Transatlantic November 2011

This was a fall repositioning  cruise from London to Ft Lauderdale

Dinner our first night was at The Rock and Sole Plaice.  It's located in a very cool area known as Covent Gardens.  Lots of food, shops, theaters.

Patty and I shared Fish and Chips and a Meat Pie.  Yum.

A cool looking pub in the Covent gardens area.

Inside one of the "halls" of Covent Gardens Market. 

There are a couple of these big halls in the market with lots of little shops inside and dining below.  There are also lots of vendor booths with food and lots of other goodies outside under umbrellas.  An open air marketplace.

One of the roads in the gardens.

This was our day of a Hop-on, Hop-off bus tour.  Just a cool looking pub.

The Royal Courts of Justice.  Built in the 1870's and opened as The Royal Courts of Justice in 1882.

The Punch Tavern on Fleet Street. 

Told ya it was on Fleet Street.  :-)

St Paul's Cathedral.




Contrary to the Nursery Rhyme, the London Bridge is still there.

The "Shard" a.k.a. The London Bridge Tower, under construction. 

It is supposed to be finished in 2012 and will be 72 stories when complete.

It will be the tallest skyscraper in the UK and one of the tallest in Europe.

Touristy type place.


Winston Churchill's Britain at War Experience.  A "themed" museam.  Right near the London Dungeon. 



Another view of the London Bridge

And another view of the Shard.


All Hallows by the Tower Church

The All Hallows is the oldest Church in London.  Founded in 675.  Rebuild and restored numerous times.  The outer walls are 15th century and the is a doorway still preserved from the 7th century.

Another of the All Hallows Church.

HM (Her Majesty's) Revenue and Customs building.  (Customs House)

The County Hall

The Clock Tower of the Palace of Westminster which houses Big Ben.

Another view

The London Eye.  The tallest Ferris wheel in the world when it was erected in 1999.  Dedicated on 12/31/1999 by Tony Blair.

A view of the Thames. 


A view of Westminster from across the River Thames.

Another Thames view.

Westminster Abbey. 

Another view of Westminster Abbey.

One more.

Yet another cool looking pub/restaurant.

While on our hop-on/hop-off tour we realized the changing of the guard was about to happen so the following are some photos (and videos) of the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace.











The fancy stuff was under rennovation


The entrance to the Queen's Gallery.  First stop in side the door is the gift shop.  :-)   


Changing of the guard Video.  The files are pretty big so make sure you're on a high speed connection.


Click here for the video

Another guard video


Click here for the video




Click here for the video


And another


Click here for the video


Last one


Click here for the video

The Wellington Arch, Hyde Park Corner, London.  Also known as the Constitution or Green Park Arch.

Built between 1826 and 1830 to commemorate Britain's victories in the Napoleonic Wars.


Lots more interesting info on this at Wikipedia.


This was a very nice Italian restaurant we went to after our brief tour of Harrods. 


If you can believe it, Patty and I hopped off the bus to look around Harrods and after a tour of two floors she was wanting to LEAVE!

Our hotel room at the Chancery Court Hotel in London.

Another view of the room

The bath.

One of the many theaters in the theater district.


Just a shot of one of the typical taxi's.   They look old and some are, but LTI (London Taxi Company) makes these like this that are brand new.

The proverbial telephone booth

Some of the row houses just outside London

This is not one of the double decker tour buses.  These are all over London and are the city transportation busses.

On to the ship. 

An interesting twist to this cruise.   We were in cabin B634 for our January 2011 cruise.  We liked the position of it on the ship and it happened to be available when I booked this cruise, so we got the same room.

Sint-Michielkerk (Saint Michael's)church in Ghent.


Built in various stages between 1440 and 1659 .  Part demolished in 1579 due to religious conflicts.

Looking over the Sint-Michielshelling bridge.

Looking along the Korenlei left and the Graslei right.

The Graslei facades.

More on the Gralei side of the canal

The Korenlei side

Under the Sint-Michielshelling bridge



Gaslei #10 is the Stockpile house dating from ~1200 where taxed corn was stored.  The forward leaning facade was on purpose, it's not falling apart.  Home now to the Belga Queen restaurant.


The Marriott hotel on the Korenlei


De Gekroonde Hoofden.  Now a restaurant.  Each of the rounded caps over the windows has the head of a previous king displayed.

A closer view

Gravensteen castle.  Built in 1180.  Was the seat for the Counts of Flanders until abandoned in the 14th century when it became a courthouse and prison. 

The fish market.

Another view of the shops around the fish market.

A party store by the fish market.

The old meat market.  Yes, those are real hams hanging.


Outside the old meat market.

Looking toward the city hall.  (the tall building)

This walkway in Ghent is "designated" as a place where graffiti is ALLOWED.


It seems to work as I so NO graffiti anywhere OTHER than here.

Ghent Town Hall.  The North side

Belfry of Ghent with the town hall on the right.

The Town Hall East side left, north side right.  As is obvious, it was build in stages. The gothic portion )right) was built from 1482 to 1484, then determined to be too small and more added thru 1518-1530's. 

The left side was added later.

Another shot of the Belfry of Ghent.  Overlooks the city center.  Built 1313-1380 with the uppermost parts of re-build numerous times.

Saint Bavo Cathedral.


Sorry it's blurry.


Built in the 14th and 15th centuries

The "Saint Bavo enters the Convent at Ghent" by Peter Paul Rubens.

The pulpit build from white marble and oak.

Fast forward to Bruges Belgium and some swans enjoying a fall day in one of the canals.



Lots of people in downtown Bruges










The market square


more of the market square

Some interesting musical instruments

This was building was the home (i think) of a brick mason who decided to display various examples of brick work he could do.  A showcase of sorts.








Lots of bridges and canals



The Church of Our Lady tower.

Oui, Oui.  Le Arc De Triumph.

Welcome to Paris and a look up the Ave des Champs Elysees to the Arc de Triumph.

Another view

And a longer shot





National Academy of Music



The Louvre.

The Pyramid at the Louvre

The Arc du Carrousel






The Grand Palais.  Build for the 1900 World's Fair.  It's the largest existing Iron and Glass structure in the world.

L'Hotel national des Invalides.

Built 1670-1679.  A museum, church, hospital, retirement home, mausoleum all relating to the military history of France.  Per Wikipedia, the original intent was a hospital and retirement home for war veterans.


The Church of Saint-Louis des Invalides.  The other side of the photo 2 back.

The Eiffel tower.

Another shot

Madame Patricia in front of the Eiffel tower.

And another view

No your eyes are not playing tricks.  You are seeing the Statue of Liberty with the Eiffel tower in the background.


It's the second Statue of Liberty in the world.  Inaugurated in 1889 looking downriver on the Seine.


It's 1/4th the height of the original and was given by the American community in Paris to the city of Paris.


Notre Dame

Another view of Notre Dame

And one more

The QM2 in Vigo Spain

The Yacht Pegaso.  237 feet long.