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2 hours ago, rafinmd said:

@bennybear, that last picture looks like it would fit in with all the social distancing decals we have today.

 

Roy

So true!  Not sure what they are really for?  To help lost priests find their way?

 

@Dismomx5 we love Crete, so would’ve been very happy about the change!  Hope you do get to return.  We were so lucky in Santorini last year, the Koningsdam could hold its location with the new dynamic positioning system that she had whereas other cruise ships couldn’t and came and then left.  So it does work both ways and I would always prefer a cautious captain!  

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October 24, 2017, the Amsterdam began a 2-day call in Tianjin, port for Beijing.  The first day I booked a LONG tour to the wall and the summer palace.  It was about a 3-hour drive to the wall with a rest stop on the way.  At the stop I saw the longest truck I've ever seen.  Made me sure I don't want to drive in China.

 

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I first visited the wall in 2001 and it may have been a different spot then.  This is the wall as we saw it:

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Walking the wall is definitely not an easy stroll.  And here's one of the guard twers:

 

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Our next stop was the Summer Palace where there's a "Long Corridor" that is definitely less strenuous than the wall:

 

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It was a VERY long day, close to 9PM when we returned to the ship.

 

Roy

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Nine years ago we were in France for a few days pre-cruise.  We were in Paris first, (drove to Chateau Chambord among other places)  and also spent a few days in Sarlat, in the Dordogne Valley. So beautiful, I would love to get back to that area and see more.  

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4 hours ago, kb4683 said:

One year ago today, Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives.  We were on Rotterdam's 32-Day Holy Land & Journey to The New World.

Oh my! My husband and I would love this cruise! We were thrilled to see the St. Catherine Monastery on Mt. Horeb on the Sinai peninsula.

Last year, we were in Santorini. With his sore foot, and knowing that there would be lots of walking, DH stayed on the ship while I did the Best of Santorini with HAL. I got into the line for the cable car about 1:30 and didn't get back to the ship until 4:30! I would hate to visit in the summer. It must be wall-to-wall people. That said, the pictures from the stop are stunning and make me smile when I look at them.

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And, of course the obligatory.

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5 hours ago, kb4683 said:

One year ago today, Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives.  We were on Rotterdam's 32-Day Holy Land & Journey to The New World.

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I was there 6 years ago on the same ship, Rotterdam VI, and it was a great day for me. 

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After receiving nearly a foot of snow overnight I am really enjoying these photos!  
@kb4683would sure like to do that cruise one day, we’re booked this spring but who knows?

@rafinmdi have always wanted to walk part of that wall.  I read a book about a performance artist who walked it from one end to meet her lover from the other end and they then broke up?  🤷‍♀️ 
@Cruising-alongl want those desserts,  we visited Koper last year too but took a tour to Piran.  Love those Chateaus,  dunked DH in the Dordogne from a canoe one hot day 🤣
 

@Dismomx5 three hours to wait, guess we were lucky last year that we were the only ship that could make port!   

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1 hour ago, bennybear said:

@Cruising-alongl want those desserts,  we visited Koper last year too but took a tour to Piran.  Love those Chateaus,  dunked DH in the Dordogne from a canoe one hot day 🤣

Oops!  I should have said we went to Piran out of Koper!  We took a "transfer" type tour through Trip Advisor so we were able to see and do what we wanted.  The kremsnika was out of this world!! The shop owner told me it was the local delicacy, and I love all custard-type desserts, so it was a hit with me!

 

Isn't the Dordogne area gorgeous?  It would sure be fun to go on a canoe ride down the river (minus the dunking) 😉  Hoping to get back there....some day.

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1 hour ago, Cruising-along said:

Oops!  I should have said we went to Piran out of Koper!  We took a "transfer" type tour through Trip Advisor so we were able to see and do what we wanted.  The kremsnika was out of this world!! The shop owner told me it was the local delicacy, and I love all custard-type desserts, so it was a hit with me!

 

Isn't the Dordogne area gorgeous?  It would sure be fun to go on a canoe ride down the river (minus the dunking) 😉  Hoping to get back there....some day.

Oh we missed them! DH adores the custard tarts in Portugal,   We hope to return one day and see Ljubljana.    And we have wonderful memories of  the towns and the duck near Sarlat.  

