Sunday, 29 June 2008

Cruisin'

Well hello there... my oh my, we have sooo much to tell you!
We've just got back from a truly amazing two week cruise in the Baltic Sea. I could waah on and on about how great it was forever really, but will try my best not to...
We left on the Celebrity Constellation (currently ranked by Conde Nast as the world's best large cruise ship - fancy, huh?) from Harwich, which is just on the other side of the river from Ipswich, so it was pretty handy for us. The sailing was super-smooth; to the point where, if I didn't know better, I would have thought we were on land pretty much the whole time, which was good, especially considering Kent's little motion sickness issue!
There's a huge dining room where a full-on 5 course meal is served every night, it looks like the sort of thing you might have seen on the Titanic, only our ship didn't sink, which was nice. We were at a table with 3 other couples, Steve & Steve from Florida, Gus & Terry, who met and married during WWII in France (she's French) and also live in Florida and Peter & Peter from Birmingham, one of whom is the cousin of one of my friends from work - it's a small world! We were a bit worried beforehand that we'd end up with horrible annoying people and have to sit with them for a fortnight, but needn't have bothered because the 8 of us got on famously.
Photos of the boat are here:

Our first port was Oslo in Norway, where we berthed literally across the road from a fortress... so far, so good. It's apparently the most expensive country in Europe, but as Kent keeps a fairly tight rein on the wallet, we didn't really notice... with the abundance of food on the ship, we didn't need to eat (and may never need to ever again!) during the day, so it was a pretty reasonable day trip. We braved the metro system and trams - man, I LOVE public transport in Europe, it's generally clean, quick and pretty reliable... and, London aside, quite reasonably priced.
We took in quite a few of the sights, including the Vigeland sculpture park, which was all kinds of weird - there were more naked-people-doing-bizarre-stuff statues than you can shake a stick at, some of the photos will give you an idea... From there we went to the Munch Museet, a museum dedicated to the work of Edvard Munch, who painted 'The Scream', which both of us have liked since we were quite young... to be honest, and this will make me sound a bit of a philistine, I didn't realise he had lots of other works. Both 'The Scream' and his other well-known piece, 'Madonna' were stolen from the museum in 2004 and not recovered until 2006, but they're just hanging there, on the wall, like any random painting you have in your house... they even let you take photos, unlike so many other museums.
After finding the requisite copy of Asterix in Norwegian, we headed over to Bygd√ły on a boat to see the Viking Ships museum, which contains 3 ships that were buried hundreds of years ago and unearthed from the late 1800's... it was just amazing, and some of the artefacts they found inside are pretty well preserved. The weather was just beautiful, sunny and warm, but not hot, so ideal for all the walking we did. Our final stop was the Armed Services museum, although as we arrived only ten minutes before it closed, it was a bit of a whistle-stop tour... which is a shame as there was quite a big collection on display, but we were a bit paranoid about making it back on to the ship in time - we didn't think it would be a good look to be running down the pier shouting and waving as it sailed away!
Our photos of the first day are here:

The next day was another Sea day, so a bit of a chance to sleep in, and wander around the boat, go to a lecture about the history of Berlin (the next port) and laze next to the pools in the sun - ahh, it's the life!
And that is part one of seven... I do hope you're somewhere comfy!
Love Kent & Eryn x

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes, temporarily forgot Kento's little motion sickness issue. Mind over matter? Might have been - that's good. Better than stomach matter on anyone's mind. Even saying "orange drink" would make him sick in the car!!
More good photos, ta.
Dad