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Traveling Mike

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Everything posted by Traveling Mike

  1. Greenland We spent two days in Greenland. We were scheduled to go to 2 ports then the cruise one of the fjords but we were told because of the weather we had to skip Nuuk. The first day we went to a small town of 300 people called Qaqortoq. We had to park out in the Bay and tender in to the town. It was very foggy and it took forever to get people off the ship. After I got off the tender I stopped and looked around. Left was downhill and right was uphill. I figured I was fresh and would go uphill. Walking around the town I quickly figured out this was not your typical tourist stop. There was not much for tourists other than their local museum. At the top of the hill I ended up going through their local grocery store. The items in the store was Pretty much what You'd expect to see in the United states. It was also your small town typical store that had everything from hardware to groceries. I made my way down through the streets to the couple of shops that were down by the Bay. They had a fish market that was a little bit different. This fish market had well, seals, fish, and seagulls. Yes seagulls that they butcher for you. There was a little cafe that pretty much everybody of the ship was piled into to get sodas and beers. I read reviews that they had really good hamburgers and French fries but the line was so long I decided I'd just go back to the ship and eat. The next day we spent the entire morning selling up one of the fiords. Of fiord is pretty much a big deep river that goes inland. At the very end of it was a very large iceberg that the melting feeds the water of the fiord. The night before I went to bed early so I got up about 5:00 in the morning and by 7:00 o'clock I had me in nice comfortable round bed in the adults area. I was able to stretch out lay down on the pillows play some music on my cell phone and watch the scenery go by. It was beautiful scenery but a little different than I expected. I expected a lot more snow and ice and icebergs than what we've seen. No don't get me wrong it's beautiful scenery just not what I expected. And along the way there was one village that housed 100 people. I kind of wondered how do they live there this seems strange that out in the middle of this nowhere these hundred people live. Over all Greenland was a beautiful place but it's also one of those places that I've been there, seen that, been there... I am done Long, deep fjords
  2. Reykjavik our second day in Reykjavik we did a tour called the golden circle. I was expecting southern Iceland to be just like northern Iceland and all volcanic rock. It turned out the scenery was a lot nicer. It was rolling hills with some color from small vegetation. That don't get me wrong it still was all volcanic rock. Nice thing about doing this multiple days later is this I'm just telling you about what I can remember. Our first stop was a waterfall that went down the river it had this big gigantic waterfall nothing spectacular. Second stop was geysers; If you've been to Yellowstone you looked at these and said oh these aren't anything. If you haven't been to Yellowstone you looked at them and said oh man this is amazing. Our next stop was at a tomato farm and I'll get to into that in a minute in detail. And our last stop was actually a pretty cool volcanic area that this pathway was cut actually created down through the volcanic rock. The actual highlight of the trip was the tomato farm which sounds strange. The people that own the farm came up with the idea when they were 17 years old. They ended up going to college and one of them studied to become a horse farmer and the other one studied to be a tomato farmer. When they graduated they found this farm that had been shut down for a few years and got it very cheap. Well they started raising Icelandic horses. And they also started growing tomatoes in greenhouses. Now years later they export 2000 pounds of tomatoes a day to the market and raise and train horses that are exported all over the world. The horses are special because they have two extra gates; Away they trot or run. They do it in a way that the rider does not go up or down he could stay steady. They showed us an example by the man carrying a beer in his hand while his horse trotted around the track. It was actually pretty impressive. The tomatoes are grown in a greenhouse and the base of the plant is in of barks that is like 6 inches by 6 inches right then the vines are trained to go over and then up to the ceiling. The last part of our tour was lunch. This was the best freshest tomato soup I've ever had. And they had tons of fresh baked bread to go with it. Needless to say my diet went out the door and I had seconds of everything.
  3. Internet For any of you trying to follow my blog I am very sorry, the Internet has been too bad to use since we left Iceland. Part of the time even text messages wouldn't go through. I can't wait for the new Elon Musk satellite system to be installed in all the Royal Caribbean ships. I am sorry Unfortunately I had a friend that took something I mentioned personally. These are just my thoughts and experiences to share with you. They are not meant to make anybody upset. My feelings are just my feelings; They're not right they're not wrong they're just what I see, feal and observe. Please don't take them personally. And if you disagree let me know educate me; I am always open to discussions. Now to catch up What did the daddy tomato do when the baby tomato was walking too slow down the street? He smacked him on the head and told him Ketchup.
