September 17, 2008

Juneau

Tuesday

We arrived in Juneau at 7:30 this morning and found exactly the same as in Ketchikan - drizzle! We walked around the town which is very similar to Norway or yesterday's experience.

This afternoon we visited the sled dog summer camp and met the "mushers" and their dogs. A team of twelve dogs took us in a wheeled vehicle on a trip of about a mile and afterwards we met the puppies. Not quite cairns, but cute anyway. Photos to be posted soon

Posted by jeff at 12:26 AM | Comments (0)

September 16, 2008

Ketchikan - Juneau

Yesterday (Monday) was an internet disaster. The connection has been down for 24 hours and I am now well behind on blogging. I am now connected and here is what I intended to post yesterday.

Sunday

There was nothing dramatic to report yesterday as we were at sea all day. We commenced the journey through the Inner Passage - if you will pardon the expression - towards Alaska. The tour manager said that the temperature tomorrow would be about 28 in bright sunshine; well, if not in Alaska, it would be somewhere in the world!

Monday

Today we arrived at Ketchikan at 07:30 and after breakfast we went ashore in a misty drizzle. Apparently, they measure rainfall in Ketchikan by the foot, not the inch! It does make you wonder what drove people to settle in this part of the world. After about two hours ashore we decided that the ship would the drier and more welcoming place to be. We had by then seen most of downtown Ketchikan including Creek Street which was the old bordello area of the town, particularly Dollyís House which was closed down in the 1930s. Wouldn't you just believe it - as we got back on board, the sun came out.

We sailed at 14:00 continuing up the inner passage to Juneau, tomorrow's port of call

Posted by jeff at 08:17 PM | Comments (0)

September 14, 2008

Leaving Vancouver

Yesterday was quite a day. We were collected from the hotel at 11:30 as promised and reached the port at 12:30. After spending 90 minutes wending our way through a serpentine queue, we entered the "Cattle Shed" that puported to be US Immigration.

The least said about that the better! We eventually got on board at 16:30!!!

At least our frustration was countered when we got to our cabin and saw how delightful it is. We finally sailed at 18:30.
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Leaving Vancouver
Early nigh as the travel days have caught up with us

Posted by jeff at 11:19 PM | Comments (0)

September 13, 2008

Vancouver

I now know where all the redundant engines from Concorde have gone - they power the hand driers in the toilets at Terminal 5!

So here we are in Vancouver after a 32 hour day yesterday. Our 9 hour flight from London was almoost uneventful, apart from the fact that I must be the only guy to have a shower on a BA flight! One of the trolley dollies managed to throw a glass of cold water over me, and not for any of the reasons you may think!

The hotel we stayed in last night is fantastic. We had two emporer sized beds and areal coffee percolator. Don't suppose our cabin will be that size. Well we will find out in about 4 -5 hours time.

Carry on watching this space.

Posted by jeff at 04:01 PM | Comments (1)

September 10, 2008

Golden Wedding - Diamond Princess

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Diamond Princess

Tommorow we are off to start our round the world trip. We are camping out at Heathrow so as not to suffer traumas on Friday morning! We then fly to Vancouver and board the ship there. We are then of to Alaska for 9 days before crossing the northen pacific.

I will be updating this blog daily if possible, but I doubt if I will be able to post pictures. They will have to wait until we get home. So - as they say "watch this space"

Posted by jeff at 09:31 PM | Comments (0)

September 03, 2008

They Think It's All Over - Well It Is Now!

If one looks at the Olympics of the 21st century we could become very depressed, but I am looking at the other side of the coin - or in this case, the medal. Everyone is praising the Chinese for the fantastic organisation of the opening ceremony, but tonight I learn that the beautiful little girl was miming her song as the actual singer was not beautiful enough! It has also been reported that the fireworks had also been recorded earlier and some of them were computer generated! I wonder if all those thousands of synchronised drummers were real. There were probably only about 10 and the picture was reproduced many thousands of times. After this effort they then doubled as the synchronised diving pair and predictably won a gold medal - or two.

We really should find out how it is done as this will make the task at Stratford so much easier in 2012. Then the torch entered the stadium! We were told by the commentator that it ran around the birds' nest stadium and then lit the cauldron! Come on! Hello! This is China. Birds' nests are for making soup, and for this you wouldn't have a cauldron. This is Beijing, you only need a WOK!

A few nights later I watched the medal ceremony for the two British girls who won Gold and Bronze in the swimming pool. Our first swimming medals for 48 years! You could tell this was so as the Union Flags were creased where they had been folded. I must say it would not have hurt if they had arranged for them to be ironed after lying in a drawer for all that length of time.

The next night the BBC interviewed a very personable young man who had won a silver medal in kayak slalom. Apparently he is an astrophysicist who was turned down on applying to become an astronaut. In their wisdom, the Beeb produced a graphic showing him on the moon in a space suit planting a Union Flag on the surface. It might have been a little more acceptable as a joke if the flag had not been upside down!

So - now it is all over. What are the things that impressed me and what images are indelibly printed on my brain? First, I can now pronounce Qindao as "Shindow" and to my surprise I now know that Yngling is an English word as is Ohuruogu. It would also appear that the British sailors winning gold medals have, of necessity, to use an "F" word to describe their ecstasy!

Let us not detract form the 19 gold medals won. During the last few weeks it has been announced that the growth of our economy from April to June has reached 0%. Wait until the September figures are released with all that massive addition to our gold reserves!

An interesting statistic that emerges from the medal table is, if you take the number of medals and look at how many of the population it took to produce a gold medal, the position of the top four nations would be reversed with GB at the top with 3.21M, followed by Russia with 6.18M, and USA third with 8.44M. China with its massive population would be fourth with 26.08M. So there you are - we truly are the greatest!

On to the closing ceremony, again another truly great spectacle. All those drums dominated by two massive ones that looked like giant slices of Edam cheese having the daylights being beaten out of them. I did like the London bus that morphed into a giant topiary of the capitalís skyline, and David Beckham didnít miss this penalty. How clever of them to leave Amy Winehouse out of the equation.

At each Olympics there are a few sports that are included as demonstrations only. What will we have in 2012? How about Chigwell Wives in Four-Wheel Drives showing how to hold the steering wheel with one hand whilst clutching a mobile phone in the other and completing a right-hand turn. After all they would only have to get as far as Stratford! Part of our opening ceremony could be the arrival of about 100 Black cabs and as soon as they stop 100 Black & Yellow wardens could slap a parking ticket on them!

Sorry to get carried away, overall I must say "Well Done GB" let's hope that we can improve on these results in London.

Posted by jeff at 12:01 PM | Comments (0)