Friday 3 August
A day at sea. A time to relax, read, catch up with washing, attend some lectures and even see whales, dolphins and icebergs of various sizes. Also an opportunity to play some table games for a change.
Sea flat calm this morning which made the day even more enjoyable. On to Greenland where we hope to see some interesting scenery and wildlife.
Thursday 2 August
Our cruise overnight took us over the Arctic Circle before returning South along a 60 km Fjord to Akureyri, the principal town on the Northern side of Iceland with a population of around 18,000. Two free city buses gave us an insight into the variety of houses around the town and we ended up at the local botanical gardens which specialised in Arctic and alpine flora. A stroll downhill back through the shopping centre to the ship, which was dwarfed by a huge MSC cruise ship.
Wednesday 1 August
Today we had a later arrival in Eskifjordur on the East Coast of Iceland. A town, which is not visited by many tourists, and runs along the coastline of a long Fjord. We wandered through the town and climbed up to one of the waterfalls which had plenty of water dropping from the 950 metre mountain behind the town. The afternoon cleared and we enjoyed the changing scenery as we sailed along the Fjord.
The Faroe Islands welcomed us with a light drizzle which really made it difficult for taking photos but we set off to explore the small town of Tórshavn. One of the most interesting sights in town were the grass covered roofs of many of the properties around the picturesque harbour and on the hillsides. We ended up purchasing umbrellas which made it much easier to take photos and made the morning much more enjoyable.s easy.
Monday 30 July
An early morning arrival in the Orkney Islands. We were able to take a three and a half hour tour of the main Island with visits to some of the oldest archaeological sites in the world. Scala Brae was exposed several years ago in a major storm which exposed the site which is estimated to be over 5000 years old, older than the Pyramids, Stonehenge and the Great Wall of China. The home of the person who discovered the site was really interesting as well. Stonehenge and the Great Wall of China. Next we visited an historic stone circle, originally with 64 stones, but with just 27 remaining. Again thought to be around 5000 years old. A beautiful day with many interesting photos.
Sunday 29 July
Awoke to grey skies and rough seas, but fortunately the ship seems quite stable. After a good breakfast we attended a short ecumenical church service which was attended by about 70 people. Then an introduction to some of the places we would be visiting over the next few days. An emergency already, with a helicopter evacuation.....not sure what happened. Carol enjoyed a painting class, which has enthused her to get back into this from now on.
Saturday 28 July
A transfer by car from the Belgrave hotel in London to the International Port at Harwich commenced our adventure into the Arctic. The transfer was somewhat delayed because there was a cycling event on the city with cyclists of all ages taking part in a variety of programs. Our home for the next 21 days is the Marco Polo, a smaller older ship with about 700 passengers, all of advanced years!!! Food good, beds excellent and coooool after the heat we experienced in London. A great show in the evening completed an interesting day.
Friday 27 July
We visited the Buckingham Palace State Rooms, which are magnificent. The Palace is one of a few working places in the world with a working staff of 450, 180 of whom live at the palace. It was a privilege to be able to walk where so many important people from throughout the world have met with the Queen during her 65 year reign.
Following this we visited the Queen’s private gardens which are quite extensive.
Finally we visited the Royal Mews where we were able to see the range of vehicles used by the Royal Family in so many different situations. The Coronation Coach is really impressive.
Thursday 26 July
The group went their various ways visiting a broad range of the many places of interest around London. Most visited the Churchill War Rooms, which provided an insight into the defence of London and how the development of the offensive took place. So much really interesting information.
Wednesday 25 July
Following the visit to Kew Gardens we took the underground to Tower Hill and thence a river cruise to Greenwich, the site of the 0 meridian. We were able to visit the famous Cutty Sark which was the fastest sailing ship at the time, reaching speeds of 30 knots under full sail, carrying tea from India and wool from Australia.
Tuesday 24 July 2018
We took the opportunity to visit Windsor Castle, one of Queen Elizabeth’s homes, and of course the location of the recent wedding of Prince Harry and Megan. We were able to visit St Georges chapel where the wedding was held and actually stood where all the Royals would have been during the ceremony.
Monday 23 July 2018
One of the many escalators in the tube
Sunday 22 July 2018
Today was a visit to London, caught the hop on hop bus which was so slow and some roads were closed due to a bike race next weekend.
Weather was quite warm 29deg. Lunch was in a crypt so interesting.