BC: Oasis of the Seas | Next trip. . . | 2010
FC: British Isles Jewel of the Seas June 2008
1: Jewel of the Seas June 16......Harwich, England June 17....Cherbourg, France June 18.....Falmouth, England June 19..............Cork Ireland June 20...........Dublin, Ireland June 21.....Glasgow, Scotland June 22....................Cruising June 23............Flam, Norway June 24........Alesund, Norway June 25.........Bergen, Norway June 26.....................Cruising June 27.......Harwich, England | All Aboard ! !
2: Cherbourg, France | We were scheduled to dock in Le Havre and go to Paris for the day, but due to a dock strike, we went to Cherbourg, We decided to take a trip to Normandy. Everyone was truly blessed by the opportunity to see where brave young soldiers fought and died for freedom. | Ed and Sandy | Charlotte and Dale | Freddie and Ron
3: THE BEACH AT NORMANDY The hill where so many lost their lives
4: Our driver was great! She couldn't speak English and we couldn't speak French..... but we had a fun trip (and we got back to the ship on time) | Town of Cherbourg
5: Falmouth, England | The weather approaching Falmouth was windy and too rough for using the tenders that were planned to take passengers off the ship (fortunately it didn't effect the ship that much because of the size). We had a cruising day. Fine with us..we were going to London for a few days after the cruise, so we had a relaxing day at sea ! ! !
6: "Girlfriends" | Charlotte and Dale | Freddie, Sandy, Charlotte
7: Formal night....as usual, a great dinner and wonderful entertainment. It's so much fun to get dressed up with someplace to go and good friends to share it with ! ! | Freddie and Ron | Ed, Sandy, Ron, Freddie, Charlotte | Ron, Freddie, Charlotte, Dale
8: Cork, Ireland | Long bus rides do strange things to people ! | A tribute to the rescue workers of "9/11"
9: We took a tour of the Waterford factory, and, of course, stopped at the shop to purchase.... Beautiful ! ! | Imperfections are destroyed...... (we even destroyed some of them)
10: It was fascinating to watch master craftsmen creating.
11: The finished product is amazing ! ! ! | And the winner is....
12: OK - We're off on our own tour, using our crackerjack skills of navigation ! We can do this . .?? | Dublin, Ireland | Dublin is the capital of Ireland. Population is one million.
13: Americans take note ! | Pubs everywhere
14: Christ Church Cathedral | A mini sermon?. | Full view of the Cathedral (This thing is BIG)
15: Ron and Freddie | Sandy "Bull" Harris | What???
16: We're going where? Where are we now? If it's Friday, it must be Dublin. | Everyone here drives on the wrong side of the street !
17: Glasgow, Scotland | The Royal Yacht Britannia served the Queen and Royal family from 1953 - 1997. It is now docked in Edinburgh. With a staff of nearly 300 and 5 tons of luggage, (including special water for the Queen's tea) and a dining room that could seat 96, it is no wonder the Queen felt it was the only place she could relax when traveling. The vessel is 412 feet long and 55 feet wide. | Staff Uniforms | Captain's quarters | Dinner !
18: Crew's sitting room | Laundry room | Captain's dining room and briefing room | Scale model of the Britannia | Flags
19: Sun Room | Formal living room | Queen's bedroom | (Four couples have taken their honeymoon on this yacht...3 marriages ended in divorce! Hm-m-m...)
20: With a dining room that seats 96, the Queen was able to host state dinners on board when she traveled. Today the yacht is available for private receptions. Dinners are cooked aboard ship in the original galley ! | This launch took the Queen to and from shore. She also traveled with her official car. | The Queen would come down this stairway to the formal living room to greet guests.
21: The one hour trip to Edinburgh, allowed us to see the beautiful countryside of Scotland as well as a trip through Glasgow.
23: Formal Night at sea
24: Flam, Norway | Flam is quite small and located at the end of the longest (110 mi) and narrowest (1500 ft) fjord in Norway.
25: Sailing through the fjords was awesome ! ! | Some of the crew had a lifeboat race while the rest of the crew and passengers cheered them on !
26: Alesund, Norway | The Atlantic Sea Park is the "largest aquarium in Northern Europe". We expected something quite spectacular, however, this was basically the extent of it. (no Monterey Bay Aquarium). There were a few small tanks with Sting Rays and a few other fish, and that was the extent of the aquarium experience !! If you have missed this in your travels, no problem ! ! | Alesund, built on three islands, is a picturesque fishing community. It was totally rebuilt in 1904 after a fire completely destroyed the downtown. Alesund was founded in the 9th century and eventually received township status in 1848. Fishing is an important part of the local economy with tourism contributing more and more as visitors flock to the city for its charm and natural beauty.
27: We had to bring out the umbrellas today ! !
28: Alnes Lighthouse ( built in 1876) and attendant's house now houses exhibitions and a small cafe and craft shop
29: Stordal Church or "The Rose Church" is a unique medieval structure with interior rose paintings and fresco decorations
30: There are services here every Sunday
31: Many houses had grass roofs | A stop along the way for a breathtaking view. !
