A Travellerspoint blog

2009 - NCL GEM - TRANSATLANTIC - NEW YORK

Whiling away some time in New York City ..


View 2009 NCL - TRANSATLANTIC on hasbeen's travel map.

A CRUISE ACROSS THE ATLANTIC OCEAN

NEW YORK! NEW YORK ......

I HAVE NEVER BEEN HERE BEFORE, AND THAT SURPRISES ME. ITS ONLY DOWN THE ROAD FROM OTTAWA. ALMOST NEIGHBOURS..

ONE READS SOME, HEARS A LOT, SEES A LOT MORE.

MOST OF US HAVE AN IMAGE FROM A FILM OR BOOK RUNNING AROUND IN THE BACK OF OUR BRAINS ABOUT NEW YORK.

IS ANY OF IT TRUE?

I DOUBT VERY MUCH I WILL ANSWER THAT IN 3 DAYS.

AS USUAL, IT STARTS WITH A PLANE RIDE FROM OTTAWA...

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WITH AN EXCELLENT DAY FOR COMING IN OVER THE CITY..

IDENTIFIABLE LANDMARKS.

MANHATTAN ISLAND, CENTRAL PARK WITH IT'S LAKE, A FEW BRIDGES, GROUND ZERO MAYBE, SKYSCRAPERS GALORE....

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IS THAT GROUND ZERO MAYBE, MAYBE NOT BUT IT IS A HOLE IN THE GROUND ....

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I GET TO GRAND CENTRAL STATION & WAIT FOR A TAXI GUY TO ALLOCATE A TAXI. WHEN HE HEARS WHERE I AM GOING, HE TELLS ME I SHOULD WALK & GIVES ME DIRECTIONS.

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IS THIS NEW YORK? THE MAN WAS VERY POLITE & VERY HELPFUL & DID NOT WANT ANY MONEY, BUT I KNOW IT IS BECAWSE HE SPOKE WITH THAT BROAD NEW YORK ACCENT YOU HEAR IN THE MOVIES.

YES - THEY REALLY DO TALK LIKE THAT.

IS THIS MY HOTEL?

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OR IS THIS IT?

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NEITHER OF THEM, AND ITS NOT THIS EITHER.. A BROWNSTONE?

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OFF I GO FOR A WALK I THE GENERAL DIRECTION OF CENTRAL PARK & SOME MUSEUMS. I AM NOT A MUSEUM PERSON BUT THERE ARE SOME REALLY FAMOUS ONES HERE. I DID GET THE NEW TORK CITY PASS SO I WILL HAVE TO FIND TIMES SQUARE FIRST AND REDEEM MY VOUCHER.

HERE IT IS

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SOME INTERESTING PLACES ON OUR STROLL.

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ROCKEFELLER CENTER.

MY PASS GETS ME IN HERE SO I AM GOING TO THE TOP. YOU GET A TIMED TICKET WHICH IS A GREAT IDEA. I CAN HEAD OFF TO EAT & COME BACK WHERE THERE IS HARDLY ANY LINE-UP.

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CENTRAL PARK

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THE CAT AMONGST THE SQUIRRELS.......

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I HAVE SEEN SEVERAL OF THESE NOW. OBELISKS PERHAPS. I SHOULD FIND MY OTHER PICTURES & START A LIST.

CLEOPATRA'S NEEDLE ON THE EMBANKMENT IN LONDON,
ST. PETERS AT THE VATICAN,
PLACE DE LA CONCORDE IN PARIS I THINK IS ONE,
LUXOR.

I MUST READ UP ABOUT THEM SOMEDAY.

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THE FIRST MUSEUM - THE GUGGENHEIM

NICE BUILDING. NOT SO SURE ABOUT THE CONTENTS. MAYBE THIS WAS FREE OR I GOT IN WITH MY PASS. HATE TO THINK I PAID CASH FOR IT..

ACTUALLY - IT'S NOT SO BAD

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Amedeo Modigliani - NOT IN THE GUGENHEIM WHERE NO PHOTOS ARE ALLOWED. AMAZING ARTIST. LOVE HIS WORK.

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NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM

THIS IS FAMOUS BUT I FORGET WHAT IT IS. IT WILL COME TO ME. STAR OF SOMETHING MAYBE?

