Wednesday, June 5, 2019

HAL Zuiderdam – British Isles Part 2

We have continued sailing on the HAL Zuiderdam for fourteen more days. Our captain is Wouter van Hoogdalem,  the hotel director is Ron Bontenbal, and the cruise director is Andy Levitt. Our cabin is 4078 (obstructed view) and our cabin stewards are Ketut and Eka. Our dinner table is #59 and our server is Zul and Adi

Friday, May 17, 2019 – Copenhagen  (7702 steps/3.01 miles)

We arrived in Copenhagen and watched most of the passengers debark and head for hone. About 100 of us stayed on the ship to continue our journey. We ate breakfast and then watched TV until lunch time. After lunchtime, we came back and watched TV. We were told we didn’t need to go to the lifeboat drill but around 4pm, they announced all those who stayed on the ship had to go to guest services. Apparently, someone accidentally deleted all of our names and we had to check in. We went to dinner and sat at the same table, but we have a new server and we have new dinner mates. We met Todd and Leslie from Washington State and Claire just graduated with a nuclear engineering degree and her mom who is a bankruptcy attorney. Claire and her mom hope to get their dining time changed to an earlier time.

Saturday, May 18, 2019 – Sea Day (5680 steps/2.18 miles)

After breakfast, we went to the Shore Excursions Talk to see what excursions were being offered. After that, the speaker talked about getting around South Queensferry and Invergordon if you were not taking a shore excursion. Then after lunch, another girl talked about getting around Kirkwall and Stornoway if you were not taking a shore excursion. Then we had an afternoon nap before going to dinner. Don has been in a lot of back pain so he really needed the rest. When we got to dinner, there were just four of us since our Claire and her mom got their dining time changed. We had to turn our clocks back an hour when we went to bed.

Sunday, May 19, 2019 – South Queensferry, Scotland (20892 steps/8.03 miles)

This was a “tender” port and we had to go get our tender tickets in the BB King Blues Club Lounge. Once we were given a ticket, we had to wait for our number to be called to board the tender. Before we could get on the tender, we had to go through immigration and show our passports. This is the first time we have ever had to do this before getting on a tender. We got on the tender at 8 and was in South Queensferry by 8:30. Then we bought tickets for the 99X bus to Edinburgh for 9£ each. The bus left at 9 and we got to Edinburgh by 9:30. It let us out at St. Andrews Square. From there we went a couple of blocks to Hard Rock Café. We walked by a church right after the opening ceremony of The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland took place. Then we walked through Princes Street Gardens. We walked all the way around the Edinburgh Castle and then walked down The Royal Mile (mile-long shopping street). On the way, we came across the City Hall and the nice security man took us in and gave us a little tour. Then we walked down Mary Kings Close and back to the gardens to go through the festival. By then we decided to get back on the bus back to South Queensferry. We walked about an hour around that town and then took the tender back to the ship. We stood on the deck as the ship left the area.

Monday, May 20, 2019 – Invergordon, Scotland (14545 steps/5.49 miles)

Invergordon is the gateway to Inverness. We got off the ship at 8am and walked about 5 minutes into town. We did a scenic walk around town and found the Donkey Bridge. The small bridge provides pedestrian access from the western end of the town to the coast road. This access existed in 1880 and it is likely that the path pre-dates the railway, which was opened in March 1863. Then we went back to High Street and did some shopping. We found a great supermarket with cheap prices and bought some snacks. I also found some yarn and souvenirs in town. We returned to the ship around noon to have lunch and then relaxed in our cabin until show time. The show featured Irish comedian, William Caulfield.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 – Kirkwall, Scotland (13952 steps/5.37 miles)

Our ship docked at Hatston Quay which is two miles from town. There was a complimentary cruise shuttle to town and we got into town at 8:30. We walked around town but none of the shops were open. We went to St. Magnus Cathedral and it was awesome. By the time we made it back to the main shopping street, stores were opening. There was a craft fair in the town hall that had beautiful items. Don found some notecards that had been needlepointed by a lady and he had her date and sign them for him. We went into several grocery stores, second-hand shops, and yarn shops. We had an interesting thing happen at one of the second-hand shops.

