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  • Writer's pictureRuth Mcbride


Day 106/138 2022/2023 Viking Neptune World Cruise. A sea day before Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Just a short blog today as it really has been a very busy action packed day.

Lyle and Linda were over again today and our icon is now partially assembled. Linda and me worked on some fun things while Lyle and Richard did the assembly. Every little detail matters, and we have lots more to do, but it is coming along nicely!

As I arrived at Art class on Deck 2 today, to try and keep working on the re-do of my painting from a few days ago which I wasn’t happy with and had left in Art Class yesterday, I noticed that the Viking crew were taking down the razor wire.

No more razor wire! We must be in a safe area now!

As we are now sailing in the Red Sea, and getting close to visiting all of those Middle Eastern countries we have only read about what do you think we painted in Art Class today?

Camels of course! A work in progress, because I’ve not got any shadows under the camels, but its getting there. Their heads were the hardest thing to get right! I had Linda laughing in art class today saying that my camels looked good from about 50 feet away and travelling 60 mph! Anyway, it was an easier watercolour to tackle today as we got ready to visit the Middle East.

The art teacher held up my painting from a few days ago and said that someone had left their art work in class and there was no name on it. She said “the whale was quite good” so I finally put my hand up and claimed the artwork. I told her I did not like the piece and showed her the new one I was doing instead, and she did complement me on how the new piece was better than the old one. She also said I could cut up the old piece for book marks. I guess a slice of a bad painting, is probably better than having an entire bad painting to look at!

After art class I noticed a lot of people were out on Deck 2 port side so I went to check to see what the fuss was all about.

There go the Armed Guards in their zodiac boat back to one of the waiting ships. The ship on the right in the distance was some kind of military ship and the other ship (left) was the one that the zodiac eventually went to. So now we are on our own, since our Security Detail has left the ship. It was strange seeing two ships pointing our direction and not moving. We have not seen that since we got on the ship in December so it was a bit ‘off putting’, but we knew they were ‘friendly’ so it was ok.

We both went to the gym and I did an hour with the recumbent bicycle and the leg machines, overhead arm machine and the ab machine. I am really enjoying the machines in addition to the bike for strengthening. I’m feeling it tonight though….Yeesh! There is a fine line between pushing oneself and getting hurt or feeling a not so good strain.

When we came back from the gym tonight we had some visitors in our cabin!

Our edible visitors! That was a nice touch by Viking!

We had a nice dinner in the Restaurant with Bill and Donna. It is nice to have made new friends along the way on this cruise. We have arranged dinners with our new friends for us plus 2 friends, to make sure we get to share some time with each of them before we depart for home in just over a month. We are arranging these dinners on sea days, so we don’t have to rush back from anything and The Restaurant does not need reservations and has good service and food. It was nice to learn more from Donna about her passion for weaving. It is quite an interesting hobby and she has only picked the hobby up in the past two years and has become quite proficient at it through watching You Tube videos. Interesting. She plans on picking up some wool in Turkey for weaving and told me the markets in Turkey are not to be missed! Another shopping opportunity and also a new suitcase too!

We had 8 on our team for Brain Busters tonight but we didn’t place in the top 3 tonight as we have been doing lately. Oh well, there’s always tomorrow night!

At 9pm tonight ‘Opera Interludes‘ the British quartet onboard from Mumbai to Jeddah performed live in the Atrium, with fellow Brit ‘Harry the Piano’. I’m not normally an Opera fan, but tonight’s performance was very, very good. The Opera singers are so very talented and Harry is an amazing pianist.

The two female opera singers singing from ‘The Marriage of Figaro’ with Harry the Piano, accompanying them.

Obviously these two were really enjoying the performance! Both left early!

I stayed until the end of the performance which closed with ‘Somewhere (There’s a Place for us)’ from West Side Story. I have always loved the song and to hear the four beautiful voices blend in harmony so nicely, was a wonderful way to finish up the evening before what will surely be a very interesting day tomorrow in Jeddah.

I have my Abaya ready for tomorrow that I purchased before I left our home in Florida. Conservative dress is very important for everyone visiting Saudi Arabia, so I wanted to make sure I was dressed appropriately for our visit. We will be on separate tours tomorrow and Richard will be with Gene on the included tour. I am doing a tour by a Saudi woman, for women only. We will be leaving at 9am and 9:30am tomorrow respectively and must go through Face to Face immigration with our passports and paper copies of our Saudi visas. Luckily I have a wonderful accordion file folder with all of the sections of the folder labelled, and each visa filed under the appropriate country. I have not had to panic to find anything since boarding. I wanted to make sure that each time we visited a new country that required a visa, or had a tour that was purchased privately, I had hard printed copies of the original email communications. With spotty wifi from time to time, I’m glad we took this extra step to print everything out for our records. Simple and old school is best when it comes to travel.

Off to bed now for me. I’m sure tomorrow will be interesting and I am looking forward to seeing what life in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia is like.

And on a side note I’m happy Tiger Woods made the cut at The Masters. I’m not happy he is now in last place after so far, a disastrous 3rd round which has been suspended due to bad weather. Tomorrow will be a very long day for many players who have to try and finish up their 3rd rounds, and then play the 4th round as well. I wonder how Tiger’s ankle will hold up? Good for him though making 23 consecutive cuts at The Masters considering his physical limitations. His buddies Rory and Justin didn’t make the cut and if I know those three there was probably a side bet on who would make the cut amongst them!

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