Remembrance Sunday – 9 November 2014. We are excited to be joining Queen Victoria again for two back to back cruises, the first to the Canaries and the second to the Western Med.
This is not easy but we will get through it! Five ports in five days. We are not trained for it. We like a port and then a few sea days to get some rest and build up the stamina with plenty of food and plenty of Malbec for me.
The sun is shining and the 8 metre waves and Force 8 gale have been left behind. We are some 200 miles from Lisbon and will be on our berth in Funchal, Madeira by 0800 tomorrow.
We spent our honeymoon in Las Palmas on the island of Gran Canaria all those years ago. And we also used to come to the island for Easter holidays when Louise and Michael were small. We usually stayed at the Costa Canaria Hotel in San Augustin.
More memories. Jane and I first came to Tenerife in March 1977. Jane was pregnant. We stayed in the dreaded Playa De Americas at the Hotel Tenerfe. We spent most of our time by the pool, but after about a week the worlds worst ever air disaster happened at Los Rodeos Airport in the north of the island.
This island should not be muddled with Las Palmas in Gran Canaria. “We have not been here before” I told everyone. Jane thought otherwise. But of course I know best.
I said nothing but Mrs Smith insisted that we had been there before and said she recalled photos we had taken of the square and the buildings surrounding it. I had to protect my position and said nothing, but after turning a corner we spotted a row of coloured townhouses.
I had to admit that I was wrong. We had been to La Palma before. It must have been on tha maiden voyage of Queen Elizabeth. It must be an age thing. Mrs Smith is, of course, much younger than me.
This week the parties have come thick and fast. The Cunard World Club party for frequent travellers and two days later the Senior Officers party. Exactly the same format for both, with the Commodore making a brief speech at the end to signal the fact that it was time to leave the free alcohol and go to dinner!
We had not been to La Coruna before. It is the gateway to Santiago de Compostelo which is about 40 miles south and it is said that in the Middle Ages no shrine was more venerated than that of St James the Apostle of Compostelo.
The large hotel facing the harbour had 4 outdoor swimming pools and large numbers of senior citizens were to be seen performing water aerobics and swimming lengths in the bright sunshine.
In the past we have always tied up near the bridge, but this time we kept going and moored much closer to the city centre.
Round One came to an end on Sunday. I managed to get ashore by 9.00 am leaving Jane with the Sunday papers, her laptop and iPad. Mark collected me from the cruise terminal and took me home. The house was immaculate as it always is when Linda is house sitting!