While we were browsing, we found a brown paper bag filled with money. We looked in the bag and decided to take it to the cashier and show her. The lady went pale and asked me if I knew how much money was in the bag and I told her that I didn’t touch of any of it. She said that it was the till from yesterday (they had 2 ships in town and one of them had over 3000 guests!) and that there had to be several hundred pounds in the bag. They were so thankful that we turned it in.

I bought some fiber from a wool shop and learned that it was a rare breed of sheep that only ate seaweed! We returned to the ship by 1:30. After lunch, we relaxed and watched movies. Before dinner, we went to the show featuring piano showman, Chris Hamilton.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 – Stornoway Scotland (15239 steps/5.93 miles)

We took the tender to land at 8:30 and it only took 15 minutes to get there. There were no lines to get a ticket for the tender so we got ashore quickly. We walked around the town to get our bearings and when the shops opened we went to several second-hand shops and a couple of grocery stores. We also went to an art museum where there was a free toilet. We also found a yarn store but it wasn’t open. We also visited the Harris Tweed Loom Center and we bought some things there. The old man was interesting and said he worked there for 24 years but the building was hundreds of years old. I also learned about Harris Tweed which was granted a trademark from Parliament – the wool comes from the island, the wool is dyed, spun, and woven on the Hebride islands. We had lunch at a place called Cameron’s where many locals ate. Then we returned to the ship. Before dinner, we went to a talk about Belfast and Dublin.

Thursday, May 23, 2019 – Belfast, N. Ireland (17869 steps/6.65 miles)

In the morning, we had to turn over our passport to ship personnel and will get it back on the 25th. We got into Belfast at 10am and took the cruise shuttle ($20 RT per person) into town. It dropped us off at Donegal Square in front of Visitor Information. Right across the street was City Hall and a festival! There were lots of food from different cultures there and we tried the Giant Krakauer (long smoked sausage dog with fried onions on top) and a French Apple tart pastry. We walked through the City Hall museum which was free and very interesting. Then we walked to see the Hotel Europa (the most bombed hotel in Europe and the world – bombed 33 times) and the famous Crown Bar. Next, we walked to the Albert Clock Tower which actually leaned 1.25 meters due to the ground and base wearing down over time. Our next stop was Victoria Square which was a mall with a viewing platform that let you see 360 degrees around the town. We walked around the shopping area for a little while before going to the Linen Hall Museum. It is the oldest library in N. Ireland and the last subscription library too (private library funded solely on membership dues). There were interesting exhibits there also and was free to look around. We returned to the festival and visitor center one more time before returning to the ship around 3pm. Then we took a nap until dinner time.

Friday, May 24, 2019 – Dublin, Ireland (21028 steps/7.79 miles)

We paid for the cruise shuttle again for $20 per person roundtrip into Dublin. We got off the ship at 8:15 and arrived in Dublin by 9am. It was a big city like New York. First, we went to Trinity College to look at the library and the Book of Kells but the lines were too long to buy a ticket. Next, we went to the Molly Malone statue which brought back memories when I learned to play the song on my accordion when I was a child. Next, we went to the Hard Rock Café and the walked around the Temple Bar Area. We spent the rest of the day walking around town. There were huge crowds and everyone was walking fast everywhere. This city wasn’t our favorite place to visit. We got back to the ship around 4pm. We also couldn’t watch Live TV because it was blocked here.

Saturday, May 25, 2019 – Sea Day (7282 steps/2.9 miles)

Last night we had to turn our clocks forward an hour. After breakfast, we attended the talk about Cherbourg and Zeebrugge. Then it was time for lunch. In the afternoon, we went to the talk about Amsterdam. In the afternoon we watched movies in our cabin and took a nap. Before dinner, we went to the show featuring a flutist, Jonathan Johnston who was excellent. At dinner, we had two ladies, Lisa, and Lindy from California, join our table. They were supposed to be at table #61 but because Lisa was sick, they hadn’t been there. When they showed up, the people there wouldn’t let them sit with them so Leslie and Todd invited them to our table. We all had such a good time talking that we didn’t leave until 10pm!

