Rotterdam/Amsterdam

After leaving Le Havre we headed for Rotterdam. We were supposed to be docked by 11am, but as this was the first time the ship has been there a few problems came up. We were not able to get off the ship until after noon. Now normally this is not a problem, but our friends had a 2pm tour time to see the Ann Frank house in Amsterdam. We were one of the first people off the ship and it was pouring rain! We ran as fast as we could and got on the free shuttle to the city center and train station. As we got on the bus we told the driver we had to make a train and be in Amsterdam by 2pm. He said he would wait only 5 more minutes and then leave. No one else came so we left and the driver was nice enough to drop us off at the front of the train station. We were able to get our tickets and catch the express train to Amsterdam.
We then ran from the train station to catch the tram to Anne Frank’s. We all jumped on just as the doors were closing. The guy on the tram was nice and didn’t charge us for the ride, gave us a map, and showed us where we had to go. We all walked fast to Anne Frank’s and got to the tour on time. In fact Tim took picture of his watch that said 1:59.56pm.

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We didn’t go on the tour with our friends since we have already done it before, so had some time to explore before we meet everyone.
Because it was raining most of the day I don’t have many pictures but we had fun looking around. We had made plans to meet our friends at the Old Church in the Red Light District. So we headed that way and passed a knitting store.

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So of course we had to stop and go in. I bought a few things and got talking to the shop owner and she said she was the only knitting shop in Amsterdam, that she knew of, how lucky was that. We then found a church that we thought was the one we were looking for, but come to find out it was the New Church, not the Old one. So we kept walking and finally found it. We then found a coffee shop close by and got out of the rain, had a coffee/tea and used the internet.

After we joined up with our friends we walked around and as the rain had let up some were able to take some pictures.

20140528-171249-61969374.jpgthe Old Church

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20140528-172011-62411940.jpgsome of the canals.

20140528-172108-62468338.jpgone of the many bike “parking” lots we saw.

Amsterdam is also know for their French fries they sell with a mayonnaise
dipping sauce. They have whole shops that just sell the fries, so of course we had to try them.

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After walking around some more, and getting a little lost we headed back to the train station to go back to the ship.

20140528-173110-63070237.jpgwaiting for the train back

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Instead for catching the shuttle back to the ship we took the Metro

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As we got back to the ship the rain stopped (of course), but it was really windy!
This is a bridge that we were parked by.

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Then it was time to go back on the ship. We had one day at sea to look forward to then….
Next stop Copenhagen.

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Le Havre/ Paris

Our next stop was Le Havre. We took the bus into Paris.

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I was very excited about this stop because although we have been to France before we have not made it into Paris. It is as beautiful as I’ve heard.

We were dropped off and had 4 hours in the city. It was a whirlwind tour, but got to see most everything.

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First view of the Eiffel Tower.

After we were dropped off we walked toward the Louvre. We did not go inside, but what a beautiful building.

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Then we walked along the Seines

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After a quick check of the map

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On to Norte Dame

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Then on to the Effie Tower

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From the Effie Tower we walked to a vantage point to get a great view of the tower

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Another quick map check

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It was time to head back towards the bus

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This is France’s copy of the flame from the Statue of Liberty.

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Some of the sights along the way.

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There was a statue of Winston Churchill near the bus.

On the way back to the ship we had a stop and Tim found a new friend

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A Normandy cow.

Thanks Ron and Patty for showing us around Paris! It was a whirlwind tour but great</u!

Next stop Rotterdam……

Southampton, England

After 3 nice days at sea we arrived at Southampton, England. We had planned to take a train to Stonehenge, but decided to see if we can get a cab for around the same price. We were lucky and found a guy that was willing to take us, so we were able to go all the way to Bath, England.

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Negotiating the cab.

It was raining so we were really glad to be in a cab and not trying to catch trains. On the way we pasted a military base and they were moving tanks around.

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We made it to Bath. Bath was a spa town with a hot springs in Roman times. Wealthy Romans would come here to send time in the hot springs.

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From Bath we went to Stonehenge. Stonehenge is an interesting place. There are these stones standing in the middle of a field with nothing around them. The interesting part is that they are not really sure why they are there. They were interesting to see. Unfortunately it was pouring rain and really cold when we were there. ( I know, welcome to England, although in England’s defense the few times we have been to London it has been nice and sunny)

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I told you there was nothing around Stonehenge. There were sheep grazing right next to the area.

From Stonehenge we went to Salisbury. There was a large cathedral there. Was interesting to look inside. 20140513-192151.jpg20140513-192210.jpg20140513-192235.jpg20140513-192259.jpg
There was a very old clock there.
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And some amazing tapestry
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Very old graves
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This was a knight from the medieval era

After tour the castle we walked around the town a bit.

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Tim had fun taking a picture of Ron trying to figure out what a phone booth was.

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After looking around for awhile it was time to head back to the ship.

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Next stop Le Havre, France and Paris

Ponta Delgado, Azores

Sorry it has been so long since I’ve written anything. Life has been pretty crazy.

As you can imagine there is a lot I can write about, but I think I’ll just start with what is going on right now.

Tim and I are traveling. We spent a week in the Caribbean. (Only a few pictures, mainly relaxation)

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Leaving Ft Lauderdale

We were lucky enough on this cruise that we were able to take a tour of the bridge.

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The Captain and us

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View of the ship from the bridge

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Flags they use.

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Crew pool

We are traveling with our friends Ron and Patty

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Formal night

After spending the day in Ft Lauderdale we are off the the Baltic.
We had 6 days at sea. We all love our sea days! Lots of fun in the sun, talking and hanging out.

Our first stop was Ponta Delgado in the Azores (in the middle of the Atlantic)

We had a great day! Went ashore in the morning and found some internet to catch up with what is going on.

We found a cab to take us to the center of the island to a place call Furnace. It is in the middle of the volcano ( that has been dormant for hundreds of years)
It was a cool sleepy town. We were there on a Sunday so a lot of places were closed.

We went to a hot springs. It was a very beautiful place in a small valley.

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View of the valley

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The hot springs.

After the hot springs we walked into the village to look for something to drink with our lunch. After finding a cute pub we could buy drinks in we walked to a botanical garden to have our picnic.

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(Monkey was tempted to go in the hot pool after lunch)

After lunch we walked around the beautiful gardens.

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There was a GAINT coy pond (lake)

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Black swans

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(First of many “lost map” shots to come lol)

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Some of the beautiful flowers.

After the gardens, we walked through the town to meet our cabbie.
Saw this cool waterwheel.

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On the way back to the ship we stopped at a nice vista and had a great view of the island.

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They grow tea on the island. We saw some of the fields.

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After that it was time to head back to the ship.

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Now we have 3 more days at sea then Southampton, England.
More later 🙂

Linda