STAR OF INDIA...

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I HAD COME TO THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING EARLIER BUT THE LINE UP WAS AROUND THE BLOCK SO I RESOLVED TO GET HERE EARLY AND BE FIRST IN LINE. ALMOST MADE IT TOO.

UNLIKE THE ROCKEFELLER, HERE YOU HAVE TO LINE UP. NO TIMED TICKETS. AGAIN THE COST WAS BORNE BY MY PASS WHICH I HOPE PAID FOR ITSELF.

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I WAS QUITE THRILLED TO SEE MY SHIP COME SAILING IN FROM THE TOP OF THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING WITH THE STATUE OF LIBERTY IN THE BACKGROUND

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THAT WAS A GREAT WAY TO WHILE AWAY SOME TIME WAITING FOR MY CRUISE. LOTS MORE TO SEE ON ANOTHER TRIP. I HAD NEVER CONSIDERED NEW YORK AS A PLACE TO CATCH A CRUISE BUT I SHOULD LOOK AGAIN AS IT IS CONVENIENT FROM OTTAWA

IT GOT A LITTLE CHOPPY LATER. GOOD JOB I HAVE MY SEA LEGS ON

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NEXT STOP IS THE AZORES, ABOUT SIX DAYS AWAY...

Posted by hasbeen 19:48 Archived in USA Tagged transatlantic Comments (0)

2009 - NCL GEM - TRANSATLANTIC - LEAVING NEW YORK

LIFE AT SEA ON THE NCL GEM - A STRANGE SHIP

LEAVING NEW YORK BEHIND I MADE A MISTAKE.

MAKE THAT TWO MISTAKES.

NUMBER ONE - I SAW THEY HAD A 'SAIL AWAY SPECIAL' IN THE HAIRDRESSERS. A 'SPECIAL' SHAVE.

THIS TOOK ABOUT AN HOUR OR MORE & COST SO MUCH I AM TOO EMBARRASSED TO SAY HOW MUCH.

NUMBER TWO - SAME PLACE , BEING IN THE BARBER CHAIR I MISSED THE SAIL AWAY FROM NEW YORK. MISSED THE STATUE OF LIBERTY & THE BRIDGES

I WAS DUE TO DOCK IN NY IN 2012 BUT HURRICANE SANDY SAID NO TO THAT.

CROSSING THE ATLANTIC

SO - WHAT IS IT LIKE BEING AT SEA FOR FIVE OR SIX DAYS WITHOUT SEEING LAND.

YOU EITHER LOVE IT OR NOT.

I LOVE IT.

TO FIND OUT YOU DO NOT IS NOT GOING TO BE A GOOD EXPERIENCE. BECAUSE BY THEN YOU ARE NOT ABOUT TO SWIM FOR SHORE.

LIFE AT SEA

I OFTEN HEAR PEOPLE SAY THAT THERE IS NOTHING TO DO ON A CRUISE SHIP SO HOW DO YOU COPE WITH SIX DAYS.

EASY.

LETS TAKE A TOUR OF THE SHIP - THE NORWEGIAN GEM.

WE WILL START IN MY CABIN. A LITTLE SMALL BUT I WILL ONLY BE SLEEPING IN HERE.

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SHOWER, SHAVE & SPLIT.

I MIGHT GET DRESSED BUT THAT'S IT.

THIS ONE HAS A PORT HOLE.
MY TAKE ON THIS IS, TAKE THE CHEAPEST CABIN YOU CAN GET. I HAVE HAD A BALCONY, ONCE, BUT ONLY BECAUSE THEY GAVE ME A FREE UPGRADE.
I SPENT ABOUT HALF AN HOUR OUT THERE, TOTAL.

JUST NOT WORTH THE OUTLAY FOR ME.

I COULD HAVE BREAKFAST DELIVERED AT NO EXTRA COST BUT NEVER DO.

NOTE THERE IS SOMETHING HANGING FROM THE CEILING. THE CABIN STEWARDS DO THAT, FOLD UP TOWELS. AS IF THEY DON'T HAVE ENOUGH WORK TO DO.

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AFTER HAVING A QUICK TRIP UP ON DECK TO CHECK THE WEATHER AND TO SEE WE ARE STILL AFLOAT & HEADING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.