Sunday, May 26, 2019 – Cherbourg, France (19068 steps/7.23 miles)

This was not our favorite port. We had to take a complimentary, mandatory, shuttle bus to the ferry terminal. Then we had to get on another complimentary shuttle to take us into town (20-minute walk) where it dropped us off at the Tourist Information (which was closed). We walked around town but because it was Sunday, most of the places were closed. We found a beautiful park in the middle of the town and walked around. We also bought chocolate eclairs from a boulangerie and they were delicious. Don found a couple of antique stores and he bought a book and a bunch of postcards from one store. The owner, Julia, was a delightful person and I enjoyed talking to her. She retired from being a seamstress and made clothes for Harrods and even famous theater productions. We decided to head back to the ship around 1:45 and we had to wait for  the bus to arrive at the Tourist Info stop. There were hordes of people waiting for shuttles back to their ship but 2 buses came to take people to the P&O Brittania. When our bus came, the mob rushed the bus and we were lucky to get a seat. The bus driver didn’t allow anyone to stand. Then when we got to the ferry terminal, we had to wait 15 minutes for the bus to take us to the ship.

Monday, May 27, 2019 – Zeebrugge, Belgium (20029 steps/7.8 miles)

We got off the ship around 9:45 and there were two different shuttles available One took you to the cruise terminal where you got connected with your independent tours or the other bus took you into Blankenberge. We took the bus to Blankenberge which was about a 15-minute drive. When we got there, we saw a medical emergency where a person had to be medevac-ed by helicopter. This nice elderly lady spoke to us and recommended a chocolate shop in town. Then we walked around town and saw a beautiful church. We went inside and looked around. We also walked the promenade along the beach. Then we went back into town and found the tourist information center (with the only free bathroom we found). Then we walked back on the boardwalk to the pier and the restaurant at the end of the pier, but it was closed. When we returned to the tourist information center, they recommended Herman’s for a beer, so we went there, and it was great. We let the waiter bring us 2 different beers to try. Then we got some Belgium fries which didn’t taste like anything special. After that, we went to Leonides and bough 500 g of assorted chocolate for 15 euros. Our next stop was to try Belgium waffles. so, I feel like I ate and drank my way through Belgium! After walking around the town some more, we went back to the shuttle stop and got the bus back to the terminal where we had to transfer onto another bus back to the ship. We were back to the ship by 4pm. Next time we visit, we will take the train to Brugge because everyone we talked to said it was well worth the time and that it was fabulous. The train cost about 6 or 7 euros but check to see if that is a round trip ticket or one way. Our table mates bought a ticket back and then learned that their first ticket was a round trip ticket so they didn’t need to buy another ticket back.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019 – Amsterdam, The Netherlands (31426 steps/11.92 miles)

We got off the ship around 9:20 and walked right into town. We wandered through the Red-Light District and Chinatown as we headed to Hard Rock Café to get our bottle opener magnets. Then we went to the Rijks Museum, Van Gogh Museum and Vondel Park. After that, we went to see the Anne Frank Museum. Then we wandered the Nine Streets area where there were antique stores. I also found a yarn shop!
 In the afternoon we had a beer at Molly Malone’s Bar which was right next to a canal. Then we went back through the Red-Light District which was now beginning to get crowded and busy and a little seedy. We saw the Oude Kerk (Old church) where Rembrandt's wife was buried. The architecture in this town was amazing. Many old churches seemed to be changed into restaurants or businesses. It was a lovely town and we would love to come back and visit for a few days.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019 – Sea Day

We had a Mariner’s Luncheon at 1pm and then we came back to the cabin to do some packing. We rested and watched TV until dinner time.

Thursday, May 30, 2019 – Oslo, Norway

We got off the ship at 7am and walked about 10-15 minutes into town. It poured down rain the entire time we were there. We walked to the Royal Palace and saw the changing of the guard. Oslo was a very expensive city and seemed like everything was expensive. I think it was the most expensive port we have been to visit. We walked around town until 11:30 when Hard Rock Café opened. After we bought our magnets, we came back to the ship. Our ship left at 2pm. We finished packing in the afternoon.

Friday, May 31, 2019 – Debarkation

We got off the ship around 7:45am. We took a cab to the airport and got there around 8:15. We went to the kiosk to print our boarding pass and a lady helped with doing that. But we had to wait until 10:30 to check our bags. Once we checked our bags we had to go through security and take a lot of things out of our backpacks. Then we had to go through Passport Control which took a long time. Finally, we got to our gate to board the plane. Going through JFK airport was a nightmare! We had to get in line with hundreds of people for Passport Control which took about 40 minutes. Then we had to claim our bags and then recheck them. We had to go through security again and then find our gate. We got to our gate about 45 minutes before boarding so I’m glad our “layover” was 3 hours! Dyanna and Earl picked us up around 12:30 am from the airport.

