17 September 2019:
Montreal to New York:
Quebec and New England and New York

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We have arrived at the end of our cruise from Iceland, reaching the glorious cosmopolitan city of Montreal, one of the most diverse and vibrant places on the planet.

Under a spectacular blue sky, we went for a hike up The Main, Boulevard Saint-Laurent. Here are some of the sights of today:

Street Murals of Montreal

The singer-songwriter Cheryl Wheeler has a lovely song called “When Fall Comes to New England.” It is a piece of musical poetry about the spectacular colors and atmosphere of this part of the world in autumn,

Homage to Montreal’s secular saint, Leonard Cohen
Chinatown and beyond

She sings:

The nights are sharp with starlight

And the days are cool and clean

And in the blue sky overhead

The northern geese fly south instead

And leaves are Irish Setter red

Irish Setter red…

It is next-to-impossible to predict when the leaves will turn from green to red and yellow, or when the first frost will add icing to the fields. But we can hope.

This part of the world is where we live when we are not aboard ship, and we are very partial to this place and this time of year.

This cruise begins in Montreal, and then we are due to stop in Quebec City and Tadoussac on the Saint Lawrence River before beginning to head down the coast.

We will call at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island and then nip into Les Iles-de-la-Madeleine, the Magdalen Islands. This isolated archipelago is not quite French, not quite Anglophone, still holding on to some of its Acadian and colonial past.

From there we head over to Nova Scotia for calls at Louisbourg, the site of a massive French fortification that failed to prevent the British advance into Canada. And then to the big city of Halifax on that island.

Entering into New England proper, we are due to visit Bar Harbor, Maine and then make an appearance in Salem, Massachusetts which does not often receive cruise ships.

Our ship is due to sail into Cape Cod Bay and then transit the Cape Cod Canal to make a call at Oak Bluffs on the resort island of Martha’s Vineyard.

And then at the end of the cruise, an early morning all hands on deck sail-in to New York City.

Here’s our plan:

All photos and text Copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE ANY PHOTO OR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

15-16 September 2019:
Quebec City:
In the Shadow of the Chateau

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We arrived this morning for a two-day visit to beautiful Quebec City, the penultimate port of call on this cruise. On Tuesday we will complete our trip from Iceland with a call at Montreal.

The Chateau

Chateau Frontenac on a previous visit

There are few more attractive and enjoyable port towns than Quebec City. The food aboard ship is marvelous, but the lure of the bistrot and cafés is almost irresistible.

So, too, just the joy of time travel in the lower city, which is the oldest part of Quebec as well as strolls through the more ornate upper town which is dominated by the Chateau Frontenac, one of the iconic hotels of the world.

You can read more and see other photos from our many visits to Quebec City by clicking on the tag at the bottom of this blog entry.

All photos and text Copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE ANY PHOTO OR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

14 September 2019:
Saguenay, Quebec:
Up the Fjord

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

The Saguenay River and the small town of La Baie a few hours sailing up the Saguenay River from the Saint Lawrence is one of the great daytime voyages of the world, in the company of the Norwegian, Chilean, and Alaskan fjords.

Along the way–sometimes accompanied by beluga whales and other sea creatures–we pass abeam of Notre Dame du Saguenay, a statue of the Virgin Mary erected in 1881 by a traveling salesman who fell through the ice one winter and credited his survival to divine assistance.

Notre Dame du Saguenay. Photo by Corey Sandler

Cruise ships have come up the river to see the foliage and the statue for all the time since, and in recent decades the little town of La Baie has become a port of call for a small number of cruise ships each year. What sometimes seems like the entire town comes out to greet guests and escort them to the parks and trails and other enticements.

We reached the town of La Baie at lunchtime, and I went with a group of guests for a return visit to one of the most spectacular pageants anywhere: La Fabuleuese Histoire d’un Royaume, the Fabulous Story of a Kingdom.

More than a hundred local residents plus horses, cattle, a goat, a pig, and a gaggle of trained geese appeared on stage. Few shows on Broadwsy or the West End can match this production for its showmanship.

