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    DELIGHTED with your keeping an eye on me and Serenissima, pakarang! We have now just left after two excellent days in Tunisia, where today we visited Carthage and had a marvellous tour of the classical ruins and some magnificent Roman mosaics. Now comes some changes due to the situation in Algeria, so are now heading for Sardinia.

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      On the rearranged part of the voyage - Sardinia, then two port calls in Spain - –before again continent-hopping to Morocco, there was less time for browsing and writing. This was perhaps not altogether a bad thing as my forays onto CVF had seemed to gobble up my on-board wifi, as did my e-mail! So, already needing to purchase umpteen more megabytes, I mostly continued to enjoy sharing my travels via surprisingly less data-greedy FB. It was fun to choose a few photos as I went along, and now for you all is one I already alluded to as I sat in the square in Catania where something made me think of Jan-Olav.



      Yeapp …he likes elephants, and this one is the symbol of the city of Catania! It is an ancient sculpture later incorporated into a fountain that wouldn’'t look out of place in Thailand. The elephant is said to protect the city from all sorts of misfortune and bring good luck.

      The only totally "at sea day" of the voyage was from Cagliari en route to Cartagena, and was actually rather busy with another delight of a lecture, a piano concert, time spent around the bridge, AND I got on the list for an engine room visit! So marvellous to see the Chief Engineer’'s pride and joy, and that Harald Jarl is in good hands.

      Oh, I mustn't forget that a couple of you have been curious as to whether Serenissima has been fitted with stabilisers. Yes she was, last February.
      Not that those would help in the considerable swell that we were to encounter later that night! I was the first to make it to breakfast which had to be a much reduced choice of things that wouldn't end up on the floor - the toaster was already there, unplugged and lashed down like the chairs out on deck. A few other guests appeared, initially mostly the "shippy" types from the engine room visit and early mornings out on deck, and we feasted on a basketful of absolutely delicious croissants. Oh how I am missing those croissants!


      View from my cabin 424.

      The Port of Cartagena had been closed, but later in the morning we got a pilot and were able to dock and go ashore in the afternoon
      . The second port call in Spain was Motril, from where I took the Alhambra excursion.

      And so on to Morocco. I did happen to wake in the night and, suitably hurtigruten-like, emerged on deck from my strategically-positioned cabin to see from the distant lights on both sides that Serenissima was passing through the straits of Gibraltar.
      It was SO hard leaving the ship in Casablanca!

      Rather a lot to deal with back here in Edinburgh, and I haven't even got all my photos on the computer yet, but first things first (I just noticed it's ombugge's birthday!
      )

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        Goodness, already at this time last week I was returning from Casablanca to London!

        D had not been feeling too great by the time I got back to Edinburgh (seems to have over-eaten 'unsuitable things' while many 'suitable things' I'd left in his freezer were still there on my return!). I wasn't sure if he would get to a meeting down in Surrey this weekend, or even if I should go. Anyway he's fine now, which is more than can be said for his cable network connection. At least I had just about caught up on reading what you'd all been posting while I was abroad and enjoying pakarang's links, between being understandably distracted by the comet landing.

        There have also been power cuts, and Edinburgh’s trams weren't working in the city centre yesterday when I encouragingly accompanied D to the airport ...maybe there's been the 'wrong kind of rain' !

        Hoping to actually begin looking at some of my photos tomorrow!
        Last edited by Seagull; November 18th, 2014, 11:08. Reason: ...typo!

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          ...but as I'm so busy and still intermittently computer and internet challenged, I thought this might keep you all distracted and amused!

          (Roman mosaics in Tunisia)

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          • Sigve
            Sigve commented
            Editing a comment
            Welcome home, Cecilia! However, I can assure you that we will neither distract nor amuse ourselves until we have read your Serenissima report! So we are staying tuned!

          Trip report now appearing in Serenissima’s own thread as it will be photos of the ship and from the ship - plus just a few of places visited on the excursions to give an impression of the itinerary.

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            Seagull is on the move again, so relax ...you have a whole week to catch up in the SERENISSIMA thread! I'm on the train heading south to the north of England! The conference-before-Christmas is back! Yeapp, after not being able to make it for the last two years, I've been enticed back ...so much for retirement!!!!! Venue this year is Leeds University.

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            • Ralf__
              Ralf__ commented
              Editing a comment
              This sentence (moving south to the north of England) reminds me to an Asterix at the Goths comment: "the west Goths are in the East - from our point of view."

            • Seagull
              Seagull commented
              Editing a comment
              Love your cultural/linguistic/geographic comment Ralf!!!!

            Arrived back in Edinburgh, but now have to switch my mind from fossils to organising things food and festive! ...so your virtual cruise is scheduled to re-start on the 25th sometime between eating the traditional lunch and watching the Queen's broadcast and the Dr Who Christmas Special

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              Always seems a bit of a time warp to return to this thread and see what's the last thing I posted!
              Well, just in case anyone stumbles across this thread without having seen the one about the ship Serenissima (ex Andrea ex Harald Jarl in the Hurtigruten section), I'd better mention the almost unprecedented state of my having COMPLETED a very long report of the voyage - starting here.

              What’s next for the roving Seagull?