  4. Reykjavik Iceland – Blue Lagoon I’ve been debating on how much to tell you about this trip. The first part of this trip it’s not very pleasant but I thought about it and you’re here to hear about my experiences so I’m going to let you know about the bad part as well as the good part. Feel free to skip the bad part. The bad part... One of the people from our Facebook group arranged a trip to the blue lagoon for everybody. We had 100 people traveling on two 57 passenger busses. When we got to the parking lot I was assigned the lead on bus 1 and she took bus 2. After we got everyone loaded, she was on bus 1 double checking our lists and someone from bus 2 came over and told us there was a medical emergency. I went to bus 2 to find out there was a man having a heart attack. I got the bus drivers to call for an ambulance and I went back to bus 1 to ask for a doctor or nurse. Right away 2 nurses jumped up and went to help. I was busy trying to contact the ship to let them know of the issue. When I want back to bus 1 I had some people on the front of the bus asking why we were not leaving. I told them we had a medical emergency, and they did not care. I was told, “This is my vacation, and it should not be affected by someone else problems. That is the other bus and not ours.”. I told her it did affect our bus because people on our bus was trying to save a life. We got everyone off the bus 2 that we could, and the ambulance showed up. I informed the ambulance crew what was going on and they went to work. At that point I got the husbands off my bus to stay with their wives and loaded my bus with everyone I could fit. At that point we left for the Blue Lagoon. One note: When we got to the Blue Lagoon the people had realized what they had done and apologized. Just remember we are all the same big family. Now the good part… On our bus was a guide to help us with the Blue Lagoon. He contacted the Blue Lagoon and let them know of our issues. They were great and told us we would get the full two hours there no matter when we showed up. When we got there, it was a large lava field. They have cut out pathways and the lagoon in the lava field. We had to go upstairs and take a shower with no cloths on. It was funny to see people in their 50’s and 60’s waiting for the private showers when there were ones without doors open. I jumped in the one that was open and took my shower. Then you put on your bathing suit, go downstairs, and jump in the lagoon. The water was blue and has a fog on top from the light rain hitting the hot water. It was fantastic. After getting our free drink (not much selection) we found our way over to the far end of the pool to get our face mask. It was a white paste that you put on your face and neck to open and clean all the pores. After about one hour in the pool everyone was looking at the clock and trying to figure out how long they could stay and still make the bus. I stayed as long as I could; 15 minutes to get out, shower, get dressed and get to the bus. I know I was pushing it but I was really enjoying the experience. If you ever find you way to Iceland, make sure you do the Blue Lagoon. If it is raining or snowing don’t worry. It just makes it a better experience.
  5. Solo is the way to cruise. You are in full control of your vacation. On a cruise ship you are only alone when you want to be.
  6. Akureyri (Northern Iceland) We made our first stop in Iceland. I went on a tour set up by one of the people in our Facebook group. We ended up touring all the highlights of northern Iceland. What I figured out is Iceland is one big volcanic rock. There's not very many people on the entire country, 380,000. That is less people than an average American city. By the end of our tour we were like... I don't want to get off the bus it's just more lava rocks. Our last stop was neat. It was the crevice and the earth that separates the American plate with the European plate. This is what causes all the earthquakes and volcanoes; where the earth separates. Everybody else was standing at the end of the crevice to take their pictures, I decided I wanted to stand over the crevice with one foot on each side... it was only 30 or 40 foot down.
  7. Meals on the ship Rather than talk about or show you pictures of all my meals, which is kind of boring, I just give you the highlights of what I'm doing. Breakfast: I am sleeping past breakfast Lunch: every lunch so far I've ended up doing the same thing; I'm having lunch at Chops. I order the hamburger Patty without the bun and all the fixings. I get a different side dish every day. The hamburger Patty is really thick and juicy and it tastes great. Then I rotate through different side dishes depending on my mood of the day. Dinner: I have dinner with a couple of my friends every evening. All three of us have the unlimited dining package so we just rotate the specialty restaurants. So far at Chops each time I've had the 16 oz bone in rib eye with sauteed mushrooms. At Giovanni's I've been having the pasta of the day for an appetizer and then their filet for my main dish. At the Japanese restaurant I ended up having three different small dishes; pot stickers, tempura chicken, and tempura shrimp. note: last night we had our first of three group dinners. I organized a group about 25 of us to have dinner at specialty restaurants together. Last night was Chops. We are separated into two different groups, an early dinner and a late dinner. It was a lot of fun meeting new people and enjoying dinner together. I ended up visiting with both groups.