Here are a few scenes:

Photos by Corey Sandler

You can read more about previous visits to La Baie and the Saguenay fjord by clicking on the tags at the bottom of this blog post.

All photos and text Copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE ANY PHOTO OR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

13 September 2019:
Sept-Îles, Quebec:
Islands in the Stream

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

The Gulf of Saint Lawrence is considered the largest estuary in the world;

An estuary is a tidal inlet, a partially enclosed body of water that is influenced by rivers flowing into it as well as the open ocean.

The Saint Lawrence estuary begins at the eastern tip of Île d’Orléans, just downstream from Quebec City, the highest reach of ocean tides on the river.

At Sept-Iles, the river is considered to meet the Atlantic Ocean.

The town, now greatly dependent on natural resources and tourism, is the meeting point of French and Innu cultures.

The city of Sept-Îles extends along a natural bay whose entrance is protected by a natural rampart of seven islands: Grande Basque, Petite Basque, Corossol, Petite Boule, Grosse Boule, Manowin, and De Quen.

I went out today by inflatable Zodiac boat to visit a mussel farm on Grosse Boule. It was an exhilarating trip, briefly interrupted by sightings of two whales in the river.

Here is since if what we saw on the island today:

Grosse Boule island. Photos by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved

The scenery on the river is attractive, and there are many excursions for tourists. But Sept-Îles is primarily an industrial town; about 25,000 people live in the city, many of them directly or indirectly employed by the iron ore shipping or aluminum smelting industry.

Extraction of iron ore began in 1954 at a mine in Schefferville, more than 250 long and lonely miles to the north. The Schefferville mine closed in 1982, although new technologies and increased demand may result in a reopening.

Today most of the iron ore comes from Labrador City in far-western Labrador on the border with Quebec.

There are few roads into the wilderness; the ore is transported to Sept-Îles on the privately owned Quebec North Shore and Labrador Railway, loaded on ships and sent to processors around the world. The iron company is primarily owned by Rio Tinto.

All photos and text Copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE ANY PHOTO OR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

12 September 2019:
Havre St-Pierre, Quebec:
River Town

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Havre St-Pierre is in Quebec, which is the largest province of Canada on the mainland of the world’s second-largest nation.

Havre-St-Pierre is a big place, too. It sprawls across 3,900 square kilometers or 1,504 square miles, about the same size as the greater metropolitan area of Montreal.

But only about 3,500 people live in the municipality of Havre-St-Pierre, which works out to about 3 per square mile. Montreal, which lays ahead of us, has more than 4 million residents.

Silver Wind at the dock today

Today the port is in heavy use as a shipping port for iron and titanium ore.

Fishing concentrates on snow crab, scallops, and lobster in the Gulf, and salmon and trout in the freshwater rivers and lakes.

In 1857, the first European settlers were mostly French Acadians who came across from Les Isles de Madeleine, the Magdalen Islands.

Since 1948, the Quebec Iron and Titanium Company, owned by the Anglo-Australian company Rio Tinto Group, has mined deposits of ilmenite, a mineral composed of iron and titanium, at a site about 40 kilometers or 25 miles north.

Their railroad, the Chemin de fer de la Rivière Romaine, brings the ore to the port, where it is loaded aboard bulk carriers and shipped upriver to Sorel-Tracy near Montreal.

Titanium is used to make white pigments, and alloyed with iron, aluminium, vanadium, and molybdenum or other elements to produce strong, lightweight metals for aerospace, military, industrial, and medical products. It is also used in jewelry in pure form or as an alloy with gold.

The other form of mining in Havre St-Pierre is aimed at the wallets of tourists. A bit west up the river is the amazing natural phenomena of the Mingan Archipelago, the largest group of erosional monoliths in Canada, limestone monoliths formed over thousands of years by wave action, strong winds, and seasonal freezing and thawing.

I went with guests by boat today to Le Petite Íle au Marteau (Little Hammer Island) to see some of the monoliths and the old lighthouse that faces out into the wide mouth of the Saint Lawrence.

All photos and text Copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE ANY PHOTO OR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

11 September 2019:
Corner Brook, Newfoundland:
Mill Town

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

At long last, land.

