Day 27 Port Stanley, Falkland Islands

For Days 25 and 26  we cruised the Atlantic and enjoyed various on-board activities.  We particularly liked Jakub  the violinist and 

 

 

 

 

These Guys with their 60’s music.  They finished with the Jersey Boys and then Otis Redding.  Music of our youth.  Really fine stuff.  

 

 

Day 27:   We arrived at the Falkland Islands on Tuesday January 29th for what was supposed to be a two day visit.  It turned out to be only one day, but more on that later.  We anchored in the outer bay and then tendered in to Port Stanley  We took the included tour, and this is our Tour Guide, Jason.  He had lots of dad jokes.  Nice groans accompanied each one.  Here you see him sitting on a peat bog.  Each citizen is allocated an area each year and they can cut out their fuel for the year and put it in a peat shed for drying.  They burn it in the winter.  Most use kerosene or propane now, but burn peat in a fireplace for ascetics.  Port Stanley was actually located where it is due to the nearby abundant supply of peat. 

It seems like a nice little town with nice peole and small wooden houses.  All wood is imported because trees do not grow on the island due to the constant winds.  The cemetary was at the edge of town, but since they have grown to 2,500 people it is now in the center.   

Some relics from the past, The Golden Chance and The Gentoo.  These two ships were built as steam drifters.  They used miles of nets to harvest herring in the North Sea.  The Golden Chance came to the Falklands to take part in a sealing enterprise.  The Gentoo came to haul freight around the islands. This steel three master came in for repairs, couldn’t be made whole, was moored and used for storage, broke her moorings and now sits here as a derelict.  As our tour guide stated, they are islanders, so they never throw anything away. 

They are proud of their totem pole where crews from visiting ships mount their signs.

 

 

 

That’s us out in the harbor.

This is the diddle dee plant.  Good for sitting on if all around is wet and good for placing under your tires if you get stuck in a peat bog.

 

Whaling is no longer permitted but these are some old bones assembled by a retired iron worker.

 

 

This is part of the 1982 War Memorial, which is a thank you to the Brits for pushing the Argentinians back out.  Margaret Thatcher is a big hero on the island.

 

Most folks have gardens as any food grown here is fresher and cheaper than any imported food.

 

 

They still use these Post Boxes.  These are just for show.

They have a great museum.

I love these old cook stoves.  I just liked this photo.

Yes, we had a brief hail storm.

Then we visited the Anglican Church which is the most southerly Anglican Church in the world.  Very nice stained glass windows.

They take amused pride in their stained glass window with the bicycle.

 

 

Tons of stuffed penguins in the shops but we didn’t get to take the big tour to see the real ones.  We were supposed to take a 7 hour tour the next day, but the Captain pulled anchor and we left, citing problems with high winds in the narrow channel.   If he had just asked, I could have provided anchoring instructions.  😉   Not to worry, we have booked a new tour in Punta Arenas, Chile to see some penguins.  Hope that works, it is something we wanted to see.

Port Stanley was a fine stop.  The residents were very friendly and must be of very hardy stock to live in this place.

Day 24 Punta del Este, Uruguay; January 26, 2019

We arrive at Punta del Este early on the morning of January 26, 2019.  This is an upscale resort and second home community.  We are anchored out and tender operations start at 8:00.  They have a nice marina.  We take the included tour with Carlos as our guide.  To introduce us to the upscale nature of this resort town, Carlos pointed out this small corner house across the street from the beach that was placed on the market for $3 million US.  There are also larger houses in the area.

 

 

 

There are nice stretches of beach interspersed with rocky outcroppings.  The beaches are very popular.  The locals are very proud of this famous hand sculpture.

Must be a nice place, since President Trump is building a tower here.

This weird bridge replaces several that collapsed from wind and waves.  Apparently, if you build it pre-collapsed, it lasts a long time.

House with the most fireplaces.  Condos are everywhere. 

This one, called Acqua, is unique in that each floor is a single apartment and each has an infinity pool.  At least one well paid soccer player has a place here.  

This house claims to have the most expensive windows, with all windows supplied by Rayban.

All the houses have names and the names are used as part of the address, presenting a challenge for the postman.  They also have codes for the streets but according to our tour guide it can be difficult for an individual to find a particular house.  This guy spent 30 years having this house built.

Travelers on the peninsula. 

Back to our ship.  Those sailboats came from Brazil for a regatta.

We spend some time checking out the marina before taking a tender back to the ship.

Look, they sail opti’s just like the White Lake Yacht Club.  If I had seen the Commodore I would have laid down a challenge.  Our grandkids could beat them!

 

We find Linda’s boat. And some nice Sea Rays.   Everyone moors stern-to with no finger docks.  

They have a fishing fleet and their own fish cleaning stations. 

