Dubuque Aquarium

We had a lovely sunrise this morning, pink and blue before the sun came up.


The Aquarium visit was most productive.  We enjoyed petting the rays, were intrigued by the snapping turtle and other turtles, also the nine foot long alligator.


Then I met Mark Twin again.  He gets everywhere!


Quad City & John Deere Pavilion

Quad city is actually made up of five districts:

Rock Island, Moline, Davenport, Betten Dorf, East Moline.

We had a city tour which took in parts of all these.

The highlight of the day was the visit to the John Deere Pavilion, where we saw the most incredible machines used for farming and forestry.  I particularly enjoyed the massive combine harvester which had a cutting edge of at least twenty feet.  I would love to see that in the Suffolk countryside.


Sunday on the River

Sunday on the River

David led an ecumenical service on the ship immediately after breakfast.  Many passengers and some crew attended.  Music was provided by Jo-Ann on the keyboard and Steve leading the singing.  A group of crew members sang and Gary a UCC minister and I read the lessons.  It was much appreciated.


It was largely a lazy day, but we enjoyed some wonderful songs from Steve, accompanied by Jo-Ann, as well as a digital photography session which he led.

Here are some photos of riverside properties, local folk enjoying a day out on the river, as well as a flock of white pelicans roosting on the water.


Hannibal MO

Hannibal MO

This little town was the childhood home of Mark Twain and many of his stories originated here.  Everywhere you go there are statues of him and reminders of his family and his characters.


We explored on our own in the morning and then took a trolley ride tour in the afternoon which took in some interesting old houses, particularly Rockliffe Mansion.


My greatest find was a superb weaving shop and Nancy who weaves and creates the most amazing garments.   Here she is beside her loom with me wearing the gorgeous ruanna which I could not resist purchasing from her.



St.Louis MO

St.Louis MO

This is the largest town between New Orleans and Minneapolis.  The city tour this morning introduced us first to all the banks and sports centre, then mercifully to some cultural centres and the zoo.  Much time was spent at a massive brewery, where we enjoyed the Clydesdale dray horses and, for some, a glass of beer.

This afternoon we scaled the heights of the massive Arch, by elevator and peered through the windows at the top, at views out over the city.

The best part of my day was a ride in a Cinderella style coach, behind Charlie, with Rachael our driver.


Chester IL

Chester IL

Chester is quite small but it has a big ikon in Popeye.  We embarked on a so called city tour, which took us to see him, a house spotted from the river by Mark Twain and then Mary’s covered bridge.  Here our driver left us for a while and we wondered if we would see our goods again.  Meanwhile we enjoyed a beautiful butterfly.  Later we found it was called a spicebush swallowtail.


Cape Girardeau MO

Cape Girardeau

This town was based on a cape, which was important for river traffic , but demolished when the railroad came through.

We had a bus tour in wet but slightly cooler weather.  The catastrophic floods are behind us on the river, but this town has massive walls with details of previous floods noted.  Along the wall are murals of significant events.

There was a seminary for RC priests and a teacher college which formed the basis for today’s university. We visited the very grand centre for the performing arts.  It has wonderful buildings, a theatre and fine museum.



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