September 8, 2023

Oceania Marina - Bruges, Amsterdam, Bremerhaven

Three more beautiful warm days of old world charm and amazing finds!

Oceania Marina - Bruges, Amsterdam, Bremerhaven

Belgium - Bruges

Here's our view out the window when we opened the curtains.

We rode a shuttle from the ship to the cruise terminal. Then caught a taxi for a 20 minute drive into Bruges.

What a beautiful place! This is the most preserved medieval city in the world. The architecture is stunning. We walked around taking pictures. So many great photos, we could spend days here.

We found De Gouden Kroes, a fresh seafood restaurant. They had these tables on the narrow sidewalk on the narrow street and we asked to sit there.

I'll let the pictures tell the story. It was a cultural experience! Also fun and tasty.

Our taxi driver picked us up as planned at the Historium Museum. We got back to the ship and enjoyed some tea time munchies.

Two pictures as we sailed out of the port.

Tonight was another dinner at La Reserve. This one was called La Cuisine Bourgeoise. Simpel french cooking was the theme.

The staff all knows us, since we've come three times. They were super friendly and we had a great time.

Poultry Cream with Vegetable Julienne and Pistachio Diamonds.

Maine Lobster and Cheese Soufflé.

Dover Sole Fillet with Crustacean Mousse and French Black Truffes.

Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Stuffed Mushrooms, Tomatoes, Braised Lettuce, Château Potatoes and Madeira Sauce.

Nut-Crusted Brie de Meaux with Boston Lettuce Hearts.

Baked Alaska with Williams Pears and Chestnut Ice Cream.

We've so enjoyed these amazing meals. We sit at shared tables and enjoy lively conversation with other passengers. It's amazing how quickly three and a half hours can go by.

Netherlands - Amsterdam

When we opened the curtains we saw this.

I've been needing a charger for the Q2 and a electronic viewfinder for the M11.

We left the ship around 11a and caught an Uber out to the Leica Amsterdam store. It was about 40 minutes away and in the middle of an industrial park. We weren't sure we were at the right place.

Turns out they are in the process of moving to a new location and they have this temporary setup in their other offices.

On the way over t0 the Leica store I asked Mitzi, "What's the chance they have a Leica Q3?". We both knew it was 0%. But she said "100%!" to be positive. Well...

They found someone to help us. I asked for the Visoflex 2. She checked and they had it. I asked for the Q2 charger. She checked and they had it.

On a long shot I asked if they had the Leica Q3. I've been trying to get one for months but I was told it would be another 8 months or so there is such a backlog and very high demand.

She said actually they just got a shipment of 4 in yesterday and we could have one! We couldn't believe it. So exciting! So we took some pictures of each-other taking pictures of each-other. Yes we are nerdy :)

Then on another long shot I asked if they have the 35mm Summilux ASPH 1.4 lens for the M11. That's on major back order as well. She said they had one reserved for another customer, but since another one had arrived this morning, I could have it. Amazing!

So we got everything we wanted and that was an exciting time. We will always think of Leica Amsterdam as the camera store that made our wishes come true. Mitzi said I was giddy like a child and she loved seeing the genuine joy on my face.

Mitzi took these pictures when we got back to the cruise terminal.  Bikes and cigarretes..... this is how you know you are in Amsterdam.

We look like crazy Leica people. Maybe we are. We are enjoying taking pictures so much.

I was going to take the first picture with the Q3, and make it be Mitzi on her sewing machine. However she asked if the first picture could be of me. So that's the photo on the veranda. Then I got the second Q3 picture of Mitzi sewing:)

It's a long sail from the port in Amsterdam back to the sea.

A ferry was letting off passengers. There were hundreds of people on bicycles offloading. We think it's great how so many people ride their bikes to get around, such a good activity for the body and mind.

The new Summilux lens has a very shallow focus depth so I took it to dinner to see how it captures food. It's great!

Mitzi took the Q3 and it takes great pictures too! Oh my it's going to be hard to decide which Leica cameras to use now. We love all three of them.

Bon Appetit!

Late late night edition. After I finished today's blog post Mitzi was reviewing. Captured a couple of pictures with the M11 and the new Summilux lens. Loving it!

Germany - Bremerhaven

We had our usual lunch at noon – salad and salmon. We've been doing this everyday, skipping breakfast. It's been working well for us.

Oceania hired a shuttle bus to take us to the downtown part of Bremerhaven. We've never been in Germany before. There were a few surprises.

The harbor area has some old ships and we enjoyed walking around and seeing them.

Then we headed outside the harbor a few blocks and found a bakery named Lloyd's.  We walked in and saw some goodies. A mini pepporoni pizza, a chocolate muffin, and a bottle of water.

After she got it ready for us I pulled out my credit card. "No credit cards," she said. "Cash only. I'm so sorry." "Dollars?" I asked. "No, I'm sorry," she said. So we walked away empty handed.

We found another bakery and they had a VISA sticker so we figured we were good. And we were. However they literally didn't speak any English so there was a lot of pointing and grunting on both sides to get the ordering job done.

We got a few things, but as you can see Mitzi had to cry because it wasn't very good and she was so sad we couldn't get the better stuff! Actually I'm joking, she was just wiping the sweat off her face because it was so blazingly hot outside and we had been walking a lot :)

We walked around and found interesting things to look at.

This statue called Die Auswanderer doesn't mean "kill wanderers". It actually means "The Immigrants".

We happened on a locke right at the time some boats were going through. It was fun and interesting to watch the whole process in person. I've seen it in video before but never live.

We found a place that sold pretzels. It was great!

Mitzi here:  Damon had looked up how to say "thank you" today in German. Danke.  He would kindly tell merchants, "Dankee" after we made a purchase.  Our last purchase of the day was a slushie and water bottle because it was so hot.  The woman behind the counter said, "Danka."  We got back to the table and laughed and laughed about Damon saying Donkey all day :)

As we left the dock late in the afternoon we passed a huge area for shipping containers getting loaded on cargo ships. I counted 41 cranes. These are mammoth machines. And there are these huge crane trucks that drive around picking up containers and delivering them to the crane.

The scope of shipping was amazing. And this is just one relatively small port in the world. There is so much raw material, production, manufacturing, shipping in the world.

I became reflective. Most people in the world want to get up each day and do a good job. Take care of their family. Live a happy and peaceful life. Be productive and also enjoy life.

Then there are a relatively few people who have something wrong with them, who have this need and deep craving to control the lives of other people. They shut down commerce, shut down work, cause businesses to close, create monopolies. They get in the productive classes face and make things difficult and take away the things we produce.

We don't need these parasites who want to rule the world. We don't need them. We are so capable of producing and getting along peacefully.

So much of the current strife in the world, and it's always been this way to one degree or another, is because there is a parasite class that is trying and to a large part succeeding in controlling and taking things from the productive class. Atlas Shrugged.

As we sailed through the ship channels on our way to Norway we passed some cargo ships literally sailing into the sunset.