We arrived about noon in Newfoundland, after five days st sea from Iceland.

The glories of Atlantic Canada are numerous, and Corner Brook is not far from the spectacular Gros Morne park and other natural attractions.

But here in town, the roads near the port are criss-crossed by huge flatbed trucks carrying logs and dominated by the massive plume of a very large paper mill.

Silver Wind at the dock in Corner Brook today, upwind of the paper mill

The good news is that you can set your watch (or to be more accurate these days, double-check your cell phone clock) by listening for the factory whistle: the original century-old steam whistle sounds at 8 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon.

I went with guests to visit some of the “outports” of Newfoundland.

Bottle Cove, the Newfy-adjusted name for Bateau Cove (Boat Cove) when the French were here

Corner Brook is located on the Bay of Islands at the mouth of the Humber River; it is the principal commercial center for all of western and northern Newfoundland, and also the administrative headquarters of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nations government.

Outside of town on Crow Hill is the Captain James Cook National Historic Site.

Yes, that Captain Cook.

In 1767, the famous British explorer and cartographer surveyed the Bay of Islands and was the first to map the area.  At the memorial are some copies of his charts, and an attractive view of the Bay of the Islands—the one here in Newfoundland, not the one in New Zealand.

All photos and text Copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE ANY PHOTO OR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

6-10 September 2019:
The Answer is Blowing in the Wind

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

In case you were wondering…Silver Wind is safe and sound and headed for Newfoundland where we expect to call at Corner Brook tomorrow, 11 September.

When we sailed out of Reykjavik five days ago, our plans were different. The itinerary called for three days at sea and then calls at St. John’s, Newfoundland and a brief return to Europe at St-Pierre and Miquelon, a French-governed set of islands nearby.

That is, until this happened:

Actually, that was only part of the story.

We had Hurricane Dorian making its way up the east coast of the United States and over top of Nova Scotia. And to our east, we had another storm, Hurricane Gabrielle, out to sea but effectively putting us in a sandwich of storms.

Our captain and crew took good care of us, threading the needle between the “disturbances” but the course we took was far from our original plan. Our three-day crossing became a five day trip.

The seas were…as some mariners say…a bit lumpy. But we have made it across the pond.

Land is in sight, and more blog entries to follow.

Copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE ANY PHOTO OR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

4-5 September 2019:
Reykjavik, Iceland to the New World:
Crossing the Atlantic, Part 2

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We arrived 4 September in Reykjavik, the capital of the island nation of Iceland.

Strokkur geyser near Reykjavik. Photo by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved

To those guests leaving us here, safe travels. And welcome aboard to new friends.

We went this morning to visit the country’s newest man-made attraction, FlyOver Iceland, which opened last week near downtown. It is a spectacular simulation of a helicopter (or hang glider) tour of Iceland.

Although I have been to Iceland many times, there are still many, many truly amazing places that are all-but-inaccessible. Hanging waterfalls, sulfur-dusted volcanoes, hidden valleys, glaciers, and snowfields. Oh, and puffins.

Visitors to the attraction sit in theater-like seats–with a seat belt–that move into the 20-meter (66-foot) spherical screen and then rise, descend, twist, turn, and tilt with the scenery.

This is state-of-the-art entertainment in every sense. We are still soaring…

FlyOver Iceland
A scene from FlyOver Iceland

Onward to Canada (with a Detour to France)

The previous cruise began in London, and we leave from Iceland to complete our transatlantic crossing. Ahead of us, after three days at sea, our first landfall will be in St. John’s, Newfoundland which is often cited as the nearest part of North America to Europe. It’s close enough.

From there–and stay with me here–we make a brief visit to France. That is, we are scheduled to stop at the remote island St-Pierre in the St-Pierre and Miquelon islands. These rocky places are all that remains of New France in what is now Canada. France has held on to them through some very thin years; today there is a bit of tourism to see a bit of history and for some guests a way to check off another place on their bucket list.

From New France we head into French Canada, with stops in the Province of Quebec at Havre-St.-Pierre, Sept-Îles, Saguenay, and then resplendent Quebec City and cosmopolitan Montreal.

