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  • An Explorer European Voyage aboard Fram – May 2013

    A twelve-day Hurtigruten voyage sounds like the classic round trip Bergen – Krkenes – Bergen doesn’t it! But no… as most of you will already have read, I’d agreed to accompany D, aka “cabin-mate”, on one of those cruises Fram does along with re-positioning between her Antarctic and Svalbard/Greenland seasons. You find these itineraries amongst the “Explorer Cruises” in Hurtigruten’s brochures and website, and this one started in London, circled around with ports of call in England, Ireland and Scotland before leaving my own “home port” of Leith heading for Hamburg, Germany.

    But, in Hurtigruten-speak, my trip didn’t start with embarkation and departure in London on Day 1. So let’s begin with what could perhaps be called Day 0. I hope that doesn’t sound too unimportant a day number, for it not only involved a new experience as I re-positioned from Edinburgh to London, but also a special occasion in the context of our family forum here on CaptainsVoyage!

  • #2
    Day 0, 30th April 2013 – Edinburgh to London

    As Fram was to be moored near Tower Bridge, the trip started with a clever bit of lateral thinking: why subject oneself to Heathrow hassle when there are direct flights from Edinburgh to London City Airport. Moreover, there are even two airlines competing on that route, though we hadn’t realised British Airways did at the time of booking. So it was my first flight with City Jet and here is a photo from the terminal at EDI showing the neat little Dornier 328-100, G-BHYG. This particular flight is operated by Loganair on behalf of City Jet, an Irish regional airline of parent company Air France!

    It was very easy to spot the city business type passengers for this flight at the departure gate and we must have stood out somewhat…my seagull T-shirt is for sure more casual than smart!







    My second breakfast of the day –a coffee and a tasty pastry en route.

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    • #3
      It was a pleasant flight, and was to become all the more interesting over London. Here’s my first view of the stunning skyscraper The Shard, and the Hilton hotel where we were staying overnight can also be seen on the left, along with more modern architecture of City Hall and just a glittering glimpse of the Thames.

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      • #4


        Oh yes…ship-spotting has started already! Here is The World.

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        • #5


          More London landmarks – the Millennium Dome




          … and the Thames Barrier.




          …before landing at London City Airport.

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          • #6
            Next another new experience, the DLR – Docklands Light Railway, which easily and conveniently connected with the more familiar area of the Tower of London, and the hotel just across Tower Bridge. (The usual hotel room photos will appear in the appropriate thread.)





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            • #7
              After settling into the hotel there was time for a stroll, pausing to take quick photos of the Shard, and, further east, old warehouses along a tributary of the Thames at low tide.






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              • #8
                Re: An Explorer European Voyage aboard Fram – May 2013

                Great photos - and you're still in London! LCY airport is slightly alarming isn't it - a colleague of mine told me that on approach he felt that it was the only flight he'd ever been on when the information about where the lifejacket was and how to put it on may be relevant!!
                Cheers,

                Mark.

                www.pologlover.co.uk

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                • #9
                  And so there we were beside the row of restaurants along Butler’s Wharf where we had arranged to meet, and suddenly there is Ivy! Hugs all round before retreating indoors from the cold wind. A hugely enjoyable lunch followed, whilst naturally keeping an eye on an iPad to see Fram’s progress up the Thames on Marine Traffic! Oh, D has switched over to “Paddy’s” camera function and taken a photo! I already posted it on the CVF Family thread.

                  Here’s a couple of “bonus photos”! Yeapp… you guessed. That ultimate CVF honour, the chance to meet up with Sea-Troll –here clearly hitting it off with Wherrygirl and apparently flattered by her choice of jumper colour. (No, he didn’t forget to pack his Hurtigruten uniform; that’s for later!)






                  All this clearly called for a further toast to CVF.




                  Next: Fram arrives!

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                  • #10
                    Re: An Explorer European Voyage aboard Fram – May 2013

                    Hi there Mark! I'm "mobile" right now so excuse any issues...only just seen your post as I was just pasting pre-prepared posts in a hurry before lunch to kick off this trip thread.

                    Ummm...not so sure about the life jackets as I wouldn't fancy the chances of actually ending up in the Thames! I admit I was doing a mental altitude calculation re the Shard...and on a more serious note there was that helicopter crash recently.

                    But yes, there's a long period of flying really low into London City, and kind of around a bit - challenged my Thames geography... even folk like me who has never watched East Enders on TV but have at least seen their intro view before switching channel ! - did it precede Google Earth?

                    Between this and my rambling photographic comments on your thread earlier today, I think you'll have got the mood...look and feel... of this report thread! All being well it might even get interrupted by further seagull excursions.

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                    • #11
                      Re: An Explorer European Voyage aboard Fram – May 2013

                      ...the adventure report begins. So nice to see two so familiar ladies again! Can't wait for the continuation! Oh. And i never saw the old warehouses at low tide before... imagine that smell in old days!!! This is gonna be so interesting!!
                      Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11

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                      • #12
                        Re: An Explorer European Voyage aboard Fram – May 2013

                        And those two lovely ladies, having a glass of white wine. I like that!!
                        We can hardly wait for more! The expectations are building up!
                        Last edited by Sigve; May 22nd, 2013, 22:53. Reason: By second thought
                        Regards; Sigve.
                        ---
                        IF I WIN IN LOTTO, I COULD GO EVERYWHERE. WITH FRAM....

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                        • #13
                          Re: An Explorer European Voyage aboard Fram – May 2013

                          Originally posted by Sigve View Post
                          We can hardly wait for more! The expectations are building up!
                          Oh yes! But the beginning is really enjoyable already. Such lovely family pictures! And really nice views of London from the sky...
                          MS Lofoten April 2006, March 2012, Feb 2013. MS Polarlys Dec 2010. MS Fram Feb 2009, Sep 2011.
                          Upcoming : MS Fram Dec 2013, MS Lofoten Sep 2014
                          My travelblog : http://voyageterremer.blogspot.com. Hurtigruten, Antarctica, Svalbard, Norway (and other places...).

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                          • #14
                            Re: An Explorer European Voyage aboard Fram – May 2013

                            Will we have nice pictures today,Cecilia?
                            Hope so.

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                            • #15
                              When Fram visited London a week before her christening in 2007 she hadn’t passed beneath Tower Bridge but had been moored mid-river at what is known as “Tower Bridge Lower”. As I’d seen her leaving – still reversing backwards as she disappeared out of sight against the backdrop of Canary Wharf – I kind of expected that the departure this time when I’d be aboard would be in reverse. So at her arrival I was taken by surprise as Ivy, D and I emerged from the restaurant and looking eagerly towards the bend in the river, seeing the familiar white superstructure peeping above nearer buildings, it suddenly dawned on us that she was moving backwards!

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