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Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Fife August 6th 2019

Woke up this morning, after a fitful night’s sleep, threw open the drapes and realized I was looking at my old “neighborhood” off in the distance. We are anchored in the middle of the Firth of Forth half the way between Edinburgh and Dalgety Bay. I could tell immediately by what we used to call the “field” a WWII runway which was just behind (well, NOT JUST but up the hill a way) our house. From our bay window looking south we had an unobstructed view of Arthur’s Seat. I used to sit on the window seat (at age 9 I fit perfectly) read and stare out over the Firth (Bay) and daydream. I’m so VERY Happy to be back. I just wish Phillip, Myles & Betty (Phillips parents) were around to drop by and say ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom August 5th 2019

Just like those old-fashioned things called postcards, these will continue to arrive several days after the holiday has ended! After the long spell of dry, hot weather, Tuesday dawned in Lyme Regis, like most of the country, grey and overcast, with some light rain falling. After having an extended nap, Helen and Anna planned to spend the day ambling around Lyme, looking at the shops and drinking coffee in some of the many attractive eating and drinking establishments. On the other hand, I planned to drive a little way down the coast to Beer to visit Pecorama, the home of one of the major British model railway manufacturers. They have an extensive visitor centre with dozens of model railway layouts on display, a large miniature railway and a fully stocked shop, so I made sure I ... read more
Beer Heights miniature railway
Beer Heights miniature railway
Seaton sea front, wind and rain!

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London August 5th 2019

Today started out rainy in London, so I shelved my outdoor plans and decided to see a couple of museums instead. First I took the Tube to the British Library to see the old bibles, manuscripts, maps, etc that are displayed in the Treasures gallery. Entry is free (£5 suggested donation) and I also paid the fee for the interesting special exhibit on the history of writing - from cuneiform up to Apple computers. The rain had stopped by the time I left, so I walked to the British Museum nearby. It was crowded and uncomfortably warm in those galleries where the air conditioning is spotty, but the museum is always rewarding and I concentrated on the displays having to do with Scandinavia since I will be visiting those countries later in the trip.... read more
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Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland August 5th 2019

At Sea We have been dropped in the midst of a full-fledged FRAT party. What happened? No, seriously….WHAT HAPPENED!! A mere 24 hours into this new adventure and it feels like a completely different cruise, ship and experience. And it ain’t pretty. Joining us on this cruise are: more College Alumni – USC included, A Financial Group of some kind and a MILLION children of various ages who are BORED to tears. PEOPLE…this is NOT a family cruise line – there are no entertainments for them. While on the pool deck just after lunch the hot tub looked like any other hot tub on frat row….a stew of amped boys and girls in the throes of hormone overload. Be afraid, be VERY afraid. The volume of EVERYTHING has been turned up to eleven. At lunch, sitting ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Cornwall August 5th 2019

The sea spray splattered my glasses and the wind tugged at my hair causing it to stick up in an unusually expressive and interesting manner. I looked like a cross between a mad scientist and just plain mad. I zipped up my jacket. "Amazing! It's like something from National Geographic!" Madam shouted above the wind. She was pointing her phone in every direction furiously taking photographs as fast as she could. "I'm glad I bought my windproof jacket." I said. "There's no internet!" She said as she peered into her phone. Her selfie would have to wait. We were at Land's End. The end of Cornwall and the end of the country. The end of our westward journey. This was as far as we could go. Next stop America, over several thousand miles of ocean. We ... read more
Land's End
Land's End
Land's End

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London August 4th 2019

Greetings from London! I have started this year’s trip in London because it’s a great place to get over jet lag and it’s a good jumping off point for my next destination, the Scandinavian countries. Plus, there is always plenty to do here. I chose a hotel in a different part of town from where I’ve stayed before. I am near Paddington Station which is convenient for the London Underground (subway) and also for train travel. There is a new train that runs from Heathrow to Paddington in 16 minutes. The last time I was here, Maggie and I stayed in the South Kensington area and the Underground from Heathrow took nearly an hour. I had a bit of time this afternoon to walk around and I enjoyed seeing the canals in this part of town. ... read more
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Europe » United Kingdom August 4th 2019

Southampton, UK Wonderful night’s sleep for me - wish I could say the same for Christopher. He never sleeps the day before a travel change. Even though we stayed on board Marina, we had to “swap sides” from Port to Starboard….I’m SO turned around!! Moved from 11036 to 11033 – actually, QUITE easy. Went through Immigration – piece of cake and had a chance to say goodbye to Jim & Linda (they are off to Nautica for a trip to Greenland and back to Southampton). Nautica is visible from our ship but only from above decks. As we were going to the Lounge for Immigration, we saw SO MANY new faces. Never did see Helen or Martha again. Probably kept their distance given my scowl upon opening the door way back when! For a brief while ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » England August 4th 2019

Please note I have attempted to re-enter some photographs on Day 2, hopefully it worked. Well our excursions to Stonehenge and Oxford were cancelled due to not enough people signed up, so we have a whole free day (8/3/2019) to explore on our own. I decided that I really wanted to visit Oxford and developed a plan. So this morning I stopped at Mark & Spencer's shop near the hotel to get some water for the trip. Surprise the water is from a spring in Scotland. After getting a famous London cab, I am off to Paddington Station to catch the train to Oxford which takes about an hour. The train ride is very comfortable and I sat next to a woman from Hong Kong. She was traveling to Oxford for her son's graduation and would ... read more
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Europe » United Kingdom » England August 4th 2019

Please note I have attempted to re-enter some photographs on Day 2, hopefully it worked. Well our excursions to Stonehenge and Oxford were cancelled due to not enough people signed up, so we have a whole free day to explore on our own. I decided that I really wanted to visit Oxford and developed a plan. So this morning I stopped at Mark & Spencer's shop near the hotel to get some water for the trip. Surprise the water is from a spring in Scotland. After getting a famous London cab, I am off to Paddington Station to catch the train to Oxford which takes about an hour. The train ride is very comfortable and I sat next to a woman from Hong Kong. She was traveling to Oxford for her son's graduation and would be ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom August 3rd 2019

The tap-dancing stenographer is back. Allow me an explanation. At a certain speed of the engines, there appears, on some part of the ceiling in our stateroom a sound - a rapid fire staccato reminiscent of a typist tap-dancing. So, I have referred to this sound as our tap-dancing stenographer. Nothing about this sound is annoying or unnerving. In fact, I find it rather interesting. It is not consistent, it is not repetitive, with every vibration, movement or other form of stimulation it reveals itself anew. Hence a symphony of tap-dancing stenographers! Typically it starts out fast just a rapid fire tappity-tap, then it may slow down just a bit then builds ever faster and faster AND FASTER..then…nothing. No crescendo. Rather disappointing, I must say to leave one hanging thus. Then, out of nowhere after a ... read more




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