Observations: January 15, 2010
The age of the passengers keeps amazing us, along with the amount of times they have cruised around the world and other cruises. At dinner we sat with a 80 year old women from the Panhandle. She sits at a table for 12 with people she has met on previous trips.
Then there are the people who move around in wheelchairs, manual and electric, walkers, and those pulling oxygen. Amazing. They are all over the ship and shore doing their thing. Keeps life in perspective.
Last night was our Captain’s Grand Voyage Dinner. Our host crew member was the man in charge of ENVIRERMENT. Right one to have at our table. They must only pick the charming crew members to sit at the tables. He was from Australia and a wonderful accent. We learned all about preserving the ocean,
How the ship conserves, picks up fresh water at ports and disposes of waste. Each port has its own rules, plus the country and last the ocean. My favorite government authority rules, EPA.
The dress code for the night was formal black and white. Didn’t have anything white dressy enough so I just went black. First was wine and appetizers in the Rembrandt Lounge and then Dinner in the Pinnacle Dinning Room. A five course dinner, plus wine, then a fabulous dessert. For Bill, the vegetarian food and presentation was right out of a magazine. Beautiful and delicious. The chocolate (very dark) filled puffed pastry was to die for. The first chocolate I have eaten. Well worth the wait. We rolled back to our room.
Lazy this morning. Still at sea and we slept in. Had breakfast on the Veranda, with the sunrise. going to spend the day by the pool reading and then late afternoon attend Friday night Services. Tough life. Could get used to being pampered.
SATURDAY AND SUNDAY LIMA,PERU
We came into the port at Callao. Here too, lots of commercial ships at anchor that are not being used. Seems to be a thread we are following. Lima is the capital and largest city in Peru. The weather is moderate, little rain and little sun. Would not like to be a permanent resident. Everyday is gloomy.
We took a Highlights Tour and visited the first City in the Americas. Went inside the Cathedral of Lima and the San Francisco Convent built in 1542. All seem to be in good repair or they are working on restoring. Interesting how they are finding paintings behind paintings. The reason they gave for multiple painting is that canvas was hard to come by and so they just painted over. Hard to decide which layer to save. Lima is made up of 43 districts each with a mayor. Lots of police, men and women, but women harder to bribe. Believe that!!! The most important fact was the voting procedure. Everyone must vote or you cannot cash a check, buy a car or house. If you are a citizen living in Peru, you must exercise the right to vote or you lose. USA should do that. One other tax advantage, if you are remodeling your house until it is finished you do not pay taxes. Of course everyone leaves one or two things to be done, never finish.
We drove around the suburb Miraflores. Very pretty, with miles of Pacific beaches. Lots of surfers and sun bathers. The beaches have soccer fields and basketball courts. The government has cut roads out of the cliffs, and made the beaches very wide, yet they are full of rocks. On the cliff walls there is lots of morning glories growing.
Saturday night we had dinner at Casa Solar de Aliaga. On the way throngs of people were in the streets, walking, shopping or eating. A big city doing its thing. The march of people never stopped. This castle was built in 1535 by the best friend of Pizarro. It has stayed in the family ever since passing from one male generation
to another. We entered the house through highly polished doors into a open foyer with wide steps leading to the living quarters. There was no roof at the entrance so the horse and his rider could enter and now of course the car. We were greeted by men in tuxedo’s and white gloves. They served the famous Peruvian drink called Pisco. The big debate is weather Peru or Chile makes the best ones. I will decide in a few days. Will have one when we are in Coquimbo. Passed Hors d’oeuvre, cheese rolled in dough, a pate and a jellied something. Starting out with the drinks, everything tasted good. The house is a square, with a open atrium in the middle.
A large tree is growing up the middle and they also have plants all along the balcony walkway. Small water fountain is also on the ground floor. You had to be very important to have water in your house.
They used water to keep the people in line. Funny how water is still very important. The inside has a lot of carved wood, tooled leather, and bright paint. One room looked a little French, nothing to overdone or really heavy Spanish. We were served at long banquet tables with silk flowered tablecloths. Beautiful china, sterling silver, crystal wine and water goblets. The appetizer was asparagus soufflé and Dinner was chicken, small round white potatoes and vegetables. Their sweet potato was outstanding, very sweet and very orange. Very elegantly done and fun. 40 people from the ship attended.
Sunday we made a bad choice. Sounded like fun to go to the Indian Market. Sounded like a neat end of town and we would be able to see the neighborhoods and the city along the way. It was one big flea market just like the one along the side of our ship. Really much more important to do the other tours. We thought we would need a breather from sightseeing, however we are doing great and would rather learn than shop. Fear not, I still bought a few things. I have not lost my shopping needs. Must keep the economy going.
This ship is really geared to seniors. When you open the elevator door a mat tells you what day it is. Now if they only would tell you what date and port it is, maybe I could keep track of everything. Our cabin is well located in the middle of the ship. Easy to move around from there. One flight up is the library and internet lounge. Our room does not have a good signal so I have to come up to the lounge. Seems the lounge is the busiest place. Lots of people have brought acer computers, and even regular sized. The ship has provided about a dozen however they are always pretty busy. Minutes go by very fast when I am reading my mail or the Beacon. will not give up that luxury at ALL. We are on the port side and so far we have enjoyed coming into each port from our verandah. Faces are getting more familiar and days still keep flying by. Weather has been iffy. Warm and cloudy. Not real condusive to sitting outside by the pool.