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ellie1145

Come sail with me on a virtual cruise on Majestic Princess to Fiji!

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An hour later and it’s time to eat. We have been offered drinks already (and those unusual snacks, peas and crackers) and the Singapore Girls serve us our hot meal. 

 

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There is a small salad, which neither of us eat.

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Then it’s chicken with potatoes, peas and carrots for me.....

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and fish with rice for my DH.

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This is followed by a mini choc ice.

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It is a pleasant meal, and one of the better inflight offerings we have experienced over the years. 

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Our route

 

We will be flying across India, then a corner of Pakistan, before traversing Iran, close to Tehran, crossing the Black Sea and flying over Europe to London. 

 

It is 3.12 pm in Singapore, and 7.12 am in London. 

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We have 5573 miles to go and nearly 11 hours flight time. We are flying at 32,000 ft at an airspeed of 574 mph.

 

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I scan the movies and decide to watch Kursk. It’s an amazing film, which charts the demise of a Russian nuclear powered submarine.

 

Following an explosion onboard which kills the majority of its crew, it shows the extraordinary struggle of the surviving sailors as they huddle in a waterlogged compartment. It stars one of my favourite actors, Colin Firth, as a British naval commodore, who offers help to the Russian authorities but is refused permission until it is too late to save the submariners.

 

I enjoy the movie, although it is quite harrowing, but it passes the time. Singapore Airlines certainly offers a great choice of movies and brilliant screens. 

 

We have crossed India, passing close to Mumbai, and are now flying across the Arabian Sea. Gwadar is a port city on the coast of Pakistan, opposite Oman. 

 

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Out of the window I can see some amazing terrain. Having studied Geography in a pre-internet era, we had to learn about physical geography from the pages of a book, plus an occasional black and white film on a grainy screen.

 

Seeing the physical characteristics of the world from the air blows my mind. I cannot believe that on my many flights I have flown over mountains, seen glaciers and deserts, meandering rivers, icebergs and ice floes, atolls, islands and snow covered plateaus. How much easier would geography have been if only I could have seen the real thing? I watch in fascination at the mountainous terrain below us. 0AB1A566-DDA5-4AFF-B0D8-9FA8580EFCAA.thumb.jpeg.c1ea4cde04576c9d4a243972915d6c36.jpeg

 

 

Edited by ellie1145

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My dream is to fly Singapore Air in first class.  Yep, I know that's all it will ever be.  Your dinner looked like a first class dinner on many airlines!

I would so love to meet you Ellie and if our Southampton cruise on Silhouette goes in Aug and the second one in Sept, we should arrange to do that.  If you ever cruise from Vancouver we would love to show you around.

You have made a lot of people very happy reading your cruise blog and pretending to be on there with you as we sit at home in this terrible COVID famine.

Do you have any plans for future cruises or are you too wise to book now when you don't know if the sailing will materialize?

Anyway, thank you, thank you., thank you for entertaining me with all your lovely pictures and delightful descriptions.  BTW.  I wish you had taken the Night Safari in Singapore.  It is delightful.  I do so love Singapore and I thought I had booked us one way tickets with points to join the Pacific Princess when I got an email saying one of the flights was not cooperating.  So we sit.  I haven't bothered with anything else as I'm a little skeptical that the sailing will even happen.

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Hi Ellie

I am so glad we had time for the zoo before heading to the flight. That was a perfect way to spend time before the long sit from Singapore to London.  If you haven't done the Night Safari, you might want to consider it for next time you are in Singapore. It might be some time before we travel again, but this virtual adventure with you has been a great escape from the humdrum reality of the pandemic. Next time we go to Singapore, I might have to check into the Crown Plaza for a couple of days to explore all the airport has to offer before boarding a ship.

Now where are we spending the night in London before you head home?

 

Gail

 

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18 hours ago, TeaBag said:

My dream is to fly Singapore Air in first class.  Yep, I know that's all it will ever be.  Your dinner looked like a first class dinner on many airlines!

I would so love to meet you Ellie and if our Southampton cruise on Silhouette goes in Aug and the second one in Sept, we should arrange to do that.  If you ever cruise from Vancouver we would love to show you around.

You have made a lot of people very happy reading your cruise blog and pretending to be on there with you as we sit at home in this terrible COVID famine.

Do you have any plans for future cruises or are you too wise to book now when you don't know if the sailing will materialize?

Anyway, thank you, thank you., thank you for entertaining me with all your lovely pictures and delightful descriptions.  BTW.  I wish you had taken the Night Safari in Singapore.  It is delightful.  I do so love Singapore and I thought I had booked us one way tickets with points to join the Pacific Princess when I got an email saying one of the flights was not cooperating.  So we sit.  I haven't bothered with anything else as I'm a little skeptical that the sailing will even happen.

