8/31/17 – Mike and I leave for our European adventure today. Heading out of Orlando straight to Dublin and then on to London. Can’t wait 🤗 🇬🇧
Day 1: 9/1/17 – Our first day in London! 🇬🇧 Mike and I landed and then went straight to the hotel for some much needed shut eye. After a nap though, we went out exploring and found Big Ben and Buckingham Palace. We also stumbled upon a memorial to the WWII bombers and the Duke of Wellington, who is famous for defeating Napolean an at Waterloo. And we got out Hard Rock flag shirt! Can’t wait to see what London has in store for us tomorrow!
Day 2: 9/2/17 – Wow! Did we see a lot today! And we didn’t even get to see it all; we definitely needed more time in London! That being said, we walked about 15 miles today. We got to see Big Ben and Parliment (in the daylight), the Tower of London (the Ravens were the size of cats!) and London (Tower) Bridge, Trafalgar Square, Westminister Abbey, the London Eye, and the Jack the Ripper Museum. From there, we then went to lots of military museums such as the Guards Museum, the Household Cavalry Museum, the Churchill War Rooms, and we even got to see MI6. And last but not least, the 9 3/4 Platform at King’s Cross. Our legs are killing us, haha, but an awesome day overall! I have to say though, I’m not even a huge Harry Potter fan and the 9 3/4 Platform was probably one of my favorite things today. Very very cool! Have an early day tomorrow as we head to Southampton for our cruise! 🛳
Day 3: 9/3/17 – Today was interesting, to say the least. We got up at the crack of dawn and headed out towards Southampton, stopping at Stonehenge along the way. Only problem was, it was freezing and rainy! A typical England day, or so I’ve heard. But I have to give props to my amazing husband who was able to successfully drive from London to Southampton on the opposite side of the car AND the opposite side of the rode 👏🏻 We’re just glad to be on the beautiful NCL Jade and ready to see what Amsterdam has in store for us tomorrow!
Day 4: 9/4/17 – Today Mike and I explored Amsterdam, the Capitol of Holland (which you may know as the Netherlands). More importantly, we got to visit the famous Anne Frank house. This has been a dream of mine since middle school where I first read Anne Frank. It was such an amazing place to visit but also very meloncoly at the same time. Walking through, you can just imagine how Anne and her family must have felt hiding during WWII. So happy that we got to experience such an amazing place of history.
Day 5: 9/5/17 – Sea Day! We had a nice, relaxing day sleeping in and admiring the ocean. I think this is one of my favorite parts about cruising; just sitting on my balcony with a good book, listening to the sounds of the ocean 🌊. Looking forward to tomorrow when I get to explore Oslo with my one and only!
Day 6: 9/6/17 – Today we explored Oslo, the Capitol of Norway. It was the first rainy day we had. It wasn’t too cold thankfully but just a constant rain, all day long. We got to see the Viking Ship Museum, the Akershus Fortress, the Resistance Museum, the Oslo Cathedral, the Parliament building, the Vigelandsparken Sculpture park, where the Noble Peace Prize is given and the Norwegian Army Museum. Overall a pretty fun day, just ready to relax on the ship in the dryness!
Day 7: 9/7/17 – Another rainy day today as we explored Copenhagen, the Capitol of Denmark. Very pretty city with lots of Scandinavian history. We walked about 10 miles and saw 2 palaces, Amalienborg Palace and Christiansborg Palace. We got to see the famous Little Mermaid Statue, the Royal Danish Arsenal, the famous Strøget Shopping Street, Tivoli Park, the Kastellet Star Fort and the Frederiks Kirke, a famous church. Overall a nice cruise stop, despite the constant rain all day. Looking forward to a sea day tomorrow. 🛳
Day 8: 9/8/17 – Finally some sunshine!! And in perfect time as we had a relaxing day at sea. I had some amazing brownie cheesecake (by far the best cheesecake I’ve ever tasted) and read another book while listening to the waves. 🌊🛳
Day 9: 9/9/17 – Yet another day of rain as we explored Hamburg, Germany today. 😞But we did venture into a little bit of luck. After walking 7 miles in the rain and seeing St. Nicholas Church and Beatles Platz, the sun decided to come out for a tiny bit just enough for us to explore around the Neuengamme Concentration Camp. St. Nicholas church is such a neat experience. All that’s left of the church is the steeple as it was destroyed during the bombings during WWII. There’s an observation deck 75 meters up (225 feet) where you can see all of Hamburg and the other four remaining main churches. And of course Neuengamme was such a humbling experience, walking in the foot steps of such a horrible part of history. I of course ended my day with a slice of brownie cheesecake! Yummy!
