Welcome to our travels and adventures

Welcome to our travels and adventures

The Royal and Ancient….

Well, I know that I am very late in writing but life gets in the way. What did we do before we retired I wonder?17050725 My 22 Going Past Old Castle

Our next adventure on this wonderful 50th anniversary trip is the golf mecca in Scotland, The Royal and Ancient St. Andrews Golf Links. Needless to say, we are both excited for this day trip.

17050728 May 22 Tender boats getting ready for passgers togo ashoreOur ship glides into the port of South Queensferry, Scotland. One of our other choices would have been the tours of Edinburgh but being somewhat 17050730 May 22 The village of South Queensferry from our balconygolfers, we could not give up this chance be at St. Andrews where all of the great golfers of the world have tried to bring the course to it’s knees!

Once again, the port is too shallow to dock so we have numerous tenders to take us ashore. Our tour bus picks us up after lunch so we decided to stay aboard and not wander through the sea shore village as we have at other ports. We have a leisurely breakfast, wander throughout the ship and recover from the past tours and activities.

17050739 May 22 Country side on way to St AndrewsOnce on the bus, we admire the Scottish countryside on our way to St. Andrews. 17050743 May 22 How's having your front door on the highwayThe quaint homes, farms and the rolling hillsides. Upon our arrival in the town, the driver gave us a quick tour of the ‘downtown’ and the historic St. Andrews Cathedral, the largest and most important church in medieval Scotland.

17050752 May 22 Cathedral ruins in St Andrews17050747 Old Hotel in St Andrews May 22

We arrive at the ‘Old Course’ and start looking at all the 17050782 May 22 Looking across practice green and the 1st & 18th holes to hotel along the 18thlandmarks that we see on the golf shows or the televising of ‘The Open’. The Old Hotel, the Road Hole and of course, the Swilcan Bridge! Here is where all the retiring greats of golf stop to wave to the golf fans and pose for pictures. Our skin develops goose bumps standing and imagining these events.

17050783 May 22 The Royal & Ancient members only club house17050786 May 22 Looking back toward 1st T

As we are dreaming of playing, we enter the pro shop and pick up the Old Course Ballot Card with the rules related to entering the lottery to play. We have to send in the lottery form and have a signed handicap card – 24 for men and 36 for ladies. The course is also closed for play on a Sunday allowing people to walk along the famous fairways at the Links.

17050794 May 22 18th Hole T marker @ St AndrewsWe go to the tee blocks of the 18th hole and walk up17050790 May 22 Looking up 18th hole onto the tee and gaze on down the fairway to get the feel of playing. The course is full but everyone understands and you can do this with no one bothering you as long as you don’t get in the way of the players.

17050795 May 22 Terry stepping up onto 18th T @ St Andrews

We also cross over the 17th fairway to get our picture and help other golf enthusiasts get their pictures standing on the ‘Swilcan’ bridge that crosses the Swilcan Burn between the first and eighteenth fairways. This was too exciting and really made our day!

17050788 May 22 We're on the Swilcan Bridge

There are four main ways to apply for a tee time on the Old Course:

The Advanced Reservations process starts at the beginning of September for play the following year. Full details can be found on our website.

The second and most common way is to enter the Ballot which is drawn every day for play two days ahead e.g. enter the names by 2pm on Monday for play on a Wednesday.

Single Golfers can approach the Starter on the day they wish to play and they will try to slot them in with groups going out that day.

And the last way is to buy guaranteed premium tee times is from the ‘Old Course Experience’.

After we get our fill, we walk in the downtown of St Andrews, 17050803 May 22 Looking down street while shopping in ST Andrewspast Ole Tom Morris’ house and past lots of golf shops. We did go in to one and bought a couple souvenirs for ourselves and continued along the street, admiring the buildings and surroundings. All too soon, it is nearing bus time so we venture down to the Old Course visitors centre then out onto the beach of St Andrews. It has been a great day for us.

17050813 May 22 Close up of Barb on the rocks in ST Andrews17050818 May 22 Another Selfie Wtih St Andrews Behind

Too soon, we are back on the boat and heading out to sea again. After a full day at sea, we are onto our next port of call, Le Havre, France. Please return to hear about our trip to Paris….