 

Wow, Teabag, that is one heck of a dream! You hang onto it! For now, all we have are dreams and memories. But it’s good to dream, even if you never get to travel in one of Singapore Airline’s First Class Suites. 

 

I’d love to meet you. We live pretty close to Southampton, and I have everything crossed for your August and September cruises. It would be great to meet one of my Cruising Adventurers!  Silhouette is a lovely ship. Maybe one day we might even get to Vancouver!

 

I’m so pleased this cruise blog has made many people happy. It certainly made me happy to be able to re-live it, and to describe it to others. It’s been such fun having so many people onboard ‘virtually’ and I am thrilled that so many people got into the spirit of it all. 

 

We have not booked any more cruises, not because we don’t want to, but because we simply can’t take the risk yet. We do have a transatlantic cruise booked on Harmony of the Seas in late October 2021, which we booked in January 2020, when we were onboard Allure of the Seas. Things still seem to be so uncertain, especially with flights etc. that we are just holding off for the time being. But I can assure you that when it is safe to do so we will be back on a ship in a heartbeat.  🚢

 

The Night Safari is definitely on our bucket list for when we return to Singapore. It sounds brilliant. Can you tell us a little more about what it was like? There is also a lot more to explore on Sentosa Island. So fingers crossed for both of us.

 

It is a bit of a waiting game, which is really frustrating, but I hope that you get an update soon on your Pacific Princess cruise. 

 

But for now, it’s back to the flight and our sad journey homeward. But what fun we’ve had!

 

 

 

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56 minutes ago, cnd crsr said:

Hi Ellie

I am so glad we had time for the zoo before heading to the flight. That was a perfect way to spend time before the long sit from Singapore to London.  If you haven't done the Night Safari, you might want to consider it for next time you are in Singapore. It might be some time before we travel again, but this virtual adventure with you has been a great escape from the humdrum reality of the pandemic. Next time we go to Singapore, I might have to check into the Crown Plaza for a couple of days to explore all the airport has to offer before boarding a ship.

Now where are we spending the night in London before you head home?

 

Gail

 

 

Glad to hear you enjoyed the zoo, Gail. We will certainly be heading to the Night Safari when/if we are able to return to Singapore. I can’t wait!

 

It’s been such a pleasure to share this virtual journey with you all.

 

We will be staying at a hotel near Heathrow, but close to my son’s apartment. Nothing like the Crowne Plaza at Changi, sadly. That takes some beating for an airport hotel. I think you would not be disappointed if you stayed a couple of nights there. 

 

(Now I wonder if anyone would like a quick trip in the Tardis to the Jurong Bird Park? Just to pass the time on this long flight... or are you all desperate to get back home?😉 🤣

 

 

 

 

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The Martian Mountains. 

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We are flying high above Sistan and Baluchestan Province, which is the second largest province of Iran.

 

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The Martian (Merrikhi) Mountains are a tourist attraction, and the wavy formations look similar to the landscape of Mars. What looks like a dry riverbed can be seen.

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There are huge huge jagged rocks, and it’s an extraordinarily beautiful sight to see these mountain ranges, which were shaped by the erosion of wind and rain.

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They are surprisingly arid, and devoid of vegetation. 

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We are virtually half-way, having flown 3,490 miles, with 3505 miles to go. 

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It’s kind of spooky to see names such as Mosul, Baghdad, and Tehran on the map, names so familiar from the days of Saddam Hussein. 

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The mountain ranges and valleys give way to a flatter landscape.

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Edited by ellie1145

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Kerman Province, Iran

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The city of Kerman is the 10th most populous city of Iran. It is situated on a large, flat plain, as we can see out of the window.

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It is 500 miles southeast of Tehran, the capital of Iran.

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It can be extraordinarily cold in the winter, and some mountains have snow all year round. It is hot in summer and cold in winter, with little rainfall.

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Fossils abound in this region, and copper mining is important. However, its biggest claim to fame is that it is the largest producer of pistachios in the world.  

 

Now if, in Trivia, you get asked where is the largest producer of pistachios in the world you may be the only team to get a point! I’m a mine of useless information....🥴

 

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A big YES to Jurong Bird Park Tardis, because this just can't be ending!  Thank you so much for the fun!  

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Ellie, I only discovered your wonderful blog yesterday when I decided to take a look at Cruise Critic after being away from it for quite awhile.  We are in our 11th week of total lockdown here in Melbourne, so your blog is a godsend for someone who is running out of ideas on how to fill in the day besides cooking and reading many books!   

Your writing is fantastic and your photos are incredible. I do feel I am with you on your fabulous journey down to our part of the world. So far I am only up to page 6, so I have a long way to go!

