A Travellerspoint blog

Adriatic and Aegean Sea Travel

sunny 90 °F

Two more fun days at sea in the books! I am feeling 80% better, but unfortunately Kev is getting a sore throat. He was really pounding the Cold-Eeze while I was sick, but now we’ve run out, so we’re crossing our fingers that it worked and he’ll just get a mini-sickness!!!

We started off yesterday morning by watching the sailaway from Venice. Having a balcony in our cabin is amazing because we could just roll out of bed and see the sights! It was really pretty as we sailed away – you’ll see the tiny tugboat that was steering us, a huge yacht that we passed by (Kev’s dream), and several shots of St. Mark’s Square and Venice itself. Honeymoon_..-24_001.jpgHoneymoon_..-24_004.jpgHoneymoon_..-24_008.jpgHoneymoon_..-24_013.jpgHoneymoon_..-24_017.jpgHoneymoon_..-24_018.jpgHoneymoon_..-24_022.jpgHoneymoon_..-24_024.jpg

Later, we went to breakfast, and then had our mandatory emergency drill, after which we went to read by the pool. It was beautiful weather – warm and sunny! – and quite relaxing. We went to the gym, ate lunch, read some more (I know, this is a REALLY tough life … I bet you feel bad for us!), tried out the casino (this one has minimum of $5 tables but we survived!), then headed to the Piazza, which is the central atrium on the ship. We watched a musical Quartet (by the way, do they look Hungarian? We think these are the Hungarians that our friend from the last cruise was talking about, but we haven’t approached them yet!), and then saw the “Acrobatic Comedians.” They were not funny, as they didn’t even say a word, but they were very acrobatic! The show was short but pretty entertaining! Honeymoon_..-24_029.jpgHoneymoon_..-24_031.jpgHoneymoon_..-24_032.jpgHoneymoon_..-24_035.jpgHoneymoon_..-24_038.jpg

Later that evening, we went to dinner, where we started with the spinach and tortellini soup. This was SO good, but unfortunately I had a MASSIVE coughing attack in the middle of eating it (including 3 trips back and forth to the bathroom), so Kev had them take it away. Right decision, but sad I missed the soup! Haha. We went on to have a Caesar salad (Kev) and house salad (me), but I forgot to take pictures amidst the coughing. Our entrée was grilled filet medallions (Kev), and chicken breast (me), which were both amazing and served with nice grilled vegetables. For dessert, Kev had the flourless chocolate cake and I had honeydew sorbet. Yum! Honeymoon_..-24_041.jpgHoneymoon_..-24_042.jpgHoneymoon_..-24_043.jpg

After dinner, we thought we were going to a production show, but it was actually just a “Welcome Aboard” presentation introducing the staff, so we left. Instead, we hung around listening to some different musical performers and enjoying the night. A wonderful first day on the Ruby Princess!

Today started with an 8am spin class for me (which was made worse by the fact that the ship’s clocks were set an hour ahead last night!), then I met Kev for breakfast. We headed out to the pool to read for a while. I finished my book – “Stumbling on Happiness,” by my old Harvard psychology professor, Dan Gilbert, and I really enjoyed it. It’s not necessarily a “beach read,” but it’s really interesting and not as “academic-boring” as you’d expect a Harvard professor’s book to be. We also spent some time reading on our balcony today, and spotted some mountainous coastline which must be Greece! I took a nap as Kev headed to the gym, then we had a late lunch/snack and headed to the ship’s game show hall for “Jeopardy.” Kev and I played with a woman and her mother, and the four of us were a pretty good team – we ended with $10,000, but the winning team had $12,900. Bummer! We came back to do some laundry (which ended up taking forever as the machines were quite packed! We feel like we’re back in college!) and reading/ hanging out on the balcony some more. Honeymoon_..-24_052.jpgHoneymoon_..-24_059.jpg

