My Iconic Travel Moments Part 2 – 2011 to 2019 (10 to 6)

Number 10 – Train Trip from Sevastopol to Lviv, Ukraine 2011

This remains as my longest train ride to date. 27-hours with one change of trains at Simferopol. The journey started in the Crimea, the disputed region that has now been annexed to Russia.

It was a wonderful trip from south to north travelling in an open carriage with berths laid out in clusters of six.

Ukraine Map 2011 Sevastopol & Lviv (Lvov)
Ukraine Map 2011 Showing Sevastopol & Lviv (Lvov)

Memorable for several reasons including an incident regarding a missing pillow, comradeship as we shared food and drink with other travellers and a rather stiff backside!

Lviv was a very worthy destination to visit too.

The Spires of Lviv

Number 9 – Christmas in Krakow

Christmas 2019 was spent in Krakow and following previous times abroad on 25th December in Paris & Prague, we had a wonderful time.

The lovely city was bedecked in decorations & lights and there was a great spirit to the place.

As in Prague, Christmas Eve was the evening for the big meal and we followed this with a beautiful Midnight Mass service at Saint Mary’s Church on the Old Town Market Square.

You can watch a very nice rendition of Silent Night on my Youtube channel.

Midnight Mass, St Mary's Basilica, Krakow, Poland
Midnight Mass, St Mary’s Basilica, Krakow

The square was also home to the excellent Christmas market. All the usual stalls, a marvellous tree and an all round gorgeous setting.

Market Square at Christmas, Krakow
Market Square at Christmas, Krakow

We also paid to go and see a carol concert at the church of St Peter & St Paul in the city. It was blessed cold but we were warmed by some atmospheric musicians & singers.

You can watch a couple of carols on my Youtube channel by clicking O Come All Ye Faithful and Silent Night.

Maurice Orchestra, Church of St Peter & St Paul, Krakow, Poland
Maurice Orchestra, Church of St Peter & St Paul

Number 8 – Huskie & Reindeer Sledding in Norway

In January 2018 Mrs Wilbur and I toured Norway starting in Oslo and ending in Tromso via fabulous train and bus journeys from Trondheim, Fauske & Narvik.

Tromso is above the Arctic Circle and has a stunning fjord setting. We also witnessed a wonderful morning moon.

The journeys themselves were truly memorable (see part one describing similar journeys I took in 1989 & 92).

However it was the sledding trips that earned top marks. The look on Mrs Wilbur’s face was priceless! Watch some dog sledding HERE.

Number 7 – Watching Football in South America

2018 also saw Mrs Wilbur & I visiting Argentina, Uruguay & Brazil.

I have always wanted to see top flight football in South America so I got tickets to go and see Independiente in Buenos Aires (the first club of Manchester City legend Sergio Aguero), followed by a match at Rio’s iconic Maracana.

Maracana Stadium, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Maracana Stadium, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The football was not actually that great, but that was not the point. I loved both experiences all the same.

Number 6 – Learning About the Revolution in Cuba

We went to Cuba for a big birthday for Mrs Wilbur in January 2017. I really loved the country, especially Havana.

Malecon, Havana, Cuba
The Malecon, Havana

It was learning all about the famous Revolution and visiting such historic sites as the main square in Santiago where Fidel Castro gave his victory speech, Che Guevara’s mausoleum and museum and the Revolution museum in the capital that fascinated me most.

Statue of Jose Marti and Revolution Monument, Plaza de La Revolution, Havana
Revolution Monument, Plaza de La Revolution, Havana
Che Guevara Mausoleum, Cuba
Che Guevara Mausoleum

Fidel Castro had actually been buried in a cemetery just outside Santiago de Cuba only 3-weeks before our visit. We therefore went to pay our respects at his simple grave. Whilst there we witnessed the hourly changing of the guard ceremony (watch it HERE).

Fidel Castro's Grave, Santiago de Cuba
Fidel Castro’s Grave, Santiago de Cuba

Coming next – numbers 5 to 1.

Please leave any thoughts or comments about this Wilbur's Travels post below

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