We always fly with Singapore airlines when we leave Australia and they are an excellent airline. Over the years we have flown Economy many times, then Premium Economy and now we have moved to Business which makes flying so much more enjoyable. 

We have been visiting Singapore since 1978 and have seen it develop into the modern city it is today. When we first visited with our small children, we were taken to the Raffles Hotel for a folkloric show.  The hotel then was quite rundown though you could see it had once been fabulous and outside its front door was the sea.  Now of course, the land in front goes for miles before it hits the water, such is the incredible land reclamation that started in Singapore in the 80's.  I think we have visited Singapore at least 36 times over the years and it has always been the safest place to visit. 

The hotels there are magnificent, our favourite being the Mandarin Oriental though we often stay at the Crowne Plaza at the airport as it is so convenient when flying. 

I am looking forward to the next part of your blog when you get to Sydney and then on to the ship, visiting the lovely South Pacific Islands where we have been so often. 

Thanks for helping to make our severe lockdown so enjoyable.  We have another 3 weeks to go before we can perhaps visit a hairdresser - you can imagine what we all look like after 3 months - a nail salon, a normal retail shop other than a supermarket, post office or bank, and perhaps to have a coffee sitting down outside instead of buying a take-away!  Hopefully before Christmas, we will be nearly back to normal though we have been told masks will be compulsory for a long time.

Jennie

 

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19 hours ago, ROWSE said:

A big YES to Jurong Bird Park Tardis, because this just can't be ending!  Thank you so much for the fun!  


Ok, I’ll see what I can do.🤣

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18 hours ago, ringers0815 said:

Thank you for a great adventure!


You are most welcome. Thank you for sailing along with us. 😊

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17 hours ago, Aussie Gal said:

Ellie, I only discovered your wonderful blog yesterday when I decided to take a look at Cruise Critic after being away from it for quite awhile.  We are in our 11th week of total lockdown here in Melbourne, so your blog is a godsend for someone who is running out of ideas on how to fill in the day besides cooking and reading many books!   

Your writing is fantastic and your photos are incredible. I do feel I am with you on your fabulous journey down to our part of the world. So far I am only up to page 6, so I have a long way to go!

We always fly with Singapore airlines when we leave Australia and they are an excellent airline. Over the years we have flown Economy many times, then Premium Economy and now we have moved to Business which makes flying so much more enjoyable. 

We have been visiting Singapore since 1978 and have seen it develop into the modern city it is today. When we first visited with our small children, we were taken to the Raffles Hotel for a folkloric show.  The hotel then was quite rundown though you could see it had once been fabulous and outside its front door was the sea.  Now of course, the land in front goes for miles before it hits the water, such is the incredible land reclamation that started in Singapore in the 80's.  I think we have visited Singapore at least 36 times over the years and it has always been the safest place to visit. 

The hotels there are magnificent, our favourite being the Mandarin Oriental though we often stay at the Crowne Plaza at the airport as it is so convenient when flying. 

I am looking forward to the next part of your blog when you get to Sydney and then on to the ship, visiting the lovely South Pacific Islands where we have been so often. 

Thanks for helping to make our severe lockdown so enjoyable.  We have another 3 weeks to go before we can perhaps visit a hairdresser - you can imagine what we all look like after 3 months - a nail salon, a normal retail shop other than a supermarket, post office or bank, and perhaps to have a coffee sitting down outside instead of buying a take-away!  Hopefully before Christmas, we will be nearly back to normal though we have been told masks will be compulsory for a long time.

Jennie

 


Welcome to the blog, Jennie. Lovely to have you onboard. I’m delighted that you are enjoying it so far. 
 

How amazing to have watched Singapore grow over the years. I cannot imagine what Raffles was like when it was on the seashore. Having afternoon tea at Raffles was certainly one of the highlights of our visit. What a fantastic place Singapore is, for such a small country they have achieved so much. Each time we visit there seems to be even more development. But they have suffered greatly from the effects of Covid as they relied so much on the tourist economy. Life must be pretty tough at the moment. 

 

I’m sorry to hear that you are still experiencing all the trials and tribulations of lockdown. It can be very depressing, so I’m glad our little adventure is offering you an escape from the humdrum of life during Covid. We seem to be going into a second wave, so life here in the UK is very uncertain. But doing this blog has certainly kept me going, and filled my days. 

 

Hope things continue to get better for you. We loved our time in Sydney, it’s a wonderful city, and we met so many fantastic Australian people on the ship, who seem to love their country. 

 

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Yazd

 

We have been airborne for over 7 and a half hours and have covered a distance of 4,211 miles, with 2,790 miles to go. It is a VERY long flight! 

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We fly further across Iran, close to the city of Yazd, which is surrounded by desert and is the 15th largest city. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and very historic. 

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It is the driest major city in Iran with just 1.9 inches of rain per year! In summer it is often blisteringly hot with temperatures reaching over 104 F, 40 C. 

