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Live, Terry/Spirit: Lisbon, NWSpain, Bordeaux/Brittany; Pix’s!

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More from Bilbao, Spain, the Silver Spirit, etc. Don't be shy with any questions about these areas, Silversea, etc.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Super loved so many different parts of the Caribbean in 2015!!! See more details and lots of great visual samples/examples for historic San Juan, etc., at:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2264847

 

Here are a couple more "bonus" views from this famed Bilbao museum.:

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How does the Silver Spirit look these days? Yesterday evening after coming back from being Bilbao, here is the look of this ship with nice lighting and a great angle from their new, contemporary cruise ship terminal that is very impressive in its design, materials and functions.:

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Hi Terry, wow.......that is a funky museum......modern twist to it, to say the least;)....the shrubs that look like animals is kind

of neat.

 

The ship looks lovely:)

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Nice to see that Jeff Koon's Guggenheim Puppy is still there and flowering well.

 

Great added info from Silver Spectre on the flowering sculpture. Wasn't totally sure if it was a super-size kitten or puppy. Appreciate the clarification and added details. Not sure how long they can it there, keep the flowers looking good, etc. It is really tall and LARGE!!

 

From our docking yesterday at 1 pm at Bilbao, we did a ship's five-hour Guernica & Basque Coast (BIO-B) tour. Biscay (in Basque and in Spanish Vizcaya) is a province of Spain located south of the Bay of Biscay. It is one of the most prosperous and important provinces as a result of the significant industrialization in last years of the 19th century and first half of the 20th century. We very much enjoyed a scenic drive along the coast and visit the historic villages of the province including Guernica. Along the way, we visited the coastal villages of Bakio and Bermeo.

 

Bermeo was the provincial capital until 1602 and is a charming fishing port. Bakio is a residential town that was once a popular resort for wealthy merchant families. These picture-postcard village are famous for their fishing tradition, beautiful nearby beaches, etc. In Guernica. it was founded by Count Tello in 1366 on a major river estuary where vessels could dock. It is best known to the people of this region as the scene of the April 26, 1937, bombing of Guernica by Germany which inspired Picasso's painting Guernica. We visited Vizcaya's House of Parliament, a symbolic oak tree and the Park of Peace. We learned much more on the various definite and characterization for what Basque means in both Spain and France. Not simple or easy in geographic, cultural, political, language, etc., terms to explain and define. But, the Basque history is long and strong here.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Super loved Dubrovnik!!! See more details and lots of great visual samples/examples at this link. Have had over 37,339 views on this posting and appreciate those who have tuned-in and dropped by.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1439227

 

Here is the lighthouse and view from our ship as we docked in Bilbao.:

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As we traveled along the Atlantic coast of the Basque region of Spain, here are three of the scenic views. This includes these dramatic settings, a special church located on the coast, a lighthouse, etc.:

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In the picture-postcard village of Bermeo, itis famous for its fishing tradition. We walked around their Old Quarter, saw the Gothic Church of San Francisco, the neoclassical Church of Santa Maria, etc. There was even a group of locals dancing, enjoying live music, as shown below.:

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Here are more visual highlights from Saturday’s travel in the Basque areas of northwest Spain.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Enjoyed a 14-day, Jan. 20-Feb. 3, 2014, Sydney to Auckland adventure, getting a big sampling for the wonders of "down under” before and after this cruise. Go to:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1974139

for more info and many pictures of these amazing sights in this great part of the world. Now at 181,552 views for this posting.

 

In Guernica, we saw various area buildings and toured inside the region's House of Parliament. PLUS, enjoying some local tapas and wines.:

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Yesterday evening, after visiting Bilbao's famed modern museum, we had dinner at La Terrassa, saw the sunset and loved the 11 pm sail-away from the back of the ship. Then we returned to our suite to be greeted/surprised by these cute wedding anniversary greeting, plus balloons, Champagne, etc.:

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...Then we returned to our suite to be greeted/surprised by these cute wedding anniversary greeting, plus balloons, Champagne, etc.
Lovely to see they did something very nice for your annie.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Terry as usual enjoying your live posts both the narrative and of course the beautiful photos.

 

Keep up the great posts.

 

Keith

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Lovely to see they did something very nice for your annie.

 

Terry as usual enjoying your live posts both the narrative and of course the beautiful photos. Keep up the great posts. Keith.

 

Appreciate these great comments and follow-ups from Stumblefoot and Keith. Keep it rolling with any and all questions, etc.

