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Trip details 2011-20




Trips Page

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Trips Page by Region Trip Discriptions 2003-10 Trip Discriptions 2011-20
2019 Lebanon

Coming soon 

2019 Ethiopia

   Coming soon 

2019 Indonesia – Java, Bali and Flores Islands

Summer 2019 – 4 weeks starting in Jogyakarta travelling through Java to Bali and then to Flores and Rinca where we hope to see Komodo Dragons.

2019 The Cyclades, Greece

The Cyclades
A short trip visiting some of the islands in the Cyclades – Mykonos, Delos with its amazing roman site and Naxos - a trip not without its problems due to gale force winds which meant us missing a further 2 islands on the itinerary.

2019 Malta and Gozo

Islands of Antiquity
This 10 day trip was largely based on visits linked to the history of Malta and Gozo – from prehistoric  sites and megalithic ruins to medieval towns, harbours and more recent history.

2018 Madeira, The Canary Islands and Spain

Madeira and Canary Islands
This cruise in November should have included the Azores but unfortunately the weather was too bad so we went to ports in Spain instead.  Excursions off the boat into Madeira,  and 3 of the Canary Islands with their volcanic scenery.

2018 Portugal

River Douro and Pousadas
We initially cruised the River Douro through the stunning scenery with terraces of vineyards and narrow gorges and dams, on one of the smaller river boats.  Excursions off the boat to taste the local wines and port and visit local towns and villages.  We then had a further week travelling South through Portugal, staying in pousadas, with visits including  the Shrine of Fatima, Coimbra, and Lisbon.

2018 Iceland

Circumnavigation of Iceland
A circumnavigation of Iceland  on a small ship, including visits to the Islands of Hirsey (in the North)  and Haemey with excursions inland which included several waterfalls and Lake Myvatyn with it’s bubbling mud pools and lava labyrinth.  Amazing volcanic scenery and an abundance of birds and wild flowers.

2018 Holland

Spring Flowers and The Golden Age of Dutch Art
A combination of visits to gardens and the Keukenof for the spring flowers and  museums and art galleries on a river cruise through the Netherlands.  Places visited included Rotterdam, Amsterdam, The Hague, Kinderdijk and the Keukenof.

2018 Myanmar

Boat on the Irrawaddy River
A return to Myanmar – seeing Myanmar from a different aspect.  Travelling from Yangon to Mandalay with 9 days on a small boat on the River Irrawaddy

2017 Slovenia and Croatia

Sailing round the Istrian Peninsula
Starting in Slovenia, with the town of Piran and trips to Lubljana and Lake Bled, we then boarded our small boat to sail to Opatja calling in at Rovinj, Pula, and the island of Krk plus lakes, waterfalls and villages

2017 Switzerland

The Matterhorn, Glacier and Bernina Expresses
A week in Switzerland staying at Brig and Klosters. Visits to Zermatt, Montreux, into Italy to Lake Maggiore, train journeys on the Glacier and Bernina expresses, and up above the snow line by cable cars.. 

2017 South Africa and Namibia

Flowers of the Cape
A trip to South Africa and Namibia from Cape Town to Windhoek to see the annual desert blooming of wild flowers in August.  Due to drought we didn’t see many flowers but saw many other sights including:  Cape of Good Hope with elands and ostriches, Cape Town’s Botanical Gardens and Penguins; Wine tastings and townships.  In Namibia the deserted township of Kolmanskop and more penguins at Luderitz, the massive sand dunes at Sossusvlei, oryx, zebras and the opportunity to stroke rescued cheetahs.  

2017 France – River Rhone

Cruise on the River Rhone from Lyons to Arles
A week sailing on the River Rhone, visiting Lyons, wine tasting in Beaujolais and Chateau Neuf de Papes, Roman ruins and the Popes Palace in Avignon and Arles, Steam train through the Ardeche Gorges, and a visit to the Abbey of Cluny.

