Saturday, October 6, 2018

Another trip in the books

Well. Our two weeks cruising around Alaska has come to an end. In fact, it came to an end at the end of July, yet I’ve just managed to finish posting at the beginning of October. I’m woefully behind!
And I still have problems with blogspot. Damn it!

I’ve jumped ship (pardon the nautically-referenced pun) and at some point in the near future my posts will come from a different platform. Fear not, when that happens you’ll be sure to know.

Next up for the remainder of the year is a 2 week cruise from Amsterdam to Rome, a week in Rome on my own (which is where I am now), 34 days traipsing around the Mediterranean on another ship, and then an inaugural 14 day cruise on Holland America’s new Nieuw Statendam.   I’ve always wanted to be on a first sailing of a new ship.

I’ll try to be more timely.

Ciao for now.

More Victoria

Walkabout in Victoria

Victoria Finale

Our last port before returning to Seattle was Victoria, British Columbia. The obligatory “foreign port” to satisfy the antiquated Jones Act, Victoria is an absolutely lovely little city. Very walkable from the pier where ships dock, you can count yourself lucky to have enough time to take a stroll or even a longer walkabout through the downtown area.

There’s a bunch of things you can do in Victoria and the two main points of interest for tourists are the Butchart Gardens and the Empress Hotel. The Gardens are located outside of town so a car or bus excursion is a must. And may I tell you that the Gardens are a thing to behold. They’ve been around for 100 years with 55 acres of gardens of flowers - over 900 varieties! - and 26 greenhouses. Over a million people visit this place every year. I’ve been twice and loved it both times.

Closer in, in downtown, sits the most elegant Empress Hotel, one of the Fairmont properties. It was built in the early 1900’s and opened in 1908. Its very pretty - a Chateauesque design. A popular event at the hotel is the wonderful and super expensive high tea most afternoons. It faces the inner harbor and recently completed an extensive renovation. In fact, this year was the first time in quite awhile that scaffolding was missing from the outside of the hotel, as noticed on my previous visits.

Adrienne and I chose to meander into town and enjoy the cool weather, sunny skies and people watch. We browsed a few stores and street craft vendors, and eventually made our way back to the ship in time to make it to our last dinner in the dining room so we could say goodbye to our wonderful dining stewards.  We would be disembarking early the next morning in Seattle.

After dinner, with the sun still out, Adrienne busied herself with some final packing, and I went for a walk off the ship, along a jetty of sorts, out to a small lighthouse.

A Few More Pics of Sitka

Kayaking in Sitka

Since we'd both been to Sitka several times already, I thought it would be fun to take a kayaking excursion this time. Good grief. It was not quite what I had envisioned. While the scenery was gorgeous the act of kayaking was hard work, especially when you have one bossy person (that would be me) and one not so bossy but a little pissy person ( that would be Adrienne). In all fairness, my bossiness creates her pissiness. But we're also not equally matched, strength wise, and that created hardship for both of us.

Despite our temporary struggles, we enjoyed the excursion because the scenery was gorgeous. What rain we left behind in Kodiak, the sun blessed us in Sitka. Even Snort enjoyed the day.

Hubba hubba Hubbard Glacier 2