 

Just got back from a super great day in Bordeaux the city, plus rising some top wine chateaus, etc. WOW!! Wait till you see the visuals!! Wonderful private guide with Nicole for the four of us. BUT, we have to be up early tomorrow for more in the amazing areas north of Bordeaux. Will catch up with photo sharing in the next day or so when your scheduled lighten up just a little. More great food and beverages on the ship tonight.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

For details and visuals, etc., from our July 1-16, 2010, Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise experience from Copenhagen on the Silver Cloud, check out this posting. This posting is now at 216,262 views.

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1227923

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Spins and Terry, I found the design of the Guggenheim museum amazing, much more so than the exhibits inside. My favorite Ghery structure continues to be one of his earliest; the Fred and Ginger building in Prague (Dancing House). It was very innovative for his time. Another architect with airy structures is Calatrava, and Terry, as you experienced, the port in Málaga is one of his designs. I wish I was joining Terry and his wife in their cruise!

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Thanks for all the great information, Terry. I do the reverse cruise starting on June 25th and your pictures sure are making me excited about the itinerary!

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Loving the great pics and narration.

Can you share specifics on the service in different areas of the ship? Any specific staff you want to mention for going above and beyond (other than your butler of course)?

Also, can you clarify the full bar service hours in the Observation Lounge?

Thanks a bunch. Continue to enjoy your anniversary trip!

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Loving the great pics and narration. Can you share specifics on the service in different areas of the ship? Any specific staff you want to mention for going above and beyond (other than your butler of course)? Also, can you clarify the full bar service hours in the Observation Lounge? Thanks a bunch. Continue to enjoy your anniversary trip!

 

Appreciate these continued great comments and follow-ups. YES, will have more, later, on those hours and other service details on the Silver Spirit. Now up at 6:30 am as we are approaching Belle-Île-en-Mer. It is the largest of a small clutch of islands off the coast of Brittany. It is east of St. Nazaire and just twelve miles long and less than four miles wide

 

This island benefits from a mild climate, giving it great flora found. There is supposed to be fragrant eucalyptus, exotic gingko and mimosa trees, bountiful figs and colourful oleanders as a part of the lush landscape. Its secluded, small beaches along with coastal paths and quiet roadways along with hiking and biking. Le Palais is the island’s main town. There is a 16th-century citadel standing guard near the harbor. Monet painted the charming village of Sauzon during a stay in 1886 and Sarah Bernhart owned a home on the island for several years.

 

We will be tendered here from roughly 7:30 am to 1 pm. Short, but enough to sample this part of Brittany. We do not have any ship tours planned here. Just planning to relax, walk around, sample the shops, etc.

 

After doing two different ship tours in La Rochelle yesterday, it will be good to have a more low-key day, plus time to relax on the ship this afternoon. Because of doing so much since Lisbon, there has been limited time to do that much to "enjoy" the Silver Spirit itself.

 

YES, very much continuing to enjoy the ship's food and service. Below are from a couple nights ago for doing "The Grill" of the "Hot Rocks" offering. Worked very on the Silver Spirit. You are up, UP on the tenth floor, above the pool area. That allows much better views and a separation from that part of the ship. Our food was excellent and it was enjoyable to be outside with the late sunset, excellent weather. For my wife, she did not want to do her fish of the day choice on her Hot Rocks. The staff prepared it and she loved this dining delight.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Did a June 7-19, 2011, cruise from Barcelona that had stops in Villefranche, ports near Pisa and Rome, Naples, Kotor, Venice and Dubrovnik. Dozens of nice visuals with key highlights, tips, comments, etc. We are now at 225,420 views for this live/blog re-cap, including much on wonderful Barcelona. Check these postings and added info at:

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1426474

 

From our fun, enjoyable dining at The Grill or Hot Rocks, here is a little sampling as the Colorado rib-eye steak was being put on the super heated stone. About 170 seconds on each side for a perfect "medium" cooking as I desired. Excellent meat and flavor!! Plus, the varied sauces for dipping the meat. So super tasty. Loved the baked potato, Caesar salad, etc. Then, there was the apple pie!! Its size is smaller than previously served on the Silver Cloud, but that was actually a plus in not having too much to eat. Loved the great staff and have a couple of pictures to prove it below. The downside with being on the tenth floor is that the staff has much more working bring items up from the ninth level where thing are staged and serviced. Definitely want to do The Grill again!! Spectacular evening meal and setting!!.:

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Here is the sunset view around 10 pm as we were in the harbour area near Bilbao. Our sail-away was not until midnight in this location:

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Thanks for all the great information, Terry. I do the reverse cruise starting on June 25th and your pictures sure are making me excited about the itinerary!

