A Travellerspoint blog

This blog is published chronologically. Go straight to the most recent post.

Mar. 17 – WALVIS BAY, NAMIBIA

semi-overcast 65 °F
View Serenity 10 on Swenigale's travel map.

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The Namib, the oldest desert on earth, reaches the sea. Our tour today was aboard a catamaran in Walvis Bay Lagoon.

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The best part – the white pelicans that joined us!!

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Seals climbed aboard, as well.

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Oops!

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I didn’t know those webbed feet could grip!

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Oysters are farmed here – they are cultivated on ropes tied below the barrels. The lagoon is also a safe place for ships that need repair to anchor and wait their turn in Walvis Bay shipyards.

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Colonies of fur seals line the lagoon.

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So many babies!

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Our boat for the three-hour tour.

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Our driver 😊

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Yes, they served those fresh oysters!

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Seals were still working for their food on our return trip!

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Posted by Swenigale 04:23 Archived in Namibia

Mar. 21 – JAMESTOWN, ST. HELENA

BRITISH OVERSEAS PROTECTORATE

sunny 75 °F
View Serenity 10 on Swenigale's travel map.

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In 1815 the British sent a defeated Napoleon to this remote volcanic island to live out his days in exile.

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Jamestown is the only port and it is nestled between the towering cliffs of the James Valley.

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The seas were calm enough for us to safely tender ashore.

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See the stairway on the cliff? Called Jacob’s Ladder, it was built in the 1800’s up Ladder Hill to Ladder Hill Fort.

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A drive along steep switch-back roads and then a walk on a beautiful path led us to Napoleon’s now empty tomb.

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He was buried here in 1821 and in 1840 his body was brought to Paris.

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Napoleon lived in Longwood House, now a museum with a wealth of memorabilia.

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Exposed cliffs and lush interior vegetation create a remarkable contrast.

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We saw the Governor’s house

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And met the Island’s oldest resident Jonathan the tortoise.

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Driving to the upper town -

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To decide whether to climb down…….

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Um, no. But – many from the ship did!

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Posted by Swenigale 08:48 Archived in St Helena

MAR. 23 – GEORGETOWN, ASCENSION ISLAND

BRITISH OVERSEAS PROTECTORATE

sunny 85 °F

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We’ve sailed 800 miles northwest from St. Helena to arrive at Ascension Island, about midway between Africa and Brazil!

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Though the water looked calm and beautiful our visit to the island had to be cancelled.

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The tide was high and tenders would not be able to safely bring guests to shore at the rudimentary dock.

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We had all received our one-day landing permits, with strict warnings not to go outside the town!

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The island’s strategic location is and has been used by the British and the Americans for military purposes. The long runway was an alternate landing place for the Space Shuttle and is still a NASA tracking station.

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The first underwater telegraph cable between South Africa , Brazil and Europe ran through Ascension Island.

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But, we didn’t go. One speaker, addressing the disappointed guests, quipped – given the secret nature of the island, was it really there…..or was it a hologram …..sort of like Brigadoon.

Posted by Swenigale 04:22 Archived in Ascension Island

March 27 – DAKAR, SENEGAL

SCENES OF WEST AFRICA WITH A FRENCH FLAIR

sunny 73 °F
View Serenity 10 on Swenigale's travel map.

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Happy Birthday, Babe!

Posted by Swenigale 03:43 Archived in Senegal

March 29 - PORTO NOVO, CAPE VERDE ISLANDS

sunny 73 °F
View Serenity 10 on Swenigale's travel map.

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Today the ship is moored near the volcanic island Santa Antão, the farthest west and north island in the Cape Verde archipeglio. The rising sun lights up the towering peaks.

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We’ve sailed 350 miles due west from Senegal.

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An amazing cobblestone road following an old trading route winds from the port into the mountains. There is a dry desert climate on this south side of the island.

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At almost 4.000 feet we looked down across the Cova Crater. Our guide said they have not had rain on the island for three years!

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Up in the mountains and fertile valleys on the north side pine trees are plentiful.

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The terraced slopes, for farming and irrigation, were created over the centuries. The islands were first discovered by Portuguese and Genoese mariners in 1456.

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Down from the mountains on the north side

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A favorite island drink, grogue, is made from sugar cane. It was pretty good!

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Half of the oxen power for the sugar cane press

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And – how about a freshly cracked almond?

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Heading back to the ship, we passed a 17th century recently refurbished lighthouse.

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The late afternoon sun silhouettes some tired fishermen.

Posted by Swenigale 06:22 Archived in Cape Verde

April 1 – SANTA CRUZ DE LA PALMA,

CANARY ISLANDS, SPAIN

semi-overcast 70 °F
View Serenity 10 on Swenigale's travel map.

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Columbus sailed to the New World in a ship of this size! I cannot imagine it!
(The ship is an actual size replica of the Santa Maria, the largest of Colombus’ three ships.)

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This volcanic island, La Palma, is part of the Spanish-held Canary Islands archipelago and is known as one of the steepest islands on earth. The port town of Santa Cruz is built along an old lava path.

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The exceptional quality of the night sky here is further protected by a specific “Sky Law”, designed to minimize light pollution.

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Ravines and mountains create spectacular scenery on this fertile green island.

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Roads with tunnels have only been built in the past 15-25 years!

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The village of San Andres is known as the prettiest in all La Palma.

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The Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Snows – there’s a story there!

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Up in the clouds, a stop at Caldera de Taburiente National Park

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Later, a chance to walk the rim of the San Antonio crater, with a view of the Tenguia volcano.

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Final stop – scientists and cratsmen have discovered how to replicate the pottery of the island’s ancient inhabitants -the gardens around this potter’s home are beautiful!

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The master potter (on his cell phone)

Posted by Swenigale 05:45 Archived in Spain

April 3 – MALAGA, SPAIN

sunny 71 °F
View Serenity 10 on Swenigale's travel map.

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The rising sun greets the Crystal Serenity as we pass through the Straits of Gibraltar.

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The Rock

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Docking challenge in the port of Malaga – small space -

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A few odd obstacles

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Alcazaba, perched on the hillside to protect the city

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Birds are singing, flowers blossoming – we are enjoying being north of the equator!

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The clean city’s streets and walkways are lined with shade trees.

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Off the beaten path, we found the English Cemetery, the first Protestant cemetery in mainland Spain.

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The terraced hillside is the final resting place for many notable figures.

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The Inner Cemetery, built in 1831

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These unique graves have baked brick bases and are covered with seashells.

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So many stories here

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Not far away is the famous Malagueta Bullring.

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The impressive City Hall

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More Spring blossoms! A tree from Brazil, Brunfelsia pauciflora

Posted by Swenigale 07:55 Archived in Spain

April 5 – BARCELONA, SPAIN

semi-overcast 59 °F
View Serenity 10 on Swenigale's travel map.

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I’m not certain, but I think Columbus is pointing the way to the New World!

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Ed and I spent a few hours walking “off the beaten track” in beautiful Barcelona. Enjoy!

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Posted by Swenigale 04:16 Archived in Spain

April 6-8 – MONTE CARLO, MONACO

sunny 60 °F
View Serenity 10 on Swenigale's travel map.

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Monte Carlo and all of Monaco by air…..

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……and back on land

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The Grand Prix runs at the end of May, but the extensive setup has begun!

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The Casino at Monte Carlo

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And, on “the Rock”, the Royal Palace

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World Cruise 2019 comes to a close.

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Beautiful in the harbor

Posted by Swenigale 04:50 Archived in Monaco

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