A Travellerspoint blog

This blog is published chronologically. Go straight to the most recent post.

Thanksving down time

Home for the Holidays

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With most of the furniture moved out of our home of 35 years, cushions on the floor worked ok for Thanksgiving visiting!

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Posted by Swenigale 04:48 Archived in USA Tagged armchair_travel

New Home

Almost ready

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A work in progress- our new family room takes shape- none too soon, as we have yet to start packing to be away for 4 months!

Posted by Swenigale 05:02 Archived in USA Tagged packing

TRADING NEW ENGLAND COLD FOR FLORIDA COLD

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We had a grand send-off from Bethel on Sunday January 3rd and drove straight down to Disney World to join our kids for our family celebration of Ed’s retirement and our 40th wedding anniversary.

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The weather was cold, but clear for the most part – just in case we were missing the New England cold!

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The best part of the whole week, of course, was being together again – and in Disney World!

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Soren was chosen to be a hero for the Hoop-De-Doo Revue!

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Marika was a Disney princess all week!

We all started off on our separate ways Saturday morning – Ing and Soren back to Missouri, Paul to Washington DC , and Liesl, Mike and Marika to Massachusetts and us? – we continued on to Miami and our final preparations for World Cruise 2010.
There is an itinerary change – Crystal has dropped the Seychelles and Maldives as ports of call for safety reasons – keeping us farther away from the pirates. I know some of you are going to be relieved to hear that.

Posted by Swenigale 07:40

BON VOYAGE

We have and are still having trouble posting entries to Travellerspoint but all is well on the cruise jan 16 2010


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Our “EXPLORATION OF ANCIENT EMPIRES” World Cruise has begun!
The first segment is called “Tropical Rhythms” with 9 sea days and 5 ports.

We embarked on the beautiful Crystal Serenity, setting sail out of chilly Miami at 8pm Monday night. The Bon Voyage Party was spectacular.
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Hästa joins us in his newly refurbished state – gleaming and ready to pose. (Sadly, truth be told, I forgot to bring Hästa on the trip. I know, the blog just won’t be the same.)

Posted by Swenigale 01/16/2010 04:50

BEAUTIFUL ST. LUCIA

A LESSER ANTILLES WINDWARD ISLAND


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The official discovery of St. Lucia was on “St. Lucy’s Day” Dec. 13, 1502 on Columbus’ 4th voyage.
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In the capital city of Castries we congratulated a publicity lady on the grand opening of the new mall – later, our taxi driver told us any construction on St. Lucia is either a hotel or a mall.
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We were out of sight of the landmark Piton, the volcanic cones that seem to rise up out of the sea. We spent a few beautiful hours at Rodney Bay.

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Blowing on his conch shell to announce his “banana boat” floating market, this guy had a unique style!
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Yes, we got too much sun – our pallid New England winter skin set out to cook on some of the most magnificent shoreline in the Caribbean. Tomorrow we go to Barbados, probably not to the beach.
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Posted by Swenigale 01/17/2010 07:51

BARBADOS

ISLAND IN THE SUN


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Barbados lies furthest east from the Lesser Antilles arc – and is just 166 square miles in size. The Bajans lived under British rule for 300 years (independence was gained in 1966 – but the Queen is still Queen!).

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The port city is Bridgetown – and we were not alone.

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During our walkabout in Bridgetown (as we ducked the burning rays of the sun) we wandered through the fish market.

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DHL – they “move the world”. Find Lille Hästa.

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Cheapside Vegetable Market – that’s a section of town, not an adjective!

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A local steel drum band came onboard and Crystal threw a colorful Carnival.

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Large ships can move in marvelous ways.

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Our very best wishes to you all – thanks for stopping by.

Posted by Swenigale 01/17/2010 10:27

DEVIL’S ISLAND

GREEN HELL


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We anchored near Devil’s Island, which is actually the 3 “Islands of Salvation”, located 10 miles off the coast of French Guiana.

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The islands were part of the French prison system for almost 100 years, before closing in 1946. This became one of the most infamous prisons in history as a great many of the 80,000 plus prisoners were never seen again.

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Devil’s Island was the prison of Henri Charriére, known as Papillon (the butterfly), who was supposedly the only convict to ever escape. In the picture is the prison chapel with a familiar greeter at the door.

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Were these Palm Rats a food source?

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As prison cells and other buildings fall into a state of disrepair so does this sad little cemetery for children.

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Lille Hästa in a coconut shell.

Posted by Swenigale 01/20/2010 01:47

PROBLEMS WITH TRAVELLERSPOINT

VERY SLOW CONNECTIONS

Dear Friends and family

Since boarding ship we have had a very difficult time posting our blog on Travellerspoint. It is taking 10 times longer and at $6 an hour we have already used 9 hours of internet time – so it is getting costly.
For the short term we will be posting just one small picture per port with some text and see if anything can be done to improve things with Travellerspoint (our other web connections for email, banking, etc all work just fine).
If you would like an email from us with additional pictures send us an email at voosen@charter.net and we will create a group to which to send our emails.
We are very excited to share this wonderful adventure and we hope we can continue in some way. Of course, you can go to the Crystal website to see the Serenity itinerary and ship’s cameras and position at sea.

Thanks for your patience
Ed & Ruth (M & D)

Posted by Swenigale 01/20/2010 13:58

FORTALEZA, BRAZIL

THE SUN COAST


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The sailors on this Mexican sailing ship were wearing dress whites for their flag raising ceremony – a beautiful sight we happened to view from the stern of the Serenity after our breakfast.

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We took a bus tour of this crowded city of 2 million people. It seemed safer than roaming the streets on our own.

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Cathedrel de Sa with beautiful stained glass windows from France.

