Musings about #Cruising

We had a few days cruising and this was enjoyable because you relax, socialise and stay up late. The days passed with breakfast, lectures, reading, gym, dinner and larking about in the bar. You can play games and other occupations too (walking football, cards, table tennis, racing dolphins, dance classes) but we found enough to keep busy.

My review of the cruise is positive because we had a wonderful time and thought cruising around Iceland, quite spectacular. However, I still feel a little young to participate in the cruise culture and if I go on another one, may research other options. It isn鈥檛 so much the age of the people, for me, it is the fact they act old! It is irritating the dancing is ballroom. Most people just want to boogie. There were a couple of exceptions though, and I did visit some pubs in various places. Also, we made friends with our dinner companions and will soon be visiting for their local beer festival, which I am looking forward to.

One evening we sat in the, what was known as the pub, and our dinner companion joined us. We enjoyed a chat and a few drinks and then decided to go up to the Lido lounge. Because it was so late they were playing pop music and not the ghastly ballroom dancing stuff. So I, grabbed the chaps and we all had a dance. Great fun. Then the professional dancers had a dance together. It was hilarious. 馃槀馃槣馃槏Anyway, suffice to say, we were jaded the next day, but it was worth it.

Another occasion arose when some people in the pub asked the piano player to do a set in the Lido Lounge. It wasn鈥檛 me, promise! Presumably, this was to liven things up a bit. It needed it, I can tell you. Anyway, he did and it was amazing. I wasn鈥檛 sure what to expect with a pianist on his own. But with the help of some electronic, sounds, he pulled off a fab rock 鈥榥 roll set. Although slightly embarrassing when the ballroom musicians turned up and saw a roomful of people having a great time on the dance floor. Oops.

It made my holiday because was such a great evening and enormous fun. It really is great to let your hair down, once in a while, isn鈥檛 it? I鈥檝e never been first up on a dance floor so often either. But nobody knows me on this cruise, do they?

Recently, received an email from Fred Olsen about some forthcoming cruises that look good value and are tempting so you never know, one may be off again. Anyway, have some plans for a little more travelling, but by air this time, and staying one place. Can鈥檛 wait.

Thanks for reading, commenting and following. It is very much appreciated.

Have you been away, lately?

Chaps dancing and having fun!

#Isafjordur, #Iceland – I’m still traumatised!

Isafjordur

 

I didn’t publish this earlier because I think I may have wanted to forget about my experience here, but here you are…

Now I booked this after deciding that some adventure was needed during the cruise. I would enjoy the sunny landscape of a beautiful fjord 聽and admire some Icelandic scenery up close. Well, this is how I sold it to myself.

When I sat down for breakfast, little did I realise that I was going to entertain half the dining room by informing them that the delights of that day was going to include fjord kayaking. “Have you been before?” a shocked lady asked. When I told them I hadn’t, and was somewhat concerned about my safety and staying dry, they all screeched with laughter and one kind gentleman said that I could always do the ‘kayak roll’ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLxxI4GDE80), if I fell in. This was not helping although they were friendly and fun, but I was beginning to panic. What was I thinking?

I waved to Pete, our dinner and pub pal, and he helpfully did a mime of sailing along and then falling in. Ha, flipping, ha. Everyone laughed some more. I smiled, through gritted teeth, panic mounting. Nothing is insurmountable, I told myself. It will be fine. No, I didn’t believe me either.

After breakfast, we decided to have a look around聽Isafjordur because the great event, was later during the afternoon. 聽To be honest, there was not a lot in the town, but we wandered around, took some photos of the dramatic fjord and accompanying landscapes including the old town wooden houses with corrugated tin roofs built by fishermen in the 18th and 19th centuries, and the maritime historical pieces and fishing boats.

On the way back, we even visited a large DIY store and joked with other people, from our ship, about the huge barbecues. “It’s hard enough having a BBQ in England so I can’t imagine the weather ever being glorious enough in Iceland.”

Anyway, we met out Kayaking leader and strolled along to the fjord for the great event. My goodness me, what we didn’t have to put on. Trousers (dry suit), coat, life jacket and then the skirt which attaches to the kayak’ Oh, and then we all had to sign a disclaimer. Eventually we climbed in the kayaks, had a safety talk, then were pushed into the water. Oh my goodness, it was even more stressful than I imagined. I was terrified. In fact, I wanted to get straight out again, but “that would interrupt the class” so I said I would carry on. 聽After that panic, it did improve and my husband was quite proficient at steering (from the back). We all kept together and paddled around the surrounding area. Others got behind, but we, probably because of my husband’s efficient paddling and steering, were the front runners, so to speak.

The actual kayaking 聽was about two hours long and we did have quite a good view of the majestic fjord of聽Isafjordur in West Iceland and admired the natural surroundings and savoured the serenity of the area. Yes, it was an unforgettable experience and the best part was being dragged ashore and removing oneself from the kayak knowing one did not get very wet and stayed safe.