  8. The blue nose ceremony on the second day we had a ceremony for crossing into the Arctic Circle. The idea is to take a plunge into the icy cold water to ask for passage of the gods. In our ceremony one of the ship's officers was plunged into the pool. Everybody else was sprinkled with ice water. After being sprinkled with ice water you got the blue nose applied to you. In reality it was just good claim fund. I chose not to wear a coat or sweater where I could experience the ceremony in the cold. They had music drinks and everybody had a good time.
  9. I'm sorry I probably should have explain the poker pub crawl. I try to do these on a lot of my cruises that have to see days. It's actually more of a social event than anything. On our first C day we had 64 people that paid $5 each to be part of the poker pub crawl. We had another 10 people that came along but did not want to play the poker part of it. At the first bar everybody throws $5 into the pot and pulls one poker card while they're waiting they get them a drink alcohol non alcohol it doesn't matter. I started out by talking in the crowd explaining the rules and then I had them look around and see somebody they didn't know and introduce themselves. When everybody was ready we all moseyed on over to the second pub. At the second bar everybody pulled a second poker card. They refreshed their drinks. And then I asked the crowd different questions to get everybody familiar with each other. Like, is there any buddy that has never cruised before. What was the longest time that somebody first cruised; somebody's first cruise was 1972. We then continued this process till we were at our fifth and final bar. There they pulled their 5th and final card; I let them exchange one card if they wanted. And then we started checking to see who had the highest cards and the lowest cards. The person with the highest hand made $110. The person with the lowest worst hand made $90. And the person with the second highest hand made $70. That is a poker pub crawl.
  10. Day three our first Sea day We ended up a pretty good day today. I had a good 8 hours sleep before getting up and going and having lunch at chops grill. I just got a hamburger Patty and some macaroni and cheese but the hamburger Patty at chops grill is not just a hamburger Patty it is really good. I had the poker pub crawl that started at 2:00 o’clock and I had 15 decks of cards that I had to mark before we could start. We had 120 people signed up for the poker pub crawl. A normal crowd for it is 30 people. We ended up with 65 people because the cruise ship put progressive trivia at the same time as our cabin crawl. We ended up moving from place to place and having a fantastic time. Luckily for me I had my friend Cory Jo that helped me with the poker pub crawl. It was a lot of work for me I ended up sweating up a storm but I think everybody had a great time. After we were done at the poker pub crawl I went back to the room and got just a little bit of rest and cleaned up for dinner. We had dinner at Izumo which is a Japanese restaurant. I was kind of surprised that it was a fantastic dinner. After dinner my two friends went back to the room to rest before the show and I knew not to because they ended up staying in the room sleeping and I went to the show alone. The show was a Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons pretend group. I gave the group A5 out of 10 for their performance. But I gave him 10 out of 10 for sleep ability. I say in the beginning of the show and the end of the show and slept pretty good through the middle. I ended the night in a game the naughty quiz. I played with two new friends from England, and we actually did pretty well. The premise of the game is they gave you 20 questions that if you just listen to him, you think that nasty answers. But the real answer isn’t too bad. An example is Arnold Schwarzenegger has a very big one Brad Pitt has a very small one and Madonna doesn’t have one at all. Of course, the answer is the last name. I get to watch a little bit of Northern Lights before going to sleep. They’re not very good because all you see is some light in this guy and it’s not until you take a picture that different colors come out. Hopefully they’ll get better before the trip is over. Tomorrow’s another sea day and we have the cabin crawl; Talk to you then bye
  11. it is easier with Unlimited Dining. You have very good food to pick from so you can be picky about what you eat. The example is at lunch today I want to Chops and got a Hamburger Patty and Mac-n-Cheese. The Hamburger Patty is thick and has lots of flavor. At dinner for Chops I do not have bread and appetizer and just have the steak and mushrooms or a vegetable. When it come to desert, I will have it but only if it is worth the calories.
