Category: Travel

Still Dry, Slightly Less High

Today we went on a bus from our hotel in Amsterdam to Kinderdijk, which is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a village in an area of polder which has 19 windmills involved in the maintenance of the land, which would otherwise be flooded as it is below sea level. In fact, most of the maintenance is now done by a diesel and an electric pumping station, but the windmills are kept in full working order partly to preserve the World Heritage status, but also to help out the two main pumping stations in extreme circumstances. We were shown round the site and saw inside one of the windmills. The millers still occupy them, and the accommodation is incredibly cramped by modern standards.

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High and Dry

Today we were due to start another river cruise with Viking across Europe from Amsterdam and ending in Budapest in Hungary. Two days ago we received an email from the company telling us that due to low water levels we would not be able to join the ship in Amsterdam. We were to stay in a hotel there instead and make the journey by bus on Monday to Kinderdijk, our next destination. We were given the impression that we would then journey to Cologne in Germany (our third stop) by bus and join the ship there.

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From Russia with Love 11

Date: 18 July 2017 Location: Viking Akun moored in Saint Petersburg Got up too early as usual. We are going to the Peterhof Palace, departing at 07.30. Weather again looks better than was predicted. Took about 30 minutes on the bus to get to the Peterhof Palace. Our guide was again Alexei, who has a…

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From Russia with Love 10

Date: 17 July 2017 Location: Viking Akun moored in Saint Petersburg Another great breakfast. Wosog had pancakes and I had eggs Benedict (one egg). Weather today is pretty bad: heavy rain showers predicted. At 08.15 set off for the Catherine Palace in Pushkin, which is a small city near Saint Petersburg. The palace was almost…

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From Russia with Love 8

Date: 15 July 2017 Location: Viking Akun moored at Mandrogy (on the River Svir between Lake Onega and Lake Ladoga). We cruised overnight and arrived at Mandrogy around 09.00. There are no “compulsory” excursions today, but those who have decided to go for the banya experience (see Giving the Banya a Body Swerve) are having…

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From Russia with Love 7

At 11.00 we both went to the third lecture on Russian History. The first of these was on the Romanov Dynasty. The second lecture was on the period from The Russian Revolution to Gorbachev. Today's lecture was given by Alexei, and it was about the period from Yeltsin to the present day. It clarified for me quite a few things.

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From Russia with Love 5

Date: 12 July 2017 Location: Viking Akun on the River Volga on the way to Yaroslavl We are due to arrive at the city of Yaroslavl around 08.00, but I am awake at 04.00 thinking about Brexit! One of the things about cruising is that you are more or less forced to talk to people…

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From Russia with Love 4

Date: 11 July 2017 Location: Viking Akun on the River Volga on way to Uglich. After another pleasant breakfast we assembled at 09.00 to have a 1 hour lecture on the history of the Romanov dynasty. Well done, but a lot to take in! Around 10.30 we passed the bell tower of a church that…

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