Friday, November 21, 2014

Cadiz kind of day

But first, let me tell y'all that the occupants of state room 335 learned an expensive lesson: be back at the ship/yacht at the appointed time. They were not, so the captain (nicely) waited 15 minutes (he didn't have to), then (nicely) put their passports ashore and we left...without them. As we should. At least we are going to another city just down the road apiece, so hopefully they catch a train and meet the yacht today in Cadiz.

We enjoyed our excursion to Mijas yesterday for the wine tasting. It is a city of narrow streets up on a hillside, so the busses had to park and stay put while we walked around. We learned that the local taxi is actually a donkey!

They were cute...and loud! If the donkey is a taxi, they wear a little tag on their head, complete with their particular number in it for proper identification. We didn't need their services, however.

So we are now off the yacht at TV Cadiz cruise terminal, checking for email before we wander around. Hotmail only. Again. Bugger.

Tomorrow is a sea day, so I won't have Internet as we sail:motor back to Lisbon for our Sunday morning disembarkation. We will overnight at an airport hotel and catch a 5 something AM flight back to Atlanta. Monday will be a long day!

Ciao, y'all!

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Almeria and Malaga

Yesterday was Almeria on a sunny day. We walked the Los Ramblas, and then went into the old town, which is always what we want to visit. We did not find a HO HO bus, unfortunately, but we did find Internet.



The desire for a siesta overshadowed a desire to see the onboard afternoon entertainment: a flamenco dancer (or dancers?). This was the first time local entertainers had been brought onboard. Oh well...

So today we are going on yet another local wine experience. Like we need more wine, especially in the AM, but we are here and that is when it is offered, so we are doing our second "complimentary" tour (as opposed to those tours that cost extra).

We have been to Malaga a couple of times, so this will indeed be a new adventure.

Later gator! At the wine museum. Cheers...ciao!



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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Cartagena, Spain

This is an ancient city, founded more than 2,000 years ago. It is one of Spain's busiest commercial centers. The harbor is flanked by towering fortresses, and speckled with sections of old city walls, beautiful flower studded balconies, school children, and tourists everywhere.



Our bus ride was delightful. So was finding wifi to download messages. We were quite happy to purchase a Coke for the password.

MM and I enjoyed a stroll through the pedestrian area above, and seeing all the chatting school children on their outing. We sure miss our wee ones!

So we strolled back along the harbor to the yacht for yet another delicious lunch, and an afternoon of reading. Yes, we are enjoying the easy life for at least awhile longer...till Sunday!

After dinner, we sat and listened to the 3 musicians/singer till they took their break. There were 5 folks listening. Pitiful. Not the entertainers, the lack of audience.

Today we are walking around the old district in Almeria. Hello, Golden Arches!


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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Valencia




Ola! It was a fine day in Valencia on Monday. MM and I took the shuttle that let us off near the cathedral, so we took a walk through the pedestrian area, being tourists.

We found the famous Golden Arches and used their wifi to make a blog post and try to receive mail. The system only liked hotmail, not gmail, so we were unable to download our major inboxes. Bugger. At least the blog launched so the kids would know where we were and are still alive and well.

We checked out the central market, shown above, and just soaked up that part of the city, before taking the shuttle back to the yacht. Lunch and a nap both felt good.

The musical entertainment onboard consists of a group of four, and a duo. Both play (in separate locations), first as we go into dinner at 7:00 (and away from where they are playing...a few folks stay and come into dinner late), then they play again (at the same time) at 9:15, long after dinner is over. We don't want to sit around waiting on them to begin. Strange way of scheduling, in our humble opinion. We would love to enjoy live entertainment.

Oh...the yacht has 5 masts, not 4 as I said earlier. Sorry that I short changed them by one. I don't have a good photo yet to post, but I will. Eventually.

Today finds us docked in downtown Cartagena, so we can walk in, no shuttles needed. We have never been here, and it appears to be an interesting city.

We hopped on the HO/HO bus and checked it out...we are now on a free wifi prowl. Bingo!

Sunny smiles.

Ciao, y'all!

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Sunday in Palma

The city of Palma de Mallorca is dominated by its wonderful Gothic Cathedral, Le Seu, and most of the main sights are located within the area bounded by the old city walls. The coaches stopped, but only for a quick photo shoot:



Since MM and I have done the city HO/HO bus tour, we opted to take the "Olive and Orange World" tour offered in the onboard program. We get two "free" tours, so we picked this one (since it was something different), and since we've been here a couple of times already.