So, who can guess what we did next? “I need a drink!” Yes, we went to a local bar a paid a fortune for a pint. It was worth it, I can tell you. Never again.

Oh, and for the remainder of the cruise, I had people coming up to me asking about how I got on with the kayaking. Famous at last or should that be infamous?

 

 

 

100 #Blog Posts

Well, I cannot believe it. I’ve been congratulated on completing 100, yes, 100 posts by WordPress! Thank you for reading my posts, liking and commenting.

Don’t forget I have a Twitter account, Facebook page, Pinterest and Instagram account too (see left). 馃槒馃槈

My favourite posts…

One size does not fit all!

5 reasons why you should take a mini, mini break…

I write because…

Latest declutter – Minimalism

Mini break in Weymouth…Sun, sweary lady and genius chip shop man!

Broadstairs…

and聽Broadstairs (part 2) – Jazz, Art, Cafes, Skeletons, Quirky Pubs and Ab Fab Ladies!

Cambridge (Part 1)

Tenterden Folk Festival (Sat)

Being Social – Improving Twitter

Exercise can be contagious – new study finds..

Margate – Small hotels, posh food, micro pubs and a sunset…

How boosting energy will make you run for you life…

How boosting energy will make you run for your life… Part 2

London – A challenging day out…

I enjoy writing about stuff that interests me and if you can think of any subjects, for me to waffle on about, please do let me know.

Andyx

Last stop – Dublin, Ireland

Bet you can guess where we visited in Dublin. Yes, of course, The Guinness Storehouse located in the heart of St. James’ Brewery and Ireland’s most popular attraction. I’ve been before, but there are some improvements such as the tasting section and the Marketing floor is magnificent. Really loved the Guinness ads. ‘Tock followed Tick.’ However, let’s be honest here, it is a bit Disney with all of the interactive experiences and all. Still, it was a fun way to end the holiday.

We walked around the city and looked at many sites such as the cathedrals, shops, parks, but ultimately it was the end of the cruise and we felt the end of the holiday was fast approaching and quite looking forward to getting back to good old England.

Thank you for reading my blog. Don’t forget to follow. Thank y’all! 馃檪

Reykjavik, Iceland

Thingvellir is a historic site and national park in Iceland, east of Reykjav铆k. The park is in a valley caused by the separation of two tectonic plates, with聽rocky cliffs and fissures like the huge Almannagj谩 fault.

As you can see above, this was a road which collapsed due to the聽separation of two tectonic plates!

It is known to be the site of Iceland’s parliament during the tenth to the eighteenth centuries and is of tremendous geological and historical interest and deemed to be the most important place in Iceland.

From the ‘Law Rock’, the speaker recited the laws and if the laws were broken the execution sites were located close by.

The site is important in geological terms too, and highly significant. It is the continuation of the Mid-Atlantic ridge, where the Eurasian and North American plates are still drifting apart.

After we thoroughly explored the area, we left and took a coach ride to Geyser area, where we admired the hissing springs and geothermal activity. This was astonishing and exciting because the large Strokkur geyser erupts every few minutes.

Strokker Geyser

 

Strokkur is a fountain geyser located in a geothermal area beside the Hv铆t谩 River in Iceland in the southwest part of the country, east of Reykjav铆k.

Here are some photos of other geothermal activity…

After exploring this superb site we went to see the mighty Gullfoss known as the ‘Golden Waterfall’. This is the most stunning and largest waterfall I have ever seen and it was very exciting. The waterfall is located in South Iceland on the聽Hv铆t谩 (White) river which is fed by Iceland麓s second biggest glacier, the Langj枚kull. The water plummets 32 meters down in two stages into a 70 metre canyon. We managed to see the shimmering rainbow over the fall because of the sunny weather.

Gullfoss – The ‘Golden Waterfall’

 

Well, we finally reached the end of our trip to Iceland which was absolutely fabulous and I cannot recommend Iceland enough. Truly magnificent.

Ayureyri, Iceland

Ayureyri, Iceland

 

After sailing for a day, we arrived in Akureyri, reputed to be the nation’s loveliest town. It was about 10pm and we asked the ship’s receptionists if we could leave the ship. They did not know. However, when we went to our cabin we noticed people were leaving/returning to the ship. So we decided to have a quick look at the town and pubs. The time was 11.15pm but broad daylight.

We left the ship and walked over the fjord towards the town. I took many photos because I couldn’t believe how light it was. The first pub was packed full of Icelandic hipsters sipping their beer. So we did likewise. The barman told us about the local beers, we flashed our credit card, and sat down. After enjoying a fine IPA we walked on and visited another packed bar and was cheerfully asked “Would you sit on our seats while we go for a smoke?” We did so, but they didn’t want their seats when they returned and we started chatting about Iceland. They told us Iceland gets dark for about 15 minutes in July, but, in the winter they have three hours of daylight and take vitamin D tablets!

