When the opportunity to go on a free cruise trip knocks on the door you don't just say no. I and my boyfriend jumped on the Artania cruise ship when it was making a stop at Amsterdam. It was the end of one tour that ended in Hamburg and for us, it was the first destination. Actually, the next tour started from Bremerhaven, Germany. The ship itself is very big and had almost 1000 passengers on board. It has three pools, spa, many restaurants,bars and cafes, library and a show lounge.
When we visited Hamburg it was the time of Hamburg's port anniversary. The district near the docks was covered with booths selling different products and along with that, there was an exhibition of different boats and ships.
Going more inside Hamburg we could enjoy some shopping, where i also bought new bikinis that i am not able to use a lot in the rainy Netherlands. We also saw a blind people football match. The crowd had to be quiet so the players can hear each other and get the ball. It looked quite hard.
The next stop was at Bremerhaven, where a new group of passengers came on to enjoy the 8-day cruise. We did not get off the ship to visit Bremerhaven because we already have been there and because it was Sunday most likely everything is closed. We seized the opportunity to rest, maybe do a little schoolwork and then drink, eat, go to the gym and sauna. Basically, all the time we were on the ship that was our activity. Also playing backgammon and enjoying some shows by the entertainment group. One evening when being near to Ireland the group performed a step dance show together with some acrobats and a violinist. Other night they performed some of the greatest rock'n'roll songs from the 50's. And at the beginning and end of each cruise, there is a gala night introducing the crew and the tour or saying goodbye in the end.
Our next visit was to Ullapool in Scotland. It's a small fishermen village with beautiful scenery and a tiny park. Unfortunately, it was cold and windy as well.
After Ullapool, we were heading to Belfast, Northern Ireland. Like in many cities in Europe, this as well had many shops all over the centre. But also cathedrals and churches with interesting architecture. What i noticed, also in our next destination Dublin, was that people promote shops just standing on a street and holding an advertising sign with the directions to the shop on it. Well, it's not very interesting to be a pole holder especially if you are not protected from the rain and even don't have a chair when your feet are starting to let you down.
Dublin was the best shopping place. I spend the most money there. Also, it was easier due to the euro. I would have liked to visit more and see the most popular tourist attractions, but we did not have enough time and well the weather was quite bad for a stroll.
Following day was time to visit Falmouth, quite a small town in the UK. It had narrower streets and was not flat like the previous destinations.
And our last destination was Portsmouth from where we took a tour to London. Portsmouth is very small, basically having one main street. It was my third visit to London so i was already familiar with everything. It was a bus tour taking us through the most well-known places like the tower of London, Tower Bridge, London Eye, Big Ben, Covent Garden and more.
Last night we stuffed ourselves with the amazing food and drank our last sweet cocktails. And early in the morning, we took off to our good old rainy Amsterdam.