IT'S TIME FOR BREAKFAST.

IT COULD BE IN DOORS OR OUT DOORS, CHOOSE FROM THE BUFETT .. AN OMELETTE MADE TO ORDER MIGHT BE NICE TODAY.

OR IN THE MAIN RESTAURANT WHERE IT IS WHITE LINEN TABLE CLOTHS & WAITER SERVICE.

I AM ALWAYS SURPRISED HOW MANY PEOPLE OPT FOR THE BUFETT & HOW FEW GO FOR THE SERVED FOOD.

EITHER WAY IT IS GOING TO TAKE A WHILE, NO NEED TO RUSH UNLESS THERE IS AN EARLY EXCURSION BOOKED. SINCE WE ARE AT SEA FOR SIX DAYS, THERE IS DEFINITELY NO HURRY.

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BREAKFAST IS MAYBE FOLLOWED BY A BROWSE OF THE LIBRARY & A BIT OF A REALX TO LET THE FOOD GO DOWN.

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SKIP THE GYM - TOO MUCH LIKE HARD WORK

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A BIT EARLY FOR THE BAR? PROBABLY..

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HEAD DOWN TO THE JAVA CAFE FOR A COFFEE.

MOST SHIPS I HAVE BEEN ON CHARGE EXTRA FOR THE COFFEE UNLESS IT IS FROM THE DINING AREAS.

I AM NOT A COFEE DRINKER SO IT'S ALL ONE TO ME..

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STILL - IT MIGHT BE PLEASANT TO SIT AROUND DOWN HERE FOR A WHILE AND WATCH THE TV, OR PEOPLE WATCHING TV.

WATCHING PEOPLE IS A MAJOR PASS TIME ON A BOAT.

SEEMS THE BAR IS OPEN, BUT NO, IT'S BEEN A BIT OF A WALK GETTING HERE SO TIME FOR A SNOOZE ON THE PROMENADE DECK.

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OUT OF THE WEATHER, GREAT VIEW. A FAVOURITE PLACE OF MINE & OFTEN DESERTED. IT SEEMS TO TAKE PEOPLE A WHILE TO FIND IT. THERE ARE NORMALLY MORE THAN TWO CHAIRS OUT HERE.

COULD SIT HERE FOR HOURS,
READING, NAPPING.
NAPPING, READING.

CHATTING TO ANYONE WALKING BY, OR JUST NODDING AT THEM AS THEY GO FOR THEIR MORNING STROLL.

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A BIT OF DUTY FREE SHOPPING OR JUST WINDOW SHOP

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MAYBE AN BIT OF A GAMBLE AT THE SLOTS OR TABLES. NOT SOMETHING I DO TOO OFTEN.

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DON'T SAY IT TOO LOUD - Smokers can have a puff in their cigar sanctuary.

AND POP OUTSIDE FOR A GLASS OF CHAMPAGNE

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MUST BE TIME FOR LUNCH.

CHECK WHICH RESTAURANTS ARE FILLING UP. NCL ARE THE ONLY CRUISE LINE I HAVE COME ACROSS THAT DOES DISPLAYS LIKE THIS.

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NCL DO NOT HAVE FIXED SETING FOR MEALS. GO ANYWHERE YOU LIKE, WITH WHOEVER YOU LIKE & JUST ABOUT WHENEVER YOU LIKE.

I NEVER WAIT TOO LONG. IF THERE IS A WAIT LIST I JUST GO SOMEWHERE ELSE.

FOOD IS INCLUDED IN THE PRICE BUT THERE ARE ALSO FIVE OR MORE SPECIALITY RESTAURANTS THAT ARE EXTRA. THEY DO NOT USUALLY OPEN FOR BREAKFAST OR LUNCH THOUGH.

AN AFTER LUNCH GAME OF BOWLING PERHAPS

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OR JUST A SIT DOWN IN THE NIGHT CLUB. VERY QUIET DURING THE DAY TIME..

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BIZARRELY, ON THE GEM, THEY HAVE BEDS IN THE NIGHT CLUB. OR AT LEAST, THEY ARE LOUNGERS. ODD ANY WAY BUT A NICE PLACE FOR A NAP IN THE AFTERNOON. THERE'S UNLIKELY TO BE ANY ONE ELSE HERE AT THAT TIME OF DAY.