              Well, there have been a few hints here and there, but I think I'm now ok to give you a 'heads up' or whatever the phrase is about further Seagull voyages

              Fram! I couldn'’t mention it earlier as it's entirely a chumming D trip, and there had been uncertainty about whether he'd be able to go.
              Fram departs Bergen a week tomorrow, the evening of Tuesday 12th May.
              The programme for these days seems to be somewhat flexible in an explorer cruise kind of way, but we do have the Flåm train excursion booked for the 15th.

              And Fram will be celebrating the National Day on the 17th in Olden!

              After another day in Norway (at Atløy and Værlandet), Fram heads for Shetland, Orkney, and the Faroe Islands, arriving in Reykjavik, Iceland, on the 23rd May. We have a few days there before flying back to Edinburgh.

              Truly sorry I can't smuggle you in my suitcase Sigve - I feel really guilty about another trip on Fram every time I see your signature thingy, and this will be my fifth.

              And speaking of guilty feelings, I'd better also be realistic about the likelihood of much of a subsequent 'trip report' - still got to complete the last trip I took with D in Spring 2013!

              Looking ahead to Seagull-own voyages, most of you are aware that Funchal's cruises have been cancelled following the demise of Portuscale Cruises, and the ship is laid up in Lisbon. But I will be back in the Norwegian fjords on a 7-night CMV cruise aboard Azores - departs from Hull on 17th July. Includes Flåm on the 20th and Olden on the 21st

              Serenissima lovers - stay tuned…

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                Originally posted by Seagull View Post

                Truly sorry I can't smuggle you in my suitcase Sigve - I feel really guilty about another trip on Fram every time I see your signature thingy, and this will be my fifth.
                I would have loved to be smuggled in your suitcase. But I can’t, and I’ll try to bear your pleasure with dignity. Bon voyage!
                Regards; Sigve.
                ---
                IF I WIN IN LOTTO, I COULD GO EVERYWHERE. WITH FRAM....

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                • Seagull
                  Seagull commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Awww thank you Sigve.
                  Currently wondering if there will even be room in my suitcase for any of my clothes ! Now I have a stressful five days to attempt to dissuade 'cabin mate' from packing unbelievable quantities of computing, electronics and radio stuff and turning the cabin into a smaller version of his home habitat (which the holiday is supposed to be a refreshing and healthy change from!).

                How surprising! I was so busy while "midgeting" around your hometown Manchester, so i wasn't able to follow all these hidden hints. HAVE FUN! I am not jealous as i will follow very soon. Such a lot of coming trip reports....
                Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11

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                  Manchester isn't exactly my hometown, Ralf, as my Dad had moved to the Lancashire coast - where he met my Mum as recounted in the My Ships thread - long before eventually having a baby Seagull!

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                  • Ralf__
                    Ralf__ commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Madrid, Milano, somewhere in Italy however...

                  And now Serenissima lovers alert! (are you there Clipper?)
                  Just got the confirmation in the post :-

                  Not to be confused with being aboard the Azores in July, in April 2016 I will be going to the Azores - the islands that is - aboard Serenissima. Even got 'my' cabin 424
                  But also before that, in September 2015, an offer deal plus repeat guest discount I couldn't resist (despite being an inside cabin, although it is a double released for single use) :- Istanbul to Venice.

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                    My God, how our gallant lady C moves around. And then that same old boat, all the time. Do we envy her? (Not me! No!)
                    Last edited by Sigve; May 6th, 2015, 07:46.
                    Regards; Sigve.
                    ---
                    IF I WIN IN LOTTO, I COULD GO EVERYWHERE. WITH FRAM....

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                    • Seagull
                      Seagull commented
                      Editing a comment
                      ummm... should we believe him....

                    Well, to borrow Our Captain's words, "In order to re-appear sometime else, you will first need to disappear". So I did and now I’m back! Flew to Edinburgh after some days in Iceland after the Fram voyage.

                    Not that I had entirely disappeared, at least to those of you who are also on FB. It's just that I can't face up to coping with Photobucket to get on-the-go piccies onto CVF while on the move with just an iPad, plus the tendency of my CVF browsing to gobble up available data allowances. And on this trip, even more than most, the places when I did have adequate internet access were those when I was far too busy seeing and doing things!

                    This was despite this trip having an actual lap top with me ...us ...but Cabin Mate was intent on using it to get a very exact and complete GPS track of the voyage, and such things as monitoring his computers back home (I even caught him doing Windows updates remotely for one of those!).

                    I'll now need a day or so's grace to complete two lots of unpacking, laundry, food shopping plus essential tasks, and am just trying to work up some enthusiasm for mowing Cabin Mate's garden lawn ...errr jungle ...while the weather is fine.

                    Yes, I can see it might be better to stop apologising and adopt pakarang and Yves holiday philosophy, but on the other hand Ralf's On Tour minute-by-minute does look very exciting...
                    ...but no, the grass awaits!!!!! See you all later!

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                    • Sigve
                      Sigve commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Welcome home, Cecilia. Am looking forward to what happens after your lawnmoving.....

                    Eventually! ...the trip report An Explorer Cruise aboard Fram 12 - 23 May 2015, “Fjord Highlights and the Viking Trail”, starts here in Fram's thread.

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