30 Jul 2015
Today we made our one stop in Scotland at Greenock. It’s on the west side about 25 miles west of Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city, about the same latitude as Moscow and Sitka.
It is another nice port for strolling. It was hard breaking out of the pub after a good local lunch. Yet another group of nice folks kept chatting us up. I already fear Ireland, which is coming up next.
Allyn helped with the plowing this afternoon.
29 Jul 2015
Two days ago, we walked for an hour around Cork, Ireland. It was lovely. In that short time we met several people, all of whom were so friendly. Lunch was great at a typical local eatery.
Yesterday we walked around Holyhead, Wales. It was OK. It gave us a chance to chat with Neil Leifer, perhaps history’s best sports photographer. At least Time – Life must think so since he shot 200 Sports Illustrated covers.
Today was Liverpool, UK. Once on every cruise or two we come across a new port that blows us away and we will remember that day for life. Liverpool joined that group today. We expected a dirty port city with some Beatles memorabilia. Who knew it is considered UK’s finest Victorian city (whatever that means)?
The highlight though was three hours visiting The Beatles Story. This is a fantastically well-done museum with audio throughout that shows and tells the entire story. If you’re a Beatles fan, get here somehow.
26 Jul 2015
Today starts a five-week cruise on Crystal Serenity with the first segment around the British Isles. Departure was from Dover.
These are the famous White Cliffs of Dover. They are called this because they are white, and they are white because they are formed from chalk (pure white calcium carbonate).
Being the narrowest part of the English Channel, this spot is also famous for English Channel swims.
More importantly, it is the closest point to Continental Europe from the UK. The 100-meter cliffs allowed Britain to withstand sieges throughout history, including WWs I and II. It also didn’t hurt that the British Navy controlled the seas.
25 Jul 2015
Today I arranged a private tour of the Royal Courts of Justice because between Allyn and Arlene they have 55 years of heavy-duty criminal defense law. It was fascinating to compare both the similarities and differences between our systems. They just couldn’t get enough.
The physical item that struck me most was a sculpture made of clothes hangars.
We usually try to take in a show when we are in New York and London. The revival of Miss Saigon blew us all away. I guess it wasn’t a fluke they won so many awards.
After yet another fabulous English dinner was had at Dean Street Townhouse Restaurant. Allyn thought it was the best dover sole she has ever had. But don't eat in the bar. It is way too noisy.
24 Jul 2015
Today was very special indeed. Allyn’s close longtime friend and legal colleague, Arlene Speiser, joined us today and will be taking the cruise around the British Isles with us.
Although their friendship spans three decades and they have remained close and in contact, due to circumstances they haven’t seen each other in over ten years. It was truly a heartfelt reunion for them.
Dinner was at Bentley’s, considered by many the best Oyster House and Seafood Bar in London.
Some oyster Facts – Native oysters here are consumed September thru April (months with Rs in them) and come in sizes 1, 2 and 3. One is the biggest. Even 3s are bigger than we generally get in the States and they tend to be firm and succulent here.
Pacific, aka rock oysters were introduced here in 1926, take two years instead of four to mature and can be eaten all year.
My take is that they are good, but not as good.