 

 

 

Heading back to the ship.  View inside our tender. 

 

 

 

View of Punta del Este from our ship.  We round out the afternoon with a nice dip in the infinity pool.  

 

 

What a nice stop with a just right tour to see the sights without being over extended.

Day 23 Buenos Aires, Argentina

Today is January 25th, and it is our second full day in Buenos Aires.  We will be enjoying the sights from our bus as we journey to the highlight of today’s outing, which is a boat tour.  We stop at one church on the way to admire the architecture. 

  

Then we return our focus to the boat tour and our tour guide MAXI.  We pick up the boat at the side of a canal.    They have over 5,000 islands.  You can buy a house from an existing owner on one of these islands, or a whole island from the government.  The houses are considered reasonably priced, with nice houses available for $150,000 US.  The reason for the low prices is that living on one of these islands is very expensive.  You need to acquire everything by boat.  The river water, which is filled with silt, can be purified for washing but cannot be brought to the point of drinking water.  Thus even water must be brought in by boat.  They have septic tanks which also must be pumped out regularly and the waste removed by boat.  There are a large variety of houses from basic to very nice.  Entertainment is via satellite, and regardless of whatever else may be hard to come by, everyone has a cell phone.  There are side canals that we passed.  There are also a variety of boat docks in front of the houses.  This is a nice one.  Note the sign “Macha Linda”.

This is a supermarket boat with groceries and other supplies. 

Friendly folks at the houses.  A nice home.  An artsy dock.  And something for the low rent district.

These are friends from the boat, Lee and Martha Curry, that were also on the boat tour.

It was raining today, so not all the pictures are what I would desire, but we sure did enjoy this tour.

These last two are a couple of photos Linda captured on her phone as we departed Buenos Aires.  How fitting, as we have just had two marvelous days in Argentina.

Day 22 Buenos Aires, Argentina

On Thursday, January 24, 2019 we arrive early to the port of Buenos Aires, Argentina.  We will be staying for 2 full days.  For today, we have an afternoon excursion, so we decide to go into town for the morning.  It takes a bus transfer to get there.  The first one gets you to the port terminal building since we are at a busy cargo port and there is no visitor walking allowed among the large cranes.  Good plan.  The second bus is a free shuttle into town provided by Viking that also allows you to by-pass the not so friendly immediate port area.  We arrive at San Martin park which is very beautiful and in a great area of town.  We take each others picture with the English Clock Tower in the background.  At least it used to be called English.  It was a gift from England and was affectionately called “Little Ben”.  Then the Brits won the Falkland Conflict (war) and the Argentinians renamed the tower and the square, with no reference to England.

 

There are several monuments in San Martin park.  We will leave the translation on this one to our grandson, Anthony, who is taking Spanish in high school.  This is Linda and Dale near the main San Martin monument.  He had a spirited horse.  Nice base relief mural on the pedestal.  With the European feel we are becoming accustomed to seeing, old and new architecture blends well together.

They offer bicycle tours, but with the hills and the traffic in this city, I cannot imagine there is any wisdom in this idea.  Still in San Martin park, this looks like a banyan tree.  This is the full explanation and once again Anthony can provide the translation.  Thanks Anthony!

This is a shopping area just off the park and it also has a European look.

In the afternoon, we take a bus tour with Nicholas as our guide.  BTW, relative to the bicycle tour mentioned earlier, this is the typical traffic we see from the bus.    This is the engineering school building.  If you pass the exam to get in the education is free.  Only costs  64% taxes for everyone.   This flower was gifted to the city by an Italian artist.  It only cost the government $3 million (US) to install this free gift.  It is made of aluminum and titanium and is meant to represent all flowers.  It opens during the day and closes at night.  San Martin is seen here as a loving grandfather which many Argentinians prefer over the military statues.  We spent the largest segment of our time on this tour at the city cemetery where the rich and famous are buried.  It is large and impressive and all the plots are taken.  There are various aisles one can travel and many of the markers are quite elaborate.  This is the line leading to the grave site for Ava Peron and this is the grave itself.  Another statue.  This marker is at the exit from the cemetery.  Loosely translated it means “Expect God”.

We exited the cemetery and headed for the main square.  Note the outline on this building that is meant to depict Ava Peron giving a speech.  Next is the Main Square or as our tour guide stated, it is the Power Square.   This is Presidential Power.  The President’s Palace was originally painted with a mixture that included cows blood, hence the color.  Now they just use that color paint to preserve the history.

This is the seat of the finance ministry, hence Financial Power.

This is the church were the current pope once presided, hence Church Power.

This is the city office, hence Mayor Power.

This is where the Independence Revolution occurred, hence People Power.

