The Town of Tobermory seems to be built upside down. The High Street runs along the waterfront and the other streets sit above it on a hill. In since the turn of the century High Street has been inundated during … Continue reading Upside Down, Tobermory
Helen was the last baby born in the Hospital on the Isle of Skye before they closed the maternity ward. And Helen is a young woman now. She’s our cabdriver on Skye. Today, expectant mothers now have to drive three … Continue reading The Isles of the Blest (Skye)
When we first decided to take this cruise I messaged my Facebook Friend Catherine. Her people are from the same town in Ireland that my people are from, Greencastle County Donegal. She found me while Googling, I think, a great … Continue reading A Tardis and a Traffic Cone.
We had intended to travel to St. Davids on our own, using the bus system through Pembrokeshire. But Fishguard is a tender port and the seas were fairly big so it took a long time to disembark. They had to … Continue reading A liner returns to Fishguard.
We are half way to Rome or a third of the way to Jerusalem, at least according to Pope Callestus II, who, in 1124, said two pilgrimages to St. Davids (they officially don’t use the apostrophe although some people do) … Continue reading St Davids (no apostrophe please)
Truro is the County Seat of Cornwall. It’s also the county’s cathedral town. Truro Cathedral is not ancient but an example of Victorian Gothic Revival. The Architect said that when people went in, he wanted them to drop to their … Continue reading Truro Mambo
Some sail-ins are spectacular for their natural beauty, Rio and Vancouver come to mind. Some sail-ins have wonderous cityscapes, New York or Sydney. Sailing across the bar into the Fal River to Falmouth is not spectacular, it is gentle, it … Continue reading A Pretty Town, Falmouth. Cornwall.
The English Channel has some of the widest tidal ranges in the world, ranging to 40 feet. Sea farers have to have different strategies to deal with these tides. In Jersey some harbors are open to the sea and the … Continue reading Tides in the English Channel.
Right now we are sailing in some rough seas. We were supposed to leave Falmouth at 6:00PM but the Captain ordered all on board at 4:00 so he could get around Land’s End to beat a storm. But after we … Continue reading The Beaufort Scale and Jersey’s Public Art.
…as many of my adventures do. London was my first foreign metropolis. I went there as a kid with my grandfather and had a great amount of freedom to wander and fall in love with the city. It was Suzi’s … Continue reading The Adventure Starts in London…
The St. Pancras is a classic old railway hotel designed by British Architect Gilbert Scott. It ran out of steam in the 30s and sat more or less derelict, used for a sett for the occasional Victorian or horror film, … Continue reading St. Pancras Redux
I’m not sure if I love railway stations because I love trains or if there is something about them that I love in and of itself. Paddington is a classical iron and glass station with brick front, but it has … Continue reading 19th century stations with 21st Century trains.
Sail out from the final port was a bitter sweet occasion, both because it was the leaving of our last port of call, and because of the head cold. But sail out was a scenic occasion. Not only did we … Continue reading Final Sailout
I got back to the ship for a bit of a rest and to let the new cough syrup do its work. By “sail-out’ the skies had cleared and I felt well enough to go out on deck to watch … Continue reading Three Forth Bridges
Rosyth, Scotland, United Kingdom, September 6, 2017: Rosyth is a former Royal Navy base, now a privatized port. It’s just up the Firth of Forth from Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital. While it’s no longer a military base a huge carrier “The … Continue reading A Fortunate Alternate
Kirkwall, Orkney Islands, Scotland, September 4, 2017: What do you do in Kirkwell, Orkney Islands on a wet and windy day? Visit the Orkney Wireless Museum, of course! It is one of those delightfully cluttered and chaotic museums that invite … Continue reading Orkney Wireless Museum
Kirkwall, Orkney Islands, Scotland, September 4, 2017: According to our Norwegian Sea Captain, Dag, Kirkwall is from the old Norse meaning “Church Harbor.” The town is best known for St. Magnus Cathedral but the town was named for the … Continue reading A Cathedral Sets its Viking Sails
Kirkwall, Orkney, Scotland, Sept 3, 2017: As Prinsendam pulled out of Reykjavik the PA chimes alerted us to a message. It started normally for a sail out with the Captain on mic, “This is your disembodied voice from the Bridge, … Continue reading Unexpected Sea Day
Lerwick, Shetland Islands, Scotland: The Shetland islands, no ponies, but we did see a goat. He was raising money to buy an infrared camera to be used by the Lerwick Lifeboat Society, the local search and rescue. We met him … Continue reading Shetland, No Ponies
This is Beltane, Celtic May Day. In 2002 we were in London walking down Great Russell Street and we ran across the “Beltane Bash” held in conjunction with the “Pagan Pride March.” This is from a family letter written in … Continue reading Beltane Bash (Happy May Day!)
Christmas Markets came late to the UK. It’s not that the UK didn’t celebrate Christmas. Since Victoria’s Albert brought the Christmas tree to England the Brits have done it up in grand style. Before Christmas markets, in the European fashion, … Continue reading Brexit Or Not, London Gets European Christmas Markets
Christmas Markets started in Central Europe, Austria and Southern Germany, and have moved up and down the Danube and spread out from that waterway across the continent. London has always had great Christmas decorations and shopping, but the European style … Continue reading Covent Garden, London, 2014
When the St. Pancras railway station opened in 1868 its wrought iron and glass train shed, designed by Henry Barlow, was the largest single structure roof in the world. It was 689 feet long, 240 feet wide and 100 feet … Continue reading St. Pancras International Railway Station
I woke up at the St. Pancras Hotel in London this morning at 5 AM with a great sense of quiet and thankfulness. Normally when I wake up early it is because of some imagined fear or excitement for the day ahead. This was different, a sense of calmness kept me awake. It had been a difficult week at the funeral of a dear friend. We had a layover in London on the way home and opted to go into town rather than stay at the airport. Last night we visited with a friend, strolled through Covent Garden, already festooned … Continue reading Thoughts on the way home.