After a day at sea on Monday, crossing a benign Bay of Biscay, we awoke on Tuesday morning to find ourselves in the Canal Del Sur. We passed south of the island of San Martin and then followed the Ria De Vigo to our berth in Vigo.
Last year we were in Lisbon and it poured with rain. We had bought Hop on Hop off tickets on the ship because the adverts said the buses had ramps and were wheelchair friendly. They were not and we got our money back.
A new port for us. We had not been to Cadiz before.
He owned his car, had a beautiful wife and a four month old son. Before we set off on the tour, he had shown us a video of wife and son on his mobile. He clearly loved his home town of Cadiz and was keen that we should love it too.
and ended with the the Cathedral
and in between we visited the beautiful parks with magnificent topiary and a wide variety of trees and bushes.
We drove out to the Castillo de San Sebastián, built to protect the northern side of the city, and from there the beaches seemed to stretch to the horizon.
and managed to avoid the bargains in the shoe shops. But Barcelona has a much wider choice tomorrow.
Change of plan
The original itinerary was for Queen Elizabeth to arrive in Monaco this morning (Sunday), staying overnight and leaving on Monday afternoon. The ship was to be on the berth today and was then to move to an anchorage, so that tenders would have been required to get us to and from the ship on Monday.
that I loved last year – but we did not and that was my mistake (and my fault, of course). We ended up with no shoe purchase.
We had a coffee in a small square and some young locals put on a brief gymnastic show in front of us. It was brilliant. They moved round the square performing and then passing round a hat.
Ten years ago, to celebrate my 60th, Jane and I boarded the Seabourn Legend in Monaco.
We arrived the day before and stayed in Monaco, at the boutique Columbus Hotel, part owned by David Coulthard.
The Toulon harbour is home to the French Mediterranean Fleet and in particular the French Navy’s aircraft carrier Charles De Gualle and her battle group.
There were more than twenty warships to be seen plus a couple of rust buckets waiting to be scrapped.
Livorno and Civitavecchia
These are the ports for Pisa/Florence and Rome. As we have explored Pisa and Rome in the past, and more particularly as no wheel chair tours were in place (more about that later), we decided to investigate the ports further.
and a “New Market” constructed 70 years ago, but Livorno does not rank far from the bottom of the list of our favourite places.
We were here 9 months ago and I reported on our visit in my November 2014 blog.
This time my knee was giving me some grief, so we decided not to return to the Roman Baths and the Roman Theatre which would have involved substantial walking. We did manage to cover a fair amount of ground, though, on the eastern side of the town.
A super flat surface and traffic free. And we finished our tour with a beer, while overlooking the marina and the ship. I may have said this in the past, but ABP and the City of Southampton could learn a great deal from Cartegena about the way in which the waterfront should be developed back home.
Days at sea
It was two and a half sea days in reality. Jane and I love sea days. There is plenty going on around the ship, but if you want to do nothing but relax and watch the world go by, that is fine. Watching fellow passengers is a good game too. They come in all shapes and sizes.
On Monday at 11.15 am the theatre was packed. Standing room only for the latecomers.
A few excellent questions from Jo to get the ball rolling and then it was opened to the audience. Questions on his views on everything from Europe to migrants to Corbyn to the lady Captain (those that were there will know what I mean!)
The original plan had been that I would go home, leaving Jane on the ship. I would collect the post, check the house was OK and then meet up with Andy and Jane Houghton who were joining us for the cruise. The intention was that we would go down to the ship in the taxi together.