MAP OF ITINERARYFriday, March 11, 2016

 

 

 

A New Adventure Begins…..

Hello to all our friends and readers (some of whom are friends we haven’t met yet). Tonight at 11 PM a new adventure begins for us as we depart Fort Lauderdale on Holland America’s smallest ship the MS Prinsendam, for a 55-day boat ride to Europe’s Mediterranean and back to Fort Lauderdale.

Because we’ve taken many long cruises in the past (and lived to blog about them), we’re frequently asked, “How can you stand being on a ship for so long?”  So here’s the poop:  Think about going on a long vacation to visit many new and interesting places (most of which you probably have never been to) and…….ONLY HAVING TO UNPACK ONCE !  That in itself is added value in our book.  And then, it takes a little bit of a paradigm shift to understand that, at least on long cruises, the ports of call are not the destination; the SHIP is the destination, and the ports of call delightful .distractions. It took us several cruises to learn this by ourselves. AND, just so everybody understands, the ambience on a longer cruise is nothing like that on a 4- or 7- or even a 14-day cruise. On shorter cruises everyone is in a rush…rush…. rush… to get off the ship, to run as fast as they can to see as much as they can cram into the hours onshore. And to do it again the next day….and the next… And then, of course, there’s the food…on short cruises passengers often “pig out” like there’s no tomorrow:  “that cruise line isn’t going to make a dime off of me….I’m going to eat my way through this cruise and get ALL my money’s worth….” By contrast, on a long cruise everyone is laid back, there’s a casual ambience on board, you actually have time to meet people, spend time with them…and even make wonderful new friendships that survive and thrive long after the cruise has ended. And when you do visit ports of call, some of them quite small, some quite exotic, and some very large cities, the outlook is not so much on “how much can I SEE?” but on “what wonderful new person, place or thing will I EXPERIENCE?”  I have often compared short and long cruises as like the difference between a kind going to summer camp for a week or for the entire summer.  The “feel” is completely different, and often life-long friendships are made by and between kids who are lucky enough to get to go to camp for the entire summer.  I’ve often said that a long cruise is like summer camp for grown-ups.

 

One of the most valuable lessons we have learned by traveling on a cruise ship, is that serendipity is your friend. Sometimes what (or who) you encounter when you least expect it, is what you never forget and what colors your trip and your life. Here are a couple of examples of what I’m talking about.

Once we were in a small town in Chile, just walking around the town with the ship’s Watercolor Instructor and her husband (and yes, long cruises have so many more activities to choose from during sea day than the short cruises) when we happened to look into a coffee shop attached to a Theatre.  And in the coffee shop who should we see but a local man sitting with an espresso doing water colors.  This chance encounter led to a visit to his home/office/studio, and after spending several hours with him he actually painted an original watercolor for each of us, which he gave us as a gift.

On another occasion we were walking along the street in Manaus, Brazil (located 1,000 miles up the Amazon – you travel there either by boat or plane) with some Catholic friends, when my “Jewish radar” went off as we were approached by a figure walking toward us dressed in a manner that would be perfectly at home in Crown Heights, in Brooklyn. We stopped him to learn that he was the Rabbi of the Jews of the Rain Forest, a “turf” that begins outside the seaside city of Belem at the mouth of the Amazon and stretches over a thousand miles inland along the mighty river. Of course his story was fascinating, but equally as significant for us was that he invited us to dinner at his home that evening, where for what was the first time in 2 months we were able to eat chicken because it was KOSHER chicken.  Both of these experiences we will remember and treasure for as long as we live.

And so it goes.  Every day is a new surprise, every day is a new adventure.  I have decided to begin this blog today, and I can’t promise how often I will be able to post because there are some periods when we are in a new and different port every day for as much as 7 days in a row.  So I start today because for the next 8 days will be at sea as we cross the Atlantic, without “sights” to report and without any reliable internet availability until March 20th at the earliest (the internet service available on ships is, in our experience, outrageously expensive – think USD $0.50 or 0.75 cents a minute – and to add insult to injury, it is agonizingly slow – think slower than dial-up (for those of you who remember “back in the day”). So anything we post will be on the days were in port. We’re both going to try to make and keep it interesting, but both of us have agreed that we don’t want to be “slaves” to the blog.  Maybe we’ll post photos but with less narration and description.  We’ll see what this adventure brings, and we’ll try to share the most memorable experiences with you.  So stay tuned… more to follow as the adventure gets under way.     