2017 Laos and Thailand

The Spirit of Laos & Old Siam and the River Kwai
Two Explore trips back to back, spending a month in total in the 2 countries. Laos is much more underdeveloped compared to Thailand, and in addition to the normal visits to places like Luang Prabang and the Plain of Jars we travelled to Northern Laos where there is a strong chinese presence; visited 2 charities dealing with the vast numbers of bombs dropped during the Vietnam War; travelled on the Mekong extensively including seeing the elusive river dolphins and the little visited Bolaven Plateau and beautiful waterfalls.  The trip to Thailand included the Palaces and temples in Bangkok, overnight train to Chang Mai, archaeological sites at Sukothai etc and a stay on floating raft houses on the River Kwai.

2016 Israel & Palestine

The Holy Land
A week in Israel and the West Bank, visiting roman and biblical sites; churches in Nazareth, The Sea of Galilee, Nazareth and Jerusalem, The Fortress of Masada and the National Park at Ein Geda; and including a stay on 2 kibbutzes.

Can be combined with Jordan as a longer talk to compare and contrast.
2016 Jordan

Hidden Treasures of Jordan
Crusader Castles, enormous Roman and Greek Archaeological sites with mosaics. colonnaded avenues and ampitheatres, the Dead Sea, the extensive and wonderful sites of Petra and Little Petra, and a night in Wadi Rum.  From the greener North to the barren deserts of the South.  

2016 West India

Glories of Gujarat and Aurangabad
Gujarat is another little visited area of India, but is rich in agriculture, mosques, palaces and stepwells. We were very lucky to see endangered Asiatic lions in Gir National Park and we also saw other wildlife and birds in the Rann of Kutch.  We finished the trip with visits to the spectacular Ajanta and Ellora Caves near Aurangabad .

2015 Costa Rica

Discover Costa Rica
One of the most ecologically friendly countries in the world, with its range of National Parks; we visited parks on both the Caribbean and Pacific coasts, cloud and rain forests, and volcanoes, seeing a range of birds, animals and  insects.  We also visited the little known Guayabo, one of the major archaeological sites in Costa Rica.

2015 North East India

Assam, Nagaland and the Hornbill Festival
Very few trips go to this area of India and many only go to Kazaringa National Park in Assam to see rhinos (which we saw).  We also visited living root bridges in Cherrapunji, with the highest rainfall on earth; Majuli in the Brahmaputra – the largest river island in the world; Buddhist and Hindu temples; and tea plantations.  The highlight of the trip was the Hornbill Festival with 16 tribes performing traditional dances; the mountains and villages of Nagaland and the surprise of seeing Father Christmas’s and Snowmen in this Christian part of India.

2014 The Baltic

Cruise to the Baltic
We discovered that we were the first cruise ship visiting the Baltic cities in the spring of 2014 and were lucky with calm seas, sunshine and blue skies and no ice in the harbours!  Each city was interesting but the highlight was the 2 days in St Petersburg visiting Catherine Palace, the Church on Spilled Blood and the Hermitage.  Tallinn with its old town buildings was also enjoyed by everyone on board.  Visits also included Helsinki, Stockholm, Copenhagen and Oslo.

2014 New Zealand

New Zealand explored
Our trip covered most of New Zealand from the northern tip - Cape Reinga to Dunedin in the South, we were blessed with good weather even on the usually wet western coast.  We saw dolphins, albatross, penguins, and seals; visited Rotarua with geysers and Maori Culture; we experienced a helicopter ride over the Fox & Franz Josef glaciers, had several boat trips, and enjoyed a farm stay.

2014 North India

North India Explored
A trip across North India including  the holy city of Varanasi, the temples of Khajaraho, the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort, Ranthambore National Park, and into colourful Rajasthan.  Temples, Palaces , Forts and Havelis  at Jaipur, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Udaipur not forgetting experiencing the villages and countryside.