Things I Learned:

1.     Watch where crew members shop for groceries because it is usually the best and cheapest place.
2.     ne of the time it is cheaper to go exploring on your own than a ship’s tour.
3.     Paying in local currency is cheaper than converting it to your currency.
4.     Download Google Maps ahead of time if your phone has room. When we got to Ireland, I found out that not all countries allow the download so we didn’t have the maps available offline on my phone.
5.     South Queensferry, Scotland
a.     Tender-into South Queensferry 
b.     Gateway to Edinburgh 
c.     .8 miles to Dalmeny Station  - 20 minutes to Edinburgh/Waverly
d.     Taxi - 25 £
e.     1 millions visitors to Scotland whiskey distillery yearly 
f.      Currency - pound sterling 
g.     790 islands
h.     Dock - Hawes Pier
i.      10 miles east of Edinburgh 
j.      St Mary’s church 1441
k.     Robert Lewis Stevenson featured this in Kidnapped. 
l.      RLS stayed at Hawes Inn
m.   Museum has Burr-y man
n.     Shore walk to Cramond 
o.     Inchcolm Abbey on Inchcolm Island 
p.     Dalmeny House
q.     Firth of Forth - famous bridge 1890 - 55 tons of steel 
r.      Edinburgh, Scotland
                                                        i.     Bus to Edinburgh - Cruise link /99 x; 9£ round trip every 20 minutes; 30-minute drive
                                                      ii.     Edinburgh  - UNESCO site for literature 2004 - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, JK Rowling, Poet – Sir Walter Scott
                                                    iii.     Railings and wrought iron has to be painted black 
                                                     iv.     Princess Street gardens
                                                      v.     Royal mile - broadest and oldest street 
                                                     vi.     Real Mary King Close
                                                   vii.     The Royal Mile Whiskies 
                                                 viii.     Saint Giles Cathedral - the birthplace of Presbyterianism; knights of the Thistle 
                                                     ix.     Holyrood Palace - closed; can go in gardens
                                                      x.     Arthur’s Seat – hike
                                                     xi.     The National Museum of Scotland 
                                                   xii.     Scottish National Gallery 
                                                 xiii.     Our Dynamic Earth
                                                  xiv.     Greyfriars Kirkyard - cemetery (ghosts) - The grave of Thomas Riddle (Harry Potter) 
                                                   xv.     Greyfriars Bobby - loyal dog slept at masters grave for 13 years 
                                                  xvi.     Calton Hill
                                                xvii.     Medical museum with a purse made out of skin
                                              xviii.     Leith- Royal Yacht Britannia - sailed over 1 million miles
                                                  xix.     The Falkirk Wheel - connects the canals (30-minute drive)
                                                   xx.     Stirling Castle 
                                                  xxi.     William Wallace monument - Can climb up the tower 
                                                xxii.     Irn Bru - tastes like Big Red
                                              xxiii.     Fried pizza, fried snickers, fried mars bars
6.     Invergordon, Scotland
a.     3700 people 
b.     Gateway to Inverness or the Highlands 
c.     Look for Nessie in Loch Ness
d.     Naval Museum - murals; unexploded mine
e.     25x bus to Inverness (30 minutes)
f.      Inverness - 40000 people 24 miles from Invergordon 
g.     Known for last battle ever fought on English soil
h.     Victorian market 
i.      Inverness city historic trail - 79 miles 
j.      Caledonian canal
k.     Glenmorangie distillery
l.      Fortrose cathedral 
m.   Outside of town: Cawdor castle - inspiration for MacBeth, Urquhart Castle (1-hour drive), Groam House Museum , Dornoch Cathedral 
n.     Taxi -30 £ per hour
o.     Train - 1 hour
p.     80£ to rent a car
q.     1£ = $1.27 USD
7.     Kirkwall, Scotland