We left the port for a short coach ride, admiring olive, almond, and carob trees in a scenic drive to Valldemosa. We toured a monastery where Chopin lived and composed for a very short while, and were treated to a short but nice live piano concert of his music.

A glass of freshly squeezed OJ at a local cafe was the "Orange" portion of the trip. Lots of oranges, lemons and limes are grown around here.

We reboarded the coaches for a trip across the valley to Soller, with a stop at Ca'n (casa) Det, a typical stone house that is more than 400 years old, and where the Det family continues to live...and work. It is one of three "tafonas" that still produce virgin olive oil in the age old traditional way, using millstones, wicker mats, and a hydraulic press. Photos later, of course.

We enjoyed a typical Majorcan lunch there, made with olive oil products and served picnic style on multiple long tables, right there in their processing area. Yum!

A quick photo stop at the bowl-shaped, beautiful harbor of Soller wrapped up our tour, and then we headed back to the ship...oops, I have learned that it is called a yacht, not a ship or sailboat. Now you know.

We have a daily port talk of the next day's port, ahead of a wine tasting, followed by open seating dinner. We have met some friendly Americans and Brits thus far.

Lynne would not have liked our wave rolling Saturday night, but it really wasn't too bad.

Soo many pearls in this famous Palma town, but with it being Sunday, not much was open. Bugger. That wasn't good planning!

Now, it is Monday, and we have just docked in Valencia. Shuttles will take us into city center, so we will go ashore after all the tour folks have departed, and merely do a walkabout. No tour for us today.

Apparently, we can get 20 free minutes of wifi in the terminal, so that will be first priority! Internet onboard is a tad pricey, so I will forego that, and post when able.

Sunny and cool.

Check back and see where we go next! So far, so good, y'all!

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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Saturday in Barcelona




The photo is the view from Bob and Lynne's room overlooking the chateau portion of our Porto hotel. Our hotel view here in Barcelona is OK...greenery, power line, car factory, roads. Nothing exciting.

Buenos Dias from sunny Barcelona!

We opted to go to the airport early on the tour bus yesterday, rather than take a taxi later. We had to sit somewhere, so we figured we might as well sit and read at the airport. And have a beer.

Our flight arrived early, which was good, seeing as how those seats on the 737 were totally uncomfortable. We learned that taxi rides are pricey here. The meter read almost 14€ for our short ride to the hotel. When MM tried to pay the driver and couldn't understand a word the (unhappy) man was saying, the two of them went inside to the desk clerk with English speaking ability who 'splained to MM that from the airport, there is a minimum fare of 20€. Welcome to Spain, thankyouverymuch.

So we have already enjoyed a nice breakfast buffet, and are now awaiting our 12:00 taxi to take us to the port, about a mile and a half away. Hopefully, we will have a different driver!

This cruise will check off something on my guy's bucket list. We are sailing on a big a$$ sailboat--a four-masted sailboat that holds 250 passengers. For eight days. We have only been on small ones for a short sail, so this is a major change. Major. Surely I will like it, right? I love cruising, so I will now find out if I like sailing. Here goes!

We are in port every day, except for a final sea day as we make the run back into Lisbon. We shall be visiting some new ports, but also going back into a couple of places we have visited before, but perhaps seeing from a different perspective. The weather forecast is for sun, so that is good; however I will still be found in the shade...somewhere.

Come along on this new adventure with us. I know it will be exciting, and much warmer than it is back in Mayberry, so that is good. I don't like cold weather, and we are expecting mid-60s and higher during the day. Me likey.

Bon voyage to us!

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Friday, November 14, 2014

Farewell, Portugal!




Our silly boys at the farewell dinner last night.

Ola! Bom dia on our final day in Portugal...for this side of the trip.

MM and I fly to Barcelona late this afternoon ahead of boarding a four-masted sailboat (250 folks) bound for Lisbon. Beginning tomorrow.

If you are gonna fly this far away from home, you might as well get the most out of the trip. And so we shall. Lynne can't do the ocean, so she and Bob fly to Paris for a few days. Wait...I love Paris! Oh, the choices!!! Oh well, another time.

At least the nawthern Bells have enjoyed the river cruise enough to be thinking about doing another one. That smells like success on our travel agent skills, well, mainly MM and his skills. We thoroughly enjoyed our special time together with them.

So we begin a new adventure tomorrow, and switch languages. At least Spanish is more familiar to me than Portuguese. Our Alex is taking a Portuguese class in school, so I got to say a few words to him last night when we did FaceTime. Love it!

Time to pack. Happy Friday, y'all.

Bon voyage!


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