Day 10: 9/10/17 – Our last day of the cruise! We spent our last day doing last minute shopping for photos and packing up. It was a wonderful experience on board the NCL Jade exploring Europe. It was my first European cruise and I already can’t wait to go on another! Haha Although the 15 ft waves and rocking today have made me kind of ready for land again. We get off bright and early in the morning to do some driving around and sight seeing in England before heading up to Scotland. Going to be a busy, busy day!
Day 11: 9/11/17 – What an awesome day!!! Before I get into that though, I have to give a HUGE thank you to my parents and Mike’s family for evacuating our cats and watching over our house and everything during Irma. You guys really are our backbones and we can’t thank you enough!!! We love and miss you! 😍After we got off the cruise ship today, we ventured over to Salisbury to see the cathedral there which houses 1 of the 4 remaining copies of the original Magna Carta. And they even had a small military museum for Mike. From there, we ventured back over to Stonehenge and actually got to visit it this time. This was a huge deal for me because I have always wanted to see Stonehenge. And I may have nerded out in the gift store. 😝 We then made our way to The Tank Museum in Bovington to see an awesome Tiger Tank exhibit. We got to see one of every type of Tiger Tank still in existence. Plus a whole bunch more! Finally we made our way to the airport to catch our flight to Scotland, which will be our home for the next 5 days. Can’t wait to see what all Scotland has in store!
Day 12: 9/12/17 – What a day! We walked 13 miles all over Edinburgh, and man, what a gorgeous city! The hills are killer though haha. We got to see the amazing Edinburgh Castle, overlooking the city of Edinburgh. We explored lots of history as we went in and out of regimental museums; we got to see the #45 Golden Eagle that Wellington captured from Napoleon at Waterloo. We also got to see the Scottish Crown Jewels and The Stone of Destiny. We walked the Royal Mile (numerous times actually) and got to see the Holyrood Palace, where the Queen of England stays when she comes to Scotland. We even went to the Royal Surgeons Museum, which had a really cool display of preserved organs with every type of disease I could think of. I think my favorite part of the day was climbing the 253 meters hike up to Arthur’s Seat. What a breathtaking view of the city. So beyond glad we made this walk, even though it was a killer on the legs haha. Overall a beyond gorgeous place to visit!
Day 13: 9/13/17 – Today we explored Inverness, which is home to the famous Loch Ness Monster! After walking around the city and exploring Inverness Castle and Cathedral (also known as St. Andrew’s Cathedral), we headed down to Loch Ness. Here we got on a boat and traveled down Loch Ness, hoping to see Nessie. 🐉 Mike had always told me it looked like sailing in Coca-Cola an he was right! At 755 feet at its deepest, 1 mile wide, and 23 miles long, 42 degrees year round and very little visibility due to the peat, Loch Ness is the 2nd largest and deepest loch in Scotland. After an hour sailing, we arrived at Urquhart Castle and explored around the old castle ruins from the early 1200s. Despite more rain, it was an awesome day and I can finally check Loch Ness off my list of places I’ve always wanted to see! ✔️
Day 14: 9/14/17 – Today was a pretty relaxing day overall. We got to sleep in a little bit and catch a train over to Perth to see the Balhousie Castle and the Black Watch Museum. The Black Watch is a highland regiment that has distinguished itself over several centuries. From there, we caught the train back to Glasgow and just did some souvenir shopping. It was nice to have such a relaxing day after all the walking we’ve been doing!
Day 15: 9/15/17 – Our last day! And what a busy last day it was! We first caught the train out to Stirling so we could go see Stirling Castle. We also got to see the Beheading Stone, where Mary Queen of Scots is thought to be decapitated, the Wallace Monument and Bannockburn Battlefield. We then headed back to Glasgow to go to the beautiful Glasgow Cathedral. It was a very unique type of cathedral as it had an entire operating cathedral underground beneath the main cathedral. We then walked over to the Necropolis, which is a Victorian Style Cemetery that is humongous. While it only has 3,000 tombstones, it’s thought to be the burial grounds for 50,000 people. And then finally we went to another Scottish regimental museum. After walking 11 miles in total today, we are pretty tired. But we found some delicious and unique flavored Krispy Kreme’s to try, haha. Now all there’s left to do is pack up and get ready for our flight home in the morning! 🛩
Day 16: 9/16/17 – We fly home today! It has been BEYOND a fun and exciting last 16 days. I think my favorite stop on this trip was Edinburgh followed closely behind by Stonehenge and then Oslo. We have seen and experienced so much on this trip and we have loved it all (well maybe not all the rain). As much as we love coming to Europe, it sure is a great feeling knowing you’re coming back to the U S of A, land of the free toilets and drink refills. 🤗 Until next time…..