  12. Day 2 Norway I had a fabulous night sleep. This was one of the first nights I was able to sleep over 8 hours straight. I woke up and I joined some of my friends for lunch. I was able to ask for just chicken salad without the rest of the sandwich. After what I considered a reasonable lunch, I headed out for my excursion in Kristiansand Norway. When we got out to the meeting place, it was so disorganized. There was a couple of buses and people everywhere. I ended up grabbing the person in charge and explaining to her that everybody was confused at what they were trying to do. Then that person actually thought about it and explained what was was going on. Then the people moved where they needed to be. I was in the last group and we found out that the bus company sent our bus to the wrong place. After about a 20 minute wait a different bus showed up. The bus took us for a 20 minute drive to a town called lillistand. This is a quaint little village that we got to wander around for about 25 minutes. We should have gotten an hour there but because the fiascos with getting organized and waiting for the bus we lost 35 minutes. We then hopped on the bus and drove all the way back to where we started to get on the boat. At first it looked like it would not be a very nice boat trip. It was an older rundown boat that was packed with people. After we got out of the port it ended up being a pretty decent ride and we got to see the Norwegian coast. After little nap it was dinner time and we ended up eating at the chops grill. The chops grill is an upscale restaurant that we get because I have the unlimited dining plan. Without that dining planned it is priced at $60. I ended up having a 16 oz bone in rib eye and sauteed mushrooms. I was a very good boy and held to my diet no bread no appetizer and no dessert and no wine. After dinner is a little bit late getting about 10:00 o'clock but we ended up going to a show "finish that line". They split the room in two and they would play a song and stop it. Then people from the audience had to run up to the stage and finish singing the line to the song. It was so much fun that we went 15 minutes past the scheduled ending time. We capped the night off with the Casino. Earlier in the day I started with $40 and I had a ticket for $50 ($10 up). I played on penny slot machine for about an hour and walked away with a $40 ticket so I was $10 down for the evening but even for the cruise. I got back in my room by midnight and only had to toss and turn for 2 hours before getting to sleep. It is now 10 am on day three and getting ready for my Poker Pub Crawl. I will let you know about that late tonight.
  13. Day 2 Norway I had a fabulous night sleep. This was one of the first nights I was able to sleep over 8 hours straight. I woke up and I joined some of my friends for lunch. I was able to ask for just chicken salad without the rest of the sandwich. After what I considered a reasonable lunch, I headed out for my excursion in Kristiansand Norway. When we got out to the meeting place, it was so disorganized. There was a couple of buses and people everywhere. I ended up grabbing the person in charge and explaining to her that everybody was confused at what they were trying to do. Then that person actually thought about it and explained what was was going on. Then the people moved where they needed to be. I was in the last group and we found out that the bus company sent our bus to the wrong place. After about a 20 minute wait a different bus showed up. The bus took us for a 20 minute drive to a town called lillistand. This is a quaint little village that we got to wander around for about 25 minutes. We should have gotten an hour there but because the fiascos with getting organized and waiting for the bus we lost 35 minutes. We then hopped on the bus and drove all the way back to where we started to get on the boat. At first it looked like it would not be a very nice boat trip. It was an older rundown boat that was packed with people. After we got out of the port it ended up being a pretty decent ride and we got to see the Norwegian coast. After little nap it was dinner time and we ended up eating at the chops grill. The chops grill is an upscale restaurant that we get because I have the unlimited dining plan. Without that dining planned it is priced at $60. I ended up having a 16 oz bone in rib eye and sauteed mushrooms. I was a very good boy and held to my diet no bread no appetizer and no dessert and no wine. After dinner is a little bit late getting about 10:00 o'clock but we ended up going to a show "finish that line". They split the room in two and they would play a song and stop it. Then people from the audience had to run up to the stage and finish singing the line to the song. It was so much fun that we went 15 minutes past the scheduled ending time. We capped the night off with the Casino. Earlier in the day I started with $40 and I had a ticket for $50 ($10 up). I played on penny slot machine for about an hour and walked away with a $40 ticket so I was $10 down for the evening but even for the cruise. I got back in my room by midnight and only had to toss and turn for 2 hours before getting to sleep. It is now 10 am on day three and getting ready for my Poker Pub Crawl. I will let you know about that late tonight.
