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Norwegian Breakaway

Isle of Portland, and Corfe

sunny 55 °F

We sailed across the Irish Sea and moored in the morning at the Isle of Portland, where we decided to take a tour to the town of Corfe and climb to the remnants of the Corfe Castle

Portland is a central part of the Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage Site on the Dorset and east Devon coast, important for its geology and landforms. Portland stone, famous for its use in British and world architecture, including St Paul's Cathedral and the United Nations Headquarters, continues to be quarried. Portland Harbour, in between Portland and Weymouth, is one of the largest man-made harbours in the world. The harbour was made by the building of stone breakwaters between 1848 and 1905. From its inception it was a Royal Navy base, and played prominent roles during the First and Second World Wars; ships of the Royal Navy and NATO countries worked up and exercised in its waters until 1995. The harbour is now a civilian port and popular recreation area, and was used for the 2012 Olympic Games.

Corfe Castle is a fortification standing above the village of the same name on the Isle of Purbeck in the English county of Dorset. Built by William the Conqueror, the castle dates to the 11th century and commands a gap in the Purbeck Hills on the route between Wareham and Swanage. The first phase was one of the earliest castles in England to be built at least partly using stone when the majority were built with earth and timber. Corfe Castle underwent major structural changes in the 12th and 13th centuries. In 1572, Corfe Castle left the Crown's control when Elizabeth I sold it to Sir Christopher Hatton. Sir John Bankes bought the castle in 1635, and was the owner during the English Civil War. His wife, Lady Mary Bankes, led the defence of the castle when it was twice besieged by Parliamentarian forces. The first siege, in 1643, was unsuccessful, but by 1645 Corfe was one of the last remaining royalist strongholds in southern England and fell to a siege ending in an assault. In March that year Corfe Castle was slighted on Parliament's orders. Owned by the National Trust, the castle is open to the public and in 2010 received around 190,000 visitors. It is protected as a Grade I listed building and a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

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Posted by rpickett 09:21 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged and of corfe portland isle Comments (0)

Chile aboard Crystal Serenity

Straits of Magellan and Beagle Channel

semi-overcast 48 °F

After a quite day on the ship, we left Punta Arenas and headed to sea.

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We were expecting some rougher weather as we left the Straits of Magellan heading out to the open ocean for our transit to the Beagle Channel, but it was quite comfortable, and we woke up to some beautiful scenery!

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In the morning the ship hosted a wonderful round table discussion on world affairs with the two Generals and two Ambassadors on board as guest lecturers. It was again a pleasure to have a thoughtful, intellectual, respectful discussion of difficult world affairs without the ranting and raving of Facebook and the media. This series of talks was by far the best that I have ever heard at sea.

Instead of the regular buffet lunch, the ship put on a spectacular Viennese buffet in the atrium area. We grazed on the many selections and then were escorted into the main dining room to a table to enjoy.

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After lunch we continued our voyage to Ushuaia through the Beagle Channel. The channel separates the larger main island of Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego from various smaller islands including the islands of Picton, Lennox and Nueva; Navarino; Hoste; Londonderry; and Stewart. The channel's eastern area forms part of the border between Chile and Argentina and the western area is entirely within Chile. The Beagle Channel, the Straits of Magellan to the north, and the open-ocean Drake Passage to the south are the three navigable passages around South America between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. However, most commercial shipping uses the open-ocean Drake Passage.

The channel is distinguished by its glaciers, which offered great sightseeing!

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Unfortunately our trip is at end, as we debark and fly home tomorrow. Crystal is amazing - well worth the price due to the service, hospitality and quality of the on board amenities. This will not be my only trip on this great cruise line.

Posted by rpickett 10:41 Archived in Chile Tagged and of magellan channel beagle straits Comments (0)

Chile aboard Crystal Serenity

Cruising south towards the Stra

overcast 58 °F

Several hours after we left port we entered the open Southern Pacific, where we spent the night being somewhat tossed and turned with 20 foot seas. We slept, but not that well. Late in the morning we entered the inland waters and the seas calmed, the air cleared and we were greeted with some wonderful scenery.

The morning was filled by two wonderful enrichment lectures. The first was given by South African Ambassador to South America, Tony Leon. His lecture "New Hope for the New World? The New South America", provided some interesting insight in the the future of South American countries.

The second lecture was "Trump Takes Washington, Shaken not Stirred" was an excellent, thoughtful discussion of the situation President Trump inherited upon assuming office. The presenter was former US Ambassador to Morocco, Marc Ginsberg. Although a democrat, he served under three administrations and presented facts and realities of the current world situation, vice ideology.

The day ending with yet another wonderful sunset.

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Posted by rpickett 06:58 Archived in Chile Tagged the of magellan cruising towards straits Comments (0)

Legacy of the Incas

Photo Album

Travelers, I have finished my photo album.

Click Legacy of the Incas. to view it
Once on the site, click a picture to go full screen
Click "i" at the top to see the description of the picture

The scroll the middle right and left side to go forward or back in the album

Please feel free to share with one and all!

Posted by rpickett 09:23 Archived in Peru Tagged the of incas legacy Comments (0)

South Africa

Penguins, Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point

semi-overcast 60 °F

Today was our day to adventure see the African Penguins, the Cape of Storms - renamed the Cape of Good Hope - the half way point around the African continent and Cape Point - a much more spectacular point a few km's from the Cape of Good Hope. The Cape is the southern most point in South Western Africa, but not the southern most point on the continent. The continent actually penetrates south a few more 100 km's about 100 km's away.

Our first stop was to board a boat to see the seals at 'Seal Island'. There were big swells and a stiff breeze, but that didn't seem to bother the seals!
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We then drove to Simon's Town for a visit to the African Penguin Colony and lunch. This is also home to the South African Navy in the south of the country.
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It was then off to the Cape of Good Hope - surrounded by heavy seas and heavy winds. It must have been an extreme challenge for ships of sail.
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Of interest is that this is the only place in the world where ostrich's live by the sea and seem to thrive.
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It was then time to head to the far more spectacular Cape Point, where you take a funicular to the top of the point. The views are spectacular as you seem to sit on top of the world!
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Posted by rpickett 09:04 Archived in South Africa Tagged and of good point cape hope Comments (0)

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