Kiel Canal

First of all, having already put the clocks forward 1-hour thus losing an hours sleep, we have to put them forward again so we lose sleep one more time. Lack of sleep always seems to be make me tired so this morning, I had to have a full English Breakfast again with the promise that I would have no lunch.

Anyway, today was a big day for everybody as we were to enjoy a day-time transit of the Kiel Canal which slices right through Germany taking us from the North Sea into the Baltic Sea so saving ships having to go round the top and cutting off 250 miles.

The Canal, which actually runs from Brunsbottel to Keil through the land of Schleswih-Holsteing which is the part of Germany adjoining Denmark. It’s hard to say when the Kiel Canal actually came into being as it originally started as the Eider Can in the late 1700’s but was deemed too small as ships grew in size and so after a great deal of work spanning 12 years, the canal was widened and became the Kaiser Wilhelm I Canal in 1895. Again it ‘became’ too small and had to widened again until it reached it’s current size in the 1960’s. Today the canal is more commonly known as the Kiel Canal (with locks at either end), which is now 97 Kilometres in length, 12 metres deep and 164 meters wide.

Obviously, there’s more to be said about the canal but there are far better sources than anything I could hope to write, and anyway, I’m on HOLIDAY – WooHoo.

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So, we reached the first lock at around 06:30 (ish) and made our way through and into the Canal and we proceeded to sail through Germany. The whole transit took about 9-hours to complete and on the way were priviliged to witness the most beautiful backdrops and even had the chance to have a nose into people back gardens as went by 🙂

It was weird as we sailed by looking at and waving at all the people on the banks and in their gardens and even on the bridges. Being a Sunday, all the locals made of most of the, by now, glorious weather, and came down to watch the cruise ship sailing through the fields and past the gardens, and they waved at us. The experience was surreal with everybody waving at us and us waving at everybody.

Anyway, while all this was happening, Debbie, Nick and Peggy took themselves off to play Dolphin racing (!) and Bingo. They drew even on the Dolphins but at the Bingo, and much to the annoyance of all the wrinklies, Nick managed to win the full house game and won £66, which was paid out in £1 coins. All the more galling, he borrowed the entry fee from his Mum. The money very quickly found its way into his safe.

As intimated earlier, the weather improved and turned into a glorious day made all the better by the fact that our balcony was on the sunny side of the ship so we just sat out there enjoying a drink or two, as you do, and watched Germany and its people drift by. I have to say however that as we were sailing along we kept getting these aromas of BBQ’s which did make us a little hungry and wishing we out having our own BBQ.

After a while however , I worked out that the BBQ aroma was with us, All_The_Time which go me thinking that maybe we should check out the sun deck at the top of the ship. So we did, and lo and behold there they were having a BBQ. So, we tucked into Spare Ribs, Chips, Cakes and Beer before finally returning to wallow on our balcony once more and again watch the world drift by.

All to quickly, we through the canal and out into the Baltic Sea where we caught up with an MSC Cruise Ship and followed her for a couple of hours by which time we needed to get ready for Dinner: we were after all starting to get hungry again as it had by now been a couple of hours since afternoon tea where croissants with ham and cheese followed by sticky buns was the order of the day.

Before got ready however, Debbie and I decided we would walk four laps of the ship, which is 1-mile, after which we rewarded ourselves with a nice glass of wine for Debby and Brandy for yours truly. It was at this point I looked down at my ankles and noticed that they were more than a little swollen. I pointed this out to Debbie who gleefully advised me that I had Canckles: confirmation that I am rapidly becoming one of the wrinklies 😦

I so needed to eat to cheer myself up, so off to Dinner we went, just the four courses today. After this we went to a show where we saw the most brilliant all round variety entertainer, Brett Kite. Singing, comedy and illusions, he we was excellent: I would pay money to see him. After that, it was off to the Observatory Lounge for a couple of rather large brandy’s as night rolled in.

And so, off to bed. Tomorrow brings with it a full day at sea in what promises to be a gloriously sunny and calm day . Better still, we have wine tasting in the afternoon (normally at these events, Debbie finds a wine she likes then spends the rest of the session tasting it).

Go To Helsinki >>>>

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