 

Glad that this live/blog is helping you prepare for your sailing on the Silver Spirit next week. We are trying to drink this ship dry, but they should have plenty left for your needs. Understand your cruise schedule will have a few minor differences, but your basic schedule is pretty similar. Let me know any added questions. Lots of great ports and options.

 

On Monday, June 19, our prime "Big Day" was for Bordeaux and its nearby world-class wine areas. We docked at Le Verdon. This "port" is very much a nothing to see. There is a small town nearby, but that is highly limited, too. We were in port 8 am-11:59 pm.

 

Bordeaux is situated on the Garonne River, 70 miles inland from the Atlantic. Bordeaux's origin can be traced back to the 3rd century when it was Aquitaine's Roman capital called Burdigala. From 1154 to 1453, the town prospered under the rule of the English, whose fondness for the region's red wines gave impetus to the local wine industry. Aided in large part by the great soil and weather/climate situation. At various times, Bordeaux even served as the nation's capital: in 1870, at the beginning of World War I, and for two weeks in 1940 before the Vichy government was proclaimed. Bordeaux's neo-classical architecture, wide avenues and public squares/parks add so much to make this city a rising star. In July, things will get much busier as the TGV high-speed rail starts faster service from Paris that narrows the travel time down to being only two hours to connect to this location.

 

During the June 18-21 2017, Bordeaux hosted the 19th VINEXPO Bordeaux, a leading international wine and spirits event. Main activities were at a location north of main central business district and fortunately it did not impact our time in Bordeaux too much.

 

With Rick and Sharon from the Burbank, Calif., area, we had a super excellent private tour with Nicole. Nicole is a incredible wine expert who has lived here from the past 25+ years. She is originally from the UK. More details later. PLUS, lots of "photo evidence" that experienced so much in a spectacular fashion during this one day in the Bordeaux area.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

From our Jan. 25-Feb. 20, 2015, Amazon River-Caribbean adventure that started in Barbados, here is the link for that live/blog. Many visuals from this amazing river and Caribbean Islands (Dutch ABC's, St. Barts, Dominica, Grenada, etc.):

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2157696

Now at 51,394 views for these postings.

 

Here is a quick sampler of the initial sights from being in Bordeaux during this later morning and early afternoon period. If you love history and architecture, this is the super place to be!!. The weather was very hot this day, up in the 90'sF, but we survived well.:

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So much more to share from Bordeaux!! Loved this city during our first visit to this famed part of France. Then in later posts, I will share more on the wine areas of Medoc, etc., that we visited. Don't go away. It was big day of exploring and learning. Having a private guide who knows the area and about wines really makes a huge, important difference.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

AFRICA?!!?: Lots of interesting and dramatic pictures can be seen from this live/blog at:

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2310337

Now at 32,204 views for this visual sharing including Cape Town, along South Africa’s coast, Mozambique, Victoria Falls/Zambia and Botswana's famed Okavango Delta area.

 

Here are more sites and sights from in and around Bordeaux. Like its classic style?? But, you will notice a very modern and new tram system around in this large city. They could not do a subway or underground here as the water-table is only about two feet below the street level. Virtually no basements in Bordeaux due to this factor. In recent years, the Mayor and City pushed for many of these limestone building to be cleaned, improving the "look"!! The third picture is of their main Cathedral. The fourth picture is of their well-known opera house or main theater.:

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In place of taking the time for a regular lunch in Bordeaux, we did a wine tasting and mini-educational session with Nicolle. We sampled four different wines from the area, learning the details as to the best ways to compare and understanding these different types. Plus, we had some great breads, cheeses, meats, etc. Super fun and enjoyable learning experience!!:

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Here are some visuals from visiting with Sharon and Rick at the Las Cites du Vin in Bordeaux. It is located just north of main and historic downtown. More wine learning, plus getting a better understanding for the amazing and twisted history of this area, etc.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Panama Canal? Just completed Feb. 28-Mar. 15, 2017, Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco adventure through the Panama Canal with our first stops in Colombia, Central America and Mexico, plus added time in the great Golden Gate City. Lots of fun pictures!! Those pictures start on the second page, post #26. See more at:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2465580

 

Next was our visit to the new and very innovative La Cite du Vin. Like its unique style in being built with glass, concrete and steel like a wine decanter? This wine museum highlights wines from around the world, including so much about Bordeaux and its efforts to advance wine production and quality. At its top is an observation area and wine tasting area. More work in testing wines? Yes, that was our duty and job on this day! In this wine tasting and observation area, they had a special ceiling made up of hanging glass wine bottles. The third picture is of the new bridge in Bordeaux that rises up in a different way to allow large ship to pass under and return back towards the Atlantic Ocean. The fourthpicture shows a unique wine sales area with bottles available from all over the world.:

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Terry,

 

Really appreciate all the great pictures and learning about your Hot Rocks experience on the Spirit!