Tonight was formal night, and we forgot to take a picture together, but here are some shots of us individually on the balcony. When we headed to dinner, we both started with the chicken dumpling and vegetable soup, followed by Caesar salad (Kev) and house salad (me). Kev decided to take a break from the red meat (which he thinks he’s had about 75% of the days we’ve been traveling) and got the Shrimp Newsome? Newcombe? Something like that – basically it was shrimp grilled in a tomato wine sauce. I got the halibut and swiss chard, which was fantastic. We finished off with chocolate-hazlenut soufflé (Kev) and fruit salad (me). We also got a bottle of wine, which we’re allowed to “store” in the ship’s kitchen so we (meaning me) can have a glass or two each night until we (I) finish it. Very nice service! Honeymoon_..-24_063.jpgHoneymoon_..-24_066.jpgHoneymoon_..-24_070.jpgHoneymoon_..-24_074.jpgHoneymoon_..-24_075.jpgHoneymoon_..-24_076.jpgHoneymoon_..-24_078.jpgHoneymoon_..-24_079.jpg

After dinner we rushed to the Broadway production show, which I enjoyed but Kev did not. There’s this one singer that really bugged him and he couldn’t let it go. I thought the show itself was good, but I have 2 complaints. First, they have this one excellent ballroom dancer that they just chose to feature 90% of the time and make everyone else try to fit into her style, which they clearly were not used to. When I think of ballroom, I don’t automatically think of “Broadway,” so the theme was also a bit forced. My second complaint is that they have amazing dancers and an amazing choreographer, but (s)he must just REALLY like fast choreography, as everything seems really rushed! OK, dance rant over. In general, the show was pretty good.

After the show, we tried to get a seat at the pool deck, where they were showing the World Cup game, but it was packed. We hung around a little more and meandered around the ship, but we’re turning in for the night … Athens tomorrow! We are so excited and will give you a full report!

Posted by megandkev 23:02 Archived in Greece Comments (6)

Hello and goodbye, Venice!

sunny 95 °F

It’s been a whirlwind two days, but we are finally happily on the Ruby Princess, our cruise ship to the Mediterranean. We are so happy to be on this gorgeous ship and ready for more adventures!

Yesterday morning seems like years ago! I slept in and recovered while Kev went for a run in Hyde Park, then we ate brunch and walked around London a bit. I thought I was taking us to Kensington Gardens, but it actually was the Green Park (how original!), which backs right up into Buckingham Palace, which was perfect! We were excited to see it, although we didn’t get to walk up to the guards and poke them or anything  The park was beautiful and very crowded with people picnicking, strolling, etc. Honeymoon_..-22_002.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_006.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_008.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_015.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_026.jpg

After our walk, we took a taxi to the train station, where we took the Gatwick Express to Gatwick. The train was quick and painless, and we got checked in right away. We spent our time in the British Airways Lounge, which was very nice and had plenty of food and drinks. Then we took our plane to Venice, which was uneventful … all the adventure would come shortly!

Our flight was supposed to land at 7:10, giving us plenty of time to get to dinner on the Grand Canal in Venice, but it was about 45 minutes delayed – no problem. In Venice, there are no cars allowed, so the only way to get from the airport to the city center, and anywhere within the city you want to go, is by public water bus or private water taxi (which is very expensive!) We walked up to the water bus stand just as the last one was pulling away, but we bought tickets for the next, which would leave in 30 minutes. It was very hot (~90 degrees) and there were mosquitos EVERYWHERE, so it was not the most pleasant wait, but we stuck it out. However, once the bus pulled up, the driver had some messed up way of allowing people on (by the stop at which you were planning to disembark), and by the time he got to our stop, there were only 2 places left on the boat. We were literally next in line, but another couple squeezed ahead of us at the last minute, so we got left behind, and had to wait another 30 minutes. Kevin was NOT happy, to say the least! He says he is going to write Alilaguna (the water bus “monopolist”) a letter explaining how poor their operations are  (By the way, the 2nd picture here is from later, just trying to show what a water bus looks like). Once we got on the second water bus, it was 90 minutes to our stop (again, it was still hot!) When we got off the boat, we had directions printed out to our hotel, but the streets are poorly labeled and it was hard to find. We were each carrying a carry-on bag, plus 3 suitcases (since we had to split due to weight), and walking up and down bridges, across canals, and through dimly-lit alleys with sketchy Italian men following us was NOT Kev’s idea of a good time. But … we got there!! It was after 11:30 when we got into our hotel room, so we decided to eat some packaged cookies and crackers that we’d picked up in the British Airways Lounge for dinner! Honeymoon_..-22_030.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_118.jpg