Here’s our plan:

All photos and text Copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE ANY PHOTO OR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

3 September 2019:
Heimaey, Iceland:
The Fiery Home Island of Vestmannaeyjar

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Heimaey is the principal settlement of the Westmann islands, a small, mostly quiet, occasionally very hot place in Iceland.

This is the only inhabited land in the Vestmannaeyjar islands. In January 1973, a volcanic eruption destroyed half the town and threatened to ruin its essential harbor.

At 1:55 in the morning, the middle of Heimaey began to shake, and lava emerged from new fissures that stretched about 1,600 meters or one mile from one shore to the other. Lava fountains spouted as much as 150 meters, or 500 feet high.

Just east of town, a new cone began to build. Because it was near an old church, the locals called the new volcano Kirkjufell (Church Mountain), but the official Icelandic place-naming committee chose Eldfell (Fire Mountain) instead.

Strombolian eruptions deposited thick tephra over the northern half of the island, building a cone of 200 meters or 660 feet.

The lava flow was in some places 100 meters or 330 feet thick. Not something you’d want to try and hold back with a shovel.

It’s not like this is something unexpected. Iceland is by considered the most active volcanic area in the world, sitting astride the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, where the North American and Eurasian Plates are moving west and east respectively, and also over the Iceland hotspot, a funnel to volcanic matter.

It is estimated that a third of all the basaltic lava in recorded history has been produced by Icelandic eruptions.

We made it through the lava-narrowed mouth of the harbor at noontime, with perhaps 10 meters or 33 feet clearance on each side. And then I went with guests on a very strenuous, very exhilarating hike up Eldfell, the new volcano in town. Here is some of what we saw today:

The narrow neck of the harbor after Silver Wind had backed into place at the pier
At the pier in Heimaey
Climbing…
Heimaey is home to about five thousand humans and about eight million puffins. This chick had been rescued and was being cared for before release

All photos and text Copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE ANY PHOTO OR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

2 September 2019:
Seyðisfjörður, Iceland:
The Pearl in a Shell

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

About 36 hours after sailing from Scotland, we arrived at the east coast of Iceland and the port of Seyðisfjörður, which–if you can get past a few extra Icelandic characters–is pronounced just the way it looks. SAY-dis-fuhr-dir.

This is one of Iceland’s most picturesque towns with a collection of 19th century wooden homes, surrounded by beautiful nature. Poet Matthías Johannessen called Seyðisfjörður a ‘pearl enclosed in a shell’.

Like many remote places, it exists because of its protected harbor, established by foreign merchants, mostly from Denmark, and fishermen from Norway. It’s a small town of about 665 people, spread across 82 square miles or 213 square kilometers.

Settlement traces back to the early period of habitation in Iceland. The ruin of a stave church nearby has been carbon-dated to the 10th century, with earlier graves from the 8th century.

On this visit, I went with guests on an adventurous hike up the side of the mountains to visit a valley of waterfalls. It was a treat for the eyes, and an ache to my knees. Here is some of what we saw today:

The Valley of Waterfalls
An abandoned whaling station and village near the mouth of the fjord. All photos by Corey Sandler, 2019. All rights reserved

Seyðisfjörður was home to British and American forces during World War II  and some of the elements of the bases can be seen around the fjord, including a disused landing strip. And this was one of the few places that saw actual combat, or at least an attack, during World War 2.

You can read more about this place by clicking on the Seyðisfjörður tag at the bottom of this blog.

All photos and text Copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE ANY PHOTO OR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

31 August 2019:
Stornoway, Isle of Lewis and Harris:
A Tweedy Place

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Stornoway is on an island off of an island.

Just to make things even more complicated, it has two names: Lewis and Harris. It’s just one island, but it helps confuse outsiders, which may be the point.

Lewis and Harris in the Outer Hebrides is the largest island of Scotland and the third-largest island in the British Isles, after Britain and Ireland.

Tobermory: So Near, Yet So Far

We had expected to make a port call on 30 August at Tobermory on the Ile of Mull in the Inner Hebrides, but we ran afoul of some foul weather. We arrived at Tobermory in the early morning to find wind gusts as high as 50 knots.