 

Curious...how did you go about choosing your "private/semi-private" tours with another couple? How many private tours, vs. SS tours, vs. "on your own" things did you choose to do on this cruise? This info is helpful as we continue to plan our August trip on the Spirit.

 

Thanks

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WOW.....WOW.....WOW:D....the photos are simply fantastic. The little boy and his Dad walking in the water is so cute:D

 

And that steak? I AM THERE:D

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Terry,

Enjoying the visuals!

I see you met Brian!

Your trip looks terrific.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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Thank you, Terry for all the great photos. Bordeaux was my favorite port from our recent cruise. The ship's tour took us to an Haut-Brion winery; I'm sorry we did not get to the Cité du Vin. An excuse to return! Thanks again.

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Thank you, Terry for all the great photos. Bordeaux was my favorite port from our recent cruise. The ship's tour took us to an Haut-Brion winery; I'm sorry we did not get to the Cité du Vin. An excuse to return! Thanks again.

 

Spins and Terry, I found the design of the Guggenheim museum amazing, much more so than the exhibits inside. My favorite Ghery structure continues to be one of his earliest; the Fred and Ginger building in Prague (Dancing House). It was very innovative for his time. Another architect with airy structures is Calatrava, and Terry, as you experienced, the port in Málaga is one of his designs. I wish I was joining Terry and his wife in their cruise!

 

Agree on your summary for the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. BUT, we are glad that we made the effort to visit there, sample its style-design, see a portion of this town, etc. Plus, its river setting and outdoor sculpture, etc. Glad that you loved Bordeaux and now have a good excuse to head back there again.

 

Just got back from seeing charming Belle-Île-en-Mer. Had a wonderful lunch at La Terrazza, sitting in the middle of the outdoor deck as sail-away happened. It was heavenly!!

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Super loved Dubrovnik!!! See more details and lots of great visual samples/examples at this link. Have had over 37,339 views on this posting and appreciate those who have tuned-in and dropped by.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1439227

 

With expert Nicole, we are now on our way to explore Médoc, one of Bordeaux area's top-rated wine region. It is also called the 'route de chateaux'. We would have more "education" as what it takes to produce top-level wines in this area where the soil make an important difference. Here it is a mix of gravel and sand, plus having the right/best slope, etc. We would have wine-tasting at Château Pontet Canet with its classification of grand cru classé pauillac. They use an innovative biodynamic method here. We also saw some of the most famous châteaux through the villages of St Julien, Pauillac and St Estephe. See the examples of these fantastic chateaux's? Then in mid June, here is an example for the current size of these grapes in the growing cycle.:

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Here are three visuals from being at and touring Château Pontet Canet. This includes its large production barrels, tanks, etc. Sharon is shown with one of the large concrete tanks that are being used to replace some of the type made with stainless steel.:

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WOW.....WOW.....WOW....the photos are simply fantastic. The little boy and his Dad walking in the water is so cute. And that steak? I AM THERE

 

Appreciate these great comments from Lois. Glad you noticed that cute picture of the little boy enjoying that innovative fountain/water feature in front of the fantastic, historic buildings in Bordeaux. Great eye and high-class tastes for steak, etc.!

In the Bordeaux areas, one key "info item" is that there 7,000 different producers of wine products. Many of them are fairly small. Lots of marketing challenges in making a name, getting sales, connecting with audiences in a highly-competitive business, etc.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Wonderful Kotor and nearby Montenegro? Check these postings. Have had over 36,475 views on this posting and appreciate those who have tuned-in and commented.:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1439193

 

Here are more visuals from our private tour at the highly-rated Château Pontet Canet, what their bottled look like as we did a sampling there. Retail on that bottle that we enjoyed was 150 euro. Their price has gone up significantly for 2009 and 2010 as their biodynamic techniques are produced major market success.:

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Next door to Château Pontet Canet, are two other wine locations that have ownerships connected with the famed Rothschild family. One is owned now by the British side of the family. The other is controlled by the French side of the Rothschilds. The one pictured in the background is Chateau Lafite Rothschild. We were in the tops of the best locations for growing great grapes and wines! Very impressive locations and operations, especially when you see the interiors and what it takes to set-up/organize these facilities.:

