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November 2013

Week One:

We had a very smooth ride around the Mediterranean- our last port of call in the Med was Malaga. Andrew did not fancy the 2 and a half hour trip to see the Alhambra Palaces (which he had seen 50 years ago) and let Vanessa go solo whilst he stayed and rested the "knee" (with a few beers!)  The ride out to Granada was pleasant and the Palaces and grounds within the Alhambra were quite magnificent. The Moorish architecture (both plaster and wood) is so well preserved and full of intricate detailing with delicate hues of  blue, green and brown within the plaster work. The courtyards and gardens are beautifully kept. It was well worth the visit.

After Malaga we went to Cadiz, from there we took a tour of  Jerez de Frontera (meaning Sherry) where we went to the sherry factories and had to (No, Andrew we didn't HAVE to!) test the various brands of sherries and brandies. Needless to say Andrew just loved everything and he then came back to the boat to sleep the afternoon away. We then had two days at sea to get to the Azores....... unfortunately for some delicate souls, one of the days we had 14ft swells and the medical unit was rather busy issuing sea sick pills. Andrew spent most of the time in bed. (Or was he still sleeping off the sherry?).

Our last port of call before returning to Fort Lauderdale was Ponta Delgada on the island of Sao Miguel. We had booked a private tour by car with another couple. The car was small, the people big and the driver, guide, had halitosis! On top of that it was blowing a gale and raining. We drove to some of the viewing points around the island and were greeted with more rain. On a pleasant day it would have been wonderful.....this was not the day. We were very impressed with the scenery though. Somewhat like England, Ireland and New Zealand. Shame we had the English rain too! By the afternoon it had cleared up and of course our tour was done, but we did enjoy a little walk through old town and a nice lunch in a local cafe.

Now we are at sea for the next seven days. It is predicted to be another rough day tomorrow. I'd better get some more sea sick pills before they run out! 

 

One of the prisons the Sultans wives would have occupied!

Alhambra gardens.

View from the Alhambra

One of the courtyards. The reflecting pool.

Plaster and wood work. Amazing!

The courtyard of lions.

Cadiz. Great old town streets.

Paella...what else!

Sao Miguel. View of the thermal baths.

Cows in our way on such a dreary day!

Pretty scenery

Ponta Delgada

View from Port in Ponta Delgada.

Bye Bye Europe.

Week Two:

The crossing has started and after several days at sea we have both a new found respect for anyone who has sailed across the Atlantic in a small boat. The ocean goes on forever. 7 days sailing in a a most comfortable big cruise ship is great but even towards the end of the 7 days we are looking forward to our arrival and going home.

Daily life starts at 6 a.m. with both of us going to the onboard gym to exercise for 45 minutes. Then it's cup of tea time and then just after 7 we have a full English breakfast. After breakfast we change and go to the indoor swimming pool and exercise in the are for 30 minutes and then 10 minutes in the Sauna. Back to the room, change and off to "Trivia" competition at 9.30. At 10 Vanessa goes off to play Mahjong and Andrew sneaks back to the room for a beer.

At lunchtime we head off together for a sit down 4 course lunch. Nap in the afternoon ..... get ready for dinner (4 course) and then off to the show in the theater. Friday the 15th we dock and then fly home.

 

The Theater on board.

Yum Yum

Week Three:

We are at home and beginning to settle in for the next few weeks. However since we have not cooked for so long we hardly know how to turn the cooker on. The washing machine has been running on overtime and we are starting to do the jobs on our house maintenance list. The list is quite long and the big bad jobs have been relegated to the bottom. Too cold outside for some of the chores. Whatever excuse works, eh!

We signed up with our local gym and have already made progress in using it....believe it or not! Vanessa wasted no time in getting back with her mahjong group and arranging visits with family and friends.

We have made a short (very short) 6 minute YouTube video about our trip in Europe.  Click HERE to view.

Now we are getting ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Time is flying by and there is much to be done.