This is one the tour guide missed, it is called Grandma Power.  Away from the main square now, this is the Russian Church. 

Next we went to the BOCA area (suburb) where soccer is king and they believe they have the best soccer player in the world.  They do have some awesome murals on the sides of buildings.  This is a sketchy area of town, suitable for day time tourism only.  We stop for some shopping and I pose by my Gaucho Buddy.  Street art for sale.  The Tyler shot is colorful today.  They have murals everywhere, including on this sea wall.  Maybe we could try that in Grand Haven?

Day 21 Second Verse – Bridge Tour of the Viking Sun

We were given a Bridge Tour of the Viking Sun by the first officer.  He has an Unlimited License and is waiting for his next promotion.  You will note he carries 2 stripes and a bridge insignia.  The Captain (Lars) has 4 stripes.

The Navigation and Main Monitoring displays are large screens.  They have three completely redundant sets of these displays.  The nav display is very nice with plenty of room for the map and digital data display.  The throttle and bow & stern thruster controls.  Yes, the rpm’s are set manually.  The call sign for the ship.  Very accurate position display.  Navigation is all electronic charts, but they do have lots of paper for their collection of system books.  Manual rudder control which is as close as they come to having a wheel.  They have course and heading hold modes within their autopilot, but generally run in heading mode.  There are great sight lines from the bridge, both along side and forward.  They also have this port hole in the floor for precise docking.  We now have a new Captain.  Speed change required.

A massive bridge with a cute assistant.

Really fun tour.  How to run a ship like an X-Box.  Sure would be a hoot to do a passage from the Bridge.

Day 21 Montevideo, Uruguay Jan. 23, 2019

Around 8:00 am on Wednesday, January 23, 2019 we arrived at the port of Montevideo, Uruguay.

We are parked by the container ships in an active port, but we are still only one block from town.  We are greeted by Patricia for our tour of Montevideo.  The population of 3 million people is a mixture of Spanish, German, Italian, English, and a number of smaller groups.  The streets have a very European look and feel.

This is the first apartment building in Montevideo and it is located on Independence Square.  The heart of Independence Square is this statue of Artigas  shown here with the government offices in the background.  Artigas is a national hero in Uruguay since he led the country to independence in the early 1900’s.  This is Dale and Linda with Artigas’

big horse.

This is the Parliament building and a close up of the Parliament building.

We stopped at a very nice sculpture by Jose Batlle Ordonez.  This is an agriculture country and this sculpture is particularly admired because the artist did such a fine job in capturing the different detailed movements of the cattle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dale bought a new hat at the shop by the sculpture.

  

The town is very much built along the shore.  Here is the downtown marina and a nearby beach.

The navy headquarters building and a portion of the navy’s fleet.

The harbor bone yard.  World wide, such things are not often removed, although it is surprising.    This is an active port, and they have been loading this boat all day.

We fly the Uruguay Flag in port.  Shopping in the afternoon. Tyler shot.  Monument at the port from WWII.  The tall building is the Uruguay Telecomm building.  Apparently those folks have money everywhere you go.  Departing Montevideo we saw this very interesting ferry.  Looks sinister.

This was a very pleasant stop with temperatures in the 70’s and we enjoyed a great tour.  The tour went to interesting places, we were able to stop briefly and enjoy them, and we were provided with great details that made it all very interesting.

Days 19 & 20 Two Days at Sea after Rio

So we have two days at sea to recover from a busy Rio.  We enjoyed these days at sea going to the Nordic Spa, playing Euchre with Mike & Linda, attending shows, attending lectures, buying jewelry (one of us), and eating big time.  Here we see Linda and Linda with their new necklaces.  This is the intro slide for the comedian that does magic tricks.  His second performance was also enjoyable and funny.

On the 22nd Viking put on a bigger brunch than any of us had ever seen before.  The set-up included ice sculptures  and as much food and drink as you could get your eyes around.  It started with mimosas and Bloody Mary’s.

There were mini-starters and shrimp & crab legs and specialty drinks and exotic fruits

and a superb selection of desserts.  I limited myself to 4 trips to this dessert table.  Those chocolate guys in the individual white boxes near the top are really good!

Day 17 & 18 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

We arrived in Rio on January 19, 2019 for a two day visit.  Spoiler alert – it was great!

We awoke to the sound of helicopters outside our stateroom.  This was the first Viking World Cruise visit to Rio, so the marketing department had some money to spend.  This is the view from our stateroom, with the Christ the Redeemer Statue in the background.  Directly after our arrival we met our tour guide, Bruno, and headed for the statue.  The trip up is on a tram on a very steep track.  It is an electric tram with lots of great wiring.  While waiting for an elevator near the top of the mountain, I found a great hiking trail for Rick Leland.  Don’t even need a GPS, its all vertical.  This is a shot of Sugar Loaf from the statue.

