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The Journey Home

I'm on the train with the bike. There isn't actually a bike rack but the guard said that where it is... A village called Alma. The road running parallet to the tracks is the one which I would have used on... It looks like the shoulders are gravel but there's very little traffic so that wouldn't really have ... Another view of that road. Business class does seem similar to standard class except that we are each allowed a free drink each... Farina. I would have ended Tuesday by turning left there and riding 15 more miles to Altamont, where I would... The station in Effingham. I don't have a GPS log of my 2007 route but I almost certainly rode along that road, which is US hig... The toilet is clean and well-provisioned. It even has a mains power socket on the panel where the ti... The toilet which I just went into is behind one of the blue doors on the left side of the corrridor.... Between Mattoon and Arcola. I didn't get around to planning which roads I would have used if I had c... This is the flat Northern Illinois scenery which I had been looking forward to. As predicted, there ... I've just realised what those pieces of metal in ... The grey building on the right is a hotel. If things had gone differently it's possible that I would... People have been getting on at each station, which made me wonder how many people had chosen to sit ... Champaign, Illinois, a city which was mentioned in ... Very flat scenery. Rantoul, our next stop. The sign on the building says "RANTOUL LIGHT & POWER". It look... Kankakee. Suburbs of Chicago. I can see the Willis Tower. An ornate building. The three carriages between this one and the locomotive are out of bounds to passengers. The signs o... Chicago. Underneath part of the "L", Chicago's elevated urban railway. The train is doing a strange move where it goes round a big semicircular loop about a mile in diamet... The backs of some houses in a clearly Chinese neighbourhood. More locomotives. This part of Union Station feels rather like an airport and is pretty functional but has some vestig... Chicago Union Station. There are quite a lot of Amish people waiting in here. Look! Bikes! My hotel should be easy to find. It's about three blocks beyond the Willis Tower. The bike lanes here in chicago look pretty good. I'm not actually using them myself because I'm only... Wow! The south branch of the Chicago River. Naturally it used to flow into Lake Michigan but between 1887... A dead bird on the pavement. Chicago. I haven't come by the direct route from the station because that road was closed so I've lot track o... Chicago. The building at the end of the road is the Board of Trade Building. Between Michigan avenue and the lake are some green spaces. The head is the composer Georg Solti. The little building in the middle looks quite funny there. Workmen. A plane. Jackson Boulevard. Lake Michigan! An arch from the old Stock Exchange Building. The Art Institute of Chicago, just out of show on the left, has lessons going on in ground floor cla... Some more railway carriages. A whole line of food vans. Wabash Avenue. Why is he holding that? An L train. The Simon & Garfunkel Story sounded worth seeing but it turns out that the first performance is ... The curved building is the Chase Tower, a distingtive Chicago building. It's the North American head... Flags of the USA, illinois and Chicago. Who's that? The same place. Number 111 is my hotel. Parking was easy. If I peer I can just about see the ground from my window. I can also see into the offices across the street. It's not a bad room. Where most hotels have had an ironing board, this one instead has a yoga mat. Here's another of these mail chutes. The building is about 40 floors high, of which the hotel occupi... The flat black building is a Post Office. The tower behind it contains my hotel. Chicago. Another hotel. It looks like a scaled-down version of another even bigger Hilton which is near the l... A clearer view of those food vans. I've decided to visit the Art Institute of Chicago. The first room that I entered was this exhibitio... This kind of design looks familiar. A small replica of Alexander Calder's artwork ... The trading room of the old Chicago Stock Exchange. It was rescued and moved to here when the exchan... Frank Lloyd Wright furniture. The American section of the Art Institute includes a skateboard. Grant Wood's ... Here's another very famous painting... ... ... A large-scale illustration of woven threads made from real little woven threads. This piece is lots of slightly crinkled vertical fabric strips. In some places they let light throug... An ancient Egyptian mummy case. Apparently the body is still inside. I thought I had been in every room. Then I found this gallery which extends across the railway lines... Indian sculptures. The Art Institute. This gallery has photographs of the same four sisters posing together every year from 1975 to 2023. ... This gallery contains dozens of miniature replicas of rooms from different parts of the world at dif... This one is apparently typical of Georgia around 1850. Some of the scenes are actually quite a lot larger than the window which we get to look through. for... A room from a large English house. ... Of course