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The big 3-0, part 2

Following on from my last post, this one covers the rest of my elongated celebrations from the North Coast to Prague…

On my actual birthday itself, we headed to the North Coast and I played some golf at the Old Course in Portstewart, for the first time in years. Thankfully I didn’t embarrass myself and I got round in a fairly acceptable score. It was then off to the Harbour Bar at the Ramore complex for dinner, finished off by a famous sundae at Moreilli’s in Portstewart – just for clarity, I didn’t want one but I was forced into it… ahem…

Lovely views from the Old Course at Portstewart

The Big 3-0, part 1

For those who don’t know, I hit the big 3-0 recently. I’ve felt a bit like The Queen recently as my celebrations have lasted nearly a month, but as they say all good things must come to an end.

Summer holidays, #4

Bergen, a day on board and heading home.

Day 9 – Bergen

Today brought mixed emotions as it was our last port of call, this time to Norway’s second largest city, Bergen. Once off the boat we headed to the funicular railway station for a journey up to the top of Floyen, one of the mountains overlooking the city. The railway is one of the most visited attractions in Norway and attracts over one million visitors annually.

Summer holidays, #3

Alesund by car and Geiranger.

Day 7 – Alesund

We were again up early for our second port of all, Ålesund. We had hired a car here so headed off the boat and made towards the Avis office.

The guy behind the desk greeted us with the words “we don’t have the car you ordered” and before we had the chance to get annoyed, he said he has a bigger car than the one I had picked.

It was outside to check over the car before working out how to drive on the left hand side of the road. It took me a few stop signs to get used to the handbrake being on my right hand side but I eventually got there.

Summer Holidays, #2

Boarding the ship, a day at sea and my first visit to Norway and the village of Eidfjord.

Day 4 – to the boat

We were up at 6am to finish packing and to grab a quick breakfast before heading back to Amsterdam Centraal Station to get the train to Rotterdam. Despite it being early on a Sunday morning, there was a train to Rotterdam every 15 minutes which was impressive.

We arrived in Rotterdam at about 8:30am and headed to the left luggage area to drop off our suitcases. We then made for the tourist information point in the station where the lady suggested getting the bus tour, which is usually a good idea whatever city you are in.

After our tour we were back at the station so we headed back to get our cases before getting on the tour bus again for another half loop back to the cruise ship terminal.

Summer Holidays, #1

Following on from my Halloween, our summer holiday this year was another cruise, this time around Norway. This time we decided on Holland America Line, out of Amsterdam. This was mainly due to the price but it was a fortunate coincidence that the cruise was on the MS Koningsdam which was only launched in May 2016.

We again booked through the Lisburn Road branch of Oasis Travel. Every time we travel with Oasis we are continually impressed, and I would highly recommend them to anyone.

Looking at flights to Amsterdam, it quickly became apparent that it was considerably cheaper to fly out a few days before hand. Our Norway adventures therefore began with a Thursday afternoon flight to Amsterdam and a few days stay at the Hotel Rokin.

North Coast wanderings

As I mentioned in my last post, my parents are the guardians for a Spanish girl, Maria, who is boarding at Victoria College Belfast this year. She had some family over from Alicante for a few days so we thought we would take the opportunity on Saturday to show them some of what Northern Ireland has to offer.

Our original intention was to head to Portrush/Portstewart but as the North West 200 was on, we decided to head a bit further east to avoid the crowds. They were staying in the Malone Lodge Apartments (which incidentally they said were lovely inside) so we headed from there to Carrickfergus and then Larne before heading up the Causeway Coastal Route

A week in Krakow

It’s difficult to write again following my last attempt at summing up following the death of my Community Rescue Service friend and colleague Adrian, our gentle giant.

However, as my friend Sarah said to me, “A writers response to emotion is to write, so you keep her lit”… So without further ado, let me crack on talking about Kraków (that’s an awful attempt at a joke and I apologise now for it).

Krakow Easter 16 615My attempt at being artistic

Top tips for travel

I love to travel. Even though I’m not what you’d call a ‘seasoned traveller’, over the years I have picked up ideas or have thought of things which should make travelling anywhere a little bit easier.

Cruising on by

My first experience of cruising was in October 2013 from Venice with Royal Caribbean and I was away in October 2015 with Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) from Barcelona.

Cruise 13aSplendour of the Seas, Royal Caribbean

When I told people that I was going on a cruise, a lot of people responded in the same way – “I would never go on a cruise” or “I would hate that”. I probably thought the same before my first one but I am now starting to catch the bug. As a result of that, I’ve come up with a few reasons why you should take a cruise, at least once in your life.
Cruise 15aThe front of the Norwegian Epic

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