ON MY FIRST DAY ON BOARD I DID THE TOUR OF THE SHIP & THERE WAS A HEAVILY PREGNANT LADY ASLEEP IN HERE & I THOUGHT SHE HAD BEEN HERE WAY TOO LONG.

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EVERY CRUISE SHIP I HAVE BEEN ON TELLS YOU HOW FANTASTIC THERE SPA AREA IS. THE DIFFERENCE WITH NCL IS THAT IT IS TRUE.

ON THIS CRUISE I TOOK THE CRUISE LONG SPA PACKAGE.

FABULOUS - BEST SPOT ON THE SHIP. SAUNA. STEAM, RELAXING AREA, POOLS . A MILLION DOLLAR VIEW OFF THE FRONT OF THE SHIP.

WONDERFUL - I GOT MY MONEYS WORTH. AT LEAST ONE VISIT PER DAY AND AS THERE ARE SO MANY SEA DAYS, SOMETIMES TWO OR THREE VISITS.

ONE DAY I WAS LYING ON THE HEATED CERAMIC LOUNGER WITH MY EYES CLOSED. I HEAR A NOISE AND LOOK UP.

MY EYES ARE NOT SO GOOD AND IT IS A BIT MISTY BUT I SEE IT IS ONE OF THE CLEANER GIRLS. LOOKING DOWN AT MY APOLOGIZING FOR DISTURBING ME.

WITH THE MIST THERE LOOKS TO BE A HALO AROUND HER FACE,

BEFORE SHE LEAVES SHE TELLS ME HER NAME IS ANGEL.

A DREAM? MAYBE.

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A LITTLE LIGHT ENTERTAINMENT WITH PRE-DINNER DRINKS.

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WATCHING THE LIGHT SHOW BEHIND THE BAR .. LIKE I SAID - IT'S A STRANGE SHIP.

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AND WE HAVE NOT EVEN LOOKED AT THE EVENINGS SHOW OR WHAT MUSIC IS GOING ON OR BEEN TO THE POOL OR SUNBATHED, OR .....

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Posted by hasbeen 19:48 Archived in USA Comments (0)

2009 - NCL GEM - TRANSATLANTIC - AZORES & LISBON

THE ISLANDS OF THE AZORES - MID ATLANTIC

IT WILL BE NICE TO JUST GET OFF THE BOAT HERE, GO FOR A WALK AND STRETCH MY LEGS. MAYBE GET A HAIRCUT.

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LISBON

ANOTHER DAY AT SEA AND WE REACH EUROPE.

LISBON IN PORTUGAL.

I GUESS WERE ALREADY IN PORTUGAL WHEN WE WERE IN THE AZORES BUT NOW WE ARE REALLY IN PORTUGAL, PORTUGAL.

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WHAT A STRANGE LOOKING VESSEL...

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TODAY I AM ON A TOUR TO THE MOST WESTERN POINT OF MAINLAND EUROPE, AND A VISIT TO THE TOWN OF SINTRA. THEN I WILL WANDER INTO LISBON ON MY OWN.

HERE WE GO,..

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WELCOMES US WITH FOOD AND DRINK.

NOT YOUR NORMAL TOUR FARE.

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SINTRA NOW....

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NOW LISBON AND MAKING MY WAY UP TO THE CASTLE....

A NICE COURTYARD ON THE WAY...

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TIME FOR A PEE. AH, JUST IN TIME.

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Posted by hasbeen 19:48 Archived in Portugal Comments (0)

2009 - NCL GEM - TRANSATLANTIC - CADIZ

WHITE HILL VILLAGES AND A SHERRY TASTING IN JEREZ

OVERNIGHT, WE TRAVELLED SOUTH & TODAY ARE DOCKED IN CADIZ.

THE EXCURSION TAKES US INLAND TO ARCOS DE LA FRONTERA. ONE OF THE WHITE HILL VILLAGES OF SOUTHERN SPAIN & A STOP AT A SHERRY MAKING PLACE IN JEREZ.

WITH MAYBE TIME FOR A LOOK AT CADIZ.