I knew this picture was in this museum because it appears in a film which seems to have so... Two pictures of London by Monet. Michigan Avenue. Hello. Chicago. The back of Anish Kapoor's ... Looking up Michigan Avenue towards the Wrigley Building. The top of the Carbide and Carbon Building glints in the sunlight. Signs saying "No loitering" seem to be like some kind of weeds. It's as if they appear by ... The bottom of the Carbide and Carbon Building. The area around the DuSable Bridge. I didn't find out what the big cloud of smoke is. An excited group of people... ... being watched through the window by two bored-looking people below the clock of the Wrigley Buil... Now I'm going on a river cruise. Apparently the small domes are filled with water for fire suppression. Marina City. There is a marina at the bottom of the complex. The next 19 floors of each tower are a helical car p... Chicago. The riverside has been renovated in recent years to make it a leisure space. The guide is explaining... Riverside. The Merchandise Mart, a wholesale facility which was the largest building in the world when it was c... This is the point where this tour guide mentioned ... This building has a very narrow base because the right side overhangs railway lines and the left sid... Boat cruise. I didn't realise until now that all the bridges in Chicago are bascule bridges. Apparently they all ... That building used to be a meat freezer. The depth of the modern balconies is the thickness of the i... Modern riverfront houses. Chicago. An L train. Underneath that building are the platforms where I got off the train yesterday. Adams Street. This building has a map of the area around the river on the side of it, with its own location marked... I can't remember who originally owned this building but it was recently revovated at a cost of $900 ... Chicago. Chicago. The tower with the statue on top and the grey glass building with the octagonal emblem on top are bo... The black tower is officially currently called the Willis Tower but still known by most people in Ch... The big black box is an array of projectors for projecting pictures and films onto the walls of the ... The left part of that building was designed by the firm of architects who designed many of Chicago's... Looking South from the harbour. The dome is the Adler Planetarium. The locks which lead to Lake Michigan. The tallest building in this picture is the tallest building in the world designed by a female archi... There's a museum of ice cream. The Chicago Tribune building. The Chicago Tribune building contains stones from other famous buildings and natural features around... Another view of the Wrigley Building, named after the chewing gum company. Part of the Tribune building. And another. This one is quite a boring piece of stone. Some of these were added after the building was built. How can you just take tiles from the Sydney Opera House? These include sections of Hamlet's castle, the Berlin Wall, the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal, ... Part of the Great Pyramid. The building across the road from the Tribune building. I'm surprised they don't have a rock from the actual Moon here. I decided to try to get an authentic Chicago pizza for dinner, then almost immediately ditched that ... The view from my dinner table. There's a man up there having a sneaky cigarette out of the window. Chicago. I've come to do some shoping in the building which is now Macy's but which used to belong to the riv... This building obviously has more space than the shop needs. I've come up to the highest accessible f... There's nobody else on this floor. There are no signs which say I can't go that way but it soon acqu... Some old wood panelling and a model of the escalators. The atrium. Apparently when the building was being renovated fairly recently, the people doing it looked through... Wabash Avenue. There's a museum of illusions. I might go in there one day. A marker in the pavement showing the boundary between a building's property and the public space. The base of the Chase Tower. Most of the ground floor is actually a normal branch of the bank, open ... In front of the Chase Tower. I spent most of yesterday pondering which night I wanted to leave Chicago and eventually decided on ... There's a salad vending machine. Chicago street view. Chicago street view. A lot of sculptures of pairs of walking legs. The Field Museum. The view from the Field Museum towards Navy Pier. An exhibit about things which live in soil. A picnic area surrounded by stuffed sea mammals. I've seen signs like this all over Chicago. It looks like every public room has to have one. The hippo model was made in the 1930s. Apparently it has to be kept in a case because it's made from... Zebras. The Field Museum. Live lampreys. The Field Museum. I just liked this tunnel view. This is where the dinosaurs are. There's something going on on Lake Michigan. Judging from the publicity material that I've seen about the museum, I would say that Sue the T-Rex ... Now there's something going on on Lake Shore Drive, the road next to where the fire boat was sprayin... Two types of bird houses on poles by the museum. Ever since I went to the toilet in the museum my left trouser leg has felt very strange, like it had... "No