  14. Day one - boarding day Saturday night I could not go to sleep. I ended up going to sleep at 6:30 AM and I had to be in the lobby of the hotel by 11:00 AM. The nice thing is while I couldn't sleep, I repacked everything and I was ready to head out the door. When I got down to the lobby, I found something that was strange compared to what we have in the United states. We had to check out of the hotel. For years in the United states you give them a credit card when you check in and you just leave when you're done. At this hotel we had to stand in line and then we had to pull out our credit card and pay for the items charged to our room. After we were done with that process, we walked out outside the hotel doors and got in line for the shuttle out in front of the hotel. There was a very large crowd and they couldn't fit in the next bus that came so there was about 15 of us waiting for the next bus. Right before the bus came some people came walking up and asking us if that was the free bus to the cruise ship; we told them yes. When the bus came on up, they started getting on the bus in front of us. I nicely pointed out that there was a bunch of us that had been waiting a very long time and they thought I was being rude. At the port it went extremely fast and smooth except for one item. We got in line to turn our bags in and they wouldn't take them; they said it was full. How can it be full? Just line them up outside until there's room to put them on the conveyor. I don't understand what they were thinking. Instead they had us get in another line to go to a different conveyor. The bad thing is if you weren't checking any bags they were pulling people out of line and moving them in front of us which made our line even longer. After we got through the check-in bag fiasco, we went through a security scan and then straight up to the person checking us in. For me she checked my passport, my covid test and scanned my boarding pass. I heard it was slightly different for other people but it was just very fast. After you were done there we just walked on the ship was ready to go. As always, the first thing I did on the ship was to go to chops and set all my dinner reservations. I am traveling alone and solo but I have a friend that I've cruised with a couple of times on this ship. I ended up booking reservations for me, her and a friend of hers that's traveling with her. All three of us have unlimited dining so I set specialty restaurants for the entire cruise. If I was just setting them for me I would be having dinner at 6:00 o'clock every evening. If my friend Corey Joe was travel alone she would be setting her dinner at 8:00 o'clock every evening. So as a compromise we tried to get as close as we could to 7:00 o'clock. Since we were at chops and had unlimited dining we ended up having lunch there. I ordered the chops hamburger without the bun. It was an excellent choice, a very good hamburger Patty. You would think I could relax after that until the ship sailed away: not. After that we had to go to my room and drop off both of our luggage because Corey Joe could not get in her room. Then we had to go do my mustard drill which is on one end of the ship, then hers which was on the opposite end of the ship. We had a meet up with her roommate and then go to customer service because they did not print Cory Joe's ticket because her roommate had been in the same room the week before. If you join in somebody that did a back-to-back be ready to have problems with your room keys. After that I had just enough time to go to my room freshen up and then get to a meeting at 3:30 with the group coordinator and the bar manager. I was afraid the bar manager was going to tell me where you were not going to be able to do the poker pub crawl because my group it's over 120 people and there's no way to fit that in a bar. To my surprise he was the complete opposite; he had really thought about it and had a plan for us to be able to move the people through. He was simply fantastic to work with. As soon as this meeting was over it was time for the sell away party. Our Facebook / Cruise Critic group is almost 600 people. I think at any one time we had over 200 people at the meet and greet. I ended up spending the next two hours going from people to people answering questions, meeting people and get it thanks for everything I’ve done to organize things. The ship bar manager also came by to make sure everything was going smoothly. By the time we left the cell away is just enough time to shower and get to dinner. Tonight, we had dinner at Giovanni’s. During the dinner I talked to the manager and he told me a normal first night for them is 30 to 40 people. On our cruise it was 60 people. Our ship is only about 50 to 60% capacity but most of them are diamond, diamond plus, and pinnacle. After a very good dinner, mine was mignon, we ended up going to the casino to do a little gambling. To my surprise I was playing the penny machines and walked away $10 ahead. The last thing I did this evening was went to the show in the theater. I made it through about the first three to four minutes before falling asleep. I ended up waking up after about 15 minutes and realized the show was very boring. It was a BMX rider, a bike rider. After doing a few tricks he tried to do some comedy but in my opinion wasn’t very good at it. After realizing I couldn’t stay awake, I got some pizza and headed back to my room. I’m laying here half asleep, having computer trouble, and trying to dictate today’s information. I know if I don’t do it tonight, I’m going to have a busy day tomorrow and all the days were just blurred together, and I won’t be doing my job I volunteered to do; letting you know about my trip. Tomorrow we’re at Norway. I’ll try not to be so wordy tomorrow a little more precise of what I did and seen.
