This has been one of our more interesting cruises, maybe because
it had extremes. Extremes can best be explained by saying that we went from The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, to the pyramids in Egypt to the beautiful city of Marrakesh. This splendor was then added to with the beautiful art in Florence, the wonderfully clean and interesting Barcelona and the beautiful island of Mykonos in Greece. Then all of this was offset by the third world sites in Dakar, Senegal. Of all the places we were I can say that I am glad we stopped there to see it, but I am not in any rush to go back. Our cruise was exciting, interesting and of course we met many wonderful people playing trivia and our table mates were outstanding, diverse and interesting. Was it our best cruise, probably not, our best one is always the next one, and we don’t even have that one booked yet.
Friday, December 12, 2008
We have been to Dominica before so we didn’t book a tour but instead walked into the city center. On the pier on the way in we again seen a strange looking fish, it was about 8-12 inches long and looked like a pencil. I finally asked someone the name and she told be that it is a Pin fish. As always in Dominica when you get off the ship there are lots of small tented stores selling about every type of souvenir available. Dominica is an island with mountains and rainforest and is extremely beautiful. Now, two days at sea and we will be home.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Today we arrived at Devils Island, well almost, we tendered
into Isle Royal which is right next to it. Isle Royal is where the administrative offices were and some holding cells and the hospital. All prisoners were first brought here, processed and then taken across some shark infested water to serve their term on Devils Island. One of the neat things is that from the ship you can see where the European Rocket launch facility is at, but no launches scheduled today.
Finally we were on the deck at the right time. After four failed attempts we have a picture of the equator, it is a little tough to see but right in the middle of the picture is where the equator is at. You may have to click on the picture to see it. Funny thing, Judy also thought that she felt a little bump as we went over it. Next, Devils Island.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
This morning we arrived in Fortaleza, Brazil. It is a large city with over 3 million people living there. We have been in Brazil before, but never in one of its larger cities, but it seems no matter what the size of a South American city, they all have markets and we went to a kind of nice one. It was on several levels with the center open and small shops on all sides selling most everything. Even though we found no one who spoke English, we did manage to purchase a couple of things for a decent price. Another port now under our belt with only two more to go, we can already sense that we are getting closer to home. Next a couple of sea days, lots of trivia, (we are winning once in a while) then Devils Island.
Well, today we crossed the equator, and just like the last time we crossed we rushed out to see if we could see the black line as we crossed it, but for the third time we missed it. Later in the day a ceremony was held that initiated the pollywogs (those who haven’t yet crossed over) into the right of the Shellbacks. As before the ceremony was hosted by Neptune and his wife Amphritrite. As before it was funny and one of the crew, this time the cruise director was tossed into the pool. Next stop Fortaleza, Brazil
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Well, Dakar was definitely an education. We booked a city tour for late afternoon. Maybe a little background would be good. The unemployment rate in Senegal is nearly 50%, so we knew it would be a poor country. Before our tour we went off the ship and went to a small craft place that had been put up near the ship. The locals were very aggressive trying to sell things. We were warned to not even wear watches or other jewelry as it was dangerous to do so in some parts of Dakar. I left my Mickey watch behind and Judy put hers in her bag. You could immediately tell it was a third world country. There were people all over the place, lots of them selling trinkets and some unique items. One of the places we went was the market and I couldn’t believe the smell, for me it was a bit overbearing and we learned later that it was one of the worst places for pickpockets. Luckily we had everything when we left, but heard of other people who lost camera and money. The people here seemed happy, but of course if it is the only life they are aware of, they are probably better educated and better off than their parents were. All in all for me it was a sad scene, but one that was interesting to us because it gave us a small peek into third world life. Now three days at sea before we reach Brazil.