I think I kept Kev up half the night coughing, but the good news is that I am finally starting to feel better!! Thanks for all the well-wishes. I got a little extra rest this morning while Kev went to the gym, then we started our whirlwind tour of Venice. In case you don’t know, Venice is one of my FAVORITE cities, so I had high hopes that Kev would like it, too. Let’s just say … it’s not his absolute favorite, BUT I think a lot of that had to do with the weather. Today was HOT (~95 degrees), and Venice’s canals and alleys do not allow breeze – the stagnant air just melts you. So I’m blaming his less-than-stellar reaction on the weather. He DID love a lot of the buildings and architecture we saw, and really enjoyed the activities we did, so I think there’s hope  Let me walk you through the day…

We started by walking to San Marco Square and Basilica. Unfortunately, it was under a good bit of construction, but it was still beautiful to see and so much fun to be there. We didn’t let pigeons land on us this time! We then spent time walking around the city, which is so gorgeous and incredibly unique. It’s so much fun to walk over bridges, through historic alleyways, and over canals. There were TONS of people all over the place, and it was fun to just watch, stop into random cathedrals and shops, and explore. By the way, do you notice my red, white, and blue outfit? It was the best I could put together! Happy 4th! Honeymoon_..-22_038.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_039.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_045.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_047.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_058.jpg Honeymoon_..-22_037.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_066.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_068.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_086.jpg

After walking around, we hopped on a gondola, which was so much fun! It is pretty hard work to row a gondola, and there is a TON of “traffic” in some of the more popular canal passageways, so these guys earn their money! While we were in the gondola, we saw a water ambulance speed by, and it really makes you realize that this city is ENTIRELY a water-based city. Pretty crazy! We had a lot of fun in the gondola and took a lot of pictures but here are a few… Honeymoon_..-22_063.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_124.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_130.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_134.jpg

Because we didn’t get to have dinner by the Canal last night, lunch by the Canal and Rialto Bridge today was an absolute must, and lived up to all of our expectations! We were literally sitting one table away from the Canal, and it was fun to watch all the gondolas breeze by. We had to start with caprese salad, which was incredibly fresh and delicious. Kev got the lasagna, which was much better and more fresh than it looks in this picture, and I got an Italian chicken salad (Mom, I thought of you saying “never eat anything larger than your head,” but I just couldn’t help it!) Lunch was very romantic, delicious, and fun! We spent a while walking around Rialto afterwards. Honeymoon_..-22_089.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_094.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_096.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_098.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_105.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_108.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_109.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_117.jpg Honeymoon_..-22_151.jpg

After lunch, we went on a quick Murano glass tour. The glass they spin right here in Venice is absolutely amazing, and they do it so quickly and seemingly effortlessly! The beautiful creations they make are so much fun to look at, and we really enjoyed seeing so many of them. Honeymoon_..-22_101.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_103.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_104.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_082.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_155.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_156.jpg

I love Venice! Honeymoon_..-22_112.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_140.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_142.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_147.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_157.jpg

