Monday, August 15, 2005

The trip home and final thoughts

The trip home was very long. I woke up very early (4:30) though we did not have to meet our bus until 6:30. Walking the ship – that’s all there was to do. As we were waiting to get on the bus, we heard a loud crash. Two taxis had an accident in an empty parking lot. Hard to imagine how they managed it. At least no one seemed to be hurt. The trip to the airport brought us through Copenhagen – lots of familiar sites. We stopped at a corner and a taxi driver warned our bus driver – ducks ahead. Make Way for Ducklings! Sure enough a duck and her ducklings had just crossed the street and were waddling towards the water. Once at the airport we had a three hour wait until our flight. There was no comfortable place to wait. It was long and boring – a preparation for Heathrow. Our flight was uneventful.

We arrived at Heathrow. It was a long haul through a long hall. June was exhausted from her stuffed head due to her cold. We had a five hour wait at Heathrow. There is only so much time you can walk past shops and sit. Finally our flight was called. We sat down. The lady behind us put her bag up in the compartment without much thought and down it came on June’s head. Poor June – a seven hour flight with a sore head, headache etc. The staff were solicitous, but not helpful when she mentioned that she thought she deserved some compensation. We were not assured of their concern for safety when someone in the other aisle got something out of a compartment and left the door open. The staff walked by – oblivious. We asked them to please make sure it was closed. It took them a good 10 minutes.

We both received wonderful greetings. My children were waiting with a beautiful bouquet of flowers. It was so good to see them. June had a large contingent waiting – Alli, Mieke, Patty-Mae and Mrs. D.

Good to be home. I love to travel – but I love to be home!

Conclusions
We travelled a total of 2281 nautical miles under captain Cesare Ditel

Would I go on another cruise? not very quickly.
I don't like the feeling of getting off in Europe and going back each evening to Las Vegas. It is true that it is convenient not to have to pack and unpack, but finding ones way is part of the adventure of travel. The tours, though very informative, were a bit like going to the zoo. The real life of the city is kept apart from you as are the animals in a zoo; you go and gawk but you don't take part. I saw many things, amazing sites, beautiful cities, but I did not live the cities. Much was rushed and I don't feel I did any of the cities justice. I am not sorry I went on this trip; I have many unforgettable memories, but I won't be travelling on this kind of cruise again for a long time. – except perhaps to Alaska where you see things while you are on the ship and the contrast between ship and shore are not so marked.

What would I like to go back to?
I definitely want to spend more time in St. Petersburg and I would like to see more of Russia. It would be nice to spend more time in Norway, spend more time in Vigeland Park, see a museum and perhaps, take a boat trip up the fiords. It would be great to hear a concert in the Church in the Rock in Helsinki – but I doubt I will be back there. So much still to explore….

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Anonymous CaptainRunner said...

Nice recap of your travel. I don't really like to travel by water either - unless I can enjoy the view.

And I agree on you about home. There's really no place like it.

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