ARCOS DE LA FRONTERA

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JEREZ

WE ARE HERE IN JEREZ, FROM WHICH WE GET THE WORD SHERRY, FOR WHAT ELSE - A SHERRY TASTING.

I HAD BOOKED THIS CRUISE & THIS TOUR LONG AGO & ALMOST FORGOT I HAD.

SOMETIME BETWEEN BOOKING & LEAVING ON THE CRUISE I HAD GIVEN UP ALCOHOL & HERE I AM IN A PLACE JAMMED PACKED WITH THE STUFF.

WE HAD 4 BOTTLES OF SHERRY PER TABLE OF EIGHT OR TEN.

I DID TRY SOME.

FIRST A LITTLE TOUR OF THE ESTABLISHMENT...

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MY MEMORY OF SHERRY IS RETIREMENT PARTYS AT WORK. OUT WOULD COME THE SHERRY. HORRIBLE STUFF & IT GIVES THE WORST EVER HANGOVER IMAGINABLE.

I GUESS THAT MUST HAVE BEEN THE CHEAPO, CHEAPO STUFF COS THE SHERRY HERE IS DELIGHTFUL. YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR I SUPPOSE.

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SOME SEVILLE ORANGES IN SEVILLE? JEREZ - IT'S CLOSE ENOUGH

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MOVING ON TO CADIZ - WAS THAT DRINKING ENOUGH TO PUT THE CAT AMONGST THE PIGEONS? NAH!

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SOME FINE SPANISH ART LOOKING OUT ON THE OCEAN .....

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DIDN'T COLUMBUS SET OUT TO FIND CHINA FROM HERE?

GOOD JOB HIS NAME WASN'T SOMETHING LIKE SHICKLEGRUBER.

SHICKLEGRUBER DAY

NOT COLUMBIA BUT SHICKLEGRUBER.

PRE-SHICKLEGRUBER ART.

JUST DOES NOT HAVE THE SAME RING TO IT.

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ANOTHER FINE DAY & TOMORROW IT IS GRENADA FOR THE FAMED - ALHAMBRA

Posted by hasbeen 19:47 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

2009 - NCL GEM - TRANSATLANTIC - THE ALHAMBRA

THIS IS SOMETHING SPECIAL

GRENADA & THE ALHAMBRA

I LIVED IN SPAIN FOR A FEW MONTHS DOING BAR WORK ETC. BUT NEVER WENT TO THE ALHAMBRA.

GOING TO RECTIFY THAT NOW.

LOTS OF PHOTOS. TOO MANY PROBABLY, BUT YOU TRY & PICK JUST A FEW. IT'S VERY HARD.

I AM ON A CRUISE AND SO I MUST BE IN A PORT BUT WHERE? MALAGA MAYBE.

ANYWAY - ON TO GRENADA.


.

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ONE OF MY FIRST EVER MEMORIES OF SPAIN IS SEEING THESE BULLS - 1968 - HEY JUDE WAS PLAYING IN THE BARS IN LLORET DEL MAR.

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IMPOSSIBLE TO KEEP PEOPLE OUT OF THE PICTURE ALL THE TIME ... SOMETIMES IT'S NOT WORTH TRYING...

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SNOW ON THE MOUNTAINS OUTSIDE GRENADA ...

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Posted by hasbeen 19:46 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

2009 - NCL GEM - TRANSATLANTIC - CORSICA

CORSICA

A LOT HAS BEEN WRITTEN ABOUT CORSICA AND CORSICANS, BUT I KNOW NEXT TO NOTHING ABOUT IT & MY VISIT WAS A PLEASANT SURPRISE.

I DID NOT STAY TOO LONG OR DO TOO MUCH.

A BUS TOUR UP INTO THE HILLS, A BITE TO EAT, RETURN TO AJACCIO & A WALK ALONG THE COAST A LITTLE BIT.

THE WEATHER WAS NOT SO GREAT IN THE HILLS .. BUT IT STARTED OUT OK

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I DON'T THINK THEY WERE ON THE MENU BUT THE RESTAURANT & FOOD WERE DELIGHTFUL..

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IT WAS RAINING PRETTY HARD IN VIZZAVONA

AND YES - THEY HAVE SNOW IN CORSICA...