Thanks to Dave Credo’s lens I was able to capture the complete Christ the Redeemer statue in one frame.  It really is amazingly large.   The panoramic views from the base of the statue were great.

      Even captured some travelers.

 

 

 

 

Viking provided a free shuttle bus service to the beach, so on the afternoon of Jan. 19th we went to Copacabana Beach for a swim.  The iconic paving for Copacabana Beach is still as nice as ever.

This is the Tyler shot.  The water was great and grandma is in there quickly.

Copacabana Beach is large and is visited by tons of folks.

This guy must have gone crazy with Gabe’s cotton candy machine.

This is the Rio de Janeiro Yacht Club.  Our tour guide said it is not expensive – it is beyond that to astronomical.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WWII Memorial.

At the end of the day, our cruise director brought a troupe of Samba dancers on board so we could sample it without the need to pay to go to a club.  They have more energy than can be imagined.

On the 20th, we took a panoramic bus tour of Rio.  This is an old aqua duct that is now used for rail transportation.   Rio is recognized for its mixture of architectural styles.  There are modern buildings and beautiful old facades, and a mixture of the two.  This is old architecture and is said to be where rich people get married.  This is the Olympic Torch down by the dock.   We returned to the boat for departure, where the Brazilian Party continued.  This is Hannah, the Viking Sun Swedish Beauty Consultant, in her Brazilian costume.

Took some pictures as we were departing.  This is part of the dock improvements that occurred with the Olympics and World’s Cup.  An interesting airport with water at both ends of the runway.  Best not land short or brake long.  They do fly air transport into this airport – note the Airbus aircraft.

This male frigate bird decided to accompany us on our departure.

And the Viking Marketing Department dudes were still taking pictures.  So long to Sugar Loaf & The Christ the Redeemer statue.

As we continue south west now, the moon makes a nice appearance.    That was an amazing two days.

Day 16 Armacao dos Buzios, Brazil

Day 15 we cruised the Atlantic and at noon on January 18, 2019 (Day 16 of the Cruise) we arrived a Buzios, Brazil.  This had been a small fishing village with some wealthy home owners from Rio, until a visit in 1964 by Brigitte Bardot.   Since then the major industry is tourism with a small fishing fleet.  We are tendering in today.  We took the included tour.  This is the oldest church.  They used whale oil in the mortar.  And this is the next beach.  This is a shop that features sculptures made out of a paper mache type process.   Here is a crabby one with Linda.  They are also fond of bronze sculptures and there were several in town.  These kids and dog were done by a local artist.  This guy was the architect for the capitol.  Nice high five.  Here are the three fishermen.  And the most famous sculpture in town, Brigitte Bardot.

 

 

 

 

The homes and restaurants here seemed to represent prosperity. 

Another beach – they have many around the island.  At the end of the tour, we stayed at one of the beaches and enjoyed the afternoon. 

I walked to the end of the beach where the rocks start.  Got my 10,000 fit bit steps.

Nice sand sculpture.  Headed back to the boat and said goodbye to Buzios.  We thoroughly enjoyed our stop here.  Interesting place with friendly and polite people.  Nice sand and clear refreshing water.

Day 14 Salvador de Bahia, Brazil

We arrived at the pier in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, on January 16, 2019 at 7:00 am.  This is our grandson, Anthony Oliver’s 16th birthday.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY Anthony!

We have a tugboat assist.  Not sure what this guy is doing in the harbor. 

We head out on our walking tour at 9:30 am.   Laws protect old facades from being removed.  Lots of coconut vendors.    This is the elevator to take you to the upper city.  No charge for those over 60.  View from the top of the elevator.

Upper level.  Previous Governor’s Mansion.  These ladies wander around and let you take their picture for $.  This is my Tyler art deco picture for the day.  This is a very smooth area.  Most of the cobble stones are ankle turning difficult.  Some interesting street vendors.  

This is the new main Catholic Cathedral after the city paid off the Bishop to remove the old main cathedral and replace it with a trolley house.  The Bishop received a large donation.  The trolley no longer runs.

They have a form of dance/combat moves and for a fee you can have your picture taken with the performers.  The moves date back to slave days when it was used for self defense since the slaves could not carry weapons.

There are numerous churches, with one square having 5.  The primary influence is Roman Catholic but it was surprising to me the amount of Masonic influence.  This is a Masonic Temple built in the Baroque style.

A traveler poses with some local art.  Pillory square where they used to hold slave auctions.  The art work on the left of Michael Jackson designates the house he used to make a video here.  Back to the Elevator.  A view of the harbor and we return to the ship.  We were dripping wet when we got back.  We did a weigh-in.  Not as bad as I thought but nothing to publish.