loitering!" How can anybody think that that sign belongs here? The Shedd Acquarum, which is close to the Field Museum and Adler Planetarium. Belugas. Hello. Just to the right of the rocks on the left is a dolphin jumping out of the water. This is the scheduled dolphin demonstration. They are Pacific white-sided dolphins. Different types of plankton. The aquarium breeds plankton to feed to the other animals. The animals which I feel most sorry for for being stuck in cages are these ducks, because I'm famili... Aquarium. I can't find anything which explains how sharks can live in a tank with small fish and not eat them.... Rockhopper penguins. Rockhopper penguins. In the few minutes since I last looked into this tank, one of the belugas has decided to have a lie ... I'll be going up there later. Lake Shore Drive is open again now. The bike lane alongside it helpfully has street address numbers ... The lakefront. The bike rack has a sign tied to it saying that parking is currently not allowed here but I think it... My hotel is on the left. The building next to it is called the Rookery and is regarded as Chicago's ... I've come to visit the observation deck at the top of what used to be called the Sears Tower. Strang... The view from the top, looking South. The railway lines are how I arrived on Saturday and how I will... There's the building with the railway and road going through it. From up here, the queen building looks a lot shorter than the king. The large green area is Grant Park. The Field Museum is roughly in the middle of the pictyure, with ... Looking South. Some other tourists. You can see this tower's shadow. Chicago. The black area in the bottom middle of the picture is another part of the Sears Tower. The tower is ... An L train coming round the corner. Sears Tower. Chicago. Tourists taking pictures in the glass-bottomed boxes. A box. Another box. Here's the view looking down. The Sun is setting. Enjoying the view. A tour boat on the river. It's me. Just being a bit silly. Sunset. Here's another reference to that film. Orange sunlight on the sides of the buildings. In case you were wondering what the red sign in the previous picture said. The lights are starting to come on. The Board of Trade Building really glows. Chicago. Apparently the brightness of the light gets reduced during bird migration season so that it doesn't ... The stadium is the home of the Chicago White Sox baseball team. Reviewing photographs. Chicago. Night time. Looking across the flat land of the Midwest. The Merchandise Mart, illuminated by ... A last view from up here. Sears Tower. A view in through the window of the Rookery. I've booked a walking tour of building interiors for th... That's funny. I didn't notice any other bikes here when I used this rack yesterday but some of these... I'll be in Chicago on five days and I'll be coming to the station on four of those. Today I'm here t... The figure on top of the Board of Trade building is Ceres, goddess of agriculture. Apparently the de... There are the glass boxes where we were posing yesterday evening. You can see people in them now. The Rookery, Chicago's first skyscraper, completed in 1888. Inside the Rookery. This floor contains the Frank Lloyd Wright trust offices, an optician's and the ... The white panelling was added by Frank Lloyd Wright to brighten the lobby. One panel is missing so t... This is the Central Standard Building, so-called because it's the building where the USA's time zone... Corn motifs are everywhere in and around the Board of Trade Building. This is the Ceres Café ... The art deco lobby of the Board of Trade Building. Apparently the vertical black columns are meant t... An awkward way to write the date. Apparently this is still the tallest office building in the world where the masonry supports the wei... Inside the same building. The stairs are aluminium. The people who renovated the building decreed th... ... or this hat shop downstairs. The Marquette building, with its shimmering mosaics of Tiffany glass. It was built at a time when ar... The lobby of the second Palmer House Hotel. The first was completed two weeks before the great fire ... The tour ends in Macy's, which has two grand atria. This is the ceiling of the one which I didn't ph... The NBC building has a deco-style antenna. Back by the DuSable Bridge. I'm in Chicago don't you know. Looking along the river. Now for a bus tour. A statue of a group of people with umbrellas. Detail of a building. Passing the Sears Tower. Under the L. Sorry, I didn't mean to include this picture. Or this one. A bird has made its nest in that equipment. Navy Pier. The northern part of Michigan Avenue, which is Chicago's trendy shopping street. I hadn't noticed until today that a lot of the roads have honorary names in addition to their offici... Window cleaners. Chicago. People on a roof. There are a few corner clocks like this around the city. It's a bit strange having trains up there. Most tall buildings have connectors like this so that fire crews can get water up to the high floors... There are windows on the walls which face each other. They can't give much of a view. This is the car park which features in ... I think it refers to the two little scratch marks in the bottom stone where I'm pointing. Since I'm still in Chicago