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Memories on this Date


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22 hours ago, bcummin said:

I am looking forward to hearing more.

Barbara

 

I appreciate your kind words in your post.  Thank you so very much!

 

To continue:

 

March 16, 2008, we left Agra for a bus trip to New Delhi to get our flight to Mumbai to rejoin the Amsterdam.  That morning, from my room at the hotel, at sunrise, I watched the Taj change colors from white to golden to white.  It really does happen!  What I saw of the city of Agra and its State as we traveled through it, it appeared to be in better condition and more green than either Jaipur or New Delhi.  The bus trip to the airport included a lunch at a hotel and a restroom stop at a Hyatt Regency in New Delhi before we were taken to the airport.  (The latter was most appreciated because Western style restrooms at the airports that I visited were not available.)   Another Jet Airways flight, this time to Mumbai; an Indian style dinner was served and was quite good.  One hour from the airport to the ship, arriving at 8:50 P. M.  Our cruise hosts started a lottery for guests who participating who would choose the closest time when we would get to the ship.  I chose 8:30 P.M.  I came in second; another guest guessed 8:35 P. M.  

 

It was good to be back aboard the Amsterdam.  There was a cultural show in the theater that evening that I did attend.  A visit to the Lido Restaurant for a sandwich and some fruit when the late night buffet opened ended what was another really good day.  

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     My long tour on our second day in Muscat, Oman was "Enchanting Forts of Nizwa".  We drove two hours through the desert and arrived at Nizwa's Friday cattle market.  Eye opening.  Step carefully.

     Our tour guide led us through the fish market, meat market, and the fruit & vegetable market.

The famous and impressive 17th century Fort of Nizwa was the cultural and political capital of Oman.  At the back of the fort are the remains of the  Falaj, the ancient irrigation system developed by the subjects of the Queen of Sheba around 500 B.C. 

     Jabreen Castle was beautiful.

     Bajia Fort was under renovation, but the nearby mosque was busy with its noon call to prayer.

We enjoyed an elegant buffet lunch, including a tiny cup of Arabian coffee that was laced with spices.

     We drove to the UNESCO Flaj fresh water spring.  Priceless water in the desert.

     Then we visited an abandoned mud home village that was being destroyed by flood waters.  The generous Sultan of Oman had built new homes for them - no charge, no taxes.  I felt good about this country that took care of its people with plentiful oil money.

     On our way back, we saw date palm plantations, three small camels, a herd of goats, the marble, quarry, several new towns, and one sand dune on a rocky hill.

     Our evening speaker was Dr. Zadeh, one of my favorite.  He was originally from Iran.  The Shah had sent him to the United States for college, but the coup changed Iran.  Dr. Zadeh had tried to teach the Middle East mentality to our politicians, but nobody listened, unfortunately.

Barbara

  

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2008, our last day in India.  Didn't arise until 11:00 A. M.; I was exhausted.  Pleasant day on the ship observing the harbor activity around the Amsterdam until  the time for my night time tour of Mumbai called "Queen's Necklace" (?)  which showcased the lighting around the bay of Mumbai.  Beautiful, and an interesting tour of Mumbai to see some of the sights after dark that I had seen/visited before re-joining the ship after my overland tour.  

 

Arising as late as I did, my first meal of the day was lunch in the MDR; was seated by my regular Steward.  We talked for quite awhile my my overland tour experience.  Of interest to me was that the blocking of the road when an accident happens as my tour group experienced also happens in Indonesia.

 

We sailed at  10:50 P. M. and I went onto the deck above the Bridge to watch the pilot leave the ship on a warm, pleasant night.  

 

My visit to India is a favorite memory of mine.  

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Salalah, Oman in 2013 was not a prize port.  Rkacruiser is absolutely right.  We docked far from town, and expensive taxis ruled.

I did enjoy the "Leisurely Salalah" tour.  We visited Meghsail beach & caves, Frankincense trees, the tomb of Job, a lush orchard for coconut drinks, and the Frankincense market.