By this point, we were both incredibly hot – our clothes were thoroughly soaked, which is not good when you’re wearing a white skirt! We scooted back to our hotel, grabbed our luggage, and made our way back through the alleys to the water bus stand. We had to wait 22 minutes in the uncovered heat for this one, but we easily made it on the first bus, so we called it a raging success! We pulled up to the Ruby Princess (our ship), checked our luggage, and boarded, which was again relatively painless. We were so hot that all we wanted was a shower, so we did just that. Our room, by the way, is AMAZING! Because it is our honeymoon, we got upgraded to a room at the back of the ship with a BALCONY! It is going to be amazing to look out of as we sail through the Mediterranean and leave some of our ports of call. The ship is also incredible! It is set up very similarly to the last one, with some different decorations. We gave ourselves a full tour today and saw as much as we could, but we didn’t take many pictures – we have 11 more days to reveal them to you! We did snap a few of the July 4th decorations they have around here (a lot of the passengers seem to be American, and the age range is definitely more what we’re used to than on the last cruise! I’d say we’re on the young side of average here, because there are several families with kids!) Honeymoon_..-22_161.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_164.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_166.jpg

We couldn’t start a cruise without a huge feast for dinner, so strap yourselves in. We started with Thai coconut chicken chili soup (for me), caprese salad (for Kev – no matter that he’d had it 6 hours before!), and shrimp cocktail to share. Then we had tomato-cucumber gazpacho (Kev), house salad (me), and we each had Chateaubriand for an entrée. Everything was amazing! We’ve decided already that the food on this cruise is better than the last one, even! Wow! We finished up with an unphotogenic fruit salad (me), and chocolate fudge peanut butter pie (Kev). All in all, a delicious dinner! Honeymoon_..-22_175.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_176.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_177.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_178.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_179.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_180.jpg

After dinner, we wandered around a bit more, then headed back to write this monster of a blog post. We want to get a lot of sleep and try to fully recover before officially starting our journey tomorrow! We miss you all and Happy 4th of July!!! Honeymoon_..-22_168.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_171.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_172.jpg

Posted by megandkev 13:39 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

Hello and goodbye, Venice!

sunny 95 °F

It’s been a whirlwind two days, but we are finally happily on the Ruby Princess, our cruise ship to the Mediterranean. We are so happy to be on this gorgeous ship and ready for more adventures!

Yesterday morning seems like years ago! I slept in and recovered while Kev went for a run in Hyde Park, then we ate brunch and walked around London a bit. I thought I was taking us to Kensington Gardens, but it actually was the Green Park (how original!), which backs right up into Buckingham Palace, which was perfect! We were excited to see it, although we didn’t get to walk up to the guards and poke them or anything  The park was beautiful and very crowded with people picnicking, strolling, etc. Honeymoon_..-22_002.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_006.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_008.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_015.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_026.jpg

After our walk, we took a taxi to the train station, where we took the Gatwick Express to Gatwick. The train was quick and painless, and we got checked in right away. We spent our time in the British Airways Lounge, which was very nice and had plenty of food and drinks. Then we took our plane to Venice, which was uneventful … all the adventure would come shortly!

Our flight was supposed to land at 7:10, giving us plenty of time to get to dinner on the Grand Canal in Venice, but it was about 45 minutes delayed – no problem. In Venice, there are no cars allowed, so the only way to get from the airport to the city center, and anywhere within the city you want to go, is by public water bus or private water taxi (which is very expensive!) We walked up to the water bus stand just as the last one was pulling away, but we bought tickets for the next, which would leave in 30 minutes. It was very hot (~90 degrees) and there were mosquitos EVERYWHERE, so it was not the most pleasant wait, but we stuck it out. However, once the bus pulled up, the driver had some messed up way of allowing people on (by the stop at which you were planning to disembark), and by the time he got to our stop, there were only 2 places left on the boat. We were literally next in line, but another couple squeezed ahead of us at the last minute, so we got left behind, and had to wait another 30 minutes. Kevin was NOT happy, to say the least! He says he is going to write Alilaguna (the water bus “monopolist”) a letter explaining how poor their operations are  (By the way, the 2nd picture here is from later, just trying to show what a water bus looks like). Once we got on the second water bus, it was 90 minutes to our stop (again, it was still hot!) When we got off the boat, we had directions printed out to our hotel, but the streets are poorly labeled and it was hard to find. We were each carrying a carry-on bag, plus 3 suitcases (since we had to split due to weight), and walking up and down bridges, across canals, and through dimly-lit alleys with sketchy Italian men following us was NOT Kev’s idea of a good time. But … we got there!! It was after 11:30 when we got into our hotel room, so we decided to eat some packaged cookies and crackers that we’d picked up in the British Airways Lounge for dinner! Honeymoon_..-22_030.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_118.jpg