I've come to see the opening performance of ... The theatre where I just went is now called the CIBC Theatre because it's sponsored by this bank. It... I've been trying to get a picture like this ever since I arrived. The English-style pub next to my hotel. I will be having breakfast here tomorrow morning. I've now checked out of my hotel with my luggage but my train doesn't leave for nine hours so I'm go... Daley Plaza, incuding fountains and a large sculpture by Picasso. None of the fountains here have squirted me, despite what that song in ... The building on the right is the First United Methodist Church of Chicago, also known as the Chicago... I don't know why travel operators often seem to regard this thing as the highlight of Chicago. I'm n... The Jay Pritzker Pavillion... ... and its lawn. Grant Park. Geese. The lakefront. A rather strange way to take a picture. Beyond the marina is Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Bears. The marina. Back in the 1990s I had an early version of Microsoft Flight Simulator, which contained representati... Meigs Field, now called Northerly Island. Meigs Field. Meigs Field. I can't tell how far away those distant buildings are. They might be in Indiana. Meigs Field. To the right of Soldier Field you can see the top of the Field Museum. The names are unrelated. The ... The 12th Street Beach is't very big but it's sunny and sandy. This area belongs to the planetarium. At night they sometimes do astronomy events out here. I will s... It's a beautiful day. Dogs on the sea wall. A sailing boat on the lake. Apparently these things are called blackbirds. Posing for a picture. The Lake Shore Drive bike path is quite busy in the evening rush hour. I've just noticed the brown sign saying that this is the start of Route 66. There are two different types of sleeping accommodation on Amtrak trains but both of them count as f... More tourists in the Skydeck boxes. The lounge. Another room in the lounge. The train. The front half will be going to Boston and the back half to New York. The rearmost carria... My bedroom on the train. On a train which leaves this late, I don't know why the room is in its daytime configuration when we... The room has a combined toilet and shower. The sink area. There's just enough room in this cupboard for my box of toiletries. We set off one minute ahead of schedule. I think the staff have a full list of passengers so they mu... This is only the second time I've been on a sleeper train. The first was 19 years ago. What I like m... ... ... there's this. Meals and soft drinks are free for sleeper passengers. Because of the timing of this journey I won't... ... and a selection of cheese. The slightly cheaper type of accommodation on the train is a roomette. This is what one looks like i... ... and at night. Roomettes are on both sides of a central corridor and don't have en-suite faciliti... My room has been converted. Our first stop, in South Bend, Indiana. Because the train is so long, my carriage has stopped outsid... South Bend. Passing through a level crossing at night. Bryan, Ohio. The station in Toledo, Ohio. Cleveland, Ohio was the first "fresh air stop", where passengers have a chance to get off ... Part of Cleveland. Euclid, Ohio. Here's me looking at Euclid. It had to be done really. Scenery. We've just crossed into the Northwest corner of New York state, where it seems that the main crops a... Another view from the train. We aren't stopping here. Passing an empty goods train. Coffee and bottles of water are available in the train corridor. I've maintained my streak of not dr... More scenery. The big black thing is apparently a brake lever. The notice on it warns that using it without proper... Breakfast time. Between the trees you can just see Lake Erie. In real life I can also see the Canadian shore on the ... My breakfast. Buffalo, NY. Just above the road junction you can see one of the high-rise buildings in the city cen... Buffalo. Buffalo. Buffalo. This road is Buffalo's Broadway. I've got nine more hours on this train. If I had been able to get the train one day later, I would h... Buffalo-Depew station. Scenery. Passing through some woods. A little town called Lyons. Scenery. Scenery. The Clyde River. Syracuse. Some baggage being unloaded. Another similar view of Syracuse. This is the first time I get to see the outside of the train in daylight. A lot of school buses. I didn't know what these were when I took ... At the station in Utica. Utica. The Mohawk River. Lunch is the biggest meal provided on this trip. I had the beef burgundy, which I think is what that... Dining car with rural scenery. Schenectady. Schenectady's hire bikes are a pretty colour. Schenectady has a General Electric building... ... whereas Albany has a building with a giant statue of Nipper the HMV dog on top. Crossing the Hudson. Albany. That antique pullman coach bears the name "20th Century Limited", which was the name of th... The front one of the two locomotives which have pulled me this far. Now they will be heading off to ... Some other locomotives sitting around in sidings. The train being separated. After a short nap I have woken up to find that we are riding along the side of the Hudson. We will b... A bridge over the Hudson. There weren't meant to be two pictures