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PRETTY ROUGH ALONG THE COAST & I DOUBT YOU CAN SEE THEM BUT THERE ARE SURFERS IN THE WATER

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AND I DID NOT SEE A SIGN OF ANYTHING NAPOLEONIC OR MAFIOSI.

I LIKE IT - VERY COMFORTABLE HERE..

Posted by hasbeen 19:45 Archived in France Tagged corsica mediterranean Comments (0)

2009 - NCL GEM - TRANSATLANTIC - ROME & THE VATICAN

THE SHIP DOCKS A WAYS AWAY FROM ROME.

THEN WE WILL VISIT A CHURCH THAT IS BUILT ON AT LEAST TWO PRECEDING CHURCHES.

A VISIT INSIDE THE COLOSSEUM

LUNCH

INSIDE THE VATICAN & BACK TO THE SHIP.

A LONG, INTENSE DAY. THIS IS WHEN A SHIPS TOUR COMES INTO IT'S OWN.

THE BUS MEETS US RIGHT AT THE SHIP & THE GUIDE INTRODUCES HERSELF. VERY NICELY SPOKEN - PERFECTLY UNDERSTANDABLE. A BONUS.

WE HEAD TOWARDS ROME, HAVE A PEE BREAK ON THE WAY, YOU CAN SEE IT IS FAR.

WE COULD HAVE STOPPED AT THE McDONALD'S ACROSS THE STREET..

WE ENTER ROME.

OR DO WE? AREN'T THESE SOMEWHERE ELSE? EGYPT?

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NO - I RECOGNISE THIS....

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FOR ANY OF YOU WHAT CANNOT READ ROMAN - THIS IS FROM YEAR FIFTEEN. MAKE THAT 14. JESUS WAS 14 YEARS OLD.

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GUYS SHOULD HAVE HAD THIS FINISHED YEARS AGO.

LETSA SEE - TWO THOUSANA YEARS ATA DOBLE TIMA.

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ACROSS THE RIVER AND NOW WE AR IN ST. PETERS SQUARE

OUTSIDE THE VATICAN AND

THERE'S OUR GUIDE - NUMBER 10.

ACTUALLY, WE HAD TWO GUIDES. NUMBER 10 WHO IS ITALIAN INTRODUCED US TO AN ENGLISH LADY WHO WILL SHOW US AROUND ROME.
SHE IS A PROFESSOR OR SOME SUCH & CARRIES A SUNFLOWER ON A STICK FOR US TO SEE WHERE SHE IS.

THE BEAUTY OF THIS ARRANGEMENT IS THAT SUNFLOWER LEADS AND NUMBER 10 FOLLOWS. BOTH WITH THEIR FLAGS IN THE AIR. WE ARE IN BETWEEN, BEING SHEPHERDED LIKE THE SHEEP WE ARE.

WHEN YOU ARE CLICKING AWAY LIKE CRAZY AT EVERYTHING IN SIGHT, IT'S VERY EASY TO LOSE YOUR GUIDE, BUT NOT WITH THESE TWO.

VERY GOOD - I LIKE IT.

AND THERE'S ANOTHER OF THOSE OBELISKS. REMEMBER - THERE WAS ONE IN CENTRAL PARK.

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MICHAELANGELO DID THIS ONE.

INCREDIBLE...

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THERE ARE A COUPLE OF POPES THAT YOU CAN ACTUALLY SEE IN HERE. THAT'S A BIT SPOOKY..

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THERE'S SUNFLOWER....

AND SOMEONE FAMOUS IS REPUTED TO BE BURIED AROUND ABOUT HERE.

SAINT SOMEONE OR OTHER.

FAMOUS ANYWAY....

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AND THE SWISS GUARD HURRYING OFF SOMEWHERE.

THAT WAS A GRUELLING TIME. EXHAUSTING.
SOME OF THE OLDER FOLK WERE WILTING.

HOW ANYONE CAN DO THIS TRIP FROM THE SHIP WITHOUT A SHIPS TOUR IS BEYOND ME. DOING IT ON YOUR OWN - FINDING THE RAILWAY OR A BUS OR TAXI EVEN. WAITING IN LINES WHEREAS WE SKIPPED THE LINES.

AND WE HAD THE LOVELY NUMBER 10 ... BONUS

Posted by hasbeen 19:40 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

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