One response »

  1. What an outstanding post! Agree wholeheartedly about long cruises: you put it very well! Lovely part about the Rabbi in Manaus.
    Hope you have the BEST cruise and can find a bit of time to write about it.

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Hi, Kal and I are embarking on a new voyage.

I hope you will come along and check out our adventures.

We will have spotty internet service for most of this voyage so I hope you will bare with us and even though you might not hear from me for many days, just know that I am writing and snapping away and once I get to somewhere that has decent service I will upload it all at the same time.

I hope you enjoy this blog.. wish you were traveling with us and then I wouldn’t have to write this stuff!

We are hold up in a hotel in Vegas at the moment until Sunday morning when we take a flight to Seattle and board the ship.

The last few weeks have been seriously hectic with all the packing and filling pods for our move across the country. seems like we are constantly moving and trying to settle near the kids.. but now I have the greatest grandson and I just have to be near that little guy.  For those of you who haven’t seen him yet, here’s a pix of my pride and joy with is Mom!

Below is the itinerary for our trip for those of you who have an interest.

Day Date Port Arrive Depart
0 21 Sep 2014 Seattle, Washington, US 04:00 PM
1 22 Sep 2014 At Sea
2 23 Sep 2014 At Sea
3 24 Sep 2014 At Sea
4 25 Sep 2014 Kodiak, Alaska, US 08:00 AM 03:00 PM
5 26 Sep 2014 At Sea
6 27 Sep 2014 Dutch Harbor, Alaska, US 08:00 AM 02:00 PM
7 28 Sep 2014 At Sea
8 29 Sep 2014 Cross International Dateline CO
9 01 Oct 2014 At Sea
10 02 Oct 2014 At Sea
11 03 Oct 2014 Kushiro, Japan 10:00 AM 06:00 PM
12 04 Oct 2014 At Sea
13 05 Oct 2014 Tokyo, Japan ON 08:00 AM
14 06 Oct 2014 Tokyo, Japan 04:00 PM
15 07 Oct 2014 At Sea
16 08 Oct 2014 Nagasaki, Japan 10:00 AM 06:00 PM
17 09 Oct 2014 Jeju (Cheju) City, Korea TR 07:00 AM 01:00 PM
18 10 Oct 2014 Incheon (Seoul), South KoreaON 08:00 AM
19 11 Oct 2014 Incheon (Seoul), South Korea 05:00 PM
20 12 Oct 2014 At Sea
21 13 Oct 2014 Xingang (Beijing), China ON VX 07:00 AM
22 14 Oct 2014 Xingang (Beijing), China VX 07:00 PM
23 15 Oct 2014 At Sea
24 16 Oct 2014 Qingdao, China VX 08:00 AM 05:00 PM
25 17 Oct 2014 Shanghai, China ON VX 10:30 PM
26 18 Oct 2014 Shanghai, China ON VX
27 19 Oct 2014 Shanghai, China ON VX
28 20 Oct 2014 Shanghai, China VX 06:00 PM
29 21 Oct 2014 At Sea
30 22 Oct 2014 At Sea
31 23 Oct 2014 Hong Kong, China ON 08:00 AM
32 24 Oct 2014 Hong Kong, China 07:00 PM
33 25 Oct 2014 At Sea
34 26 Oct 2014 At Sea
35 27 Oct 2014 Phu My, Vietnam VX 06:00 AM 06:00 PM
36 28 Oct 2014 At Sea
37 29 Oct 2014 Singapore ON 10:00 AM
38 30 Oct 2014 Singapore 06:00 PM
39 31 Oct 2014 At Sea
40 01 Nov 2014 Tanjung Priok, Jakarta, Indonesia VX 08:00 AM 06:00 PM
41 02 Nov 2014 At Sea
42 03 Nov 2014 Benoa (Denpasar), Bali, Indonesia VX 08:00 AM 05:00 PM
43 04 Nov 2014 Komodo Island, Indonesia TR VX 10:00 AM 04:00 PM
44 05 Nov 2014 At Sea
45 06 Nov 2014 Darwin, Australia VX Noon 08:00 PM
46 07 Nov 2014 At Sea
47 08 Nov 2014 At Sea
48 09 Nov 2014 At Sea
49 10 Nov 2014 Port Douglas (Cairns), AustraliaVX TR 08:00 AM 06:00 PM
50 11 Nov 2014 At Sea
51 12 Nov 2014 At Sea
52 13 Nov 2014 At Sea
53 14 Nov 2014 Sydney, Australia ON VX 08:00 AM
54 15 Nov 2014 Sydney, Australia VX 04:00 PM
55 16 Nov 2014 At Sea
56 17 Nov 2014 At Sea
57 18 Nov 2014 Noumea, New Caledonia 08:00 AM 10:00 PM
58 19 Nov 2014 Ile des Pins, New Caledonia TR 08:00 AM 02:00 PM
59 20 Nov 2014 At Sea
60 21 Nov 2014 Lautoka, Fiji 08:00 AM 05:00 PM
61 22 Nov 2014 Suva, Fiji 08:00 AM 05:00 PM
62 23 Nov 2014 At Sea
63 24 Nov 2014 Apia, Samoa Islands 10:00 AM 04:00 PM
63 24 Nov 2014 Cross International Dateline CO
64 24 Nov 2014 At Sea
65 25 Nov 2014 Crossing the Equator CO
66 26 Nov 2014 At Sea
67 27 Nov 2014 At Sea
68 28 Nov 2014 At Sea
69 29 Nov 2014 Hilo, Hawaii, US 08:00 AM 05:00 PM
70 30 Nov 2014 Honolulu, Hawaii, US ON 08:00 AM
71 01 Dec 2014 Honolulu, Hawaii, US 11:00 PM
72 02 Dec 2014 Lahaina, Hawaii, US TR 08:00 AM 05:00 PM
73 03 Dec 2014 At Sea
74 04 Dec 2014 At Sea
75 05 Dec 2014 At Sea
76 06 Dec 2014 At Sea
77 07 Dec 2014 At Sea
78 08 Dec 2014 San Diego, California, US 07:00 AM
78-DAY GRAND PACIFIC & FAR EAST VOYAGE

