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Sunday, March 19, 2017

Cruising, Sunshine On A Cloudy Day


Last Fall we took our first and hopefully not last cruise from New York. For September in “The Big Apple” it was an usually cloudy, windy and cold afternoon as we boarded the Carnival Sunshine.


Adios New York“Adios New York” is just not the same as “Adios Miami”. However, saying good-bye to the New York City Skyline and then later sailing under “The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge” was a delightful thrill.



Although we only had one port of call, a half day or so exploring New Brunswick, Canada by car turned out to be a scenic wonderland and lots of fun. We drove towards Fundy National Park but not before making a few detours and a stop to climb the St Martin's Lighthouse during high tide.  



St Martins High Tide



Fundy National ParkScenic Fundy National Park





A few hours driving and hiking in Fundy National Park and by the time we past back through St Martin's it’s low tide.The world's highest tides occurs here and on this particular afternoon our timing was just right to experience it.



St Martins Low TideSt Martin’s Harbor Low Tide



PA150047A nice lobster roll for lunch and soon we headed back for some more “Fall FUN” on The Sunshine.

Carnival Sunshine New York Fall Cruise

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Uganda, Ride On Entebbe


After over an eight hour flight from Amsterdam we land in Kigali, Rwanda. During this scheduled hour or so stop many passengers disembark and their seats are cleaned before we take on new passengers headed back to Amsterdam and beyond.

A short less than forty five minute flight and I arrive at my final destination in “The Pearl Of Africa”, Entebbe.


EBB AirportOther than parting with US$50 (which I did not need to pay) for a Visa On Arrival, the airport arrival process was straightforward.




A comfortable night sleep at Alison & Dave's Guesthouse followed by a wonderful homemade breakfast and I am off to explore Entebbe on a set of two wheels. TIA.



EBB Fruit MarketEntebbe Local Market 

Uganda Bike2Go Entebbe

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Montenegro, From Bar To Belgrade By Train



IMG_20160216_213926At about eight in the morning I sadly leave my beautiful apartment in Bar for about a fifteen minute walk to the local train station.





Having already bought my ticket for about 10 Euros the night before I just have to arrive at the station before the 9am departure.

Although it is about a 12 hour journey to Belgrade I am excited about this trip as some consider it to be one of Europe's most spectacular train rides. Taking over 25 years to complete, the almost 300 mile line has 254 tunnels and 435 bridge crossings.



IMG_0003Lake Skadar


After having a very hot cup of tea at the train station café I board a less than full train and exactly at 9am we are on our way to Belgrade. After crossing beautiful Lake Skadar we make our first stop in the capital of Montenegro, Podgorica where a good number of the passengers who boarded the train in Bar disembarks.



IMG_0014An elevated track gives us spectacular views of beautiful towering mountains in the distance along with a paralleling river below us as we pass by small Montenegrin villages.




Along a curved area of the track we go in and out of one tunnel after another and repeatedly cross some amazing bridges.







For most of the journey I have a compartment to myself but at one point I do share it with an elderly gentleman. Although we verbally do not understand each other we communicate with nods and smiles and end up sharing a few cookies together.

For me the scenery along this route never gets boring. As I see a few snow capped mountains I imagine that at certain times of the year the scenery here is even more gorgeous.





Soon darkest covers it all and as anticipated 12 hours after leaving Bar I arrive in Belgrade the Serbian capital.

Bar Montenegro To Belgrade Serbia Train

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Montenegro, Simply Majestic



Snapshot 1 (2-23-2016 9-55 AM)Airborne east from Nikola Tesla International Airport we get nice views of Belgrade including St Sava's Temple before turning southwest towards Tivat.



Our views are soon obstructed by a thick layer of clouds that occasionally give us a glimpse of the landscape below. In these glimpses I can tell the terrain has now changed as I can see mountains lightly covered with snow.

Soon we are making a turn over a body of water when the flight attendant makes an announcement. We are diverting because of bad weather in Tivat to Podogrica.


IMG_20160214_165331Next it is a bus ride that puts us in Tivat about three hours behind schedule.






Although the Tivat airport is now closed I am still fortunate enough to be able to pick up my rental car from Meridian Car Rental after just a short wait. Soon enough I am on my way to “Tivat Star” near Porto Montenegro where I will be spending the next two nights.



Snapshot 2 (2-23-2016 9-59 AM)I get a surprisingly warm welcome at Tivat Star as I am offered to join my host and his friends for dinner.

Ukrainian/Montenegrin Style




Grilled meats, a tuna pate, cheese (which I pass on) delicious tomatoes, fresh bread, spicy mustard and generous shots of liquor followed by lots of laughter make me feel right at home. However, there is one slight problem. My host is a New England Patriots fan. A few more shots and I forgive him.






Morning skies still show a threat of rain as I set off on a drive around coastal Montenegro. My first destination is Gornja Lastva where en route I get splendid views of “The Bay Of Kotor” in the distance below me.


IMG_20160215_120154At Gornja Lastva I visit the 600 year old St Mary's Church but miss the chance to see an olive mill nearby.






A stop at the Tivat Riviera and for about 5 euros I am on a car ferry crossing “The Bay Of Kotor”. A left turn leaving the ferry and I am on my way to Herceg Novi a historical coastal town.



IMG_20160216_144505Herceg Novi


A walk along a beach front gives more spectacular views of the bay as I head towards “Old Town”. Here you can visit St Archangel Michael Church and Square Belavista which are both relatively quiet this time of the year.


IMG_20160216_144746Narrow paths, step stairs, a nice park along with fancy shops and restaurants are also a part of the area.

For simple bargain souvenirs, stop in at “Svepo 1E”.




From Herceg Novi it is a beautiful drive around “The Bay Of Kotor” to Risan then to Kotor. This drive is so stunning it is a part of a UNESCO site. Along this route is one of the most spectacular natural sights that I have ever seen.







At a roadside stop I am at the edge of mountain cave that has a massive volume of water thundering hundreds of feet down into the bay.



IMG_0048It is late afternoon as I arrive in Kotor for an early dinner at Caffe Sara.

This is an amazing walled city that deserved more time to visit.





As night falls I stop in at St Nichols Serbian Orthodox church as a mass is being conducted. The solemn process adds to peacefulness of the city as it now glows under night lights.



IMG_0055Kotor At Night



IMG_20160216_171555One more day of driving around Montenegro and I end up watching the sunset in Stari Grad Budva.






A refreshing pint in an English pub and soon I am making way to a bar. In Bar, Montenegro I will be spending my last night in this naturally beautiful country that is less than ten years old.

From here I am looking forward to taking “The Montenegro Express” a 12 hour train ride back to Belgrade, Serbia.