Written by Safarigal
February 4, 2024

February 1st,2023

London, UK

There was no doubt about it – when we woke up we were back in Southampton and it was time to disembark.

Being a huge ABBA fan I had though that we couldn’t get so close to the ABBA Arena and not see the show.

Our driver was there to meet us when we disembarked and he took us to Heathrow Terminal 5 where we said goodbye to him and dropped off our suitcases at the Left Luggage and took the Elizabeth Line straight to Stratford, London, where we were staying at the Holiday Inn 10 minutes walk from the Arena.

We were able to check in and leave our backpacks in our room, and took the Elizabeth Line to Liverpool Street station to go to the Van Gogh Immersive exhibit. The exhibit had been on in Seattle, but we were never able to go there, so here was our chance.

We walked through Spitalfields to the rather unimpressive venue. As unimpressive was the outside, the inside was totally amazing and we spent several hours there taking it all in. Well worth going to.


On our way back to the station we stopped off in Spitalfields Market to get a late lunch. I remember Spitalfields from my childhood as being a rather depressing place, but now it is vibrant with loads of little shops and cafes. We could have spent much longer there.

We took a photo of an elephant and her baby. There are 20 little elephants scattered around, representing Kenya elephant orphans. I do love elephants.

Brian was more intrigued by a very random goat sculpture standing on a series of concrete boxes.

All in all, we loved Spitalfields, but it was getting to be time to take the tube back to Stratford, and find somewhere for dinner.

We were unable to find a pub or restaurant, so we ended up having burgers at the Snoozebox, a café and accommodation place next to the Arena.

Then it was time to go and watch the show.

We went in to the Arena and I quickly bought a T shirt, tea towel, and a glass of prosecco (which I managed to spill all over my seat).

Then the show began!

They are very strict about taking photos of the show, so we followed the rules. All I can say is that it is amazing, and I am so glad we stayed over in London to see it. They played all of my favorite songs, and I would have danced more, but I didn’t want to obstruct the view of the couple behind me. I did a lot of arm waving instead, except when I absolutely, totally, had to dance.  There is only so much respect one can have for others, and I did my best not to be a nuisance. The woman next to me was more obsessed with Abba than I am, and she danced the night away. They do have an area at the front where you can stand and dance throughout the show, but I’ve discovered from past experiences that I am simply too short to be on that kind of  dance floor.

The show ended all too soon, and humming away, we walked back to our hotel. We had had a wonderful day in London, and I finally got to ride the Elizabeth line.

It has been an interesting cruise. The ports were amazing, seeing our friend Ruth again was a special treat, I loved our cabin and the evening canapes. Brian is not so sure about the towel creatures.

I am not looking forward to our flight home tomorrow. Where is Queen Mary 2 when you need her to ferry you across the Atlantic? I miss her a lot

Yay! I have been to Casablanca. OK, that’s not where the movie was filmed, but I can imagine what it was like in those difficult times, so many years ago. It’s time to watch the movie again. Here’s looking at you kid!

Post Discussion


  1. Chris Brookes

    As always, it’s been so enjoyable going on travels with you both. Can’t tell you how much delight you give me. Hope your trip home went smoothly. I’m already looking forward to your next adventure! 👍🏻💕

    • Safarigal

      Thank you! We are home safe and sound, and getting excited about Queen Anne in May 🙂

  2. Sylvia Boecker

    I agree with Chris. Hurry up to another sea voyage so you can share it with all of your fans.

    • Safarigal

      I am looking forward to trying Queen Anne in May – although I am sorry we will not be on board for the naming ceremony in Liverpool.

  3. Jane Bentley-Green

    It was lovely to meet you and Brian on our Moroccan cruise .
    You both made dining in Spey an enjoyable experience even when the food failed to impress! I have read your latest blog and totally agree with so many of your comments re the cruise and I look forward to reading about your previous trips and future adventures.
    Given that we discovered a number of coincidences within our dining group that reminds us that the world is indeed small I hope that means we may meet again some day on the high seas or in the bush!

    • Safarigal

      Really one of the best things about the cruise was enjoying your company at dinner 🙂 Hopefully we will meet again on the high seas or in the bush. Enjoy your next trip.

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I love to share my adventures with others, and hopefully give them some insight into what to expect on their own exciting travels. I hope reading my blog will be a useful resource, and inspire others to follow their travel dreams. As a travel advisor, I get great pleasure out of being able to help folks fulfill their aspirations by translating my experience in safari adventures and ocean voyages into memorable travel experiences for them.