Thursday, March 14, 2013

Day 68 - Dalian, China

Last night was a bit rocky.  It wouldn't have been too bad if I hadn't pushed myself yesterday to keep up and see everything on the tour.  Between walking for 3 hours on the tour and getting a chill in my back from the wind when I got back to the ship, I was feeling a few aches and pains last night.  Combined with the ship movement on rough seas, I didn't sleep well.  Ray still feels like he is on the verge of a cold too.  The tour we had scheduled for today was just a bus ride with photo stops and an hour of shopping at the end, so we decided to save our energy for Beijing and not leave the ship today.

Last night we stayed in our room up until dinner time so we could watch the ship go out through the locks. Although the area can have tide variations up to 10 meters, the difference in the water level in the lock this time only appears to be a foot or so.  We missed the crew show by watching the locks, but we'll see it on the DVD.  Ray & I may be a bit unusual, but we both enjoy watching the technical aspects of cruising.

We must have been distracted by the locks because didn't realize the night's attire was set as "optional formal." Every other time we dressed up, Ray in his tux an me in a long black dress with a different formal jacket each time.  We didn't realize we were a little under-dressed until we were at the restaurant and saw most of the others in formal.  We were OK, but since we like to dress up, we were a little disappointed that we forgot to check.   Mishap continued, as Ray tried to cut a carrot on his plate and the knife broke in half in his hands, blade separating from handle and flipping back at him.  No harm done, but it did wake him up.  Our assistant waiter, Tegue, made our night however, with some jokes and a little magic trick.

We didn't get into port until 11:30am and will be leaving at 7pm, so it's a short day.  I took a little video as we came in, but there were no photos of note.  Dalian is a city that has Chinese, Russian and Japanese influences.  It is not a real old city, so the sights are mostly modern parks, bridges and buildings.  There is nothing near the pier for us to visit and we would have to take a shuttle to get into the city on our own.

We listened to Sandra Bowern's lecture on "The Art Forms of China" and checked the news this morning.  One of the perks we have had on Regent because we have cruised with them for so many days is delivery of a newspaper to our room every day.  We choose the Miami Herald and have been keeping up with the world with that and BBC news on TV.  We were pleased to see that a Jesuit from Argentina has been chosen as the new pope, and that he chose Pope Francis I as his new name.  When reviewing the newspaper summary of the credentials of the top 15 cardinals, he was in my top 3 choices.  He has a big job ahead of him and I pray he has the strength for it.

For some reason we left port an hour earlier than what was in the schedule.  The show was scheduled for 6pm so everyone must have been on board early and the captain decided to get a head start on our trip to Beijing.  He usually comes on the PA system to tell us what's going on but he didn't tonight.  We're guessing he didn't want to interrupt the show.  Anyway, we are now on our way to our final port of call.

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