Friday, August 28, 2009

Thursday 27th – Friday 28th August
We left port a little late yesterday (Thursday) as a few of the tour busses that had taken a lot of passengers up to London were late getting back. One of our friends was on one buss which didn’t only have one prang on the way back but two. After the first smash they had to change busses and the second one apparently knocked someone off a push bike. No injuries in either accident but it meant that the buss was about an hour late getting back to the ship. It has been another day at sea. The waves were about 3.5 meters with low to moderate gale force winds. It’s a bit heavy going for the new passengers who joined us at Southampton.

Friday: the seas and the wind have settled down a little today but it’s still cloudy. The temperature is expected to reach 30c degrees today but I’m not sure it will make that. The show last night was two musicians, who played everything from the flute to the bagpipes and a lot of other instruments with a genre which included Spanish/American, celtic, greek, traditional, you name it they played it. They were excellent. Time for me to toddle off to my bridge lesson and the GD is off to the internet lounge to organize our free access that we became entitled to in Southampton. After that it will be time for trivial pursuits and then lunch. Oh! Life’s a drag.
Text yet to be posted , Southampton,
Satellite problems yet again!!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Wednesday 26th August
We arrived in Southampton in the early hours of the morning. It’s not a particularly pretty port but the dockyard area is rather large. There are lots of small sailing ships moored here as well. A lot of people from the ship are off early for a visit to London. Since we have been there, we gave that option a miss. We took the shuttle bus to the railway station and then a taxi into the city area about 10ish. We went to the bank first then wandered around a big shopping centre and got a couple of bargains, had lunch (fish and chips of course) and then a taxi back to the ship. Time for a nana nap then afternoon tea. There’s a lot of new faces on board this afternoon, probably about 900 of them. A lot of the staff appear to have been changed over here also. According to one of our taxi drivers, there is not a lot of pre war Southampton left. It was heavily bombed during the war and there is little left of the old historic part of town. Some of the facades have been left as a reminder of what was. He also told us that the town centre was once much closer to the water as the harbour is all reclaimed land where there used to be beaches and bays. It was very cloudy when we arrived but while we were in town it stayed fine but it is now raining quite heavily. Oh well! Isn’t that what English weather is supposed to be lik

The 21st just happened to be one of our dinner companions 80th Birthday. The usually celebration was in order complete with a bottle of champagne a Birthday cake and a chorus of Happy Birthday. The 22nd was just another day at sea. We have changed our clocks by 1 hour forward each day for the past 5 days and one feels they are a little out of sinc at times.

Sunday 23rd August
Cobh Ireland: We arrived in raining weather – well what could one expect, it is Ireland. The town of Cobh treated the ship as if it were full of long lost cousins and actually held an Australian day in town. All the shop windows had displays of Australiana in their windows, they had stalls and flags and music at the wharf. We haven’t had such a reception in any of the previous ports we have visited. This could partly be because a lot of the ships which took immigrants from Ireland to Australia left from this very port. The GD and I had book an afternoon tour to a little fishing villiage of Kinsale. A very pretty town with lots of winding streets with the buildings painted all the colours of the rainbow. Of course we had the obligatory Guinness. Although it was Sunday a lot of shops had opened just for the benefit of the ships passengers. A real warm homecoming type of welcome. I believe the Dawn Princess was the first big passenger liner for the season. We did a little shopping and had lunch at the Railway Station – a real railway station just like they were in the old days. I’m not sure why, but I always feel a little nostalgic when I leave Ireland.
Monday 24th – Tuesday 25th August
Monday was a sea day – the last sea day of their cruise for about 900 passengers, leaving us in Southampton on Wednesday. Said goodbye to a few from my bridge game and will have to find another partner for the next stage of the cruise.
Tuesday: An early start for me as I was going into Paris on a tour. We docked at Le Havre, about 3 hours from Paris. Jorgen spent the day in Le Havre. Let me tell you that if you haven’t already been to Paris then put it on you list of must visit places. It would have to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world and no words that I can write can do it justice. No photographs which I have seen of any of the attractions can depict just what it’s like to see it for real. There’s wide tree lined avenues, narrow streets, little parks, big parks, palaces, churches, bridges, cafes and all sorts of grand buildings which have to be seen at least once in your lifetime if you get the chance. My one day only touched the surface. The only place we saw from the inside was the Cathedral of Notre Dame. There just wasn’t enough time in one short day to do more. A three course lunch was part of the package which was quite simple but delicious and in a typical French restaurant. Not much time for shopping either so the suitcase can breath a sigh of relief. Apart from the steep roved houses, the countryside was similar to driving along the New England Highway in NSW. We arrived back at the ship just in time for dinner.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Text yet to be posted for Ireland

Monday 17th August – Saturday 22nd August
This was a sea day and I must admit, after three busy port days it’s nice to get back to cruising normality. We received an invitation to the Captains cocktail party on the 19th. It’s at 5pm so it will mean a free sundowners that afternoon. We’ve seen some great entertainers the past few evenings. A female pianist/singer, played everything from classical to rock and roll, Jerry Lee Lewis style. There was a young violinist equally professional and a impersonator/comedian who had us in fits of laughter. Tonight (the 21st ) is a formal night at dinner – a chance to dress up a bit. The weather across the Atlantic has been damp and miserable, with the forecast for the same or worse all the way to Ireland