Home & More

We’re home safe and sound. Getting off the ship was interesting. We knew it would be no fun. And when Florida greeted us with a good old fashioned downpour, it got a little crazy. Benn got in line for a porter — remember everyone had tons of luggage and all of us would need a porter. I started hunting for our 8 bags. Once I found all the bags, Benn was nowhere near the front of the porter line. Don’t tell anyone but I found a porter and told him I was ready and he said “Let’s go”. Other porters were waiting around for people to find bags. Customs & Immigration was a breeze. We dropped the bags off with FedEx and we were on our way to get the rental car.

Four hours later we were home. Thanks to Alan & Monica for watching out for our house. Our TV/internet cable was cut during some yard work while we were gone. I arranged to get it fixed and A & M even checked to make sure it was working. Thanks again! Also thanks to Jennifer for getting the mail. It arrived on Friday. FedEx delivered the luggage Friday morning. Now we just need to unpack it all!

& More ….

Friday we went to visit the new motorhome. I was delivered to the dealer last week. We take delivery May 28. Can’t wait!

Benn & Dave, our salesperson

No name yet. I could be wrong. It may be a girl. We’ll see.

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Bantry, Ireland

Our final port! Next is 8 days at sea. So we must get off the ship today. Some people didn’t and they missed a cute little town with really nice people. It was a tender port and I was finally able to get a picture of the tender platform with no one on it. And who’s at the bottom — our waiter Slam.

We walked around the town for about an hour. Found an old cemetery and some craft shops.

Lots of good smelling restaurants. But again we weren’t hungry. Next time we’ll have to find out what the difference is in all these breakfasts.

For our RVing friends, we found RV parking at the dock. Small RV parking. Water and electric. With a dump station.

Water & electric

Not sure how this dump station works. You Know What doesn’t run up hill!

Dump station

Next is 8 days at sea. But it will be filled with parties, our last Sunday brunch, and a gala dinner. And of course the dreaded packing.

Cobh, Ireland

Cobh (pronounced Cove) is the port for Cork. But there was a big Royal Caribbean ship parked in Cobh so we actually docked in Ringaskiddy.

HAL provided a shuttle to Cork and we were on our way there early this morning. But no one told us (or we were too stupid to look it up) today was a “Bank Holiday” so not many stores were open. But we did have a nice walk around the city. We easily found the English Market down a little alley way — closed.

St Ann’s
Old Port of Cork

It looks like a nice city. We checked out the train station for our next trip here. Maybe next time we’ll arrive on a better date.

Dublin, Ireland

We’ve been to Dublin several times before and I knew just where I wanted to go. Having recently moved into a new home I wanted to get some door knobs for our closet doors. But … it’s Sunday. Would the store be open?

Closed!

So we took a walk around the park across the street, saw Oscar Wilde and some murals.

We were sober enough to take a picture of the sign but not hungry enough to eat.

Someday we’re going to rent bikes like these to get around a city.

Belfast, Northern Ireland

Our plan for today was to take the shuttle into Belfast, have a nice walk and visit St George’s Market. It was Saturday so the market should be lively.

The shuttle passed the market on the way into town and it was an easy 10 minute walk. Today’s market was mainly food and crafts. We had spent all our English pounds yesterday in Portree and we had just had breakfast, so no food for us today.


Portree, Isle of Skye, Scotland

We booked a private full day tour for 8 with SkyeScenicTours.com in July 2017. They were wonderful to work with and this one of the best (and funniest) tours we had this whole cruise. Donald is the owner and was our guide and driver for the day. It took all day but I can order a glass of white wine in Gaelic. Ba mhaith liom gloinne fìon geal. Thank you Donald! This was the coldest day of the cruise. I should have asked how to order hot chocolate!

Portree is a tender port. So I tried to arrange to get our group in one of the first tenders. I thought there was going to be a problem but everything worked out great and we met Donald at the tender port right on time. The van was a tight fit for the 8 of us but it was so cold I was glad to get some warmth from the crowd. We were in and out of the van every 15 to 30 minutes. Our first stop was the Old Man of Storr, Then on to Lealt Falls and Kilt Rock. The rock is supposed to look like the back of a kilt???

Old Man of Storr
Kilt Rock

The scenery is beautiful but I don’t always see what Donald sees. I’m concentrating on how to order white wine in Gaelic!

I thought this was Kilt Rock. Guess not!
Duntulm Castle Ruins

Finally something I understand — a cemetery. Flora MacDonald’s Monument at Kilmuir Graveyard. Benn knows we always stop for a good old cemetery.

We stopped for lunch at Dunvegan Castle. The macaroni & cheese warmed us up nicely.

Next stop was Dun Beag Broch.

There were great signs all over the place. I should have taken pictures of all of them. There was one with a 40 £ fine for not picking up after your dog. And a 80 £ fine for not picking up your cigarette butts. And then there’s the shooting dogs one …..

In the bay out where the ship was anchored, there are salmon pens.

Flåm, Norway

Flåm is a village in southwestern Norway, in an area known for its fjords. It sits at the end of Aurlandsfjord, a branch of the vast Sognefjord.

The Flåm Railway offers valley and waterfall views as it climbs to a station at Myrdal. The train take about one hour to cover the 20 km, through 20 tunnels. 18 of these tunnels were excavated by hand and each meter took up to a month to dig. Work was started in 1923 and the line opened to trains in August 1940.

We had purchased our tickets online before the trip for the 1:35 train. We walked around Flåm in the morning but both of us forgot money so shopping would have to wait until after the train ride.

Notice the snow plow at the front of the train

Lots of waterfalls. The train stops at the largest one for a 10 minute photo stop.

I read that you could take the train up and then bike down. I emailed a cafe at the top that rents bikes and makes a picnic lunch but she said we were too early in the season. Here’s the road we would have come down. Maybe we were lucky it was too early! Or maybe next time.

Oslo, Norway

Vigeland Park is the largest sculpture park in the world by a single artist, boasting over 200 pieces by Norwegian sculptor Gustav Vigeland. Vigeland designed the sculptures to be made of bronze and granite but they were produced by other artists. Built between 1939 and 1949, Vigeland did not live to see the park’s completion, dying in 1943.

We purchased an all day tram pass and set off to see the sculptures. Later in the day, we rode the tram around to see more of the city.

View from the cruise into Oslo
All the gates were designed by Vigeland, too
The Clan

The angry baby is one of the most famous sculptures. We missed him the first time over the bridge. We thought he was larger from the pictures we had seen.

The Triangle
The triangle’s shadow

Copenhagen, Denmark

Our plan for today was to just take a walk the city. We ran into friends leaving the ship and walked most of the day with them. The Little Mermaid is close to the ship so she was out first stop. There were at least 10 bus loads of people there. All the HAL tours included a stop to see her. We’ll stop back again on the way back to the ship.

We walked along the water front. There was a Japanese festival going on. I think it had something to do with the cherry blossoms. There’re in bloom. We walked further to the iconic Copenhagen Nyhavn Canal with its colorful homes and storefronts.

Walked through some gardens and then slowly headed back to the ship. Found these swans in the mote around the castle.

Don’t know what kind of tree these are

Then a second stop at the Little Mermaid, a little shopping, and back to the ship.

View from our balcony