actually there are many similarities between Lisbon and San Francisco. Both are beautiful port cities located on large bays entered by passing under identical suspension bridges and built on seven hills. Because they are at approximately the same latitude, their climate and vegetation is similar. The cities are located near famous vineyards and both were virtually destroyed by violent earthquakes. I don’t know if Lisbon has a song comparable to Tony Bennett’s ballad about San Francisco but they do have little cable cars that climb halfway to the stars.
We cruised up the Tagus River past the Monument to the Discoveries and under the Ponte 25 de April. I think the Golden Gate Bridge does have a bit more of a romantic name to it. We docked at the base of the hillside city and began our rediscovery of this charming town. We hadn’t been here since 1989 and the city seems to have changed little and we enjoyed strolling the boulevards and cobblestone streets of this lovely city.
LISBON STREET CAR
Climbing half way to the stars.
We spent a short day in Santander, Spain before heading up to Bordeaux, France. This is one of our favorite ports since the dock is located in downtown Bordeaux. It is so cool to cruise down the Gironde River, past the vineyards and farmlands and end up in the center of a beautiful medieval city. We had two days there and it was like a gift to be able to spend time in such a user friendly place. We could walk off the ship and explore the city on foot or via an extensive, modern tram system or on bikes. The fabled vineyards of Bordeaux were just a short drive out of town. We had two perfect days weather-wise and enjoyed sitting on our balcony watching what seemed to be half of the population of Bordeaux walk by our ship.
We had a rainy day stop in Le Havre which was perfect timing since it was the last full day of our cruise. We were able to finish up packing, make our farewells and have our “last supper” in Prime 7 Steak house with GM Ralph and some wonderful friends. When we were in Melbourne earlier in the cruise,
our friends John and Cheryl had given us several bottles of Koonara wine which had been made by their daughter Nicole. We brought her award winning Cabernet to dinner and used it for toasting a most successful and enjoyable world cruise. Our table mates were impressed.
The next morning at the crack of dawn we cruised into Southampton ending our 162 day global odyssey. Usually towards the end of a long cruise we will be asked many times if we are anxious to get home or if we are tired of being on a ship or questions to that effect. While we are always very happy to get back on our own boat in Sausalito and reconnect with family and friends, we never seem to tire of shipboard life. Each and every day of a world cruise promises so much. There is such a sense of discovery and anticipation of what lies ahead in that next port, of the people and situations that will be encountered in each new country, the sites to be seen, the foods to be tasted, the world to be examined and the lessons to be learned. Our beautiful ship provides a luxurious home from
which to explore and a quiet haven to retreat to at the end of the day. On the Voyager, getting to a destination is as much fun as arriving. Leaving the ship for the last time that morning filled us with very mixed emotions especially since Regent will not be doing a world cruise next year. We both agreed that this was one of the best cruises ever for a variety of reasons starting with the passengers, the staff and crew, the ports and, happily, superb weather throughout our circumnavigation. It was as near perfect as it can get. One of the reasons we keep this travel log is so that we will have something to remind us of all of the special moments and people we've been with on this adventure. So on some cold and rainy night in the future, we'll sit down and read about what we did in 2011 and think to ourselves: “Boy! Aren’t we the luckiest people on earth? We got to cruise around the world!”
P.S. In 2012 we are scheduled to board the Regent Mariner in Ft Lauderdale on January 6 for a 72 day cruise around South America. When we
arrive back in Ft Lauderdale, we will remain on the ship across the Atlantic to Barcelona and through the Mediterranean to Istanbul. After a 10 day visit to Turkey we will board the Regent Voyager and sail for 41 days from Istanbul to Venice, around Europe ending in England on June 3. It may not be a world cruise, but we will touch four continents and visit many wonderful places en route. We are very much looking forward to this 138 day journey. Please join us either on board or on our blog. In the meantime…Bon Voyage!
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