Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Planes, Trains, Ships, Automobiles, Buses, Taxis and Shuttles

We have just returned from a two month odyssey. I had some technical difficulties while on the trip so I couldn't write while we were traveling. Anyway, here's how it went:

We left home April 18th by car for the airport.

We were driven to Sky Harbor airport in the Jeep by our son, Dean. At Sky Harbor we boarded a plane and flew to Tampa, Florida.

In Tampa we took a shuttle to our hotel.

We stayed in Tampa overnight; the next morning we saw this fellow on the beach outside the hotel.

We then took a taxi to the cruise port.

At the cruise port we boarded Holland America's ship the Ryndam for a transatlantic crossing.

The cruise companies tend to cruise the Caribbean and other warm water areas in the winter. In the spring they send some of them to Europe for the simmer. The cruise to get to Europe is called a repositioning cruise and is sometimes cheaper than you might expect. That's what this cruise was.

The first stop was in the Azores; a view of the harbor is shown below.

Our next stop was Brest, France. The old Nazi submarine pens from WWII are shown below.

Next was Cherbourg. Look at all the lovely, fresh seafood!

Next was Zeebrugge, Belgium where we took a bus to Brugge.

Brugge is a wonderful city, full of canals and old buildings plus the only Michelangelo sculpture to be outside of Italy in his lifetime.

From Brugge we sailed to Harwich, England where we disembarked. We caught a bus waiting on the pier which took us to St. Pancras station in downtown London.

At San Pancras( I always want to call it St Pancreas), we boarded the Eurostar train, which goes through the tunnel beneath the English Channel and lands you in Paris in a little over two hours.

When we got to Paris we were met by an official greeter.

We stayed in an apartment in Paris with our daughter, Carolyn, her husband Jon and Gwen. We visited Chartres, Sacre Couer and St. Denys. Then we took a train to Saarbrucken, Germany where Carolyn et al live.

Deutsche Bahn went on strike so we rented a car in Saarbrucken.

We visited many interesting places in Germany and France, including Aachen, Trier, Worms, Speyer, Strasbourg and the Black Forest. I will be doing individual posts on these and other places, as well some of the places on the way to Germany.

The vehicle shown below was at a castle on the Rhine. There was a hotel and restaurant there and I presume they use this vehicle for weddings, etc.

I love this license plate.

When it was time to leave we took a train from Saarbrucken to Frankfurt airport, the rail strike having ended.

We boarded a plane in Frankfurt which took us to JFK, New York.

From JFK we flew to Phoenix where we were met by our son, Dean. who gave us a ride home. Got home late on June 9.  Stay tuned for more posts from this great trip.