of it. A sailing boat on the Hudson. Rhinecliff, NY. Near the station in Poughkeepsie. The whole train seems to be tilting towards the river, just like the poles are. The recently-closed nuclear power station at Indian Point. The George Washington Bridge. I rode over that in 2007. The Moynihan Train Hall at New York's Penn Station. This was the first view of New York that I got after exiting the station. The next thing I saw was this. After a few more paces I can see the sign for my hotel. New York seems to have more bikes than Chicago so parking them isn't quite so easy. Mine will have t... The New Yorker Hotel opened in 1930 and had more rooms than any other hotel in the city. In 1976 it ... The view from my room on the 22nd floor. I haven't had a bath in my room since Centralia, and didn't expect to find one all the way up here. The room feels modern but those drawer handles have a hint of deco about them. Dusk. Here's the view by night. My window actually opens a little way so I can take pictures without refle... Those offices look quite empty. Midtown Manhattan offices. Eigth avenue. My bike and the gold one are still around the corner, where they have been joined by a... The curved building is Madison Square Gardens. 35th Street. That hotel has a moving dinosaur in the atrium. Manhattan. The original sidewalk has a roof and part of what was the road is now also for pedestrians. People often say of an ugly building that they like to be inside it so that they can't see it. I hav... Workers controlling the flow of pedestrians through where they are shifting concrete. Broadway is at a shallow angle to Manhattan's avenues so there are long triangular plots of land whe... Broadway. The Broadway bike lane continuing towards Lower Manhattan. The other wedge of Herald Square. Broadway isn't as wide as its name suggests. That's a very narrow building. It's pretty much just a wall. The next section of Broadway is nominally for bikes and pedestrians only, but there's a fire engine ... I've arrived at 5th Avenue in just the right place for the museum that I want to visit. Not this one... ... this one. The Museum of Mathematics. A lot of people who I know have talked about it so I feel I... Round wooden water tanks on roofs are a famous feature of New York. The museum. There are a few mentions of the hat monotile in here. It's as if they haven't heard about the spectr... All the bits of track are on the round regions of the landscape, which can be turned by 90 degrees u... The museum. These stroboscopic shapes are pretty cool but this is the second time this week that I've seen them.... This is quite good too. There's just one piece of shaped wood here and a lot of mirrors. By using di... Madison Square Park. 5th Avenue. 5th Avenue. Apparently only vehicles with New York state number plates are allowed to park here. This buffet looks appetising but you have to pay by weight and a pound doesn't sound like very much. If anybody's interested, there's space available to rent in the bottom two floors of the Empire Stat... The Empire State Building. The doors on this Starbucks in the bottom of the Empire State Building have an appropriately 1930s t... Isn't it magnificent? I can see two clocks in this square so I don't know which one is striking twelve. Back in Herald Square. Old escalators in the NewYork Macy's. An old piece of electrical switchgear on display among the shoes. I don't know why there's a policewoman standing in the road directing traffic. She's just replicatin... Another thing that I need to buy today is clingfilm. I got worried when this 7-Eleven didn't have an... Here's a better view of my hotel. I happen to have watched a video about it just a couple of weeks a... Double-level parking spaces. Just some buildings. Just one block away from my hotel is a shop which claims to be New York's leading camera shop so I'v... This is what I'm interested in: tripods. Back downstairs. Every few seconds there is s whirring noise. It took me a while to realise that it'... I don't know if that building has a name. It seems to just be called 30 Hudson Yards. The viewing pl... Manhattan. I've already been to the museum and bought everything that I wanted. I won't know what to do tomorro... Lift buttons. Central Park. The one-way road for bikes and horses which does a big loop within Central Park. I used it in 2007. The statue of Balto, the lead dog in the team which rushed the diptheria serum to Nome in Alaska whe... Central Park. A rocky part of the park. Central Park. I'm doing my quiz here this week. Broadway. Times Square. Times Square, seen from a bike waiting at the lights. Behind the bank of public lifts in the hotel are these service lifts. There are vents with steam emerging from them like this all over the city. The Port Authority Bus Station is flying a combined New York / New Jersey flag. Chicago had that fancy projector which avoided shining light in through office windows. I suppose an... I was surprised to see that the New Year time ball is still up there at the bottom of its pole. Times Square in the evening. I've come back to the top end of Broadway to see a show which caught my eye when I rode past earlier... The theatre is built sideways, by which I mean that the audience is looking South parallel to Broadw... A night-time tour bus. Manhattan. 