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Old 06-19-2016, 06:58 AM   #1
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A Baltic boating adventure TRIP REPORT COMPLETED 11/19

Well, as we're now back and I have a number of instalments already to go, I figured now is as good a time as any to get this trip report up and running, so here goes!

Friday 3 June – part one: cow fest!

Well today is the day that we head out, even if it’s not the day we actually board the cruise. We were up early and into work, as we had so much to get done at work. I left knowing that enough had been done for the time I was away, but also knowing there were things I didn’t get done that will still be waiting for me on my return. Oh well, there’s only so much I can do – and heck, my manager is telling me to work less hours, so I took her at her word….

I headed home about 4:00pm, and went into town, as I’d got a text message last night to say my prescription was in. This was the same prescription the chemist had put in for processing at my doctor’s on 16 May. When I went to collect it on Saturday, they still hadn’t had it back. I do not know what the chemist said, but they’d got the prescription I put in previously and the one I submitted on Saturday for different medication – wow!

Anyway, that was one port of call, but I also wanted to go into a department store called BHS. Sadly, it seems destined to follow so many other businesses in closing down. It’s been in administration, and they’ve not been able to find a buyer, so the stores are expected to close over the next few weeks. Given this is where I get my swimming stuff, I wanted to grab some more just to be on the safe side. I already have about 12 spare, but I go through probably about three or four a year, because of the amount of swimming I do. I managed to get another two, so that was at least good. I also had some vouchers to use in another shop that expire while we’re away. I looked at the weekend, and saw nothing I liked, and I was hoping I’d find something today, but sadly it was the same story again, so the vouchers will just expire. Oh well, two out of three wasn’t bad…

I headed home, and we showered and finished the rest of the packing, and settled down to finish watching something on the TV, as some of the motorways we’d be using had problems on them. I kept an eye on the travel news, and as soon as we saw that it had eased up, we started to load the car up, and get ready to go.

We set off around 6:30pm, and stopped to post our votes on the way. The UK is voting in a referendum on whether to leave or stay in the European Union, and I was glad to find out our postal ballots had turned up today, rather than us having to frantically remember to do something with them as soon as we get home – given polling is on the Thursday, and we get back on the Sunday. At least now if anyone knocks on the door and asks how we’re voting, we can truthfully tell them they’re too late!

We headed off, and it was like a cow fest along the M25.



These were the only shots I got, as the others were too far away, but one field was literally full of hundreds of beautiful bovine specimens, so I was very happy!

We had a really smooth run along the M25, which is a very pleasant change. The last time I drove along it was Tuesday and there was torrential rain the whole time. We stopped at the Cobham services, which is only a couple of years old. I drive past it regularly, but because I’m normally heading for our office a few miles on, I never need to stop here. My goodness, what a place – it’s huge!



Amazing as it looks, it was so loud in there that we went to McDonald’s and got a take away, and sat in the car and enjoyed it.

Then we were on our way again, and the whole way down, we had a really smooth run, which was lovely. We were soon passing Portsmouth, and I just about got a shot of the Spinakker Tower, which is the sail shaped tower…



It was a lovely evening…



We quickly found the Marriott and checked in. After Mark confidently told me there wouldn’t be breakfast on the ferry in the morning (and me later discovering he went on a different company last time he travelled ) we paid our £20 ($28) – I hope it’s a good spread for that. We were a bit horrified to discover they were charging £12 ($17) for Wi-Fi, so we passed on that…

At least the room was a good size…



I took the opportunity to photograph all our luggage, which should keep us laundry free – three suitcases and two hand luggage cases… oh plus two rucksacks. Not much then!

We headed off to bed an hour or so after arriving, as we had an early start the next morning, now that we had breakfast booked at the hotel…

The weather today was dry, but cold with temperatures in the mid 50s.
The best thing today was the quick journey down.
The worst thing today was not getting everything done at work I wanted before leaving.
Today we tried staying at the Portsmouth Marriott
And the result was the room was fine, but the Wi-Fi charge was a bit of a shock.
The most magical moment today was seeing all the moo cows!

Next: the most horrible realisation of my life…
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Old 06-19-2016, 07:16 AM   #2
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A good start! With cows and everything!
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Old 06-19-2016, 09:19 AM   #3
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I've been dreading the crisis, and sounds like we may learn of it tomorrow.
I think all hotels should have free wi-fi. Charging for it, especially at a more upscale hotel chain, seems like nickel and diming to me. Your room does look nice and I hope it's a good breakfast in the morning!
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Old 06-19-2016, 09:30 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by cubfancolleen View Post
I've been dreading the crisis, and sounds like we may learn of it tomorrow.
I think all hotels should have free wi-fi. Charging for it, especially at a more upscale hotel chain, seems like nickel and diming to me. Your room does look nice and I hope it's a good breakfast in the morning!
Me too. We were talking about this on the cruise with friends we made and we were saying how appalling the charges were on board cruise lines as well. That I can understand a little bit more than hotels, but equally I think we'd all prefer to have Internet charges included with what we pay upfront.
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Old 06-19-2016, 09:38 AM   #5
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Glad the TR is started, looking forward to hearing about all your adventures. I am surprised there was a charge or WIFI, most hotels have it for free now.
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Old 06-19-2016, 10:02 AM   #6
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Glad that the moo cows gave you a wonderful send off. Sorry that the Wifi charges were so steep. Can't wait to read more, except I am not sure I want to read about the crisis. At least we know it was resolved and the remainder of the trip was good.
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Old 06-19-2016, 10:17 AM   #7
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Great start. I'm glad you got to see so many of your friends on the way.
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Old 06-19-2016, 10:26 AM   #8
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Glad the TR is started, looking forward to hearing about all your adventures. I am surprised there was a charge or WIFI, most hotels have it for free now.
Unfortunately we tend to find the more high end hotels that aim at business travellers still don't offer it for free. I guess they figure they can make some money out of people who need to be connected.
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Old 06-19-2016, 10:29 AM   #9
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Glad that the moo cows gave you a wonderful send off. Sorry that the Wifi charges were so steep. Can't wait to read more, except I am not sure I want to read about the crisis. At least we know it was resolved and the remainder of the trip was good.
Well, let's put it this way, if it haven't been resolved, there wouldn't have been a trip - as simple as that.
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Old 06-19-2016, 02:07 PM   #10
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Yay cows! Pretty smooth start to your trip, which is always nice.
You mentioned a photo of luggage, but I don't see it?
Yeah I don't understand why budget chain hotels include wifi and some have free breakfast, but the more upscale ones often don't include either one. Weird.
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Old 06-19-2016, 02:21 PM   #11
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Yay cows! Pretty smooth start to your trip, which is always nice.
You mentioned a photo of luggage, but I don't see it?
You're spot on. about that. Here you go:



Quote:
Yeah I don't understand why budget chain hotels include wifi and some have free breakfast, but the more upscale ones often don't include either one. Weird.
Bizarre, isn't it, when you put it like that...
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Old 06-19-2016, 03:35 PM   #12
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Considering the amount of time you're on this trip, it actually doesn't look like too much luggage!
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Old 06-19-2016, 04:45 PM   #13
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Great start! Always nice to start out the vacation seeing cows!
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Old 06-19-2016, 05:19 PM   #14
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The reason some of the more upscale hotels charge for wifi is they cater to a business clientele and extras go on the account just like the room.

Looks like a nice start to your trip -a really scenic ride/
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Old 06-19-2016, 05:21 PM   #15
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Great start. Can't wait for the next instalment
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