Reykjavik – What’s This Thingvellir?

Posted by Pat on June 8, 2015 in Travel |

2 – 8 June 2015

Silence in open spaces of Iceland

Silence in open spaces of Iceland

Silence. Only the occasion bird call, no mammal in sight. A slight wind brushes my ear. I turn 360° to see miles and miles of rumpled tundra, a table mountain dappled with small snow patches, and in the far distance, tall mountaintops draped with ice caps and clouds. The temperature is comfortable but the cool breeze originates across that snow. Two quacking ducks fly over on their way to a large body of water to the south. Otherwise, silence. But I get ahead of the conclusion to my story.   Read more…

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Circumnavigating Iceland    

Posted by Pat on June 2, 2015 in Travel |

27 May – 1 June 2015

The North Atlantic, more specifically the Norwegian Sea, has aDSC09749 reputation for storms and rough seas. Well deserved, I learn. Sea Spirit departs what was, in perspective, relative calm seas around the Faroes on its passage across the open waters of the North Atlantic. Destination: the east coast of Iceland. A gain of time means an additional hour of flopping, swaying and bouncing on very rough seas. On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being my experience of the Drake Passage Christmas 2007, tonight’s passage rates a 7. It is about 250 miles of 22′ swells. Our captain has “battened down the hatches” for the night. Rough indeed.

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Sailing North Atlantic Islands: Orkneys, Shetlands and Faroes

Posted by Pat on June 2, 2015 in Travel |

23 – 26 May 2015

5000-year-old hauntingly beautiful, wind-swept village of Skara Brae.

The Sea Spirit sails relative calm waters around Scotland then heads north to the Orkneys. This is new territory for me and an area of the world heretofore not on my bucket list. However, this particular cruise’s itinerary is my reason for signing on. My next stop is Kirkwall on the Orkney Archipelago. Seas are calm and gray, skies are flat gray, but temperatures are pleasant. A wonderful environment for sailing.

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Boarding the Sea Spirit for the North Sea

Posted by Pat on May 30, 2015 in Travel |

17 – 22 May 2015

Haarlem Netherlands – prepping for our North Sea, Iceland cruise

Such a deal ! When I read David Rowell’s “Travel Insider” email about the inaugural cruise of Polar Expedition’s Sea Spirit, I was immediately interested. Fourteen days, departing IJmuiden, sailing to Edinburgh, north to ports in the Orkneys, North Shetlands, and Faroe Islands before circumnavigating Iceland. Even better, boarding the ship in Hamburg as an invited guest of Poseidon Adventures for three days of inaugural festivities. How much better could it get?  Read more…

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What Me Worry? Confessions of a Traveler

Posted by Pat on April 5, 2015 in Travel |

UnknownWhen I travel, no matter how much I plan, I do worry. Anything can happen; I cannot prevent unforeseen events, but I know I can handle them. Yet, I do worry, doubly so when I have the responsibility for another. So I traveled to Italy with my “minor exceptional” niece with trepidation. What did I learn from this travel experience? As I posted before departure: Read more…

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Milano Con Gabrielle

Posted by Pat on April 4, 2015 in Travel |

Piazzas collect pigeons, pigeons love bread, bread is served during dinners, dinners include delicious pastas around those piazzas. It’s a great symbiotic relationship throughout Italia. We spend a few sunny minutes at the Verona Arena and around Piazza Bra’s pigeons before boarding our Frecciabianca to Milano.  Read more…

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Verona Con Gabrielle

Posted by Pat on April 2, 2015 in Travel |

St. Gabriel, “Prego, no more churches.”

Beautiful warm weather and bright sunny skies greet our arrival in Verona. After tossing our bags into our room at Albora B&B, we walk to Piazza Bra and the Arena for lunch. We are recharged and ready to see the sights of this lively and beautiful city.

Our two days here are filled with churches like Anastasia, the Duomo, San Fermo, San Lorenzo, and San Zeno. All are unique, some more elaborate than others. I enjoyed the crypt area at San Zeno’s, home of Verona’s patron saint. It bothers me that some of the churches charge entrance fees; it is a way to maintain these grand edifices but churches should be open anytime to the public. As for Gabrielle, she is “churched-out.”

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