Walking in the Orkneys, Faroes, Iceland and Greenland – Part 16, Iceland – Reykjavik Continued, Passing the Old Man and through the Pentland Firth and A Big Birthday.

Post 291: 14th August 2018, Reykavik

Having left the scene of the rescue (see previous blog), we continued alongside the dock area.

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P1130031Then we came to an interesting exhibition about the port and ships that visit it. The train was one of two which were used in 1913 to construct the port.

P1130032 It is situated in front of the Art Museum.P1130034Currently over 135 cruise liners visit the port each year with over 128,000 passengers. Cruise liners have been coming since 1906. P1130035Controversially, whaling ships have and still do use the port.P1130036Between 1915-1973 many passenger ships used the port.P1130037 Coastguard vessels have operated since 1926 to date P1130038There are a number of companies that run whale watching trips from this area, Elding being one of the main ones. P1130051

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P1130052 A little further on there is the Maritime Museum P1130044There is also an area where ships are overhauled.

 

I have heard of chaining your bike up so it doesn’t get stolen, but this seems to be carrying it too far!P1130048 Fish and chips are available at a price – £13.80! P1130039

Cakes are available at 17 Sortir near the harbourside. Ice-cream, including two flavours of liquorice, is available next door! Despite yawning, I had no room for cake after my ice-cream.

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However, the locals were starting to get a bit fiery and so it was time to return by the now 3 mile coastal walk to the ship! P1130041By  the end of the day I had done 10.5 miles in total, 22,019 steps and burnt 3,315 calories. 

Marco Polo departed Reykjavik at 20.00 hours.

15 August 2018

This was a sea day. There is lots to do on ships on such days, quizzes, craft and art classes, crosswords, cooking demonstrations, exercise classes (to try and lose the weight you have put on during the cruise), gym, swimming pool, jacuzzi, knit and natter, table tennis, lectures, bingo, quoits, golf putting and other deck games.

I tend to avoid all those, apart from the lectures, and either read a good book, check through my photos and/or go for long walks around the deck. Marco Polo is particularly good for deck walking due to a timber promenade deck all around the ship and an alternative wider deck avoiding the bow if the weather is bad. P1130108However, we had signed up for a cocktail tasting at 16.00 hours – 6 cocktails for £6.99. The surprise was that the cocktails were not small tasting glasses, but large ones. We had bellini, pina colada, kamikaze (down in one), ruski, Long Island iced tea, mai-tai.IMG_E3056The result was that some passengers ended up being helped out of the bar at the end by the staff and I ended up as in the photograph below! IMG_E3059

16 August 2018

This was another sea day but this was a special day as it was Celia’s birthday.P1060087Before the real celebrations began we had to go through the Pentland Firth between Hoy and John O’Groats. It is notorious for strong tidal currents, but fortunately was relatively calm. P1060089

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P1060104The top of The Old Man of Hoy can just be seen peering over the top of the cliffs to the left. P1060106

P1060109Viking Sun passed by. P1130077The lighthouse near John O’Groat’s could just be picked out in the mist and diminishing light. P1060114It was interesting that Saga brought along one of their ships, Saga Pearl II especially for Celia’s birthday. That is forwarded, targeted marketing!  P1060097 Now I know you should never reveal a ladies age and it would be more than my life’s worth to do so. So I will just show the card I brought out at the formal farewell dinner in the evening. Just after the cruise it would be our 45th wedding anniversary and we have known each for  47 years. I must be doing something right!

P1130204It was a great menu for the meal and birthday celebrations. P1130205

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P1130080Our waiter Iqbal had been superb throughout the cruise. P1130084The Gala Dinner was later followed by the Gala Buffet, not that we had room for any more food!

 

17th August 2018 

After a reasonable sunrise on another sea day, little happened. It was a lazy day reading and chatting and reflecting on the holiday.

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18 August 2018

This was the departure day.

There was one last opportunity to capture a sunrise between 5.30 and 6.15am.  We arrived at Harwich at 9.00am.  P1130107

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P1130125We then caught a coach to Hull and on arrival had a 2 hour delay as the taxi firm had sent a car instead of people carrier for 4 of us with full luggage! It was good to be back in England!IMG_3082It was a deja vu moment as when I got back to Manchester Airport from Bavaria in May it was the first day of the new train timetables and chaos reigned supreme!

We had travelled over 5900 miles (5,127 nautical miles) with hardly a hitch, apart from the odd iceberg hitting us.

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All in all it had been a fabulous, exciting, informative and most memorable trip.

Would I go again?  Definitely, basing myself around the Nuuk area and perhaps exploring further north.  

I hope you have enjoyed my blog as much as I have enjoyed the trip. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “Walking in the Orkneys, Faroes, Iceland and Greenland – Part 16, Iceland – Reykjavik Continued, Passing the Old Man and through the Pentland Firth and A Big Birthday.

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