a.     First time this ship was in Kirkwall 
b.     Largest town and capital of the Orkney islands
c.     9000 inhabitants 
d.     A large amount of prehistoric sites 
e.     The Neolithic heart of Orkney
f.      UNESCO world heritage list
g.     Influenced by the Vikings
h.     Orkney used to be part of Norway
i.      Orkney Museum – free
j.      Orkney Wireless Museum - WWII info; amateur radio; opens around 10
k.     St. Magnus Cathedral - most impressive landmark 
l.      Earl’s Palace & Bishops’ Palace - 6£ fee
m.   Shopping on Albert Street - yarn, jewelry 
n.     Skara Brae - out of town, Neolithic settlement; before Stonehenge; 8 houses; 16 miles/30min drive (prebook tickets for specific times)
o.     Stones of Stenness - stone monuments; One stone has a hole - couple holds hands through it; you can walk up to them. 30-minute bus ride
p.     Ring of Brodgar - another stone monument site 
q.     Near the others; northernmost example of circle henges 
r.      Italian chapel - built by Italian POWs in 1942
s.     Skapa Floe - historic wreck site
t.      Food- Orkney cheddar cheese; Orkney ice cream; Orkney fudge - try ginger fudge 
u.     Taxis not available at the pier; No Uber or rideshare 
v.     35£ per hour for private tours
w.   Drive on the left if you rent a car
x.     Public bus - very crowded; bus station near the travel center; only take sterling pounds, can exchange on the ship. 
8.     Stornoway, Scotland
a.     Look for harbor seals
b.     ATM - a hole in wall 
c.     Quid means pound 
d.     Pound sterling = $1.27 USD
e.     Public bus is in front of ferry terminal 
f.      Islands of outer Hebrides
g.     Lewis and Harris most populated island 
h.     8000 occupants 
i.      Home of Harris tweed
j.      Gateway To the Outer Hebrides
k.     Gaelic language 
l.      The Herring Girls – 2 statues
m.   Lews Castle - the backdrop of harbor; only woodland park
n.     Trees are rare due to acidic soil and high winds
o.     Museum Nan Eilean – free
p.     Town Hall building - an iconic building 
q.     Lewis loom center - history of Harris Tweed
r.      An Lanntair Gallery and Arts centre - complimentary 
s.     Out of town: 
                                                        i.     Tiumpan Head lighthouse 
                                                      ii.     Callanish Standing Stones (30-minute drive)
                                                    iii.     Shawbost Mill and Kiln - reconstructed corn mill (35-minute drive)
t.      Food: Stornoway black pudding (MacLeod); Haggis spiced chocolate; White pudding 
9.     Belfast, N. Ireland
a.     A shuttle bus takes you to downtown in Donegal Square/ Visitor Center $20 RT last shuttle 7:30pm
b.     Taxi - 15£
c.     You can walk to the gate and then 2.5 miles from downtown 
d.     Free city hall guided tours - 11, 2, 3 pm 
e.     Linen Hall library - oldest library 
f.      Grand Opera House – haunted; Calendar girls musical- 2:30pm
g.     Crown Liquor Saloon- most famous bar
h.     Hotel Europa - most bombed hotel in Europe and the world. Bombed 33 times by the IRA. Nicknamed Hard Board Hotel
i.      St Anne’s Cathedral- finished 1981. 150,000 pieces of colored glass 
j.      Albert Memorial Clock - frequented by ladies of the night; Ireland’s Leaning Tower of Pisa
k.     Queen’s University  - welcome center, gift shop, botanical gardens 
l.      Ulster Museum- armada room, Egyptian room, early people’s gallery, The Troubles, free!
m.   St George ‘s Market 
n.     Titanic Museum - Titanic built in Belfast
White Star Line sunk in 1912 2 hours 20 minutes after it hurt the iceberg; Southampton to New York
o.     Out of town: Belfast Castle - take 1A or 1G bus, look for 9 white mosaic cats; Stormont- state of parliament 
p.     Giants causeway 
q.     310,000 population 
r.      Built in 1888
s.     Known for: Linenopolis, Shipbuilding 
t.      The Troubles - political violence; Protestant- British; Catholic- want to leave the UK; Peace walls to separate Catholic and Protestant neighborhoods - 21 miles; Now 60 walls standing
u.     117 cruise ships last year 
v.     Check out the Movie 71
w.   Try Carroll’s Irish gifts; Black cab tours; Potatoes! - Ulster fry (breakfast)
10.  Dublin, Ireland
a.     Ocean pier 33 - 3 miles from town  Shuttle $20 RT Last shuttle 7:30 Shuttle bus drop off the north side of Merrion Square; taxi  20€ each way