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Near the city square is a theater named for the native 19th century novelist and poet – beautiful with its Scottish wrought iron, 3 levels of balconies and wood and cane chairs.

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Fortaleza is known for its production of cashew nuts, for beautiful hand-made lace, and for its beaches. Unfortunately, there is a high level of crime and there are many abandoned and crumbing buildings – and trash. Those things aren’t mention in the travel brochures!

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These little lace booties are coming home with us.

Posted by Swenigale 01/22/2010 07:42

RIO DE JANEIRO

ONE OF THE WORLD’S MOST BEAUTIFUL PORTS

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We sailed in just as the rising sun began to light up the mountains. Wow!

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The 125 foot tall Christ the Redeemer statue on Corcovado Mountain. We were blessed with a clear day to see Rio.

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Here we were at one of the world’s most recognizable sites – and we were captivated by the antics of a couple of Coati among the spotlights.

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The cog railway that brings visitors up the mountain to the statue runs through the 23,000 acre Tijuca Forest.

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On Ipanema Beach there were some fantastic sand sculptures.

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After a meat-filled traditional Churrascaria lunch at a local restaurant we were ready to ride the two cable car systems that would take us to the top of 1300 foot Sugar Loaf Mountain.

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What a great view – the Copacabana beach is on the left. The city has close to two dozen such bays.

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The Serenity remained docked overnight and the next day, in spite of the clouds that had rolled in, we found our way to Copacabana beach. Water is sprayed on the sand in pathways to help you get to the ocean without foot blisters.

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The beaches are the Brazilians’ social gathering places – but there wasn’t much activity mid-day on a Tuesday.

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In days to come we will need to see these pictures –when we can’t believe we really were here on Copacabana Beach!

Posted by Swenigale 09:16

MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY

ONE OF SOUTH AMERICA’S SISTER CITIES

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The island hill in the distance is the symbol of the city. Our morning bus tour was a good way to see Montevideo’s highlights.

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Uruguay’s capital is on the shores of the River Plate – whose mouth on the Atlantic Ocean is 150 miles wide. This beach is riverfront!

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Soldiers in the beautiful Congress building guard the original Constitution.

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A “small” replica of Notre Dame in Paris – situated on a quiet side street in this very European-styled city.

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In the Parque Batlle is the Carreta Statue, dedicated to Uruguay’s pioneers.

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Also a good place to make a sale – sheepskin gloves to bring back to Massachusetts!

Posted by Swenigale 02/01/2010 06:59

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA

“PARIS OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE”


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A city of 11 million people – now South America’s largest, with European-influenced architecture, museums, parks and elaborate monuments. .

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La Recoleta Cemetery in the midst of the city. Eva Peron’s body is entombed here in the Duarte family mausoleum.

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The “Pink Palace” – picture Evita and Juan Peron making their speeches from the balcony. .

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The colorful Boca district, with omnipresent Evita. Tango dancers perform on the streets in this fun and artsy (but quite commercial) community.

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Lille Hästa finds her name (Soren has decided she must be a girl). Oh – and I had my hair cut in Montevideo for $8 – can you tell?

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Talented musicians on the pedestrian street Florida.

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A local company of Gaucho dancers performed before we sailed – all members of one family – see the mom and dad?

Posted by Swenigale 02/02/2010 07:05

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

DAY 1


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After sailing for 8 days from Buenos Aires we have arrived in Cape Town. This map shows the updated itinerary for segment 3 of the World Cruise.

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Cape Town viewed from our ship, with Devil’s Peak, Table Mountain, Signal Hill and Lion’s Head towering above.

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On the afternoon of our arrival we took a bus to Stellenbosch, the oldest South African settlement with its lovely Dutch Cape buildings..

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No live cheetahs in town, but the South African artist Dylan Lewis has many of his sculptures currently being displayed around town.

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Spinning and weaving silk into beautiful creations – all out of our price range!

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The Stellenbosch area is home to many vineyards (and tasty South African wines), many with buildings dating back to the early Dutch settlers.

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A different kind of settlement today – Apartheid is over, but South Africa has a long way to go. Thousands upon thousands in the black population live in places such as this.

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We are docked for two nights and three days in Cape Town –here the sun sets behind Lion’s Head as viewed from our ship.

Posted by Swenigale 02/11/2010 06:18

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

DAY 2


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The Castle of Good Hope-the oldest structure in Cape Town, built between 1666 & 1679

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It’s always a good idea to go to the highest point in any place new to you, right? This revolving cable car whisked us to the top of Table Mountain in 4 minutes flat!

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The mountain top is all preserved land and the views are spectacular- but I think the views are always better with Ed in the picture!

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…or maybe a lizard, even!

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Looking out toward the Cape and the Indian Ocean. So many shipwrecks have occurred here over the past 400 years.

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Peek-a-boo!

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Ed and the South African Rugby team- just kidding!

Posted by Swenigale 02/11/2010 06:51

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

DAY 3

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Our weather has been great (sorry – we do get news, so we know about the weather up there). February is Cape Town’s hottest month of the year. Today we walked into town to do some shopping and wandering about. Ed bought a shirt – “I give you my best price”.

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Football (soccer to us) is really big here and Cape Town is the site of the 2010 World Championship Games. This guy brings his store along with him.

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This is the famous Green Market - and you never know what you are going to see next!

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While mom is busy trying to sell her handiwork, there’s not much for baby to do.

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Cape Town Town Hall.

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South Africa’s 4 Nobel laureates: Luthuli, Tutu, deKlerk and Mandela. February 11, 2010 is the 20th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s release after 27 years of imprisonment.

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Sailboats made way for us in the evening light as we left Table Bay and prepared to sail around the Cape of Good Hope – leaving the Atlantic Ocean and entering the Indian Ocean.

Posted by Swenigale 02/11/2010 06:52

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