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San Francisco,  CA

September 24, 2016 Leave a comment

Our ship docked at Pier 35, which was terrific.   Right on the major bus lines,  and a 15 minute walk to Fisherman’s Wharf, it was easy to get anywhere in the city.  We took a 2 day Hop on Hop off bus which gave us an excellent overview of the city. Although the delays in bus service was very aggravating!

Part of SFO’s  reputation is food,  and we had some of the best.   Far East Cafe for egg foo yong, and Soto Mare for its famous ciopino.   Both restaurants lived up to their fame!

I have been in SFO many times on business, and it was great fun to visit the many sights of the city with Romola from a tourist perspective.   It is a great city to visit.   Some random photos:

Nanaimo, BC

September 19, 2016 Leave a comment

Or first port of call was Nanaimo,  a city of some 80,000 on the west coast log Vancouver Island.  Originally founded as a coal mining city, there are still miles of inactive underground mine tunnels.  Today it is more known as a logging port, and, of course, Nanaimo bars. 

Right next to our berth a logging ship was being loaded.   Very interesting to watch,  the little tugboats reminded us of sheep dogs,  gathering up the herd.   But it sure looks like dangerous work, running around on those logs!

We had nice stroll around the shore line.   It is a pretty city, lots of parks and of course marinas.  And the people we met are some of the friendliest anywhere. 

We watched the cannon firing,  sure reminded me of our days at Fort Vancouver!

We visited the Old Quarter, admired some of the older buildings and of course had a Nanaimo bar at Bocca, winner of the best bar awards.  And it was delicious!  We also had some excellent fish and chips at Trolleys,  right on the dock.

Now on to San Francisco…

They really load the ships up high

Tugboats act like sheep dogs, gathering up the logs

But it’s the guys with hob nail boots that do the dangerous work

A wood Dungeness crab, carved with a chain saw

Spinning alpaca

Gay pride is evident here too

Loading the cannon

A flash in the pan….

The primer goes off….

BOOM!

Bank building

Old Quarter buildings

Old Quarter buildings

Pedestrian shopping

Bocca, winner of ” best Nanaimo bar” award

Cruising to Barcelona

May 3, 2016 1 comment

Our cruise left the Houston Cruise  Port Terminal on April 16.  It was the last cruise from this port, which is going to be converted to a container terminal. Our ship was the Norwegian Cruise Lines “Jade”, which was repositioning to Europe.  A seperate blog post details our extensive dining experience.

We made a quick stop in Miami to pick up more passengers.   Our first real port of call was St. Thomas,  VI where we got off for a walk before 6 days at sea.  A ride up the cable car gave some good views of the surroundings,  and our ship.

We joined with the cruisecritics.com crew and had a great time.   There were over 100 of us,  from around the world.   We even celebrated joint birthdays with Romola and Jennifer.   Special thanks to Viet for including us!

Our next stop was Funchal, Madeira where we had a nice excursion.   Our first stop was at the market,  with the usual collection of plants,  veggies, meat and seafood.   Always interesting to see what’s local!  Then, a short stop to taste the local Madeira wine. We even took a ride on their famous toboggan!

Then on to Barcelona.   I managed to get a picture of the Rock of Gibraltar,  even though it was late and I only had my small camera.   Then on to Barcelona,  where I’m sure new adventures await us.

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Serial in St Thomas

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Not all people that live here are poor

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Or ship on the left

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Or new friends Dan and Veronica

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Cliffs at Funchal

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Fishing village colors

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In the fish market

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Flower merchant in traditional clothes

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In the Madeira winery

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Living on the side of a hill

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Hang on!

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Vietnam and his new wife, who had a birthday

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Jennifer's birthday on the same day as romola

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Gibraltar at dusk