b.     Capital of Ireland 
c.     ABC - another bloody castle (or church)
d.     Viking settlement 
e.     1759 - Guinness and Stout first began 
f.      The Liffey River splits it between north and south
g.     The Ha’penny bridge- first cast iron bridge 
h.     Oscar Wilde, and Yeats  lived here
i.      National Museum of Ireland - the Bog body (200BC); free
j.      St Stephen’s Green - 22 acre park
k.     Grafton Street - pedestrian shops, music
l.      Trinity College founded 1592; Trinity library - 4.5 million books, Book of Kells
m.   Dublin Castle- built 1204, used to host state visits
n.     Chester Beatty Library 
o.     Dublinia- Vikings, a historical recreation of Viking history 
p.     Irish immigration museum 
q.     National leprechaun museum 
r.      Christchurch Cathedral- oldest stone building 
s.     St Patrick’s Cathedral - founded 1191, tallest and largest church in Ireland 
t.      Guinness storehouse
u.     Temple Bar - bar area; cultural corner
v.     O’Connell Street - Dublin’s main thoroughfare 
w.   The General post office - Headquarter of Easter rising  
x.     Old Jameson Distillery - visitor center 
11.  Cherbourg, France
a.     Quai de Normandy - Complimentary mandatory shuttle to ferry terminal; Walk to 2nd complimentary shuttle to downtown or 20-minute walk; Make sure you get on the right bus to ferry terminal and ship
b.     Market along avenue de Normandy 
c.     Gateway to Normandy Beach and Utah Beach 
d.     Sunday - a lot will be closed; sleepy town; many things not open until 1 
e.     57 liters of wine consumed annually per person 
f.      Most visited country in the world 
g.     2nd Largest artificial harbor in the world 
h.     La cite de la Mer - aquarium/maritime history; titanic stopped here; largest submarine open to the public 
i.      Basilique Sainte-Trinite- across from Napoleon’s statue
j.      Place de Gaulle - May have markets open
k.     Musee Thomas-Henry- art museum 
l.      Emmanuel Liais Museum and Parc – free
m.   Fort du Roule - built in the 19th century by Napoleon III; 117 meters high, the highest point in town
n.     Musee de la Liberation 
o.     The mall is closed on Sunday 
p.     Umbrella factory - Lala land
q.     No car rental open
                                                        i.     Out of town:
                                                      ii.     Cape of La Hague - half day trip
                                                    iii.     Chateau de Nacqueville - 30 min. Drive
                                                     iv.     Parc du Chateau des Ravalet 
                                                      v.     Barfleur- beautiful village in France; under 1000 people 
                                                     vi.     Sainte-Mere-Englise- from movie The longest day
                                                   vii.     Saint Marie du Mont -30 minute drive
                                                 viii.     D-Day beaches -plan ahead of time 
                                                     ix.     Utah beach (30 minutes/34 miles away) and Omaha Beach (1 hour/52 miles away) 
                                                      x.     American cemetery at Omaha Beach 
                                                     xi.     Bayeux (2 hours away, 250/300 euro one way) liberated during D-Day; Bayeux tapestry 
                                                   xii.     Mont Saint Michel - marathon happening so no tours
12.  Zeebrugge, Belgium
a.     Dock at Swedish Quay; Can’t walk around shipyard; Complimentary shuttle - port shuttle red bus to cruise terminal; Complimentary shuttle to Blankenberge train station and walk around town 
Leaves on 52-minute mark 
b.     Gateway to Ghent (1-hour drive) and Brussels (2-hour drive)
c.     Picturesque; Canals, Market square 
d.     Try Belgium waffles, chocolate, beer, fries 
e.     2000 chocolate shops in Belgium 
f.      The main language is Dutch 
g.     Big Bang theory originated in Belgium in 1927
h.     Cricket is a Belgium invention 
i.      Spa - the word is Belgium origin
j.      Audrey Hepburn and Jean Claude van Damme are from Belgium
k.     40-minute drive to Brugge
l.      Zeebrugge is an industrial port
m.   Brugge - big trade port; first stock exchange in Europe
n.     The cultural capital of Europe
o.     UNESCO world Heritage site 