 

2 responses »

  1. Looking forward to reliving this cruise through your blog!
    Have wonderful time and thanks for your time and efforts that will go into a super blog!

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Hi again, after a long hiatus, I’m back!!! Been so busy with family stuff.. My first grandbaby (a boy) was born.. and we had a fantastic family wedding.. So we had no time for cruising.. but things have quieted down and the holidays are upon us and so here we go again!

Blanket pix of frommerderski

 

 

ALASKA -2013

 

We are heading out to Alaska, via Vancouver, BC, where we will spend 4 days sightseeing.  Then get on the ship (Voldendam, Holland America) and sail for 18 days. (This will be a back to back cruise, meaning we will be visiting the exact same places twice.) That’s OK with me since there is so much to do and see that I don’t mind seeing the same things twice.

We had done a similar cruise 9 years ago and I am happy I will get a chance to see it all again!

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Hopefully, the weather will be better but we will be prepared this time, way more then last! Last time it didn’t stop raining and it was chilly, we got soaked to the bone, but had a blast nonetheless.

SO our stops will be, Skagway, Ketchikan, the Glaciers, Inside Passage, Sitka, Juneau not necessarily in that order.

Hope to see a couple of yarn shops for all my knitting buddies… and find snowglobes for my niece, who keeps promising me that she will put together a list so that we can keep track of what she has, and what she needs (really??? needs??) to cover the world, but never does!

So, I’ll be back in a couple of days when we are heading out to Vancouver!

So sit back in your favorite chair and grab your knitting or whatever and enjoy!!

You are now an official armchair traveler!!!

9 responses »

    • It was a last minute thing.. we weren’t planning it at all..but there is still room on the 11th (second part of trip)..
      There is still time to book and pack and join us!!!

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 ROAD TRIP 2012

 

 

We finished all the work that needed to be done to close the house and off we went. Bye bye Desert and dry HEAT!!

On the way out of Phoenix we were so close to a LYS and I convinced K to stop and let me roll around in the yarn..

The shop was full of needlework, and yarn. The shopkeeper doesn’t have a website or anything to do with the internet yet she sells Signature Needles. I tried my first pair. They were way lighter than I thought. Not bad.. but not totally amazing, I thought the points would be sharper.

I purchased 3 skeins of SOCK yarn.. and love them… gonna post pix on KP.. The red, white and blue yarn is from Prescott. More on that shop later.

We started driving North, planning on visiting with a friend in Prescott for the evening and thought that the next morning we would head out, but we were having such a great time, we were invited to spend the weekend, and since we want to take it easy and spend as much time as possible checking out this magnificent country,  we accepted happily.