32: Bergen, Norway
34: A beautiful day for walking and exploring this lovely city. Wharf, park, flowers and lovely architecture. | " Does anyone know where we're going?"
35: Did anyone tell this builder about levels? ? They don't appear to have building codes.
36: The sunsets are spectacular in Norway. You have to stay up til 11:30 see them ! ! (or you can get up at 3:30 am to see the sunrise !)
37: Our wait staff entertains us at dinner. Always a fun night !
38: London | June 2008
39: After the cruise, Lainie flew to London to join Freddie, Ron, Charlotte and Dale for a whirlwind visit. We crammed more in to four days than most people do in a week! | As soon as we met Lainie at the airport, we headed for the hotel to get checked in. Then it was off to find a double decker tour bus for an overview of London. Weather was great and so much fun on the top deck of the bus ! ! ! | Big Ben | 6/27/09
40: 6/28/09 | Taking a little break
41: Tower Bridge | Forget fog and rain, the weather was absolutely beautiful while we were in London ! | Abbey Courtyard | London Eye | The Abbey is a working church and has been the nation's Coronation church since 1066. It was founded in 960 as a Benedictine monastery.
42: Tower of London | So much to see. . . So little time. . . | A brief history lesson of the Tower by a Beefeater.
43: A great performance of a medieval play with actors that never got out of character, even when it was over.
44: The Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom are kept in a part of the Tower known as the Jewel House. A sentry is posted outside during the hours the Tower is open.
45: 6/29/09 | The Globe Theater was originally built in 1598. Puritans demolished the theater in 1644. In the 20th Century it was rediscovered and rebuilt near the original spot in the 1990's. Because there was no roof, plays were performed only during the summer months. Today, the annual season runs from April - October. Housed beneath the theater is the world's largest Shakespeare exhibition.
46: The changing of the guard
47: The ceremony takes about 45 minutes. The "old guard" changes with the "new guard" We got there about an hour early to get a good place. Today, both bands played and, of course, lots of English tradition. The "new guard" today is not the usual regiment that serves the Queen, but it made it easier to keep up with what was happening to have them in such different uniforms.
52: Rolls Royce Phantom | Gold State Coach Coronation coach since 1821
53: Irish State Coach | The Queen rides in this coach to the opening of Parliament.
55: We decided to go to services at St. Paul's Cathedral. Afterwards, we had the opportunity to visit with Rev. Lister Tonge, the priest who had shared the sermon. As they were setting up for the next service, he allowed us to see the choir area and the larger alter where royal weddings are performed.
56: After a couple of hours in the "queue", and going through tight security, we were in!! | Wimbledon | We decided to go to Wimbledon and to see if we could get in. It worked!! We watched a match between Baghdatis and Lopez which ended being an upset with Lopez winning.
57: Of course, we took a little time for souvenir shopping and the signature "strawberries and cream" | 7/30/09
58: 7/1/09 | Ready for a busy day in Paris ! ! | We started off on a bus tour of Paris on our way to the Eiffel Tower. Incredible! ! and this is only the start ! ! !
59: We decided to take a day trip on the Eurostar to Paris through the Channel Tunnel (chunnel). The trip takes 2 hours and 15 minutes on a very comfortable train. One day in Paris is never enough, but we crammed more in the day than most people even dream about. We hooked up with a tour guide that got us up in the Eiffel Tower, a Seine River Cruise, Notre Dame Cathedral tour, and a bus tour of the city streets. Whew ! ! ! No wonder we all slept on the train back to London.
60: Eiffel Tower
61: Built in 1887 - 1889 on the Champ de Mars next to the Seine River and named after the builder Gustsav Eiffel, it is the tallest structure in Paris.. It affords a breathtaking view of Paris and the Seine..
62: Cruising on the Seine River
63: We grabbed a sandwich at a local cafe and got on a boat to cruise the river. What a beautiful look at Paris from another angle.
64: Notre Dame Cathedral | Construction began in 1163 and was completed in 1345. The organ has 7800 pipes. The Cathedral has 4 bells with the largest weighing 13 tons. It is truly a magnificent structure ! !
65: Replicas of Notre Dame | Park outside the Cathedral
66: Opera House | Before we left for the train, it was a quick stop at the Palais Garnier. In 1896, one of the counter-weights for the grand chandelier broke, killing one. This, as well as the underground lake, cellars and other elements of the Opera House inspired Gaston Leroux in 1909 to write his classic novel "The Phantom of the Opera". | "Hurry, Freddie - We're going to a little Crepe shop around the corner before we leave! !" (What an absolute blast we had eating crepe's with a local couple) What a day ! !
67: WOW ! ! Awesome, fabulous, fun, breathtaking, magnificent, stunning, mind-blowing, wonderful and beautiful are only a few words that come to mind when I think back on this trip. It doesn't get much better than spending such an amazing time with the best family and friends one could ever dream of. God has blessed us all in more ways than we can count. He shows His love for us every day, and this was a prime example of that love.