Friday, 4 August 2017

The Final Fling....

Well, it is all over. Docking in Dundee was fast and efficient and very wet ! The last day was rather nice in that at the end of a cruise it is usual to have to leave the cabin at some ungodly hour like 7.30am then sit and wait for your embarkation coloured tag to come around. This is quite an abrupt end to what is normally a leisurely style of holiday ! The pleasure of docking mid afternoon meant we did not have to clear our cabins until 11.30 am, enjoy a bit of lunch and finally carry the suitcase down four decks and leave around 2pm. Now that is what I called civilised!

Some pictures of the final days.....

My last coffee onboard, sad face !

The last night and my Ukrainian cabin steward Larysa made a lovely towel swan !

Recovering from my illness meant I was not fit enough to go into Lerwick, so I watched from the deck of the ship. The sun was blazing...

So it is done, and Kate dropped me off at home at 9pm ish. The peace and quiet of the house is wonderful. I googled what the doctor had written on my medical record as my diagnosis and it was Vestibular Neuronitis or Labrynthitis, exacerbated by noise, light, movement and stress. The stress has gone, the place is blissfully silent and the candle is lit. I can feel it all melt away. 

It is wonderful to travel, and it has been a glorious trip around the Northern lands, but it is always such a pleasure to come home. Two cups of tea later and I am really back.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Newcastle, rain and wifi !

We are now docked in Newcastle and it is pouring down ! Quite a change after the hot sun and blue skies of our cruise days past ! We may take a leisurely ride into the Royal Quays shopping centre today by  the shuttle bus, just to feel a bit as if we are moving back to reality, or we may not ! After a disasterous set of excursions being very very late back to port last night the ship actually left three hours late - this is unknown in my experience of cruising - so we missed the slot at the pilot station in Newcastle and arrived here three hours late. I did not realise how serious this is for the tides, the docking berths etc and it has caused mayhem this morning. Thankfully we did not have a plane or a train to catch but those who did must have been in a state of panic. In essence even moving at a much faster rate of knots we could not make up the list time so the port schedule is thrown out, we missed the nearest berth as another cruise ship is now ensconced in that and we are further away from the city and therefore the coach for tours have further to go, and have sat waiting much longer .........something of a mess I fear. I am sure some maritime heads will roll.....

My personal wifi gadget has proved amazing. Whenever there is a good signal we can have wifi at a faster speed than the maritime crawl, and it worked everywhere except the Faroes which is perhaps to be expected!  I am very glad I purchased it and with luck it will take me around the world in the coming year !

Onwards to a quiet day.......

Oh dear - back to Blighty !!

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

A Chocolate Buffet...... Oh My Goodness !!!

I want to say right from the start I did not imbibe even a sliver of the above. It was tough,  it I knew I would not be able to stop if I started! Things deteriorated somewhat for me yesterday, I was terribly seasick the previous evening - or what I thought was seasick, this turned out to be labrynthitis and I have spent two sessions in the infirmary, three IV drips and two injections ! I am up and about now, and hoping the holiday insurance will pay out, otherwise it's bread and water for me for a few months ! I am up to my eyes in medication,  but the Russian doctors and nurses were fantastic, they looked after me brilliantly and were very kind. Occasionally I found it hard to understand the pronunciation of 'cannula ' but mostly their English was efficient and understandable. 

So I sat and watched Lerwick from the deck resting on a sun bed as the weather is glorious. So, onwards and upwards for a healthy final three days !' 

Whale Watching and the power of the sea

We went on the whale watching trip out of Reykjavik and had a bracing and somewhat chilly morning ! We were transported from Hafnafjordur where the Magellan had docked to the whale boat. We were supposed to dock in Reykjavik but this Sunday the harbour had to cope with seven cruise ships and it seems we were a little later than five of them, so an Oceana ship and our ship had to dock some 30 minutes from the centre of the city. This slight inconvenience was completely countered by being in the perfect position to see the most amazing of a few amazing sunsets ! Nothing was in the way of Magellan and the sea, we sat in awe watching the summer sun slowly setting over an unencumbered vista. Sheer bliss.

Back to the whale watching ! After boarding the vessel were we warned that the sea was quite rough, and that was something of an understatement………..we rocked and rolled, upped and downed all the while listening to a most informative and enthusiastic young lady telling us about all the various wild life we hoped to see. We watched Puffins flying faster than Usain Bolt with their fat little bodies held up by madly waggling wings, skewers and storm petrels by the dozen, but ne’er a sign of a whale ! Suddenly the cry went up as a Minke whale surfaced and everyone rushed to ‘10 o’clock’……….he/she had submerged by the time we arrived and that was it ! The whales were there but not obliging our side of the boat. As if to save the day large dolphins appeared and played in, around and under the boat for 10 minutes or so which was delightful, so we felt the early start and the ever present sea sickness was worth it after all. The drive back to the ship was quiet and sleepy all the while the nausea going away, for which I gave many thanks ! By the time we boarded the ship I was quite ready for a light lunch and so the round of delectable food began again !

The rest of the day was wiled away with reading, a nap and then another dinner. I find sitting by the large picture windows and watching the sea very satisfying and peaceful. The waves have been good to us thus far and the sun on the gently undulating water verges on the hypnotic. It both delights me and lulls me to sleep. I realise a myriad of authors and poets describe the sea much more vividly than I ever could, and they are right. It puts life into perspective, we can never conquer it so must just go with whatever mood it is in. I could sit all day watching this movement, and quite understand the draw of the sea to so many folk. 

PS I like the fact it comes dressed with amazing food and the luxury of a cabin and housekeeper though ! I’m not so very intrepid !

By day.....

Evening in paradise.....

A domestic few days away preparing for next week..........Yorkshire Song School !

I just had a lovely, if fleeting visit to Sussex to see the family, and most enjoyable it was too. I flew on the early morning plane to Gatw...