Prescott is a lovely little town with some beautiful old Victorian homes and Painted Lady homes. It has a great town square that has festivals and art fairs surrounded with artsy fartsy shops. Love Prescott..

SO off we went driving up Rt. 17 only to dead stop halfway to Prescott because of a terrible accident. We waited over an hour for it to be cleared.. I can only hope that everyone in the accident was able to walk away!!!!

We arrived to cool weather (about 30 degrees cooler) among the pines..

Our friend has a magnificent home in the woods of Prescott with a babbling brook running through the property.

We slept like babies in a room that comes straight out of a B&B,  and haven’t stopped talking since we walked in.

We spent the day out driving around (with the windows open, would you believe???) Stopped in a great yarn shop right near her home.

It was full of serious weaving, spinning tools. She even had sheep wool before it is processed. She couldn’t wind it because there was a class going on (weaving), so K will have to help once we get to FL.

We will start traveling again come Sunday toward Albuquerque and spend a few days in Santa Fe.

Happy Trails!!!

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To find additional port posts please view the archives on the right.

 

 

Trujillo, Peru

Hi, all you members of Nina’s Fan Club.  This is the Neener’s other (though not necessarily better) half filling in for the Neener tonight because the dear girl hasn’t been feeling well since last night.  So today she basically stayed inside except to post her blog about our experiences yesterday (Friday) in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Tomorrow (Sunday) she will probably post this as well as the portion of her blog that didn’t upload today, our “adventures” this past Thursday in Manta Ecuador, the Tuna Capital of the World. (If somewhere’s got to be the Tuna Capital of the World, why not Manta?)

As it happens today I escorted a tour group from the ship into the city of Trujillo, Peru.  Trujillo has the distinction of being the Asparagus Capital of the World (both green and white asparagus), although today we didn’t see any except on our dinner plates this evening on board.. The tour left Salaverry, the port of Trujillo, and took us to the center of the city of Trujillo, the second largest city (after Lima) in Peru. 

Trujillo was built by Fernando Pisarro, the Spanish conquistador who conquered the Incas.  He named it after the Spanish city of his birth.  Every colonial town built by the Spanish in the New World was laid out the same in the city center: a central square with a church or cathedral on the square (the yellow church in the picture) and a government administration building (the blue building next to the church in this case). Whe.her it’s called a Plaza de Armas in Latin America or a Zocalo in Mexico, it amounts to the same thing, I think

P1070872 Stitch

Today throughout South America you find large statues in the center of these parks.  The statues generally commemorate Simon Bolivar, the Great Liberator or South America, or others who played a major role in the liberation of South American nations from Spain.

The Incas and other pre-Columbian civilizations, who were living here for several thousand years before the Spaniards showed up, built their building out of adobe mud bricks.  Very similar to the biblical story of Israelites making bricks in Egypt, except the Incas didn’t mix the brick with straw. Almost all buildings around the center square are only one story because the area has had earthquakes (the last big one in 1970) that have destroyed the original buildings.  But in the interests of preserving the colonial architectural look, they rebuild with adobe downtown (guess they never heard of building safety codes!)..

Off the main square (“behind” the above panorama) we next visited a former Spanish colonial residence, now owned by a bank.  You go through a set of HUGE carved wooden double doors

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and enter a Spanish colonial house where all the furnishings were imported from Europe as a display of the owner’s wealth.

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From the center of Trujillo we all got back on the bus and drove to the Huaca de la Luna, the Temple of the Moon.  It is part of a complex of buildings that includes the remains of a large mud pyramid

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and a complex that includes the Huaca del Sol, the Temple of the Sun (the largest single adobe structure in the world – closed to the public at this time for archeological work) and the Temple of the Moon. As you climb up to the Temple of the Moon the view looks similar to the Giza Plateau from the Egyptian Pyramids and looks like this (remains of the adobe pyramid are in the upper right

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and here, in another view, remains of the pyramid are in the center):

P1080020 Stitch

The adobe mud pyramid and the Temples were built by the Moche people, a nation that preceded the Incas and that was eventually conquered by them.  As we entered the grounds of the Temple of the Moon we were met by its laid-back guardian, a breed of dog that goes back a couple thousand years – a HAIRLESS Peruvian dog (hairless except for the bouffant):

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The Moche people practiced human sacrifice to their mountain gods, who in their tradition lived on the sacred mountain called Cerro Blanco – White Mountain.

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And no, I have no idea why they called it WHITE Mountain, so don’t ask !