Barbara

 

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March 18, 2020 ... NEVER so happy to disembark a ship!! We had been on Eurodam for 31 days, through the Canal and then on to Hawaii and back, JUST as COVID became a real threat.  Watching what was happening to other ships around the world, reports of people dying from this mysterious disease everywhere, tension ratcheted up on the ship to unbelievable levels ... so unnerving.  And all we could do was pray that we'd get back to San Diego as scheduled, not have to quarantine onboard, and get home.  Thankfully we were lucky on all counts but have, like everyone else, had many cruises cancelled and have been hunkering down at home ever since.  It's been a huge relief to now have both jabs and John gets his second one on April 4th.  We're cautiously optimistic for our first booked cruise due to sail in December/January and are so looking forward to returning to travel.  Fingers crossed for all of us!

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7 hours ago, bcummin said:

Salalah, Oman in 2013 was not a prize port.  Rkacruiser is absolutely right.

 

I appreciate vindication for what I experienced.  Thank you.  Since you also visited the "Tomb of Job", I sense you also may have the same feeling that I had in 2008:  tourist rip-off.  

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March 20th, 2008 we were on day 4 of our first cruise on Celebrity Galaxy, Southern Caribbean from San Juan.  The previous day we were in Aruba - our first Caribbean Island!

Anyway, March 20th and we were departing Curacao after an exciting day ashore and we passed a beautiful cruise liner.  We both agreed "That is what a cruise ship should look like".  I had never heard of the cruise line, so I photographed the ship to aid the memory when we got home.

Our research was successful and we have now cruised on 6 different HAL ships, but our first sighting of Westerdam stays with us.

 

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March 25, 2018, we were in Sydney sightseeing with Australian friends before boarding the Noordam for 40-day cruise around New Zealand, back to Sydney, Pacific islands and on to Vancouver.  Sigh!!

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In 2012 the Westerdam was in Mormugao ( Goa) India. We went to a private home for tea & after to a plantation for a local meal. It was nice to get to see some local colour, a bit different from what we normally see & do.

 

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2008, the Amsterdam was transiting the Red Sea and going through the Suez Canal.  We were headed to our next port of Alexandria.  If the accident that has taken place in the Canal had occurred when we were there, we would have been as "stuck" as that freighter is.  What impact might have that happened on the rest of our itinerary?  

 

No cruise ships are impacted by this accident.  Thankfully.  

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2008, the Amsterdam was in Sevastopol.  A tour to a site that had something to do with Stalin and was a tour that I was anticipating, I had to cancel.  My injured knee that happened at Luxor "told" me:  "I need a day of rest".  And, Dr Hill agreed.  

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Our Trip on the Zuiderdam with good friends Dale & Kathie. It is the last cruise we were able to take before the last 5 were cancelled.

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In 2012 the Amsterdam was in Safaga Egypt for an over night stop. We boarded buses to drive to Luxor for an over stay to tour the Valley of the Kings the next day.

 

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5 hours ago, bennybear said:

Hiroshima,  sublime beauty and horror.  

 

I have memories of my visit to this city and the Atomic Bomb Museum that will remain with me to the end of my life.  Not appropriate, I don't think to share what I remember on this Message Board (this is a time when a private message option is really needed--CC Moderators).  

 

A bucket list city that I would like to visit again that is increasingly not likely to occur is Nagasaki.  I would like to visit their Museum of that horrific event and compare the two.  In 2002, I had the chance to do so, but chose another sightseeing option in Nagasaki that I enjoyed.  But, regret that I didn't visit the Museum.  When I booked my tour, I did not know how Hiroshima's Museum would affect me.  

 

 

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Posted (edited)

We took the bullet train the next morning, two years ago today, to see the gardens at Korakuen, one of the top three in Japan.  
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Edited by bennybear
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2 hours ago, bennybear said:

the bullet train

 

The Volendam docked at Osaka and my tour group took the bullet train to Hiroshima.  That was quite a train ride!  

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In 2012 the Amsterdam was in Sharm El - Sheik Egypt, we went snorkeling. Snorkeling in the desert was kind of different.

 

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