After this little chat, we returned to the boat as we had a trip around the local area. Must say, having sat drinking Cava in the ship pub and then going on this adventure, we were a little jaded the next day.

We visited Namaskard which was an amazing experience. 聽We saw many steaming fumeroles belching out sulphur from the springs below. Mudpots were bubbling away, can reach 100c/212f, and the lighter coloured parts of the surface crust can cave in easily. 聽Sulphur was used here for hundreds of years for the manufacturers of gunpowder. The whole place is a geothermal field and was the highlight of the tour. Quite incredible watching the mud pots, steam vents, sulphur deposits, boiling springs and fumaroles.

 

 

Namaskard

 

After this incredible spectacle, we proceeded to Lake Myvatn, which is a breeding area for ducks and tremendous geological interest and saw聽the craters at Skutustadir. The craters were formed when, during volcanic eruptions, the bogs were heated to extreme temperatures, causing the water in the bogs to turn into steam, and expand, thus causing explosions that pushed volcanic ash aside to leave the pseudo craters.

Continuing on we visited a strange place called Dimmuborgir,

Dimmuborgir

 

or Dark Fortress, Nature Reserve. This is so we could view of magnificent lava landscape and its strange formations including pillars, arches and whatever you wish to see from the shapes of the lava which encouraged Icelandic folklore (trolls).

Then finally, we saw the Godafoss Waterfall – the waterfall of the Gods, which is a beautiful crescent of cascading water.

Godafoss – Waterfall of the Gods

 

A fantastic day viewing natural geological phenomenon that will never be forgotten and I am mighty glad I was able to experience the jewels of the North of Iceland. 聽Highly recommended.

 

 

Faroe Islands – T贸rshavn

Free bus on the island!

 

We thoroughly enjoyed this brief visit to the Faroe islands (we had to be back on ship by 2.30pm) and was beginning to enjoy the light nights too.

When we arrived, we went to the tourist office and asked about the free buses. Yes, you don’t have to pay for their public transport on the Faroe Islands. 聽A group of us then traipsed to the bus stop “around the corner”, to catch the island bus.

As we waited, one lady told me she had been on two, around the world, cruises. One, one way and the other, (you’ve guessed it) the other way. On the second cruise, she knew a lot of the passengers from the first cruise. Can you imagine going on a cruise for three months? I can’t. Two weeks is quite enough. Most of the people on the cruise ship had done about “eight or nine cruises” although I suspect many had done more than that!

The evening before, we sat in the pub bar on the ship having found the Lido (dancing) Lounge too dull. All ballroom/line dancing. We like to bop to pop music and have a laugh. Anyway, a chap who dines with us joined us and we watched the horizon stay light as the night went on. “It’s still light!” was laughingly repeated constantly. We all sat at the bar enjoying the cruising, drinks and company. This was when we really started to enjoy ourselves.

Back to Faroe Islands. We went to catch the bus and did a circuit of the island (FOC) and eventually disembarked in the north of the area at the local cultural centre called the Nordic House that offers theatre, arty exhibitions, dance and music performances in a contemporary space. This was an interesting insight because it exhibited a selection of photos which spanned a year of life on the Faroes.

The Nordic House in the distance

 

After that, we walked towards the town, through a park and just had a wander. We like to do a mix of tours and independent travel when we participate in a cruise. 聽The amount of statues around Torshavn is fascinating and I photographed a few.

T贸rshavn, on Streymoy Island, is the capital city of the Faroe Islands and the smallest capital city in Europe. It also is known for the wooden turf-roofed houses and T贸rshavn Cathedral, rebuilt in the 19th century. Local shops, pubs and restaurants are in around the main shopping strip, Niels Finsens g酶ta.

Torshavn – Harbour

 

Obviously, we found a couple of pubs and enjoyed some local beer then wandered around the harbour. 聽Thoroughly enjoyed T贸rshavn, and our walk but we had to be back on the ship mid afternoon. Hopefully, we will return and stay longer next time.

By the way, when we returned to the ship, we enjoyed a late lunch. Didn’t usually bother with lunch because of the large breakfast but on this day we decided to indulge. Anyway, only had a plate of salad just to keep me going. Two women joined our table and all was well until my husband innocently mentioned the free bus around the island. They had just returned from their rather expensive island tour. Well, they looked furious. “Free bus! Free bus!” The woman spluttered as she was stuffing a huge plate of chips into her mouth. Oops…tumbleweed… for the remained of lunch. Well you can’t get on with every passenger, I suppose. 鈽猴笍

Thank you for reading. Don’t forget to press the follow button. 馃槈