Our captain attempted to find safe shelter in a cove and wait to see if the winds would subside, but even in the cove we were dragging our anchor and not safely stopped. And so we sailed away from Tobermory and headed for Stornoway where we arrived at dinnertime and overnighted at the pier.

Stornoway: The Port After the Storm

The town of Stornoway was founded by Vikings in the early 9th century, with the Old Norse name Stjórnavágr. The town grew up around a sheltered natural harbor well placed at a central point on the island.

Trade developed across the island, and onward to the mainland of Scotland and to Norse settlements elsewhere.

The two-name single island is a lovely place. I went with guests on a drive through the northern part, Lewis. Here are some scenes from today of the rolling moors, the prehistoric Standing Stones of Callanish, and an ancient broch:

All photos by Corey Sandler, 2019. All rights reserved.

Local gourmands will point you to a few specialties of the region, including Stornoway Black Pudding.

It’s not a pudding, at least in the dessert sense. It is traditionally made from beef suet, Scottish oatmeal, and pork blood. It has a firm texture and when cooked is said to be moist, not greasy and savoury, not spicy.

You might like it.

I’ll stick to butterscotch pudding.

For centuries, islanders in the Outer Hebrides have hand-weaved a distinctive woolen cloth: Harris Tweed. By tradition, Harris Tweed is hand woven on a manually-powered treadle loom at each weaver’s home.

The weaver arranges hundreds of heddles to a specified pattern before the beam of warp yarn is tied into the loom by hand. The weaver then sets up the weft threads, pulling bobbins of yarn through a series of guides to be woven into the warp threads by a flashing “rapier.”

I have no idea what that means. But I do have a nice Harris Tweed sport coat back home.

Today we visited a traditional weaver:

All photos and text Copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE ANY PHOTO OR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

29 August 2019:
Londonderry / Derry, Northern, Ireland:
Knife’s Edge

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

The story of Londonderry helps explain the complex background to the long history of conflict between Protestants and Catholics, English and Irish. Its commercial roots are based on investments by guilds and merchants in London, and they added the prefix of their home town to the original name of Derry.

You can read more about Londonderry / Derry and see more photos by clicking on the tag at the bottom of this blog.

But in summary: my view includes a belief that nothing in history is written in black and white; it is all shades of gray.

Today in Northern Ireland we had an appropriately gray day, and so I began my tour thinking in monochrome. Here are some photos I took in the predominantly Catholic district of Bogside, showing a few of the murals that memorialize The Troubles as seen from that side:

Bogside

Three monochrome images of murals in Bogside
Bogside from across the river

Splashes of Color at the Londonderry Guildhall

And then I returned to one of my favorite places in this part of the world, the Londonderry Guildhall, for some splashes of color. They were preparing for a recital on the massive organ in the main hall, and the pipes were glowing in anticipation.

The pipe organ
Some of the wondrous stained glass windows that tell one side of the story of Londonderry/Derry, that of the guilds of London who came here to develop…and change…the region.

All photos and text Copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE ANY PHOTO OR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

28 August 2019:
Belfast, Northern Ireland:
The Titanic Rises Again

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Belfast, with a population of about 600,000 in the metropolitan area, was a center of the Irish linen, tobacco processing, ropemaking, and shipbuilding industries, a major player in the Industrial Revolution.

After a painful decline in the second half of the 20th century, it has seen a bit of recovery in aerospace and military industry.

Today, Belfast is the capital and largest city of Northern Ireland, which—like it or not for some residents—is part of the United Kingdom.

The main yard, Harland and Wolff, built a ship you may have heard of: the RMS Titanic. The Wolff shipyard is now the location of the world’s largest dry dock, where the giant cranes Samson and Goliath stand out against Belfast’s skyline. Most of its work now involves support for offshore wind and oil platforms.

But in the early 20th century, this was the biggest and most productive shipyard in the world, and Belfast was at the heart of the Industrial Revolution. Harland and Wolff became one of the largest shipbuilders in the world, employing as many as 35,000 workers.

