Tripoli, Lybia - Ship's Tour: Leptis Magna

There is one destination I deeply regret, that

US-Citizens will have no chance to see it, as they are not allowed to enter Lybia
and
us, as Ghaddafi unfortunately requests a legalized translation of the travel documents.

Since then most cruise lines skip Tripoli and so none of us has anymore a chance to see Leptis Magna.

After Egypt (incl. camel excrements, corrupt policemen, unmotivated guides, outrageous beggars and dealers, missing infrastructures) we were afraid of Lybia as Communist country.

But it was the cleanest place we saw. The people were nice and polite.

So I wish I could make again such a shore excursion:













Local folk dancers came to show us their culture and to include into their dances:







He was of course also avaiable...



It was really nice. Verry sorry that I cannot see more of Libya.

Regards,
HeinBloed

Amsterdam, Netherlands - Private Tour: Marken-Volendam-Schermer-Amsterdam

NCL did not present any shore excursion in the internet so that we decide to make our own arrangements.

I found Marius' Dagtoertaxi in the internet.

For 125 EUR for four hours I wanted to experience Holland like I know from the old paintings.

We had laugh when we saw the sign for HeinBloed. Marius thought due to my domain heinbloed-on-tour.de that that's a company going on company excursion.



Marius is totally great as he knows exactly what I wanted to see like...





Our first stop was Marken: Pure Holland!!!

Only the weather was not good enough to stay longer as it started to rain.









We passed Monnickendam which remind me very much to Delft.

As it become colder and colder we decided to have some drink in Volendam (not on the VOLENDAM of HAL) and went to the Hotel Spaander which was very nice inside.







And who loves to have some pictures in authentic Dutch folk dresses: just opposite of the hotel.

Marius told us that Volendam has a true "American-Cruiser-Infrastructure" with a lot of souvenir shops.













We continue to Edam - but the cheese market is only every Wednesday.

Originally we wanted to go to Zaanse Schans to see the windmills. Marius explained that the Zaanse Schans does only have the windmills for industrial purposes. The original purposes of the windmills is the uplifting of water to dry out the country. Therefore he suggested to go to Schermer instead which was brilliant idea.

And as Bruno's Mother has never been in Amsterdam we appreciated Marius' flexibility to make a small city tour through the city on the way back to our ship.







video

video

The admission fee for the Windmill Museum is 4 EUR and it worth.

When we get out you see the difference in the weather around.







Through little nice villiages whose names are not like the HAL-fleet we are heading to Amsterdam.

The first sight was the Rijksmuseum.







And of course Grachten (Canals).

Like the paintings....



As all stores in Amsterdam were open there was only a traffic chaos in the city. We decided to return to the ship via Java-Island to do some shipspotting activities.

Although we had one hour more. Marius did not charge anything extra. It was a great tour and I would highly recommend you to book him if you like such countryside tours. There is no nicer tour and no nicer driver-guide.

Badankt en tot ziens, Marius!!! See you next time again!!!







In the Cruise Termianl you'll find all kind of souvenirs which you might missed.

The English comments will continue with leaving Amsterdam.



We had a great time with Marius and highly recommend him. We booked him already for a transfer on May 21, 2009 to Rotterdam. So all cruisers with plans on this day: forget it!!! He is ours!!!

Regards,
HeinBloed

Molli-Train, Germany (Bad Doberan and Kühlungsborn)

Willkommen in Deutschland!
Welcome to Germany!


Molli-Train stands for "Mecklenburgische Bäderbahn" which means the railways which connects the seaside-resorts in Mecklenburg.

It starts about 1/2 hour by car away from Warnemünde in Bad Doberan.



The train itself you should take your own pictures...

and while you enjoy the landscape you have some beverages and snacks in the Saloon Car:



Subject you are coming at the right time you can see the endless yellow canola fields:



The Ghost Woods:



Or little chapels in the woods:



Maybe you remember 2007 when G8-summit was in Heiligendamm:





Maybe you want to have a coffee (subject budget permit it...) where your (former) President George W. Bush had his coffee during the summit:

Grand Hotel Heiligendamm

http://www.hotelheiligendamm.de/de/home/index.htm


Perfect for those who loves formal lunches during their shore excursion as well or who thinks that the spa section on their ship is not large enough...

Kühlungsborn is the terminal.

http://www.kuehlungsborn.de/?initLang=en

There are two stations: Kühlungsborn Ost, where you close can find a bike-rental for spontaneous excursions from here alongside of the coast. The promenade and shopping-area is close from this station.





The final stop is Kühlungsborn West where you can find a little Museums Coffee Store with the train company's exhibition.

More information of this route you can find on Molli-Train's website:

http://www.molli-bahn.de/

As the website is only in German here the major information:

Price (2009):
only valid on Molli-Train - not valid on transportation to Bad Doberan!!!

one-way: Adult (older than 14) : 6.00 EUR, Children (6-14): 4.00 EUR, Family (2 adults + 3 children): 17.00 EUR, Children (younger than 6): free

return: Adult: 11.00 EUR, Children: 8.00 EUR, Family 30.00 EUR

Subject you find some more who are joining you on this tour: Grouptickets available for 15 persons and onward.