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Now here’s another useless piece of information - it is apparently one of three cities with the lowest divorce rate in Iran. 🤣

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We are flying at an altitude of 34,000 ft, at an airspeed of 559 mph. Outside, the air temperature is a staggering -56.2 F, so I will have to postpone my wing walk...

We have headwinds of 119 mph.

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The landscape below us is extraordinary, like flying over the moon, and the sky is a crystal clear azure blue. I am guessing that there is very little pollution here. 

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Edited by ellie1145

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Tehran

 

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Tehran is, of course, the capital city of Iran, with a population of nearly 9 million in the city, and 15 million in the metropolitan area.

 

We see it stretched out below us, with buildings and what appear to be fields surrounding the urban areas. 

 

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The terrain becomes more mountainous and settlements are clearly visible, stretching out along the valleys. 

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Leaving Tehran behind the mountains are capped with snow. 

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Edited by ellie1145

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Time to eat - Eureka!

 

There is a flurry of activity by the staff and a second hot meal arrives. At least it will pass the time. It certainly is a marathon, and we are grateful that we have a spare seat between us. 

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There is a salad, and a roll as well as a dessert and an entree. 

 

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DH and I choose the fish which is accompanied by green beans, carrots and potatoes. It is as surprisingly delicious and much better than most airline offerings. 

 

There is a little sponge cake to follow. 

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We pass over the snow capped mountains of Armenia.

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We cross the border with Armenia, into eastern Turkey, flying over the Akyaka region. The mountains are covered in snow.

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Edited by ellie1145

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The meal cleared away it’s time to watch another movie, but I can’t resist looking out of the window.  We have been in the air for nearly nine and a half hours, with 4 hours to go. 

 

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We are flying at an altitude of 36,000 ft, and the temperature outside is a chilly -72.4 F. ‘We have 1993 miles still to go.

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We fly over snowy landscapes as we pass over Arpaçay, Susuz and Olur in Turkey. 

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We have been flying west for hours, going backwards in time, but it is getting dark outside, so there is nothing more to see. 

 

Perhaps it’s time to get into my Tardis? Luckily I have packed it in my hand luggage.....

 

Edited by ellie1145

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1 hour ago, ellie1145 said:

Where’s azbirdmom?

I hope she’s ok as we haven’t seen her for a while.🙀

 

Is azbirdmom the one sleeping 2 aisles behind? I"m sure she will want to join us for the Tardis journey to the bird park!

I can hardly wait  to get there. Do we dare wake her?

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3 hours ago, ellie1145 said:

Where’s azbirdmom?

I hope she’s ok as we haven’t seen her for a while.🙀

 

I'm here and fine!  We are visiting with friends in Florida and haven't been online much.  I have been wowed by how many pictures you took while flying over all of those countries and even more amazed by how much you remembered about where you were when.  As usual, fantastic job Ellie!

 

By the way, we just booked a cruise out of Southampton with our friends to replace the fourth cruise that cancelled on us.  Sure hope we are able to travel to your part of the world next June.

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17 hours ago, azbirdmom said:

 

I'm here and fine!  We are visiting with friends in Florida and haven't been online much.  I have been wowed by how many pictures you took while flying over all of those countries and even more amazed by how much you remembered about where you were when.  As usual, fantastic job Ellie!

 

By the way, we just booked a cruise out of Southampton with our friends to replace the fourth cruise that cancelled on us.  Sure hope we are able to travel to your part of the world next June.

 

Thank goodness you are ok, azbirdmom! We were a little worried. Thought you might have jumped ship and gone on a virtual Carnival cruise instead! 🙀🤣

 

I’m afraid I went a bit ‘over the top’ with the photos, but I was just mesmerised by the landscape below us. Sometimes when we fly there is so much cloud you can’t see a thing, or it’s too dark, but the weather was perfect on this particular flight. 

 

Oh no! Am so sorry to hear about the cruise being cancelled. You have been so unlucky. But glad to hear you have found something to replace it. I sincerely hope that your cruise will take place. Maybe we will come and wave you off! Would love to meet you. 

 

What ship and where is it going to?

 

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19 hours ago, cnd crsr said:

 

Is azbirdmom the one sleeping 2 aisles behind? I"m sure she will want to join us for the Tardis journey to the bird park!

I can hardly wait  to get there. Do we dare wake her?

 

Phew, thank goodness you found her! We had better wake her up ready for her trip in the Tardis. Will you do it or shall I? 😉

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I think she will wake on her own as soon as she hears we are heading off to the bird park!

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Let’s go on another adventure!

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Everyone around me seems to be dozing so I quickly reach up into my hand luggage for my Tardis. 

 

Are you ready? Off we go!

 

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