Almost forgotten—except amongst locals—is the fact Belfast was heavily bombed by Germany during World War II. In one raid, on the night of Easter Tuesday, April 15, 1941, two hundred Luftwafe bombers attacked and about one thousand people were killed and tens of thousands left homeless.

Apart from London, this was the greatest loss of life in a night raid during the Blitz. It had been thought that Belfast was out of reach of German planes, but once France fell, the Luftwaffe was able to fly from there.

The primary targets were the textile works which manufactured uniforms and other equipment, munitions factories, and the shipyards.

Today the shipyard no longer builds titanic ships and the linen factories are almost all gone. The flashiest modern attraction is Titanic Belfast, which opened in 2012 to coincide with the centenary of the incomplete maiden voyage of the luxury liner Titanic.

The angular design was intended to evoke the image of ship. It stands 126 feet (38 meters) high, the same height as Titanic’s hull.

Locals have already applied their own nickname: The Iceberg.

The museum tells the stories of the ill-fated RMS Titanic and her sister ships RMS Olympic and HMS Britannic.

And all around the handsome city of Belfast you can see some of the wealth that the shipyard and factories brought to the city.

The Crown Liquor Saloon is the only drinking establishment in the U.K. owned by the National Trust. It was decorated by Italian artisans brought to Belfast to build churches, and with some of the paneling and artwork of the great ships made here.
The Grans Opera House
The Titanic Museum at the shipyard in Belfast
SS Nomadic, the surviving First Class tender for the Titanic

All photos and text Copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE ANY PHOTO OR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

27 August 2019:
Dublin, Ireland:
Once More to the Fair City

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Dublin’s Fair City, memorialized in song, is a lovely place to stroll. It includes several of my essentials: a river, handsome buildings, and a university. Oh, and a brewery.

Today was a glorious day in a beautiful city and we went to explore grand sights outdoors and indoors: Grafton Street and the National Gallery amongst them. Amongst the things I explored were ghost signs from times past. Here is some of what I saw through my lenses today:

Stephens Green on Grafton Street
Pure Chemicals and Laboratory Apparatus just might lead to Insomnia
And the cure might involve a barista and a donut
Or a glass of stout. Guinness is the very big boy in town and in all of Ireland, but they are not alone
And for some, the cure lies in retail therapy

You can read more about Dublin on various visits by clicking on the tag at the bottom of this blog or on this link: http://blog.sandlerbooks.com/2019/08/20/20-august-2019-dublin-irelandnot-fade-away/(opens in a new tab)

Trinity College in Dublin

All photos and text Copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE ANY PHOTO OR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

26 August 2019:
St. Mary’s, Isles of Scilly:
The Far West of Great Britain

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We have sailed along the bottom of Cornwall to its southwestern tip and then to the Isles of Scilly, about 28 miles or 45 kilometers out to sea.

There are about 145 islands in total, only 5 inhabited.

We came to port in Hugh Town on the island of Saint Mary’s. There’s also Tresco, Saint Martin’s, Bryher, and Saint Agnes, which is the southernmost point in England.

Hugh Town is like traveling back in time forty, fifty, a hundred years ago. We moved in and out of the clouds, and I began to think–and eventually photograph–in black-and-white. Here are photos from today:

Silver Wind at anchor between St. Mary’s and Tresco islands
All photos by Corey Sandler 2019, all rights reserved

The Isles of Scilly have one of the most moderate climates in the U.K., tempered by North Atlantic Current—a finger of the Gulf Stream. Frost or snow is rare.

The current extends northeastward from Newfoundland Rise, a submarine ridge off the Grand Banks of Canada. The stream transports more warm tropical water to northern latitudes than any other boundary current.

That is why winter in London is relatively moderate, even though London is at about the same latitude as Winnipeg, Manitoba or Red Bay, Labrador in Canada. Trust me, Labrador and Manitoba are very cold places.

And what do they do with that extra bit of warmth in the Isles of Scilly?

The chief agricultural product is cut flowers, mostly daffodils, harvested months ahead of the mainland.

Other than daffodils, the islands are mostly low heather and bare rock, lashed by Atlantic storms from time to time.