I think I kept Kev up half the night coughing, but the good news is that I am finally starting to feel better!! Thanks for all the well-wishes. I got a little extra rest this morning while Kev went to the gym, then we started our whirlwind tour of Venice. In case you don’t know, Venice is one of my FAVORITE cities, so I had high hopes that Kev would like it, too. Let’s just say … it’s not his absolute favorite, BUT I think a lot of that had to do with the weather. Today was HOT (~95 degrees), and Venice’s canals and alleys do not allow breeze – the stagnant air just melts you. So I’m blaming his less-than-stellar reaction on the weather. He DID love a lot of the buildings and architecture we saw, and really enjoyed the activities we did, so I think there’s hope  Let me walk you through the day…

We started by walking to San Marco Square and Basilica. Unfortunately, it was under a good bit of construction, but it was still beautiful to see and so much fun to be there. We didn’t let pigeons land on us this time! We then spent time walking around the city, which is so gorgeous and incredibly unique. It’s so much fun to walk over bridges, through historic alleyways, and over canals. There were TONS of people all over the place, and it was fun to just watch, stop into random cathedrals and shops, and explore. By the way, do you notice my red, white, and blue outfit? It was the best I could put together! Happy 4th! Honeymoon_..-22_038.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_039.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_045.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_047.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_058.jpg Honeymoon_..-22_037.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_066.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_068.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_086.jpg

After walking around, we hopped on a gondola, which was so much fun! It is pretty hard work to row a gondola, and there is a TON of “traffic” in some of the more popular canal passageways, so these guys earn their money! While we were in the gondola, we saw a water ambulance speed by, and it really makes you realize that this city is ENTIRELY a water-based city. Pretty crazy! We had a lot of fun in the gondola and took a lot of pictures but here are a few… Honeymoon_..-22_063.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_124.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_130.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_134.jpg

Because we didn’t get to have dinner by the Canal last night, lunch by the Canal and Rialto Bridge today was an absolute must, and lived up to all of our expectations! We were literally sitting one table away from the Canal, and it was fun to watch all the gondolas breeze by. We had to start with caprese salad, which was incredibly fresh and delicious. Kev got the lasagna, which was much better and more fresh than it looks in this picture, and I got an Italian chicken salad (Mom, I thought of you saying “never eat anything larger than your head,” but I just couldn’t help it!) Lunch was very romantic, delicious, and fun! We spent a while walking around Rialto afterwards. Honeymoon_..-22_089.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_094.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_096.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_098.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_105.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_108.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_109.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_117.jpg Honeymoon_..-22_151.jpg

After lunch, we went on a quick Murano glass tour. The glass they spin right here in Venice is absolutely amazing, and they do it so quickly and seemingly effortlessly! The beautiful creations they make are so much fun to look at, and we really enjoyed seeing so many of them. Honeymoon_..-22_101.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_103.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_104.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_082.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_155.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_156.jpg

I love Venice! Honeymoon_..-22_112.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_140.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_142.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_147.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_157.jpg

