Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Back to the UK (just!).

The Great British Sail Away party last evening as we left Thorhavn was well attended even though it was a tad chilly. So many passengers are feeling very tired and ‘jetlagged’ – it must be due to all the 24 hour daylight we’ve had.


Despite the lack of energy James took on the role of ‘pace setter’ for the Entertainment Team! (Pity they didn’t realise!)


We don’t need to elaborate on the amount of fun everyone had – James at the back and Doug at the front with the just some of the great people we’ve spent time with on this great cruise.


The later evening has it’s highlights too of course – Doug with ‘Captain Bear’ ………aka Tom!


……. and he’s here getting himself involved in the final of name that tune (which he didn’t win on this occasion!)


This morning we berthed at Kirkwall on the main island of the Orkneys.  The weather started with brilliant sunshine and stayed that way all day.  The little harbour is very pleasant but far too small for “Arcadia” which had to use the new cruise liner facility about a mile away from the city.


Yes, small as it might be, Kirkwall is a city and the most northerly in the UK.  Its stunning, and very robust,  little cathedral of St Magnus dates back to 1137.  It’s so solid looking its not going anywhere soon.


The cathedral is beautiful both inside and out and stands very proud in this old Viking settlement from 1035.


Next to the cathedral is the, now ruined, Bishop’s Palace …….


…….. but thankfully the rest of the city is in much better condition with both modest and grand architecture standing side by side. (Doug unaware ,resting on seat centre foreground) 


Reminiscent of much bigger and more glamorous cities across Europe,  Kirkwall also provide its tourists with horse drawn carriage rides.


After experiencing the sights, sounds and smells of this very welcoming little city, and with such fabulous weather, we decided to relax a bit at one of the ‘watering holes’.  Sitting outside the pub someone very special walked past and recognised us – it was Bosco, our cabin steward on “Aurora” back in December last year.  He’s busy taking care of the crew for this voyage hence we’ve not met up with him until this serendipitous moment.  Life is full of surprises!

Having seen just a smidgen of this 70 island archipelago and, having been on James’ tick list for years, it’s somewhere we’ll just have to return to and do some serious exploring.

It’s a 60’s / 70’s theme this evening (just a pity James chucked all his stuff out 40 years ago!) so we intend to enjoy this last sail away party of the cruise.

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