All photos and text Copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE ANY PHOTO OR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

23-24 August 2019:
London to Iceland:
Crossing the Atlantic, Part 1

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We came into London Friday morning, passing through Tower Bridge with perfect time to (briefly) disrupt the morning rush hour.

This time the weather was glorious. We passed the London Flood Barrier at about 6:45am and through Tower Bridge an hour later:

We leave Saturday in the early evening, which should provide entertainment for Londoners and all aboard ship.

To guests leaving us here, we wish safe travels. And welcome aboard to new friends.

The London Flood Barrier
Tower Bridge from the navigational bridge of Silver Wind

Once we were through the bridge and tied up to HMS Belfast in the river, we went ashore to visit the Sky Garden at 20 Fenchurch in the City of London. Here are some of the spectacular views from the 35th floor:

Views of the Thames and London from the 35th floor

From here we head along the south coast of the United Kingdom to make a visit at St. Mary’s on the Isle of Scilly, one of the westernmost parts of England. From there we will continue to Ireland for visits to the great city of Dublin, then back to the UK for Belfast and Londonderry in Northern Ireland.

More island lay ahead: Tobermory on the Isle of Mull and Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis, both offshore of Scotland.

We make a left turn and cross over to Seyðisfjörður on the mainland of the island nation of Iceland, and then to Heimaey, the home island of the
Vestmannaeyjar archipelago in the south part of Iceland, and from there on to the capital city of Reykjavik.

Here’s our plan:

All photos and text Copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE ANY PHOTO OR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

21 August 2019:
Holyhead, Wales:
Easy for You to Say

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We’ve arrived in the northwest corner of Wales, a lesser-known piece of the United Kingdom. It’s a place of legends and mountains and kings and princes. The Prince of Wales, right?

There are two versions of the name of the place: Holyhead in English, and Caergybi in Welsh. And the English name is pronounced “holly” although it means “holy”; you can stick to Welsh if that is easier for you.

Holyhead is the largest town in the county of Isle of Anglesey on the Irish Sea. Except that it is not actually on the island of Anglesey, which lies to its east.

And it’s not that large, either: about 11,400 people.

Here are some pictures from today:

Holyhead is located on Holy Island, connected by a bridge to Anglesey, which in turn is connected by bridge to the mainland of Wales.

And speaking of difficult names, in the outskirts of Holyhead is the location of the little hamlet with the long monicker, by some accounts the longest in the world. Say it with me:
Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.

There will be a test later.

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch is said to mean “St. Mary’s Church in the hollow of the white hazel near the rapid whirlpool of Llandysilio of the red cave.”

Knowing that makes it so much easier to pronounce.

All photos and text Copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE ANY PHOTO OR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

20 August 2019:
Dublin, Ireland:
Not Fade Away?

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Dublin’s Fair City (where the girls are so pretty)* is just that, a vibrant university town with some high-tech industries and an historic brewery that makes a drink that is pretty much in a class of its own. I went today with guests for a pilgrimage to the Guinness Storehouse, a brewing “experience” that tells the story of this company and culminates with a “jar” of stout beer.

*The opening lines of the iconic song, “Molly Malone.”

Here is some of what we saw:

Coming into the city past the Samuel Beckett Bridge, fashioned in the shape of an Irish harp
The Guinness brewery, which lies outside of the tourist attraction that is the Guinness Storehouse
It starts with water, barley, and yeast
Some of the old brewery equipment, recast as exhibits
Surprise: There’s a gift shop, too, if you’d like to carry or wear free advertising. All photos by Corey Sandler, 2019. All rights reserved

Trinity College

Queen Elizabeth I of England established Trinity College in 1592 as a solely Protestant university. She also ordered that the Catholic Saint Patrick’s and Christ Church cathedrals be converted to Protestant.

These are among the many seeds of The Troubles.

Trinity is a handsome place, a bustling city of students. And it is surrounded with cafes and shops, most of them filled with young people. The college and its parent University of Dublin has about 15,000 students.

Today Roman Catholics and indeed all other religious denominations are allowed to enroll.

The chapel bears the tattered standards from many battles; the flags are not restored and the intention is to leave them in place until they disintegrate.