By this point, we were both incredibly hot – our clothes were thoroughly soaked, which is not good when you’re wearing a white skirt! We scooted back to our hotel, grabbed our luggage, and made our way back through the alleys to the water bus stand. We had to wait 22 minutes in the uncovered heat for this one, but we easily made it on the first bus, so we called it a raging success! We pulled up to the Ruby Princess (our ship), checked our luggage, and boarded, which was again relatively painless. We were so hot that all we wanted was a shower, so we did just that. Our room, by the way, is AMAZING! Because it is our honeymoon, we got upgraded to a room at the back of the ship with a BALCONY! It is going to be amazing to look out of as we sail through the Mediterranean and leave some of our ports of call. The ship is also incredible! It is set up very similarly to the last one, with some different decorations. We gave ourselves a full tour today and saw as much as we could, but we didn’t take many pictures – we have 11 more days to reveal them to you! We did snap a few of the July 4th decorations they have around here (a lot of the passengers seem to be American, and the age range is definitely more what we’re used to than on the last cruise! I’d say we’re on the young side of average here, because there are several families with kids!) Honeymoon_..-22_161.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_164.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_166.jpg

We couldn’t start a cruise without a huge feast for dinner, so strap yourselves in. We started with Thai coconut chicken chili soup (for me), caprese salad (for Kev – no matter that he’d had it 6 hours before!), and shrimp cocktail to share. Then we had tomato-cucumber gazpacho (Kev), house salad (me), and we each had Chateaubriand for an entrée. Everything was amazing! We’ve decided already that the food on this cruise is better than the last one, even! Wow! We finished up with an unphotogenic fruit salad (me), and chocolate fudge peanut butter pie (Kev). All in all, a delicious dinner! Honeymoon_..-22_175.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_176.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_177.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_178.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_179.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_180.jpg

After dinner, we wandered around a bit more, then headed back to write this monster of a blog post. We want to get a lot of sleep and try to fully recover before officially starting our journey tomorrow! We miss you all and Happy 4th of July!!! Honeymoon_..-22_168.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_171.jpgHoneymoon_..-22_172.jpg

Posted by megandkev 13:39 Archived in Italy Comments (1)

Apparently, fun follows us!

sunny 85 °F

Just a brief update before heading to bed. We are in London, leaving for Venice tomorrow. This morning, we woke up, ate breakfast, finished packing up, and left the ship. We were sad to leave but excited for the next step! We were very impressed by P&O's disembarkation process - it was much smoother and quicker than other cruises we've been on. We got in a cab to the bus station, where we had to wait a few hours before the bus we had reserved. The bus took us from Southampton to London in 2.5 hours - it was easy, and relatively painless (besides being hot! London is getting a heat wave and their AC's are not equipped to handle it!) From the London bus station, we got a taxi to our hotel, the Park Lane Hotel. We had to wait about an hour and a half before our room was ready. Usually, this wouldn't be a big deal, but as I've mentioned, I've really not been feeling well. My sickness was multiplied by about 50,000 this morning, and I woke up feeling miserable, so by the time we got to the hotel, I really just wanted to lay down. C'est la vie! We went to grab a small lunch instead.

Once we did get in the hotel room, we rested, read, watched the World Cup and Wimbledon, and basically wasted the afternoon! In the midst of that, we got a phone call from the Platinum Membership desk (I am a Platinum member of Starwood due to traveling for work), and they apologized for the delay and not being able to upgrade our room. They were having a special event tonight, though, and offered us tickets as "consolation." With not feeling well, I thought we'd probably pass, but we took the tickets anyway. It turns out, it was a Pink concert in Hyde Park (the "Central Park" of London)! Wow! We decided we'd give it a shot. We called Kev's parents first - they are staying at our apartment for the 4th of July - and they had good news and bad news. Good news - our apartment is still there and in good condition :) Bad news - our fish of almost 2 years, Zeus, has gone to fishy heaven :( I have to say this was expected since we'd be gone so long, but he had survived up to 13 days (including 11 days for our wedding) without being fed, so we figured he'd have a shot. Again, c'est la vie.