Anyways, next to the mountain the Moche people built their Temple of the Moon, where they worshipped a bunch of different mountain gods who lived on Cerro Blanco and who the Moche people saw as responsible for bringing and ending the rains in their due seasons.  This area is a desert next to an ocean (the Pacific), and the only fresh water is what runs down from the Andes, so rain was very important in the Moche culture. At first the prayers and human sacrifices to the gods for rain seemed to be working out well for them, but as time went on, not so much…

After experiencing great hardships caused by a number of successive years of drought, the Moche people thought that their religious priests had lost a lot of their influence with the gods – so they killed the priests.  Talk about killing the messenger because of the message……

Over a period spanning hundreds of years the Moche people built successive layer upon layer of Temple worship areas, and today there are portions of the Temple of the Moon that are 5 levels deep, which is probably something like 8 stories high.  In the most excavated portion of the archeological digs, only the top 3 levels have been excavated.

P1080039 Stitch

The most sacred parts of the Temple of the Moon were accessible only to the priests, the lords, the royalty and to those about to be offered as human sacrifices, There the adobe mud walls are decorated with designs that are painted and carved into the dry adobe walls.  Some of them are quite interesting and amazingly well preserved considering their age.

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My dentist would love these guys as patients……

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None of the pre-Columbian peoples left behind an alphabet, nor did they know about the wheel. Archeologists know about their lives mainly from the contents of their graves.  Like the Egyptians, pre-Columbian people loaded their graves with stuff for the “next world”.  This included clothing.  A Moche warrior’s usual dress would have looked like those in the photo, except that these clothes have painted designs while the original Moche textiles were woven.  These warriors are carrying shell and ceramic musical horns.

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The Moche people were obviously very attuned to nature, and they reflected this in their decoration of the Temple of the Moon.  One of the walls in the Temple depicts many of the local plants, animals and sea life that was part of the Moche day-to-day.  Here is a photo of one of these decorative walls and a close up of a part of the same wall:

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The Ceremonial Plaza, where the main rituals of the Moche people were carried out (including the human sacrifice rituals),  was decorated with painted walls that reminded me of the Egyptian wall paintings – rows of themes painted one higher than the other.  In the Moche decorations you can see a row of prisoners with ropes around their necks being paraded or led by their captors (who are outside the photo),

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the victory dance of the winner warriors in their ceremonial headgear (Hava Nagila anyone?)

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and the spider that devours its conquered prey

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along with a few other beasties, like a slinking serpent, and when you put them all together you get this

P1080079 Stitch

As we finally left the Temple of the Moon, I had two thoughts.  First, this visit made me recognize and appreciate once again the fantastic job Israeli archeologists and the Israeli Department of Antiquities does, in presenting Israeli archeological findings to the general public in clear, well thought-out and well laid-out, innovative ways.  Honestly, these mud ruins were like a proverbial box of rocks, and even though there were bilingual explanations offered, they did not seem to link everything together into a coherent, cohesive picture.  I have seen archeological digs in Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Peru, Mexico, Guatemala, India, France, Ireland and other places, but nobody seems to be better at making sites user-friendly and understandable than the Israelis.

Second, it seemed that in the rural areas surrounding the Temple, the more things changed the more they remained the same.  The descendants of these people and of their conquerors still farm, they still live off the land, and they still depend on the run-off waters of the Andes rain and snow for good harvests.

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They still build out of adobe mud brick

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and they still paint that adobe brick as decoration.

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As we drove back at the end of our trip through the city of Trujillo, the contrast between economically better-off neighborhoods

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and those of the poor

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told a familiar story in the developing world – the gap between the “haves” and the “have-nots” is glaring and immediately obvious. 

Tomorrow we are going to be in Lima, and if she is feeling OK, the Neener will be ESCORTING a 4-hour SHOPPING trip to art, arts and crafts, textile and silver-and-gold markets. I’m sure she’ll blog about this and that you’ll all enjoy it. 

Hi it’s NINA and it’s January 24, 2012 a Tuesday and we are in Santiago Chile now.. We haven’t had an opportunity to post anything at all for days because the ships internet was screwy and the internet cafes until now have used the oldest equipment I have ever seen in decades and doesn’t have the software to post pix..

Some things will be out of order, but I don’t think it matters much…

We will post a bunch at every opportunity.. and since Kal seems to be enjoying posting too, it might become a mix of both of us!!!

.

 

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