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After this busy trip to Bordeaux, did we make it back to the Silver Spirit?? And were we happy?? YES!! Need evidence/proof? See below with our guide, Nicole, you can see Sharon, Rick and my wife, Penny, on the right.:

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Terry, Really appreciate all the great pictures and learning about your Hot Rocks experience on the Spirit! Curious...how did you go about choosing your "private/semi-private" tours with another couple? How many private tours, vs. SS tours, vs. "on your own" things did you choose to do on this cruise? This info is helpful as we continue to plan our August trip on the Spirit. Thanks

 

Good question on private tours versus ship tours. We will probably have about half and half mix, including for our time in Lisbon, in doing ship versus private tours. Why and how?? Lots of factors involved. This includes pricing, ability to team up with another couple for such a tour, comfort with the private options possible, etc. Generally as we have traveled, we know some locations, such Bordeaux, are "super-stars". We wanted and desired more than just "average" there. From sources such as Trip Advisor or ToursByLocals.com, I will search for three or four very good potentials. I will write them, giving some personal background and our interests. Some reply. A few do not. BUT, I look to see who actually bothers to read our details, answer questions, etc. Price is clearly a factor. I also look for guides who are detailed-oriented, understand my interests in photography, etc. With Cruise Critic, I will try to find another couple or two who has common interests and might be willing to share a private tour. That's the quick summary. Does this help? Need more background?

 

Glad that The Grill/Hot Rocks pictures/details were of benefit. We wanted to spread the positive word after our happiness as to how it worked for us and why.

 

For Tuesday, June 20, while docked in a large industrial port near La Rochelle, we did a morning ship tour that first took us to Ile de Ré. It is a 33 square mile island with so many beaches and whitewashed fishing villages. It is linked by a two-mile bridge that we could see from the back of the Silver Spirit. Recently, there was a Wall Street Journal that sang the praises for this island as the "secret" get-away that the elite from Paris love to visit in the summer. It was easy to see why!! They say cycling is the way to see the island. This island is crisscrossed by more than 60 miles of cycle paths. St-Martin-de-Ré is the main town with its 17th-century fort walls and moat. Check out the pictures below and tell me if this location looks charming. My wife would like to come back here and spend about two weeks here. It is said that prices are really high, HIGH to buy property here. A unit here is about as high as to purchase the same type of dwelling in Paris.

 

Later Tuesday, we visited La Rochelle. Lots of interesting history at La Rochelle. You would expect that from a port that was one of France’s foremost seaports from the 14th to 17th centuries. Eleanor of Aquitaine gave it a charter in 1199, freeing it from feudal obligations and set up to become a center of major trading and commerce. It was the ship owners of La Rochelle who were among the first to establish trade links with the New World. Following the Wars of Religion, the city turned Protestant. However, because of its strategic importance, it drew the remorseless enmity of Cardinal Richelieu, who laid siege to the port in 1627, sealing the harbor approaches with a dike. That's "real history". Lots of grain grown around here and shipped from this port.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

AFRICA?!!?: Lots of interesting and dramatic pictures can be seen from this live/blog at:

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2310337

Now at 32,204 views for this visual sharing including Cape Town, along South Africa’s coast, Mozambique, Victoria Falls/Zambia and Botswana's famed Okavango Delta area.

 

Here are my photo samplings from visiting the wonderful island resort/retreat of Ile de Ré. Like the look and style here? Yes, we did love very much this charming location! Nice market area here. Lovely old church. Much of the town is built around a harbor area. Lots of shops!! The donkeys are one of the key "symbols" for this island:

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La Rochelle was interesting to see, but I do not rate it that highly compared to some other cities and town that we have visited on this trip. It was also hot that day and our guide through the ship tour was only “average” at best.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Enjoyed a 14-day, Jan. 20-Feb. 3, 2014, Sydney to Auckland adventure, getting a big sampling for the wonders of "down under” before and after this cruise. Go to:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1974139

for more info and many pictures of these amazing sights in this great part of the world. Now at 181,552 views for this posting.

From Tuesday's visit to La Rochelle, here are a few visual highlights. Some of the wood-timbered buildings here had slate covering and protecting these wooden materials. These picture below included a church with a nautical theme inside its main area.:

(Open your screen/viewer wider to see these pictures larger!)

June%202017A%201641_zpsoy50rofb.jpg

 

June%202017A%201618_zpscrfnwrit.jpg

 

June%202017A%201619_zpsvyze08v3.jpg

 

June%202017A%201620_zpsrybstfmx.jpg

 

June%202017A%201621_zpsscxnusor.jpg

 

June%202017A%201622_zpsiv6hwmfq.jpg

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