45th Street. Madison Square Gardens by night. I've just noticed this plaque in the hotel. My main jobs for today involve preparing for checking in for tomorrow's transatlantic journey. Appar... This hotel has its own branded shower heads. The water flow rate from both the shower head and the b... I've come to the basement to do a bit more printing and found a kind of museum. The bust and picture... Another sign round the corner says that in 1948 this hotel contained more television sets than any o... These items were taken from Tesla's room after he died. Two models of the hotel: one made from sugar and one carved from ice. Two more famous former guests: Max Baer and Muhammad Ali. Art. A street market. Off 41st Street. Bryant Park. The low building at the far end is the New York Public Library. A discarded pineapple. The black building is the Bryant Park Hotel. It reminds me of Chicago's Carbide and Carbon Building.... ... whereas the Grace Building seems like a knock-off of the Chase Tower. That new building is getting fancy windows. My tour guide in Chicago explained that paperback publishing was big business in the 19th Century be... What is going on down there? A very specialised phone box. The Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church. The two glass towers in the background to the left of it are t... Fifth Avenue. Fifth Avenue. The building in the foreground is the Plaza Hotel. In Central Park. Central Park. Central Park. Buildings. The whole island must have been this rocky before it was built on. Tennis courts. Central Park. Manhattan's grid of streets was planned out by John Randel Jr. between 1808 and 1811. After that he ... This lawn is called Sheep Meadow. The Steinway tower is notable for being 24 times as high as it is wide. Central Park. Alwyn Court... ... and the skyscrapers. The Carnegie Hall. A bunch of noisy motor tricycles. More Manhattan buildings. Bella Abzug Park. The basket-shaped thing is a fairly recent art installation which is just a set of walkways. The name says "TERMINAL STORES". It is near to a lot of railway sidings. This table has a lot of cutout sections with seats incorporated into them. This bikeway should take me all the way to the Southern tip of Manhattan and then part of the way ba... A last view of Midtown. A recently constructed park over the Hudson River at Pier 57. I don't think that's meant to be on the bikeway. There is a major cycling event happening today, called the Five Boro bike tour. Apparently it's the ... Southern Manhattan. The Financial District. The Financial District. Unlike its predecessor, you can tell how tall the new World Trade Centre is even when it disappears ... The bike route through Battery Park. The 40-mile Five Boros tour starts near hear and ends on Staten Island. Then riders get brought back... Near Battery Park. Looking along the East River towards the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges. It's here. Brooklyn. Southern Manhattan. The Brooklyn Bridge, which I used when I got off the ship in 2007. This time it's possible that usin... A few minutes ago I tried to stick labels onto my luggage but neither of my rolls of tape were anyth... A Chinese area. The bike path on the Manhattan Bridge is on the lower level next to these Subway tracks. The East River, seen from the Manhattan Bridge. There's a four-level car park. Brooklyn. My last road in America. The ship and the Statue of Liberty. It's been 17 years since I last used this ship, and I'm getting back on where I got off. Now to turn the bike into luggage. It doesn't look much smaller than it did to start with.... My room for the next week. Unlike in 2007, I have a balcony. That's strange because my ticket for this crossing was quite a lot... In the distance you can just about see the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, which we have to pass under to... Looking in through the window of one of the restaurants. It's quite damp. Not many takers for the sunloungers at the moment. I'm still wearing shorts because my luggage hasn't been delivered to my room yet. Manhattan. Liberty Island. A boat which is servicing the ship in some way. I'm just having a quick look round the ship while I wait for my luggage. I remember this picture from ... Some of the lifts. A while later the captain would give an introductory talk over the public address system. He said th... I don't remember this part of the ship. There's a Staten Island Ferry, probably full of bikes. The green land in the foreground is Governors Island. That's where I was clingfilming my bike. As I noticed in 2007, the people who operate this ship seem to have no concept of how much things sh... I've put my bike behind the sofa, just like last time. Passing Liberty Island. An alternative version of the same scene. Boats in the harbour. A barge full of rubbish in front of Staten Island. I have heard that a large part the land of Staten... The bridge is appearing through the rain. Heading into the Narrows. Made it! There is traffic flowing both ways on the bridge so the cycling event must have ended. A barge being towed out to sea. Putting the sunloungers away looks like a miserable job. I thought I had walked into the wrong room, which surprised me because my key opened the door. What ... Here comes a little boat to collect the New York harbour pilot off our ship. I didn't actually see the pilot get off. The little boat heads off towards a larger pilot boat. I guess that if the next ship which needs a p... Wow! I've got 32 wooden coathangers in this cupboard and 8 wire ones in another. Most of the staircases are wider than this and symmetrical but for variety in some places they are l... Many of the corridors in the accommodation areas run the whole length of the ship. At night all I can see from my balcony is some white water and smoke from the funnel being illuminat... The main restaurant. The same room seen from my breakfast table. This becomes a bar in the evenings but at the moment it's just a quiet lounge. The ship's main theatre. I just popped in for a look but I will stay for a lecture about the growth ... Outside. Outside. The promenade on deck 7 goes right round the ship. Here it is going round the bow. The room behind t... Outside. What there is of a view to the rear. My previous experience of this ship was on a Westbound crossing, where the clocks went back by an ho... These pictures are painted on aluminium, which gives them a bright shiny feel. Most of the pictures ... Throughout the day there are a few quizzes taking place in this room. The one which has just started... The Queens Room, where I have come to watch a talk about art heists, given by somebody who works for... I remember ... The ship's nightclub. From upstairs in the club you can see the Queens Room through a porthole. These taps are confusing. One is red and one is green but the green one is labelled "H". More paintings. Tonight is a formal black-tie night in the main restaurant so I will have to eat elsewhere. The main lobby. A few bedrooms overlook the lobby. The entrance to the cinema... ... which is also a planetarium. It's now so foggy that I can't see from one end of the ship to the other. The foghorn has been sound... Foggy. It's now Tuesday morning and the visibility is much better. Now low-level fog has come back, lying in a thin layer on the sea so we can't see very far across th... It has taken me until now to find the open-air walkway around the front of the ship. On my previous ... A fog rainbow. The second lecture in the series on the growth of London covers the period from about 1500 to 1850. ... I've come to the pub for lunch. Those brown padded chairs are enormous. There's a boat on the horizon. The boat. We are in and out of fog patches all day today. At the moment it's clear. When I was in my room this morning I thought I briefly glimpsed a garden bird hopping under the part... It might not even get off in Southampton. The ship is also going to Hamburg so there are quite a lot... The pools are heated so it's not as strange as it looks that there's a man in the water while everyb... The sea is extremely calm. The motion of the ship has been barely perceivable for the whole trip so ... A pool with a view. An obscure room at the front of the ship on the lowest deck. This corridor displays awards which the ship or its crew or captain have been given by various citie... The games tables. I don't remember the ship having a casino. A grand corridor leading from the lobby to the main dining room. About 30 km over there is Cape Race in Newfoundland, the last piece of land which we pass. Anything ... I don't remember the smoke being so heavy on my previous crossing. It comes out of the chimney and j... On the left, at the front of the ship, are the only two other people who have come up here to try to... Dinner. I mucked up my alarm clock, accidentally woke up three hours earlier than I intended and didn't real... The pools and seating area in the stern. These external staircases lead all the way to the top decks... Those rear funnels vent gases from the kitchens rather than from the engine. Part of the sprawling seating area for the buffet. I think I might have a buffet breakfast this morn... The Carinthia lounge. I did sit here yesterday to listen in on a general knowledge quiz. I scored 15... The previous few pictures were all taken with my phone. For this one I used the camera that I bought... The entrance to the health spa. Part of the library. It's still a bit misty. Deck 12. The indoor pool. The lobby. The Champagne Bar. The art gallery, where the man who does the art lectures is selling paintings. Apparently he has alr... ... The end of an hour-long interview with the actor Anne Reid. She seemed familiar but I couldn't work ... This is a change of policy. Every previous time I've been to the buffet on this trip, the serving im... Around midday we left the North American continental shelf so we are now on the deep ocean. The wate... It seems to be dog-walking time. The first time I used this ship I was still finding new rooms even on the fifth day. This time we've... There's one couple ballroom dancing. The sea is a bit choppier today. You can just about see some white water in this picture. I've made a mistake here. The picture on the screen should have told me that this wasn't going to be... A view from a porthole. I passed the theatre as the Royal Shakespeare Company were packing up after a performance of a music... As predicted, today is sunnier than the the previous days but the sea is rougher. On the rear