50th Honeymoon Trip Day 9

Sunday May 21

17050595 May 21 Oil RigsWe are now in Invergordon, Scotland and our tour is in the afternoon.17050601 May 21 Welcome Failte Scotty So we went down to breakfast and then out to tour the little village of Invergordon. They have a 17050615 May 21 Fire Fighting Murallot of murals and since Barb  loves murals off we go. They also have a lot of flowers with lots wonderful aromas. We walked from one end of the town to the other and got all the murals even the ones at the 17050609 May 21 Homes In Invergordontrain station. We went into the town Parish just before their Sunday 17050627 May 21 Parish Churchservice so we were very quick. We stopped into the grocery and bought some toothpaste and hairspray. Boy, going into the grocery makes you feel like a local. We went back to the ship to have lunch and rest our feet. At the gate this morning we were greeted by Beefeaters for picture taking.17050600 May 21 Beefeaters Welcome Us

17050607 May 21 Carrabean Princess From Shore

17050666 May 21 Dunrobin CastleAt 1:00 we boarded the bus for a trip to Dunrobin Castle, is a stately home in Sutherland, in the Highland area of Scotland, and the family seat of the Earl of Sutherland and the Clan Sutherland. This is the oldest castle that still has family residing insi17050668 May 21 Young Lad Playing Bagpipesde. They only come here a few times a year though. Outside was a young teen playing the bagpipes. He belongs to the Sutherland Pipe Band and goes to school at the Sutherland school. As I looked at 17050675 May 21 Ancestors On The Wallpictures of the ancestors I checked them out to see if they looked like Gerry, my cousin. Well none did and isn’t that too bad. We were allowed to only take pictures on the main floor 17050676 May 21 Wall Picture Of Estatewhich is the foyer and gift room. I don’t really understand why they could of just said no flash. We did the tour with our guide and she explained a lot. You can book the diningroom and the library for weddings or office meetings. The staff gets to have their Christmas party in the diningroom. We then got to 17050680 May 21 Round Gardenwalk through the gardens and they were awesome. There were large leaf plants and lots of different shrubs and flowers. We watched them video a movie 17050685 May 21 What Large Leavesthey are making of a man riding a bike. We then headed back to the ship and they took a different route and we got to see some Seals laying on the sandbars as the tide was out. 17050686 May 21 Castle From Circle Garden

17050716 May 21 Seal In The Water

17050722 May 21 Having Drinks With Donna DaleWe met Donna and Dale in the Piazzia for drinks and then went to the Island Room for supper. We got a really nice wait staff and young guy from India and a funny cute girl from the Ukrane. Following dinner we headed to the theatre for comedy night with Scott Harris. He is a Canadian comic and he was so funny. His jokes were all based around our age and how we played outside and our parents weren’t concerned with us and let us do anything. How we were afraid of our parents where today's parents are afraid of their children. He was hilarious. We laughed so hard we decided we need a nightcap so the four us headed to the Explorer’s Lounge. Then a good night and back to our room. Another great day was had by the both of us.

17050696 May 21 Double Bloom Red White Tulips

50th Honeymoon Trip Day 7 & 8

17050432 May 19 Scottie Man At DockToday we are in Glasgow 17050435 May 19 Queens Guard Greet UsScotland. We are doing a tour to The Falkirk Wheel and to Stirling Castle. We had a young lady from the area as a tour guide and she was very good. I just love listening to their accents. When we docked we were in Greenock. It has a 90% rate of unemployment.
T17050445 May 19 Houses On The Moorhe drive to the wheel is 1 ½ hours through some beautiful countryside and along the River Clyde. We saw a large 17050555 May 19 House They Hit Mary Queen Of Scots rock in the middle of the river and a house on it near the water. This house was built to hide Mary Queen of Scots. They had heard that someone was going to kidnap the young queen so they hid her out here. Her father died when she was 6 days old and she became the Queen. We continued along, viewing homes, gardens and 17050451 May 19 Arriving At Falkirk Wheelchurches and finally arrived at the wheel. In the parking lot were two horse heads, they are called Kelpies here. They are a 17050452 May 19 Inside The Vesselsmall replica of the original Kelpies that stand 30 meters high further away. 17050454 May 19 Selfie Of UsThe Wheel lifts the boat up 24 meters to the canal. 17050456 May 19 Going UpWe go through a tunnel and turn around on the other side. All the locks are 17050458 May 19 Above The Building
manually controlled and a man is positioned at each one of 17050459 May 19 At The Top Of The Channelthem. Being a lock operator must be a boring job.

