The Captain wasn’t kidding when he announced last night that we would be experiencing gale winds of 65 knots because this A.M. our ship was definitely “rocking and rolling” with 30 to 40 foot swells and winds strong enough to lift a lounge chair over the railing and into the …

22 February 2015  Uncategorized

Another sunshiny day for our bus tour of this city settled by the Scotch.  Initially called New Edinburgh, the city fathers re-christened it Dunedin, the old Celtic name for their beloved Scottish city.  Growth was assured when gold was discovered in 1861.
Splendid stone buildings in the Victorian and Edwardian tradition …

11 February 2015  Uncategorized

Since our ship was docked at Lyttleton, our driver “chippered” (transported) us through the tunnel into Christchurch, “The most English city outside of England.”  Because it was springtime there, the rhododendrons. azaleas, Icelandic Poppies and other flowers were in bloom – thus the nickname, “Garden City.”
At Mona Vale, an historic …

1 February 2015  Uncategorized

“The Sights of Wellington Panoramic Drive” pointed out that Wellington is the Capital of New Zealand; nicknamed the Windy City”; situated on several faults; has hills like San Francisco and sports English style chimney pots.
There were many hairpin bends as our bus climbed one of the hills to see the …

25 January 2015  Uncategorized

An earthquake leveled the town in   1931, so this “Miami Beach of the Southern Hemisphere” was rebuilt with art deco-style buildings.  From Hawke’s Bay our bus drove inland through Havelock, a lovely village tucked into the surrounding hills; stopped for us to sample huge strawberries at the Strawberry Patch; and …

19 January 2015  Uncategorized

New Zealand is adamant in restricting foreign plants, seeds and any food from the ship to shore including sandwiches and fruit.  Sometimes the food sniffing beagles with their handlers were at the disembarking gangplank and other times they were in the port building.
While Kathy toured Rotorua, where geothermal geysers and …

10 January 2015  Uncategorized

“Welcome to the South Pacific and the Land Down Under.” boomed the Captain’s voice over the intercom as Kathy, my MT nurse daughter, and I ate our welcoming lunch on the Lido deck of the Statendam Cruise ship which would be our home foe next fourteen days.
(earlier) Auckland, NZ – …

4 January 2015  Uncategorized

Our last four days were filled with sightseeing in and around St. Petersburg which included Peter and Paul Fortress; Peterhof, Peter the Great’s summer residence with 150 fountains and the Hermitage with one of the largest art collections in the world.  A fitting culmination of our Cruise – Tour of …

28 December 2014  Uncategorized

Day 10 – Kizhi  Island in the middle of Lake Onega is not only one of the most ancient sites of habitation in Russia, it also hosts a huge open air architectural museum.  I joined the slower paced walking group to see over 80 wooden monuments from grave markers to …

21 December 2014  Uncategorized

Day 8 -   We continued our Discoveries in the Golden Ring (an arc of cities where magnificent pieces of Russia’s past have been preserved) with a stop at Yaroslavl.
Instead of visiting yet another Cathedral, we were bussed to a Valenki factory which manufactured a variety of felt winter boots.  From …

7 December 2014  Uncategorized
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