Tuesday, 3 June 2014

I've been Sailing

Sorry for the break in blogging so soon after starting but I've been on holiday. We have been enjoying a fantastic Baltic cruise stopping at Bruges, Gdansk, Klaipeda, St. Petersburg, Tallinn and Copenhagen. Of course I have lots and lots of photos but I'll try not to inundate you with them all. Just some to let you see what these wonderful cities are like. We were blessed with beautiful weather; hot and sunny and very unusual for the time of year. The captain and anyone else who'd already been to these destinations were amazed at the temperatures we had; we ranged from 27C to 33C.

We left home on Wednesday the 14th May and drove to Rosslare in the Republic of Ireland. From there we took a ferry to Fishguard in Wales, arriving shortly after midnight. The poor husband drove through the night, with a few short stops, to Southampton, where we stayed Thursday night in a hotel. We have friends who live not too far from Southampton and they came to have a meal with us. It was lovely to see them, especially the gorgeous baby girl who was born since the last time we met up.

On Friday we embarked the Arcadia for our cruise. The first stop was on Saturday at Zeebrugge from where we had a trip into Bruges. The weather was already very hot and sunny. Before reaching the old part of the town we passed this beautiful lake which is called the Lake of Love. There were many swans and also ducks swimming on the lake and sitting on the banks.

Lake of Love, Bruges
The old buildings, cobbled streets and canals were really beautiful. There were many tourists there but it wasn't over-crowded.


Busy Bruges
We indulged in coffee and waffles that morning in a lovely cafe. The waffles were covered in hot Belgian chocolate - totally yummy.

First stop in Bruges

We really needed a coffee!

Waffle drizzled with hot Belgian chocolate
Belgium is famous for its lace and many of the houses had lace hanging in the windows.

There were lots of shops selling lace items, some of which were very expensive. I bought a small Christmas decoration as a reminder of our holiday.

Belgian lace Christmas tree
Belgium is also famous for its chocolate and there was plenty of it about. There were many shops selling it in all manner of shapes and sizes and various packaging.

Belgian chocolates
We came across lots of interesting things to look at. There were people taking canal boats to see round and some were taking in the sights while on a horse and trap ride. There was an organ grinder and we also found a lovely market where we bought a painting of Bruges.

Organ grinder, Bruges

Weaving at the market, Bruges
The architecture was brilliant - we were surrounded by beautiful buildings in every direction.

I was fascinated with the detail used for this downpipe that opened into one of the canals; it's a dragon's head!

Dragon's head downpipe
We visited a small museum and also The Church of Our Lady. This is where Michelangelo's Madonna and Child sculpture is enshrined in the altarpiece. Unfortunately my picture doesn't really do it justice; it is very beautiful.

Altarpiece with Michelangelo's Madonna and child

Michelangelo's Madonna and child

Strangely enough, we watched The Monuments Men a few days later in the ship's screening room. Among thousands of other works of art, the story tells how this sculpture was saved during World War II.

We finished our trip by taking tea and crepes with rapidly melting ice-cream before heading back to the ship. We were able to sit outside at the back of the Carpe Diem cafe where they had a vine growing over our heads. It was so relaxing!!

Two pots of Earl Grey tea

Crepes with ice-cream

Vine growing overhead
The next two days were 'sea days' so I started crocheting my cotton blanket. I showed you the yarn in My First post. Here's a picture of the first few squares that I did. I was really worried how it would look as I didn't have an exact plan about what way to use the colours. But I think it looks well.

Starting the cotton blanket
I suppose I'll have to give the blanket a name but I haven't decided yet what it will be. Maybe the Baltic blanket - strange name as it's meant to be a warm blanket! Or maybe the St. Petersburg blanket. Decisions, decisions!

Well I think that's enough for now. I'll tell you about the other ports of call next time; probably there'll be a few more posts about the cruise so each one isn't too long. Thanks for reading - I hope you enjoyed it. And I hope you'll be back for more of my cruise log when it's ready.


  1. Hello Gillian, I just stumbled upon your blog and really enjoyed reading this post. The Belgian lace is so pretty and your new blanket is looking lovely. I often start a crochet project on holiday and name is according to where I was when I started :) xx

    1. Hi Elizabeth, Glad you found my blog and enjoyed reading. Keep checking back as I have more posts coming up about the rest of my cruise and progress on the blanket.


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