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One year ago we were at sea on our way to Corfu, here's a sunset photo -- since I don't see more photos of that day I think it had to be a sea day...and 3 years ago we were on the Veendam on an east coast cruise.  Gorgeous fall colors 🙂  

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My second day in Tianjin/Beijing was not as stressful as the first one.  My tour mostly visited Haichang Aquarium, about 45 minutes from the port.  Our first hour there was free time with a wide variety of wildlife on display from penguins and polar bears to coral and eels:

 

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We had tickets to a show which was mostly dolphins but also included walrus, and other species.  The finale was 4 dolphins and their handlers swimming in a star pattern.

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We returned to the tour and I took the shuttle to Aeon Mall for lunch (sadly without wifi):

 

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Roy

 

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On this day last year, we were in Santorini. While we were visiting Oia, a wedding procession passed by on the way to the cathedral. The bride, her friends, and family were dancing to a happy drumbeat. A marvelous memory! And the sunset that evening was beautiful, of course!

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Our cruise/land trip of 2011 I'm afraid is a bit mixed up in photo order -- I should have started posting those photos a few weeks ago because it started in mid October.  We were in France (those photos I shared earlier), then Italy (Siena and Cinque Terre), then a Holy Lands cruise with Celebrity.  So if it's ok, I'll try to "catch up" here in the next few days.  We spent a little time in Siena so we could see the town where our daughter lived for one quarter of college.  First photo is of Il Campo.  

 

Our time in Cinque Terre is quite a memory.  We arrived at our hotel in Levanto only to find that they had no record of our booking (I had even reconfirmed before arriving).  But they came through with flying colors, they gave us their 7-bedroom suite that included a conference room, laundry room and wrap-around balcony!  I joked with the owner that it was too bad we were only staying one night, I don't think he shared my humor as evidenced by his tight little smile 😉  

Sorry, the first photo is a panoramic of Il Campo so it looks all run together here!

 

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Edited by Cruising-along
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October 26 and 27 were sea days on the Amsterdam between our 2 China ports (Tianjin and Shanghai) and not a lot happened so I'll combine them into a single post.  Tomorrow I'll go to a different China attraction from an earlier tour.

 

On October 26 the main thing was a 5PM Q&A in the movie theater for guests disembarking in Hong Kong. Present were Captain Eversen, Cruise Director Hamish, Hotel Manager Hank Mensink, and Culinary Operations Manager Florin Dragomir.

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On my walk October 27 I noted a daily activity on HAL ships, the stewards putting the cushions out on all the Lower Promenade loungers:

 

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That afternoon I enjoyed the treats in the Afternoon Tea:

 

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It was also the segment's final Gala evening and that meant pillow gifts.  This time it was plates.  I still have the smaller ones but the big ones did not get packed for the flight out of Hong Kong:

 

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Roy

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A year ago today was  a bittersweet day-visits to Pompeii, Sorrento and the Amalfi coast. This was another private tour with ItalyTours, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Then of course, the inevitable packing before/after the last dinner. 😞

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Like the tombs in Egypt, the vibrancy of the colours in the baths are  breathtaking.

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One year ago today - Oct 26, 2019 - This was our second day touring out of the port of Haifa. We started at 7am and visited many of the Christian sites in the area. It was a great day for touring with many sites visited including the Sea of Galilee, Jordan River, Basilica of the Annunciation and also stopped along the side of the road to help a family pick olives from trees by the road. Our guide was outstanding and the van and driver was great. Overall just a great day of touring to finish our visit to Israel.

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10 hours ago, iflyrc5 said:

One year ago today - Oct 26, 2019 - This was our second day touring out of the port of Haifa. We started at 7am and visited many of the Christian sites in the area. It was a great day for touring with many sites visited including the Sea of Galilee, Jordan River, Basilica of the Annunciation and also stopped along the side of the road to help a family pick olives from trees by the road. Our guide was outstanding and the van and driver was great. Overall just a great day of touring to finish our visit to Israel.

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This looks like the tour we took in 2014 while in Haifa on Prinsendam.  I would gladly do it again.

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I said yesterday I would post on a different trip to China.  In October 2001 I took a Uniworld cruise tour on the Yangtze.  In the aftermath it was a very small group, just me and 5 others.

 

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Our last stop before boarding the ship was Tian, home of the Terra Cotta Warriors.  Probably not a lot to say that isn’t in the pictures.

 

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Roy

 

 

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