After the first leg of our cruise we embarked on a close to 36 hour voyage on a very rough North Sea from Kristiansand, Norway to London, England. We had anticipated that we might face some rough seas on this section of the cruise. This assumption proved to be a correct.
Walking about on the ship as we made the crossing had its challenges but we managed. The ship’s staff, especially those in the restaurants, were obviously used to such conditions. They went about their usual duties with ease. Most passengers seemed okay but some confined themselves to their staterooms in an effort to wait out the rough seas.
Soon after our ship, the Riviera, docked at the London International Cruise Terminal in Tilbury large tour busses began to arrive. They would transport us to our first excursion, a river boat tour of the Thames River to view of the modern architectures of Canary Wharf District in Central London. This would be followed by a tour of historic London where we would find Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and Westminster Abby. It was a day that I had really looked forward to.
However, my expectations were entirely met. The tour boat was very crowded. It was almost impossible to maneuver my camera in the direction of some London’s magnificent modern structures. Similarly, central London was extremely busy and crowded. It was necessary to remain with our ‘bus groups’ so that nobody would become lost. Even though I dragged behind our group to make as many images as I could I found this arrangement somewhat confining.
Day two of our London stop was completely opposite to day one. Busses took us to Canterbury, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Canterbury, located in the county of Kent has been occupied since Paleolithic times. Many historic buildings can be found in the area. The largest of these is the Canterbury Cathedral.
On arrival, our guide explained that we could either stay with her and tour the area or go off on our own.. We opted to wander about town on our own.
Canterbury is a small but beautiful City. It’s streets are narrow and the buildings quaint and very old. To realize that people have walked its streets for hundreds of years is mind boggling.
Canterbury’s cathedral is the seat for the Archbishop of Canterbury the world wide head of the Anglican Church. It has a long history. The groundbreaking of the current layout was in 1070 AD. The last major renovation was completed in 1834. It is built in the Romanesque and Gothic styles.
The sights and sounds of London were very interesting but they were only a taste of so much more. Next time a few more days and perhaps a self conducted tour would allow us to really dig into the ‘meal’.
My next article will include images and a description of the last leg of our Ocean cruise during which we landed in France, Belgium and the Netherlands.