17050462 May 19 Grosse In Bloom

17050471 May 19 Village By Falkirk WheelFrom here we continue to Stirling Castle. The town is divided into lower Stirling and upper Stirling where the castle is located17050500 May 19 Barb By Steps. Only one couple got off in the lower more modern part of town. The castle is very large and a lot of the rooms mostly 17050503 May 19 Castle Entrance empty. We walked around and I really liked the wood carvings of all the faces of royalty. I am amazed at all the flowering azaleas, 17050518 May 19 Mary Queen Of Scotland Lived Herepeonies, daisies, rhododendrons and roses all in bloom. It is really pretty watching all the English Gardens as we17050517 May 19 Courtyard drive by.

17050554 May 19 Castle From Bottom Of Hill

17050557 May 19 Piping Us Out Of The HarborWe got stopped on the motorway in Glasgow because of a 4 car accident and thought we were going to be late getting back to the boat. We made it just on time. One bus came in 45 minutes late as they got caught in traffic also. A pipe band marched up and down the dock with the large Scotty dancing behind them. 17050559 May 19 Cheers Terri Mark

We popped the champagne that Terri & Mark sent us and sat out on our balcony to watch and listen. After dinner we went to the theatre and watched Uptown. Three young guys danced and sang such an upbeat performance. They were fantastic and we enjoyed the show immensely. What a great end to a wonderful day.

17050566 May 19 Sun Is Going Down
Saturday May 20
I am so grateful that today is an At Sea day. I am exhausted, we are averaging 10,000 17050569 May 20 Memosa Toast (2)steps a day and Barb’s hips are crying out for some relief. We started out with our honeymoon breakfast that Terri & Mark gave us. Wow, the purser brought so much food th17050568 May 20 Famosa Toast (1)at I asked the waiter if we were having guests join us, LOL!! We had smoked salmon plate, fresh fruit plate, pastry plate and Quiche Lorraine. Along with that we had champagne, orange juice and coffee. It was too cold to eat out on the balcony so we were set up in front of the windows and had a very enjoyable meal.
We walked up to the 16th floor Skywalker deck and around to the front, went to the Thermal room to see what it was all about. We don’t have our bathing suits so the 17050575 May 20 Over North End Of Scotlandshower is out, the sauna is too steamy for Barb, she is already having trouble breathing in the hallway. There was an aroma therapy room and a room with hot lounge chairs. A large man was laying 17050578 May 20 Lots Of Great Cliffsnaked except for the towel that covered his privates. So we decided we didn’t want to lay on a lounge with him there, we will come back another day. We asked if we could change it for a foot massage but 17050582 May 20 Cliffsshe said there are no changes. So off the front of the ship and then to lunch. We ate with a couple from Montreal Bill & Lydia, who do a lot of cruising. They were a lot of fun and very interesting that after our meal we sat and talked for a while before going back to our room. With having a balcony it makes no sense to be pushed 17050585 May 20 Supper By The Windowaround and put up with all the noise to sit and read. I worked on pictures and Terry read up on our next exit from the ship and played some solitaire. In the evening we went to the theatre to watch the Princess singers and dancers put on a Broadway Ballroom Show. It was just awesome and they did a great job even with the ship bobbing and weaving in the water. After this was over we 17050589 May 20 Balloon Drop Tonightwent and watched ballroom dancing were a lady was teaching the waltz. It was fun to watch mainly the men trying to do this. One oriental couple picked it up quickly and they were very good. From here we went to the Explorer’s Bar and were joined by another couple from California. We played trivia as a team but only got two answers right.17050594 May 20 Balloons Have Dropped

Back to the room to watch some news of the States and to bed.