Anyway, we decided to walk around Hyde Park first. It was very nice and there were TONS of people there! It took us about 30 minutes to walk around it, I think. Honeymoon_Day_20_001.jpg

When we went into the concert, we were blown away - this was a BIG deal! Well upwards of 50,000 people (Kev thinks 100,000) were in attendance. There was a private tent set up for the Starwood guests (probably ~30 people) with a bar, appetizers, free goodies, etc. As we weren't really in "party mode" we didn't stay there too long, but it was nice to meet a few people, have some appetizers, and feel special :) Honeymoon_Day_20_003.jpg

Then we saw Pink! Again, the venue was enormous and there were so many people there - we were towards the back since we knew we'd leave early. Right around the time the show was supposed to start, I noticed a huge crane, carrying a multi-colored box with balloons on it, and asked Kev what it was. He said "I bet Pink's in there!" and he was right! Soon after, she popped out and went flying down onto stage - it was crazy!!! The concert was good, but we didn't stay for the whole thing as we were hungry, tired, and not feeling great. Regardless of that, how crazy is it that, on the ONE night of our honeymoon where we decide to really lay low and not do ANYTHING at all, we end up in a VIP suite at a Pink concert in London? This honeymoon is full of surprises! Honeymoon_Day_20_006.jpgHoneymoon_Day_20_007.jpgHoneymoon_Day_20_015.jpg
(Warning ... sick-looking person ahead! Dim your screens :) Honeymoon_Day_20_010.jpg

After the concert, we walked back and spent forever trying to find a take out place for dinner. It was about 9:15, which we realize is late, but it's a Friday night so we expected to have several options - wrong! Eventually we just went into a grocery store and picked up a random smattering of things, ate while watching the World Cup, and are headed to bed. Tomorrow, we head to Gatwick, fly to Venice, and spend 1.5 days there before our cruise leaves! Hope everyone's doing well and have a great weekend!

Posted by megandkev 14:47 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (3)

See you later, Norway!

rain 55 °F

As I sit here and write this, we’ve just finished up our last night on the Norway cruise … we can’t believe it has gone so fast and we’ve had a blast! We really enjoyed Norway and hope to come back again one day. Last night, I was too tired to write, so tonight I’ll give you a recap of the past 2 days.

Yesterday morning after breakfast, we were set to hike Mount Floien, a fjord in Bergen. Unfortunately, the day was very foggy, with some scattered showers, so we knew the view from the top wouldn’t be as spectacular as we were hoping, but we decided to give it a go anyway. We were glad we did – it was a lot of fun! Honeymoon_..-19_024.jpgHoneymoon_..-19_032.jpg

We took a bus from the ship to the city center, where we caught the funicular – this cool trolley-like thing that takes you halfway up the mountain. You can see the tunnel of the funicular here, as well as the view from it (raindrops and balding man’s head included). From there, our group hiked several paths on the mountain, eventually making it to the top. The hike itself was pretty – very lush and tree-lined, with nice, wide paths and several lakes along the way. Honeymoon_..-19_002.jpgHoneymoon_..-19_004.jpgHoneymoon_..-19_028.jpgHoneymoon_..-19_030.jpgHoneymoon_..-19_049.jpgHoneymoon_..-19_059.jpgHoneymoon_..-19_035.jpgHoneymoon_..-19_041.jpgHoneymoon_..-19_074.jpgHoneymoon_..-19_088.jpg

One pretty hilarious thing was that our guides had NO idea where we were going! It was their first time guiding a tour group on this mountain, so they kept pausing to look at signs and maps. They even had us hiking up a “waterfall” (more like a river on a hill, but waterfall sounds cooler!) at one point! It was pretty funny, because we didn’t mind taking the circuitous route as we were enjoying the views, and we knew that the ship wouldn’t leave without us (since we booked the tour through the ship). You can see them looking at signs and maps a few times here. Honeymoon_..-19_082.jpgHoneymoon_..-19_085.jpgHoneymoon_..-19_108.jpgHoneymoon_..-19_110.jpgHoneymoon_..-19_111.jpg