  15. Day two in Copenhagen Well my sleeping habits aren't much better. I'm still sleeping don't noon and then heading out on the town. I got on the canal bus again and took it over to its first stop at Reffen. This place has a huge area of street food. It's just booths and booths of beer and wine and hot dogs and hamburgers and fish everything you can imagine. And for Copenhagen to be so expensive for food, this place was very reasonable. Walking through I did see a few places that weren't real busy and I really didn't trust them. Other places were real busy but I didn't come to Denmark to have Italian or Greek food. I ended up getting me a seafood basket with British dish Fish & Chips made with Danish fish, shrimp, calamari, crispy fries and delicious dip. I was kind of surprised that they did not offer drinks of any kind. They said I had to get it at the bar so I went over to the bar and got me a glass of Chardonnay. After I had left that area, I took the canal boat just across the river to Langelinie promenade to see the famous statue of The Little Mermaid. The Little Mermaid is a bronze statue by Edvard Eriksen, depicting a mermaid becoming human. I actually enjoyed this place more for watching all the tourists than the statue itself. It's funny to see all the people crowding around this statue trying to pose for their pictures. All the different poses and excitement. After watching this scene for quite a while I ended up walking around the area which had walking paths other statues, a church and a museum. I ended up going longer on my stroll around then I thought and all of a sudden I realized I had to get back for our cruise ship cocktail hour at my hotel. I ended up getting back to my room and I can't believe it but I took advantage of an extra 15 minutes for a nap. I cleaned up and went downstairs to meet some new friends. There ended up being about 15 people from my cruise there for cocktails. It's enjoyable to meet new friends and it was also satisfying that they knew who I was and thanked me for leading up a bunch of pre cruise planning. Now I've been in my bed for about four hours trying to sleep, watching TV, trying to sleep, posting on this blog and I guess trying to go back to sleep again. I'll talk to you guys tomorrow evening and tell you about boarding the ship in Copenhagen.
  16. This is something I learned when I went to Japan. In Japan there is no English and they don't try to speak English. I went on purpose to a restaurant that was just local people to get real local food. While eating lunch with chopsticks, I realized why should they speak English. In the United States we do not try to speak any other language. We expect everyone to speak English.
  17. I'm domesticated I told you guys I would let you know if I went out on the town tonight. All day I've been kind of under the weather. I know I would feel better if I went out but I've been on the road for seven days. My room has this humongous bathtub. I took all my dirty clothes from this last week and threw them in the bathtub with some laundry soap. I crawled in the bathtub it started hand and foot scrubbing clothes. When I was ringing them all out I realized I felt really good. Oh... how is this? I'm in Europe, I'm in a beautiful city and doing laundry made me feel good and happy.
  18. Just today I was wondering what am I doing out here. I am old, I'm overweight, I can't move very well. At times all the negatives come to me. You made me feel a little bit better about myself. Thank you
  19. Copenhagen day one I am staying at the Comwell Portside hotel. It's a new hotel and I got a great deal on the executive suite. I'm sitting here typing this blog feeling really guilty because the living room is the size of half my house. The bed is big and soft and have these really fluffy down blankets. Before I knew it my alarm was going off telling me it was time for breakfast. I didn't want to get up but I did it anyway. I went downstairs for the breakfast. I have figured out that I like American breakfast. I really don't like soft scrambled eggs. I don't like my bread hard. I don't like fruit at breakfast time. I want my arm lid are fried eggs with bacon and sausage and the whole wheat toast. I felt terrible so I went back to my room and went back to sleep. My alarm went off at 12:00 o'clock and I reset it for 1:00 o'clock and went back to sleep. I ended up getting up at 1:00 o'clock just to get my COVID test out of the way. I was worried about taking the test because I was so tired and sleepy and had a head congestion and I felt hot. I took my COVID test and passed it with flying colors. That forced me to get in the shower cleaned up and take off to the town. My recommendation of some girls I met on the train I got on the canal bus. This is a boat that takes you through a lot of Copenhagen. It's almost like a tour of the town. I ended up getting off near Freetown. Freetown is an old military base that back in the 70s a group of people took over and declared it a non government property. It was back in the hippie days and they said they're free. Walking around Freetown made you remember the hippie comments and stuff of this early 70s. I would swear walking around this place I ended up getting a high just from the second hand smoke of marijuana. There was a lot of places to buy souvenirs and food to eat. The only issue is there was no meat. They were all vegetable eaters. I also hadn't picked up any local currency and I'm sure they didn't take a visa. After wandering around seeing everything I headed back to my canal boat. I ended up getting off the next time in the main canal that has all the restaurants and places to get a drink. By this time it was 5:00 PM and I was getting hungry. Actually I really wasn't hungry but I knew I needed to eat. Walking down this canal I kept looking at prices and they were wanting$40 to 50 for simple meal. Towards the end of the street I got this whiff of something that smelt really good. I went over and it was a hot dog stand. All different kinds of dogs. I ended up getting me spicy dog with mustard, ketchup, dried onions. The dog and the water only ended up costing me about $9. And to top it off it was very very good. After my hot dog is able to find the metro real easy and by this time I understand how to ride one so it was quick jaunt and I'm at my hotel. Now it's kind of a debate of do I stay in my room and watch some movies our go someplace. I might just research and see if there's any nightlife in Copenhagen. I'll let you know tomorrow
