Greenock for Glasgow and South Queensferry for Edinburgh.
On Wednesday we arrived in Greenock, Scotland, having sailed past many Scottish islands. Here we were welcomed by bagpipes playing. As we walked into the terminal building, we were met by guides dressed in full traditional outfits with family tartan kilts and jackets. We were told that they offered a choice of free tours of the area, so we jumped at the opportunity. The guides were volunteers and our bus took us round Greenock to see fantastic views of the lochs. Our guides were very informative as to the history and important part Greenock played in the Second World War as it still does to this day with the submarines. We were even shown a photograph taken in exactly the same spot where we stood on the cliff top, with all the ships in the harbour in 1941. This was a very moving experience.
Thursday we spent all day at sea. It was like a mill pond it was so calm and the scenery as we passed the islands of Lewis and the Hebrides, then sailed on past the Shetlands round the top of Scotland, was simply stunning. Little did we know that the Queen and her family weren't far away at the time. We thoroughly enjoyed a talk by Lembit Opik the ex Liberal Democrat MP. He was highly entertaining and had gone to a great deal of trouble researching his presentation, enhancing it with film clips and photographs.
On Friday we arrived at South Queensferry and anchored just by the Forth rail bridge. We were taken ashore from the ship by tender and walked into the town. There we caught a bus into Edinburgh for more shopping. We liked the quaint little town of South Queensferry very much and enjoyed the views of both the Forth road and rail bridges, taking many photos.
We spent all day Saturday at sea again, sailing down the North Sea past the oil rigs and gas platforms towards the Channel. There was plenty to do all day with Lembit Opik's second talk followed by a political quiz in the Golden Lion pub. My partner was pleased to join a line dancing session in the morning which she wasn't expecting, which was great fun and good exercise. The day was marred by having to pack our suitcases. Suddenly the ten days had almost gone and we were about to go home. We enjoyed walking round the ship again, admiring the decor and browsing in the lovely boutiques.
Sunday morning sadly we had to disembark at Southampton. Again, this was a very smooth affair that went like clockwork. The sun was shining and we were home after the end of a brilliant voyage on the fabulous Queen Victoria. We will definitely sail on her again soon!