2014 North Wales – three trips

North Walesfor those who like talks on trips closer to home
The first – a Garden Club trip covered two gardens on Anglesey, and Bodnant where we were lucky to see the laburnum walk in full bloom.  The second trip, a local coach company, included Port Meirion and Llandudno.  The National Trust trip included  the Lake Bala Railway, Erdigg Hall and a trip on the LLangollen canal.

2013 Belgium

Flower Festivals in Belgium Short talk
This trip included visits to the Floraliese Garden Festival, an Amaryllis Festival, and  the largest boat lift in the world.

2013 The Black Sea
Turkey, Russia, the Ukraine

Treasures of the Black Sea Cruise
Starting in Istanbul, the cruise ship Discovery sailed to Trabzon where Harry and Jean visited the Sumela Monastery; then on to Sochi (Stalin’s Dacha) and Novorossiysk (tea plantations and a classical concert) in Russia; Yalta, Sevastopol and Odessa in the Ukraine (Palaces and The Crimea); and finally returning to the Eastern Mediterranean to Canakkale  and Bodrum in Turkey.

2013 Northern Lights and Norway

Norway Coastal Voyage and the Northern Lights
Harry and Jean hoped to see the Northern Lights on their Hurtigruten coastal voyage and were rewarded on 4 nights, persevering to photograph them despite the freezing temperatures. They also visited North Cape, a viking feast on the Lofoten Islands, and enjoyed a husky sled ride.

2012 Cruise to the Amazon

Cruise on the Amazon
While the main focus of the trip was the 700 mile cruise up the Amazon to Manaus and back, we saw flying fish while crossing the Atlantic,  the contrasting islands of Madeira, Barbados and Grenada, dolphins and  a carnival experience in the Amazon and finished with a tour of Rio de Janeiro

2012 Myanmar (Burma)

Myanmar - Land of the Golden Temples
Formerly known as Burma this is a country opening up to both tourists and possibly democracy.  Golden temples and stupas, friendly people, leg-rowing fishermen, a boat trip on the Irrawaddy, trekking to hill villages and an unexpected meeting.  Visits included Rangoon, Mandalay, Lake Inle, Golden Rock, Bagan, war cemeteries and remote Shan hill villages.

2012 Tigers in India

Land of the Tiger
We were initially disappointed in the first two national parks not to see tigers although we saw monkeys, deer, jackals, many varieties of birds etc.  In the third national park we saw ten tigers in total many close up, while sitting in open jeeps.  We got some stunning photos including those of a tigress and her two nearly full grown cubs.  The trip also visited Agra (Taj Mahal) & Delhi.

2011 Cambodia

Heart of Cambodia
Heart of Cambodia We travelled from Phnom Penh to the coast and Rabbit Island; the Killing Fields Museum and memorial; along the Mekong River, where we saw river dolphins; and finally the highlight of the trip the Angkor Watt complex which covers many miles and temples. The trip included a village stay and visits to local markets with insects, spiders and other delicacies for sale.

2011 Chile & Easter Island

Chile and Easter Island Easter Island can be done separately as a short talk.
Easter Island- Statues, Mysteries and a Festival
Harry and Jean travelled the length of Chile from the Atacama Desert, where it rained with flash floods, to Patagonia with its snow- capped peaks, and Chiloe Island and the Lake District, before flying to Easter Island and its statues. They saw two completely contrasting festivals a very local one in the desert and one on Easter Island celebrating its South Pacific links.

2011 Danube Summer Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia

The Danube in Summer can be combined with The Danube in Winter
Harry and Jean continued their journey on the Danube in summer from Budapest to the Black Sea through a total of 5 countries. As they travelled from west to east the countries became poorer with subsistence farming and fields full of sunflowers. Although mostly visiting cities, the boat travelled through the Iron Gate Gorge and the wetlands near the Danube delta.

2011 Rhine Cruise

Rhine Cruise in Winter – Basle to Amsterdam
A short talk covering trips into the Black Forest, Rhine castles, a magical new year in Koblenz, Cologne, Kinderdijk with its windmills and finally Amsterdam.

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