Sunday, July 9, 2017

Cruise - Bergen 7.7.17

We arrived in Bergen after  a nights smooth sailing.  We left the ship at around 9am to explore the town of Bergen.  We decided not to book an excursion, as we just thought we would wander around the town.  We stopped for coffee in a cafe of a hotel, where we met anAustralian couple from Melbourne.  The man was eventually heading to the UK to play in the over 70's Hockey tournament for Australia.  The suggested we head to the fish market - as it was definitely worth a look.


The Fish Market was amazing, but didn't have the normal fish market smells !!! The majority of the stalls were cooking as well selling the fish, prawns.  There was the largest live crab we have have seen!!! There was also a some huge fish.
 Bergen is a lovely town, we would like to have gone up the vehicular, but it was closed !!We had limited time in Bergen only 5 hours.

Cruise - Day at Sea 6.7.17

Today was a Day at Sea. We spent some time getting acquainted with the ship !! Lots to explore, many bars, pools, a theatre and 4D Cinema, Sports Bar complete with a 10 Pin bowling Lane.  Dinner tonight was a Gala night - always great to get all dressed up :)

Hamburg - Cruise 5.7.17

Today we slept in a little,  then had breakfast at the hotel.  We then left our luggage at Reception and walked a little way towards the local shops for a coffee as we had plenty of time before we were due to board the ship.

After a reasonably short taxi ride we arrived at the Port of Hamburg to board the ship.  MSC Prezosia is the largest ship we have been on.  Our cabin is on the Deck 12, about 4 cabins from the from the bridge.  The Balcony Cabin is lovely.  We sailed from Hamburg at approximately 8pmThis is the view if Hamburg from our Cabin and also sailing from Hamburg towards Bergen.  Tomorrow is a Day at Sea - relaxation time :)

Friday, July 7, 2017

London to Hamburg 4/7/17

Taxi arrived just before 10am - Again, it was a very long trip in the Taxi, fortunately it was a fixed rate!! Heathrow seemed very disorganised and going through security was a nightmare - but, who can blame them !!. Flight to Hamburg was good, we arrived about 4.30pm.  Our hotel is absolutely delightful. We have a lovely big room which opens onto the front garden, and it is opposite a canal.  We walked across the road to a lovely Italian Restaurant under the bridge.


London 3/7/17

Wow !!! where has the week gone ! Today is our last day in London - I'm not ready to leave yet - just love this city.  We have noticed some differences in London, even though it is only just over 12 months since we were here - The traffic seems so much worse than before - its always been crazy busy, as one expects with 8000 red buses driving around and who knows how many taxis.  This time all the cab drivers are complaining about it, some actually have decided its time to give it a miss !!!.  The other thing we noticed, is that there seems to be more homeless people sleeping on the streets, and around the popular tourist attractions.
Anyway, today we went back to Covent Garden -

today the market was totally different to the other day - it was more like an antique fair.  If only there were no weight restrictions on baggage on the flight home !!!so many things I would like to have bought. On the lower level at Covent Garden there was a string quartet playing followed by a soprano - lovely to have morning tea whilst listening to them.

We were planning on going back to Westminster Abbey, however we had to make a choice  between Yotam Ottolenghi's restaurant and Westminster -  Ottolenghi's won :)  The restaurant is quite of of the way, in a litre lane. From the moment we walked in the service was incredible.  It was busy, but nothing was too much trouble.  We waited for about 5 minutes for a table.  The decor was minimalist and very classy and the food was to die for.  So glad we made the decision to visit this restaurant.

We spent the rest of the afternoon packing bags and getting ready to go to the theatre.

WOW !! what a great way to end our time in London :)  42 Street. The costumes, the dancing, the sets -just the whole show was amazing - John thinks its the best show he has seen, however, I find it hard to make comparisons between shows - I just love them all.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

London 2/7/17

Today went to Brick Lane Market, not far from our apartment.

The atmosphere was fantastic. There were stalls selling everything toys, hats, clothes, and much more.  There were buskers playing all through the markets.  One in particular was really amazing, he definitely was a 1 man band, and he gathered quite a crowd.

The food hall smelt incredible and the choice of food ranged from North Africa, the Middle East, Chinese, Thai, Mexican all cooked on the spot.  We ate Mexican which was true Mexican !!! We wandered further through the market and then caught the bus to the Borough Market on the South Bank in Southwark.  Unfortunately, it closes at 1pm on Sunday as it is purely a food market !!! Across the road to a pub for a beer ! In talking to one of the locals, John asked where the George Inn was ? Lucky for us it was just around the corner.  John had been wanting to go to the George Inn, due to the fact that it is the only intact Coaching Inn left in London.

It belongs to the National Heritage and is managed by one of the big breweries in UK.  It was built in 1676, and fortunately, as it was on the south side of the Thames River, it escaped the Great Fire of London.  As it was a beautiful summers afternoon, we sat in the courtyard and had a drink, before going upstairs to the Gallery Restaurant for an early dinner.  It was evident that we were sitting in a room that was built in 1676.

The food was good and the lady that served us was fantastic, nothing was too much trouble, and we found out during a conversation that she was one of the live-in staff, and had lived there for the past 20 years.
From here we caught a taxi to Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, to watch Romeo and Juliette.

It was modern production, but we really enjoyed it.
We caught the ferry back to Tower Bridge and then the bus to the apartment.  We called in to the Mini Supermarket, that is beside the apartment block. that we had been into every morning and night since we arrived, to check the balance on the Oyster Card, and supplies for breakfast, and just to have a chat to the man we had become friendly with :)

London 1/7/17

Today we were up early for our trip to Tamworth to see our dear friends Jo and Chris. On the bus to Aldgate Station by 8.15 am.  Changed from the Underground to the National Rail at Euston, where we had time for a coffee before our train to Tamworth departed at 9.46am.
The train was comfortable, quite and fast.  We were met at Tamworth Station by Chris for the short drive to their house. We spent a couple of hours sitting chatting and cuddling the new arrival Miss Emily Grace, who is very tiny and just perfect.  Jack was understandably shy to start, but that soon wore off:)

We then went to one of the local pubs for lunch, where we spent more time laughing and talking, and before we knew it, it was 4.30pm.  John decided he would walk back along the canal to Jo and Chris's house, apparently chatting to some people who live on their narrow boats.
After a somewhat, short and very sad goodbye to Jo at the house, Chris then drove us back to catch the 5.20pm train - which we missed by about a minute !!! The train was at 6.20pm, and thankfully we had purchased a flexible ticket.  The train was about 10 mins late arriving back into Euston, so we made our way back to the apartment.