From the top of the mountain, the fog was still quite heavy, and you really couldn’t see anything, but once we got back down to the halfway point we had a great view of Bergen! The hike took about 3 hours and was a blast. Honeymoon_..-19_118.jpgHoneymoon_..-19_122.jpgHoneymoon_..-19_125.jpgHoneymoon_..-19_113.jpg

Once we got back to the ship, Kev went to the gym and I took a nap – I really wasn’t feeling that great after being in cold, wet weather all morning – I can’t seem to shake this head cold! After that we looked at the dinner menu for the main restaurant, and were really not impressed (we saw “egg mayonnaise” and “breast of pigeon” on there, to name a few), so we decided to hit up the Italian restaurant instead. We are so glad we did – it was awesome! We started with minestrone soup (me), tomato and mozzarella and bruschetta (Kev), and then had tuna (me) and lasagna (Kev). The lasagna was basically a big bowl of meat with a couple of noodles, so it was very filling, but we still had room for some chocolate cake with cream (Kev) and strawberry gelato (me). Yum! Throughout the night, we also went to several bars and lounges around the ship, just trying to soak up all the entertainment and fun on our second to last night! Honeymoon_..-19_148.jpgHoneymoon_..-19_151.jpgHoneymoon_..-19_157.jpgHoneymoon_..-19_158.jpgHoneymoon_..-19_159.jpgHoneymoon_..-19_160.jpgHoneymoon_..-19_161.jpgHoneymoon_..-19_156.jpg

Ama, as we were watching the sailaway, we saw this lighthouse and I thought of you, so I had to include it here! Honeymoon_..-19_149.jpg

This morning, I had my 3rd and last spinning class on the ship, then joined Kev for breakfast. We sat in a lounge area and read (two side notes here … first, the initial lounge we tried to go to was having a seminar on “Arthritis: Conditions and Treatments,” which we thought was pretty hilarious and really gives you an idea for the crowd here! Second, I read like a madwoman today, trying to finish up my cruise library book. I had just finished “What is the What” yesterday, and it is an amazing, historically-accurate book about the Lost Boys of Sudan, and now I have 60 pages of “Body Surfing” by Anita Shreve to finish up by tomorrow!) Somewhere in the midst of reading, Kev went to work out, then we relaxed a bit more throughout the afternoon, eating pizza, doing laundry, packing up, and enjoying our last afternoon here.

Tonight, we headed to our last dinner on the ship, and it didn’t disappoint. We each ordered the “avocado and pear salad,” which was actually a TON of avocadoes and a few raspberries, then we had roasted red pepper soup (Kev) and green lentil soup (me). Kev had grilled sirloin steak and I had lemon sole, and we finished off with Strawberries Romanov (me) and vanilla ice cream (Kev). We were wondering earlier how much weight a person could possibly gain on this 7-day cruise, and we figured 7 pounds was about right. Sometimes it seems like all we do is hop from buffet to buffet, but we’re not complaining! (And while we personally haven’t gained 7 pounds on this cruise, I definitely wouldn’t rule it out for the whole trip!). Honeymoon_..-19_162.jpgHoneymoon_..-19_163.jpgHoneymoon_..-19_164.jpgHoneymoon_..-19_165.jpg

We spent the evening hopping between various spots on the ship again, just enjoying it all. We saw a great show called “Reel to Reel,” which took some of the most popular soundtracks from British cinema and performed them through dance and song. It was great – these people are really talented. Also, one of our favorite P&O employees is from Hungary, and happens to know a fellow Hungarian that is an employee on our next cruise, even though it’s a different cruise line. Tonight, he hand wrote a note introducing us, saying we’re honeymooners, and asking the new employee to treat us well. Isn’t that so nice? The staff here has been great.

Tomorrow, we will get off the ship, and somehow transport ourselves from Southampton to London, where we’ll stay tomorrow night before flying to Venice on Saturday. Of course, we’re sad to leave Norway and this cruise ship behind, but it’s hard to complain when you have such amazing things ahead!

Posted by megandkev 15:42 Archived in Norway Comments (2)

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