deck. You can see the water sloshing around in the pool. I think the dress code has changed since I was last on this ship. Back then you needed a suit to hav... My cabin is on the North side of the ship but the balcony gets a bit of sunshine in the late evening... I had dinner with these three. The woman in the middle is Dr. Sue Bowler from the Royal Astronimical... I've just found where the nursery is. Parents can leave young children in there during the evenings.... There's a new Moon with Earthshine illuminating the dark part. That means that more than one complet... Now I'm just being nosey. This flight of stairs is inside the health spa. I've happened across the entrances to the Queen Mary and Queen Anne Suites, two of the ten most expe... The things on the deck are spare blades for the propellers. The front observation deck, directly below the bridge. This corner of the ship has a wood-panelled appearance. It contains the library and bookshop and, tw... The lobby. The painting is of Samuel Cunard, who founded the company in the 1830s. There is going to be a masked gala tonight so the place which normally sells sunglasses is now selli... Hello. These people obviously went to the masked ball. There are two masks on the table. Apparently this bu... Deck 7 at night. The Aurora Borealis, seen from my cabin. That makes two astronomical phemomena which I have seen for... For the last few hours I have been seeing amazing photographs of the aurora taken from all over Brit... Here's a version with the bow of the ship in it. At least now that I know how to use this camera better I can take pictures like this. We're out of the cloud now and the aurora is looking good again. Here's how it looks from my balcony... ... and from the front of the ship. This time it isn't only visible on a long-exposure photograph; I... In this view you can see the constellation of Cassiopeia within the purple part of the aurora, and h... There has been some kind of leak here. Even the part of the carpet which isn't covered in towels is ... Today is sunny. Unfortunately I will have to spend a lot of the day in my room packing. Sunshine. The rear decks. Saturday. To queue for the main information desk, I was standing next to this painting of the Queen Mary 2 and... ... was that this tugboat has the same name as my old MP from when I lived in Luton. This sign made it look as if the people at the so-called help desk were just going to fob me off but... The chorus of singers on the left are all passengers. They have been having practice sessions throug... The view from a sunlounger. While I was here, a cloud of smoke blew out from somewhere under the sta... Anybody who is able to carry all their luggage off the ship without help is allowed to do so. They c... A ship going the other way. It's only the second one I've seen since leaving New York. We will soon ... This is the first time I've seen anybody playing shuffleboard. A sunny evening. Shuffleboard. I kept thinking that if I got bored I might come and do part of one of these jigsaws but that never ... My locations for watching the Eurovision Song Contest seem to be getting grander. Last year I was in... The top deck during the Eurovision interval. We are now passing Somerset but the land is too far awa... This is the bar known as the Chart Room, the same room that was in ... I woke up this morning to this view of Southampton Water. We haven't quite stopped moving yet. You can still see some ripples coming from the propellers. Docking. Standing on the dock at Southampton. Cars being either imported or exported. Southampton docks. Southampton Water. The funnel has finally stopped producing smoke. That pigeon let me walk right past it and down the steps. A boat heading for the sea. One of the chefs is also up here taking pictures. The Norwegian Prima and the Ariva. A servicing boat. I'm pleased that the Southampton terminal has trolleys. It means that I don't have to carry the clin... As if by magic it becomes a bike. It was only when I finished reassembling the bike that I looked round and saw how much the ship was ... The port. I wonder if it will stay in service long enough for me to make a third journey. The Norwegian Prima has some features which serious liners don't. Where does the pipe on the right go? The black structure on the left is a go-kart track. The Anthem of the Seas is here as well. Southampton station, where QM2 passengers are arriving by taxi and shuttle bus. The bus wasn't very ... I booked my train ticket home while I was in New York. I've just collected it and was surprised that... Southampton station has double-level bike racks, a bit like ... Southampton station. English countryside. This leg of the train journey is very comfortable. Scenery. Part of the railway museum at Didcot. The Malvern Hills. Worcester. The second leg of the journey was less relaxing than the first. The train has a cupboard which is ap... Malvern. These people are throwing out a drum kit and what looks like quite a nice racing bike. The period when I was walking up the hill to my flat coincided with a thunderstorm. This part of my flat is starting to get quite full. Do you remember the early years when I lost a bi... Ah, I see I had the foresight to advance my calendar to May before I left home. That's the end of th...