It would seem appropriate to hope that the Troubles of Ireland will similarly fade away.

Tankers of Guiness at the pier.

All photos and text Copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE ANY PHOTO OR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

19 August 2019:
Belfast, Northern, Ireland:
Birthplace of a Legend

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Belfast, with a population of about 600,000 in the metropolitan area, was a center of the Irish linen, tobacco processing, ropemaking, and shipbuilding industries, a major player in the Industrial Revolution.

In the early 20th century, Harland and Wolff was the biggest and most productive shipyard in the world, employing as many as 35,000 workers, and Belfast was at the heart of the Industrial Revolution.

Harland and Wolff, built a vessel you may have heard of: the RMS Titanic.

The shipyard is now the location of the world’s largest dry dock, where the giant cranes Samson and Goliath stand out against Belfast’s skyline.

Just recently, the current owners called it quits. Workers are protesting, but the yard’s future is uncertain. Samson and Goliath are probably safe as landmarks.

Here are some photos from today:

The flashiest modern attraction is Titanic Belfast, which opened in 2012 to coincide with the centenary of the incomplete maiden voyage of the luxury liner Titanic.

The angular design was intended to evoke the image of ship, or perhaps the iceberg that did her in.

I went with guests to Mount Stewart, the family home of Edith, Lady of Londonderry

It’s a not-at-all modest place, somewhat similar to the grand cottages of Newport, Rhode Island in the United States.

Mount Stewart
The family chapel, with several Order of the Garter banners

You can read more about Belfast by clicking on the tab at the bottom of this blog.

Belfast’s impressive City Hall
SS Nomadic, the last of the White Star Fleet, built as a tender for the Titanic. In the background is the Titanic museum, depending on your point of view resembling either a ship’s prow or an iceberg.

All photos and text Copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE ANY PHOTO OR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

17-18 August 2019:
Londonderry / Derry, Northern Ireland:
Stroke City

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Princes govern all things–save the wind, wrote Victor Hugo.

And so we arrived Saturday near Londonderry/Derry in Northern Ireland, which was not our original plan.

We had expected to spend yesterday, 16 August, at anchor offshore of Galway, Ireland but when we arrived in the bay the winds and the seas were ungovernable, and instead we turned about and headed out to sea. Our captain managed to secure a temporary parking space for us at an oil and chemical loading pier outside of Londonderry/Derry. It is not the most handsome pier in the world, but we are safely and securely tied up for the day and will move Sunday morning to our planned dock closer to town.

Silver Wind at her temporary safe pier near Londonderry/Derry

I went into Londonderry/Derry today to revisit the handsome Guildhall, which is emblematic of the story of this city of divided histories.

Here are some photos I took today:

Londonderry’s Guildhall, built by the guilds and associations that brought money and power from London here to the north of Ireland in the late 19th century
All photos by Corey Sandler, 2019. All rights reserved

Londonderry is the second-largest city in Northern Ireland, home to about 93,000; well behind the 483,000 in the Northern Ireland capital city of Belfast.

The name Derry is an anglicisation of the Irish name Daire or Doire meaning “oak grove”. In 1613, the city was granted a Royal Charter by King James I and as a reflection of the funding it received from the London guilds, it added London to Derry in its name.

Its official name remains Londonderry.

But like many, many things in this part of the world it depends on who you talk to.

In general, Nationalists—those who would prefer a unified Ireland bringing together Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and who are predominantly Roman Catholic—drop the “London” and call the city “Derry.”

Many Unionists—those who want to maintain Northern Ireland as a part of the United Kingdom and who are predominantly but not exclusively Protestant—subtly, or not-so-subtly, keep the link to the UK out front by calling the place “Londonderry.”

A local broadcaster tried to popularize the unfortunate nickname of Stroke City as in Derry-Stroke-Londonderry. It’s not a pretty name.

Things are greatly—though not perfectly—calmer today than they were at the heart of the “Troubles” that obsessed most of the 20th century. A flare-up early in 2019 reminded people on both sides of the stroke of the bad old times.

All photos and text Copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE ANY PHOTO OR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)