  20. That's not an airplane... That's a train I have never traveled by European train so that's a little bit concerned. The night before I walked over to the train station because it was across the street from my hotel. There was a couple of nice girls standing there waiting for refugees so I thought they might help me. I asked them if my online ticket was enough or I had to check in and get another ticket. The girl just laughed at me and told me it's a train... it's not an airplane. Well the next day I found out it's a train and it didn't make me very comfortable trying to figure out what to do. I couldn't sleep the night before because worried about sleeping and missing my train. I got up had breakfast and went over to the train station and hour early. I then found out you must watch the large board in the lobby for your train to figure out what track it loads on. And you don't get the track number and until about 10 to 15 minutes before the train leaves. Needless to say I stood there for an hour worried I was going to miss it because I didn't know where to go after I got my train number. When the time came it wasn't too bad because our train came up and a horde of people took off for it so I just followed the horde. It was really strange getting on the train finding my seat and nobody asking for a ticket. I was on First Class and First class wasn't much more money and to me it was a big difference. Now the train took off started heading away towards Germany. On our second or third stop a train conductor came by and asked for the ticket. We crossed into Germany and I was wondering nobody checked passports or anything else. About our fourth or fifth stop in to Germany some officers came through and asked for my ID they didn't care if it was passport or drivers license. In Hamburg I had an hour and 45 minute layover. I hadn't eaten since breakfast so I started looking at the different places to eat. All the signs were in German. There was a ton of people moving everywhere or standing everywhere I'll speak in German. Needless to say I was very uncomfortable trying to figure out where and what to eat. Then I looked across the train station and I knew what to do... A familiar face, something I knew... I went got in line Big Mac large fries coke zero. I was able to get on my second train a lot easier knowing what to do. They still didn't check for tickets or passports for a long time. I was told I didn't need a reserved seat but I ended up paying $5 and getting one anyway. After seeing people sitting on the floor I was glad I did. After getting to Copenhagen I had a mom with her three kids asked me if I knew where I was going and I said no. He told me she was going to the metro and to follow her and her kids. I ended up purchasing a 48 hour pass for the city transportation. That allowed me to just walk on the metro with my bags and ride my five stops that drop me one block from my hotel. I was never so glad to get to a hotel room and crawl in a nice soft bed.
  21. Side question This is the picture of McDonald's in Prague. Everywhere I've been so far there's a McDonald's. Do you think McDonald's will be on the 1st spaceship of settlers to Mars? have you been to a country yet that does not have a McDonald's?
  22. Walking Prague This is day 2 in Prague and I spent the day walking the Old Town. I just head down streets, turn left, turn right, and see what there is to see. I ended up making my way to the river and was able to walk the river path for miles. Before I knew it I hadn't made a large circle around town and crisscrossed the Old Town center. By then I was ready to go back to my room and take my jet lag nap. After the sun went down I went back out on the streets down to the big Avenue that had all the new stores and restaurants at it. The avenue has two lanes going each way and a large section in the middle with benches. This area was packed with kids hanging out. I found out that school has not started yet so they are all out on the town. Now I'm back in my room and trying to get some sleep before I could get up in the morning and have my train ride from Prague to Copenhagen. Talk to you tomorrow
  23. My first day in Prague OK if you've been to Prague and you love it so my colon please don't read any further:). I had breakfast at the hotel and it was pretty good mixture between American breakfast European breakfast and a British breakfast. If you don't understand that statement American see bacon and eggs for breakfast. A European breakfast is more cheeses and fruits in little slices of meat. British breakfast it's usually running your eggs and pork and beans. My hotel is right near the center of the older town so it's great for walking. I took off walking looking at things heading towards the Old Town square. As I got near it and in it I just kept thinking big tourist town. The person at the hotel said I could have taken another route but that was newer town with the lots of shopping. I got down into the Old Town square and sat down to get a drink and watch people right in front of the Prague Astronomical Clock. I knew at this location I was going to pay a high price for a drink, but for a very inexpensive town I ended up paying $10 for a single drink. The person taking my order didn't speak hardly any English but I was able to figure out their drink selection wasn't great and I ended up ordering a drink. I ended up enjoying my drink and watching all these people stand around waiting for this clock to go off on the top of the hour. The