p.     Brugge Market Square - beautiful architecture, expensive restaurants, pickpockets 
q.     Belfry tower -366 steps to top
r.      Historium - history museum 
s.     Church of Our Lady - 2nd highest brick building in the world ; Madonna and Child by Michelangelo
t.      Basilica of Holy Blood - have cloth with the blood of Jesus
u.     Gruuthuse Museum
v.     Choco Story Museum 
w.   French Fries Museum 
x.     Brugge City Hall 
y.     Half Moon Brewery - 6 generations 
z.     Lace Museum 
aa.  Windmills 
bb.  Canal boats
cc.  Out of town:
                                                        i.     Loppem Castle 
                                                      ii.     Ghent -quiet city; altar piece 
                                                    iii.     Brussels (90 minute train ride)- Seay of European Union 
                                                     iv.     Ypres- Flanders Field Museum 
13.  Amsterdam, The Netherlands
a.     Docked downtown 
b.     There is a strike on public transit (Given a months notice)
c.     7 m below sea level 
d.     Go through a set of locks - 5am  and 11:30pm
e.     HOHO bus 
f.      The music Building at the IJ
g.     All roads lead to Grand Central Station opened I 1889
h.     Basilica of St Nicholas - twin domes
i.      Damrak- main St. 
j.      canal boats
k.     Beurs Van Berlage - stock exchange 
l.      Dam Square - free walking tours, demonstrations, Royal Palace, new church,
Street vendors, Ripley’s believe it or not. 
m.   Royal Palace - 350-year-old; closed until the 30th because of Royal events 
n.     National Monument - a tribute to WWII
o.     Canal belt –
p.     The Nine Streets -antiques  
q.     De Jordaan – markets
r.      Ann Frank house - get tickets 2 months in advance; 25% sold the day of at 9am
s.     Leidesplein- night time, not red light district 
t.      Vondelpark - Garden and zoo
u.     Rijksmuseum- the largest museum in the Netherlands; the night watch by Rembrandt (De Nachtwacht); no Van Goghs
v.     Van Gogh Museum 
w.   Stedelijk Museum- modern museum 
x.     Spiegelkwartier- the neighborhood for antiques and curiosities 
y.     Magere Brug “skinny bridge “ - beautiful st night 
z.     Hermitage Amsterdam- 6 month collection from Russia 
aa.  Jewish Historical Museum
bb.  Flower Market - at the Single (tail end of Tulip season)
cc.  Begijhof- cloistered courtyard, group of houses for “nuns”, the oldest house is here 
dd.  Red Light District- windows with ladies; don’t take photos, erotic museum, hash museum, Oude Kerk (old church), a statue of Belle
ee.  Nieuwmarkt- castle, markets, outdoor cafes
ff.    Zeedijk - Chinatown 
gg.  Our Lord in the Attic Museum - secret Catholic Church
Maritime Museum 
hh.  De shooter Windmill - tallest wooden windmill, brewery in bottom
ii.    Amsterdam Noord - modern 
jj.    Eye Film Institute - 37000 film titles
kk.  Food: Cheeses, Drop - licorice 80 different varieties; Stroopwafels - thin waffle with a layer of caramel in between it; Raw herring ice cream 
ll.    Coffeeshop- place to legally smoke marijuana 
mm.       Space cakes / special ingredient! Most bicycle friendly in the world 
nn.  Out of town: May not be possible due to strike 
14.  Oslo, Norway
a.     Arrive at 7 Akershuskai port 1/2 mile from the city center along water
b.     Short day - return by 1:30 
c.     Public holiday- Ascension Day
d.     Akershus Fortress - 10-minute walk from port 
e.     City Hall - 15 minutes away from port (1/2 mile)
f.      Nobel Peace Center - opens 10 am
g.     Karl Johan Gate – main road
h.     Magic Ice Bar - near gate; opens at 9:30
i.      Royal Palace- opens June 23
j.      Opera House 
k.     Vigeland Sculpture Park - Little Angry Boy
l.      On the island of museums: take ferry
                                                        i.     Viking Ship Museum 
                                                      ii.     Kon-tiki Museum 
                                                    iii.     Fram Museum 
m.   Folk Museum 
Hiking- Nearest trailhead - 3km away
n.     The visitor center at terminal 
o.     HOHO bus starts at 10am/ 90 minute loop/ pricey 
p.     $1=8.70 Norwegian Krone
q.     National Gallery - closed for renovation; Edvard Munch - The Scream
r.      Oscarborg Fortress - seen 1.5 hours before we arrive into the port

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