The summer schedule 2009 is published here:

http://www.molli-bahn.de/Sommer-Fahrplan.10.0.html

You can assist the operator and stay in the locomotive:

it's 25.00 EUR pp and way.

You need to prebook this option.

Subject you do not speak English: just mail me your itineries and I can forward the message in German for you.

When I went 2007 on this train: no credit cards accepted - just cash!!!

Once you found the station - follow the signpost to "Fahrkartenausgabe" (Ticket counter):



Find this building:



On the right side you see in the old Gothic German letters "Abort" which is the old German word for Toilets. It's your last chance, as the train does not have any toilets onboard.

Before you can go find this entrance:



You need the key to the toilets and you need to pay for the use.

But when you buy the tickets together maybe they give you free as you identify yourself as passenger.

After your stay in Bad Doberan you might want to see visit the Doberaner Münster (Doberan Cathedrale):

http://www.doberanermuenster.de/foreign/english/en_index.html

You get off at Stadtmitte (City Center - but do not expect too much... we are in Germany!!!):



and follow the signposts for "Münster":



Now you need to know how to get from Warnemünde to Bad Doberan:

Three practical options:

1. by car (car rental)
2. by bus (scenic route)
3. by train

for very cruisers on excersise: rent a bike from Warnemünde...

I would say: it depends a little what do you want to do later the day.

That's my personal opinion:

If I am travelling far away from home I want see as much as possible.
Others like to enjoy small things - I like to see as much as I can. I can sleep at home.

Bad Doberan is west of Warnemünde

so in combination with

Wismar
Schwerin
Lübeck
and
Rostock City Center

it's a good combination.

I would rent a car and drive myself around. But that's your decision depending to your preferences and budget because it's your holiday.

The easiest is to rent with Hertz as they are next to the cruise terminal and deliver on days when a ship is in town.

Subject you are not using the ferry to the other bank of the river Warnow there is only one way to get out of the Cruise Terminal area.

Turn right towards "Bad Doberan":
(You can click on the pictures to get them large!)



Then you make a left turn after the signpost "Bad Doberan" again.



The next is to the right again towards "Bad Doberan". It's a scenic route. The comments on the picture was made for a friend going to Lübeck first and doing Bad Doberan on the return.



Once you are in Bad Doberan you follow the signpost for "Bäderbahn Molli".



Parking at Bad Doberan Station is not free of charge. Buy a ticket (exact change in EUR requested) here at this machine. Just enter until your expected time of return and pay the amount in the window.



Put your ticket here behind the front window:


Another option is taking the bus.

The bus starts at Warnemünde Werft (= Shipyard):

15 Minutes walk between water and tracks...



The Cruise Terminal is located where the origin of the steam is...



Sidewalks are available all the way to Warnemünde Werft.



Other poster who crossed the rails before reaching Warnemünde Werft might walk on a wrong way where they claimed that it was dirty and no sidewalk but that's not the way I described.







You can also follow their suggestion to walk through residential areas which is a little longer.

or

1 stop with the commuter train (no extra ticket required)

How you get to the train station you might find here:

http://heinbloed-cruiseguides.blogspot.com/2009/01/warnemunde-germany-train-station-guide.html



You need to get on the bridge to cross the railtracks.









Follow the sidewalk to this stop:



Bus 119 is not mentioned here on this signpost - but may it's now...

But in the waiting booth there should be the schedule showing you that you are at the right place.





The actual schedule (valid from December 14, 2008 for about 1 year) can be downloaded here:

http://www.rvk-rostock.de/fileadmin/media/fahrplaene_city/119.pdf

Montag - Freitag means Monday to Friday
Samstag / Sonntag / Feiertag means Saturday / Sunday / Public Holiday
(see on the top of the pages: Verkehrstage = Days of operation)

Ticketing (2009):

subject you go to Bad Doberan by bus and back by bus as well:

3 zones
One way: Adults (15 years old or older) 3.10 EUR, Children (6-14 (incl.)) 2.20 EUR, Children (younger than 6) free
Day pass: Adults 6.40 EUR, Children 4.50 EUR (do not make to much sense for one roundtrip)
Group-Day pass: 19.20 EUR for a party of max. 5 persons

Please vadiate/cancel/punch your ticket for validity in a box like this:



Just one time!!!

If you walked to Warnemünde Werft: the box is in the bus.

If you want to use the commuter train from Warnemünde (Station) to Warnemünde Werft to catch the bus: same ticket at the train station: it's valid for the commuter train and the bus 119.

Subject you want to go by train to or from Bad Doberan, you make a detour via Rostock.

Therefore you need a ticket for

4 zones
One way: Adults (older than 15) 3.60 EUR, Children (6-15) 2.50 EUR, Children (younger than 6) free
Day pass: Adults 7.40 EUR, Children 5.20 EUR
Group-Day pass: 22.20 EUR for a party of max. 5 persons

Day passes make a lot of sense if you want to see Rostock on your way back to Warnemünde and need to take the tram to the city center.

How you buy your tickets to Bad Doberan you can read here:

http://heinbloed-cruiseguides.blogspot.com/2009/02/warnemunde-germany-bad-doberanmolli.html

Regards,
HeinBloed