closer it got to the hour the more crowded the place got. And then finally the top of the hour the clocks struck... hundreds of people watching... And two windows opened and different figurines of priests spun in a circle. I had my camera ready waiting for that really great picture of what's going to happen... And I never took a picture. That was pretty much it. Prague great tourist attraction was a big dud. I got up and started heading towards The Charles bridge. The area was actually really neat, the streets and the buildings is kind of what you see in Harry Potter. The buildings were all different looking colors shapes they're all tall very narrow streets and a lot of people. I got over to the Charles bridge and it was a neat bridge, very old, with different statues spaced out over it. I made the mistake and looked at the water... very dirty. The bridge was simi crowded with people selling items and people taking pictures. After I got 2/3 of the way past the bridge I got to this one plaque that was a picture of a person with the dog and on the other side a crowd of people hanging a man upside down over the edge of a bridge. Part of the plague is a bright gold color from people touching it for good luck. While I was standing there looking at it, a young man told me that you're supposed to touch the crotch of the man hanging upside down for the best luck. Well I had to, so I touched the crotch and instantly felt good luck coming my way. Let's see if it happens. After getting off the bridge I wandered over to a spot that was hidden, you had to know where you were going. I followed my map and got to this little bitty Street, back of nowhere and there was a bunch of people standing by this wall. I started looking at this wall and it was the first time in a long time as actually felt touched by something; I was impressed and actually felt something. I looked at this wall and it made me feel like I was a part of something really big. This was the Lennon Wall. It's based off of John Lennon's death and all these people have come to express their feelings in poetry and art. In my opinion if you come to Prague the Lennon Wall is the number one thing to see. From the linen wall I ordered my bolt car. It cost me $4 to travel about a 15 minute ride. I ended up going to the train restaurant. Before I explain anything I know this it's just a big tourist trap but they do it right. I got there and got seated and you pay a tourist price for a meal. It was actually a very very good hamburger that I got based off the recommendation of the waitress. If you go there don't get the Raspberry lemonade, it was pretty bad. Next to your table our train tracks and your drinks are brought up next to you by a train and you pull them off the train and the train goes on its way. Little bit later here comes the train again and it had my hamburger and fries. It was worth the $18 for the mail just for the enjoyment, it being a different restaurant, and just watching the kids get so excited to see the train come to their table. After a pretty good meal I had 15 minute walk back to my hotel. That was the end of my day in Prague. I've ended it by fighting with that jet lag guy. After sleeping a couple of hours I did walk back to the train restaurant to get my sweater that I had forgot. The very nice waitress seen me walk in, remembered me and brought me my sweater folded U nice and neat. Here are a few pictures from my day.
  24. Overview of my flights I flew from Los Angeles to London on American Airlines. It was actually a very nice direct flight with no issues and the staff on the plane were great. I was terrified to get to Heathrow in London because everything I've heard all summer. I ended up spending almost 8 hours in the Heathrow airport. It was not crowded at all comment it was easy to get around and the lines were short. My flight from London to Prague was very very short because I slept the whole way. I sat next to a nice gentleman from the Czech Republic and he woke me up when we were getting ready to land. The customs at the Prague airport were very confusing. We went through passport check before we got our luggage. There wasn't much of a line and we probably could have just walk through the non passport lined. The man at the window just took my passport looked at me looked at my passport stamped it waved me through. Didn't say a word to me. I went through got my bag left the airport. When I got outside the airport I got on an app I found called bolt. It's a lot like Uber and Lyft; but the cars are mostly just all in Europe. It ended up costing me in the middle of the night about $25 for the 20 mile trip into my hotel in the middle of Prague. Is a nice car nice gentleman he just didn't speak any English but he knew where I was going. Today in Prague I used the bold app again and it costs me about$3.75 to go across Prague for about a four mile trip. I'm planning on using the bolt a little more tomorrow to get to some outskirt places and Prague I want to see. I'll tell you about Prague next.
  25. Jet lag, no; Jet lag maybe; jet lag Oh my On my flight over I was able to sleep for about seven of the 10 hours. Then in my 8 hour layover in the London airport was able to sleep another couple of hours. Then on the flight from London to Prague I was able to sleep another hour and a half, which was most of the flight. I felt great when I got here. Wasn't tired, wasn't sleepy, I thought I had this jetlag whipped. Yeah... jet lag showed me who the tough person was; it knocked me on my can. I have so much to let you guys know and I hurt so bad and my mind won't concentrate and I can't even type. I did get smart and I hooked up my headset to my computer and I'm actually just dictating this. I could get it out of my head to you, I just can't function physically to type it for you. In my opinion for this old man jet lag is a nightmare. I can't wait till I retire so I could come and sleep for a week before I even do anything.
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