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About Tothesunset

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    UK (Deepest Lincolnshire)

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  1. It would seem that ageism's targets aren't only older people.
  2. There may be especially as my non-irish wife keeps sending me links to properties for sale in Westmeath, Cork, Galway etc. Sometimes, though, I look at the prospect of moving and think ''I'm just getting too old for this.''
  3. 16 times we've moved and 6 of those were international moves! Now we always get the movers to pack up so we just sit back and let them get on with it. Our last move, though, was from a large 6 bedroom property to a much smaller 3 bed one so we actually had to get our hands dirty and take trailer-loads of unwanted stuff to the dump. It gets easier... Bon courage!
  4. After that good pun I bet you're feeling a little flushed
  5. So if someone had pooed in Mysty's toilet on the World Cruise it can't be mentioned in this thread. This thread is strictly for non-cruise-related sewage incidents.
  6. That must have been awful, DW. Thoughts with you both. How's the new travel agency venture working out, BTW?
  7. I agree about the disruptive behaviour, noisy mealtimes, rudeness and lack of appreciation for others. I'm sure children can be just as bad.
  8. Thank you for your kind words. As long as you are in the lounge at LHR you will escape all the small irritations that add up to a thoroughly depressing experience. As for Oia, I suppose we should be grateful for having had the privilege of visiting but would never go there again - at least not without a gun to my head. We saw Oia at the sail-in but I'm not sure the iconic view as seen in magazines etc is visible from the ship. I'd hate to sway you one way or the other and I should really add some small print to the effect that all opinions expressed are solely those of the management who take no responsibility for the actions anyone takes as a result of these postings. Whatever you decide, have a great trip.
  9. For upmarket shopping: Pacific Place Prince's Building (Central District) Ocean Terminal (Tsim Tsa Tsui) Hong Kong is probably the safest city on earth for a tourist. We lived there for 3 years and you can go anywhere at any time. Even superficially seedy areas where you are the only non-Chinese looking person is safe. I mention this because you should not worry about getting lost or ending up somewhere that looks untouristed. At the very worst you are never more than a $20 taxi ride from the Star Ferry which is probably the best reference point. As Les says, don't be afraid to use public transport - it's cheap, efficient and abundant. November is an ideal month to visit with tolerable temperatures and low humidity. Only a madman or masochist would choose to go in July or August when the weather feels like you are trapped in a gigantic sauna.
  10. Great travel reportage, JP. Look forward to each instalment.
  11. The journey home, then. There were 2 choices of flight back: 15.30 and 19.55. On the grounds that Athenian traffic can be biblically awful we were concerned that we could miss the 15.30. Hah! We actually got the airport at 1300 (Or 1 pm in fahrenheit). So I went to the BA desk to ask if we could get seats on the 15.30. ''Oh, yes, we have lots of seats''. Unless you had a reward booking in which case you have to stick with what you've booked or pay about a bazillion Euros to change. So 4.5 hours later we joined the head of the queue to drop off the bags. Some places are really pleasant places to wile away a few hours. Athens airport is not one of those places. Very few seats, hot, stupidly expensive cafes and a small intercontinental expedition to find the restrooms. I mean, really, are airports designed just to sap the last vestige of the human spirit. How can it be possible to design spaces that are so inimical to the human existence. Of course the flight was delayed but at least we got to spend the time in the Emirates lounge (long story; don't ask). Well, not so much a lounge as a sauna with tables. Curiously one of the snacks on offer was Greek Yoghurt. You'd think, in Athens, it would be called yoghurt. The plane was only half an hour late and picked up 15 minutes of that on the flight which was immediately cancelled out by parking up at a coaching stand which I'm not even sure was in the same time zone. God, it took forever to get to terminal 5. Heathrow designers clearly looked at the Athens airport and thought ''Amateurs - we can make a much worse airport than that.'' If you fly out of one terminal and into another but have used the Heathrow long stay car park things get awfully complicated. We had parked at Terminal 2 and 3 long stay so went to get a taxi to take us to the car park. Oh no. '' Not allowed to drop off there mate. I can take you to terminal 2 and you get the shuttle bus but there's roadworks and it will take forever - quicker to get the free train shuttle from 5 to 2'' So we went to get the free shuttle. A short walk of about 100 miles with all the luggage. At this point it's 10.30 and we have to leave the car park by midnight or pay for another full day. You'll recognise my congenital inability to part with cash so the race was on. What they don't tell you is that when you get off the shuttle at 2 it's at least - and I'm not exaggerating now - a mile to the shuttle bus area where there are 15 stops, none of which are indicated so you then have to spend another 10 minutes looking at the tiny close-printed sign at each stop to find the one you need. Which is, of course, the last one you get to - in our case just as the bus was pulling away. Next one in 8 minutes but it was now 11.25 and they stop running at 11.30. I know! We got the final shuttle and were into the car and out of the car park at 4 minutes to midnight. So screw you, Heathrow, you didn't get that £16.50 overstay charge. One other little tip - if, like us, you want to get from the long stay car park to the M25 DO NOT expect any road signage for the first couple of miles, just enjoy the lottery of wondering where the hell you might be (as it happens we know the area well but I'm sure I saw a Ford Escort at one roundabout that was there 3 months ago when last we came through). Mind you, at that time of night the 110 miles home passed much more quickly. Th-th-th-that's all folks.
  12. Very sad news Mary Ann. We met this wonderful gentleman on the Wind in May. What a life he had!
  13. At last, the end is near and I must face the final posting. What do you mean, 'bout time too? We docked at Piraeus on schedule and had booked the tour of the Acropolis with Airport transfer. The Acropolis being one of those iconic images that is implanted in everyone's mind I was again thinking that we could be heading for a bit of an anti-climax here. Boy, was I wrong. If anyone asked me about the history of the place they would be rewarded with a blank stare and a simpleton's grin. But who cares when it's this spectacular. It really, really is astonishing. OK so the entrance and walk up was very busy and, yes, it was hot, but the crowds then spread out somewhat and there was plenty of room to stroll unhindered. There's even a free set of restrooms and some drinking fountains. Very civilised, these Ancient Greeks. Actually this isn't the last posting because I need to tell you about the journey home. You don't need to read about it but I'll get it off my chest later anyway. It involves much wasted time, petty rules and a damning review of Heathrow (which, to be fair, is the only sort of review it should ever get).
  14. So having despatched Hydra to the miscellaneous section of the file entitled Where was that again? the final port of call sees us in Santorini which is somewhere I actually had heard of. Even more, was excited to visit. We thought it wise to take the ship's tour which included a trip up the side of a dormant volcano, Oia village and then a couple of hours on the beach. That doesn't sound too shabby at all, does it? I quite enjoyed the time on the coach, mostly 'cos it was air-conned but also because of the very splendid scenery. Until we got to Oia. You know, the place with the white buildings, blue roofs as seen in any publication, advert or movie that has any direct or even tangential connection with Greece. Well let me tell you, I can see why this became an iconic sight but it's utterly ruined by the overwhelming number of tourists. Do not go there. Google Oia, Santorini click on images and be content to get the view without the needless scrimmage. I did manage to get a couple of photos but only by clearing the tourist masses out of the way with a 50 cal machine gun (not really, just wishful thinking). The 2 hours on the beach was lovely, though. While the sand might be black volcanic stuff, it's very soft and we had a bed, parasol and cooling breeze. Super.
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