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Published: December 13th 2018
Day 9 – Saturday 1st
December 2018 Today we were at Marseille! Watched the sunrise and after breakfast off the ship by 9.30am (lazy start!!) We were, according to the Tourist Info, approx. 8km from the Old Port and we could either walk and then catch a 35T or get the shuttle outside! The shuttle was 10.95 euros each return and it dropped us near the Cathedral, INSIDE the port and was probably only 5kms!! From our dock we could have probably walked for 15 minutes, following the green line, and caught the free shuttle! I don’t know!! Anyway, duly took photos pf the Cathedral, quick peer inside and then walked round the Old Fort and along the Waterfront around the Old Port! It was lovely! The sun was shining, the water was blue, white xmas trees lined the seafront, along with a Christmas market selling items for a crib scene, as well as crepes and gluewein!
There was also an open air fresh fish market and a flower market covered with a mirror so some interesting scenes! Continued walking out to the Fort at the other side when Chris said he wanted to visit the Church (Notre Dame de la
Garde )at the top of the hill . I knew life was too easy so we set off up the steps….and up and up, along the road, more steps, round the corner, up again and then there it was!! It looked amazingly spectacular (I did notice that Le Petit Tren was parked up outside and would have saved the walk up!!) with views all around of Marseille, the Old Harbour, the Cathedral – even our ship was there in the distance!!
Walked back down, through the shopping district and along the Old Port front again, where the Fish Market and Xmas market had packed up due to a demonstration of people in Yellow jackets! Lots of Police around and roads closed off, but it all seemed peaceful enough. Walked back to the Shuttle Bus and back on the ship by 15.00hrs. Watched the sail away from the deck accompanied by a beautiful sunset, hoards of gulls and Italian Opera!!
Days 10 +11 – Sea Day + Malaga – Sun & Mon 2nd
Our first sea day!! Didn’t do very much except walk around the deck, read and eat!! Treated to a
beautiful sunrise when we docked, and as we have visited Malaga many times, decided to go to the Field Club Monday morning and renew our membership and catch up with friends!! Also had a good session on the internet and did some shopping for Oliva Body Cream in Mercadona!! Back on the ship for 17.30pm and watched the absolutely stunning sunset over the sea!
Day 12 + 13 – Sea Day + Lanzarote – Tues & Wed 4th & 5th
Saw loads of dolphins on the way to Lanzarote which was quite exciting! Always a pleasure to watch them.
We had booked a Costa trip to the north of the Island of Lanzarote ,and duly left at about 9.15am. Lanzarote always seems quite a tidy island – I think it’s all the black volcanic rocks with the white houses with their green shutters (Blue shutters on the coast resorts!) There is also no litter anywhere – although we did notice in Arrecife they had cactus growing in the waste bins!!
Our first stop was Jameos Del Agua which was described as a lagoon/restaurant/ swimming pool and cave! Drove through the ‘sea of
lava’ and walked down into an impressive restaurant. This was nothing compared to the lagoon with its crabs and an underground walkway led to the swimming pool! Its difficult to describe it really, but it was stunning! There was an underground bar and after walking around the pool we visited the concert hall/cave with its mirrored wall! It was all, quite an experience!
Onwards to the Mirador del Rio and a view of the island La Graciosa, and then a drive upwards, past the agricultural region and grape vine region of Lanzarote, past Haria, where there is over 1000 palm trees and up to Teguise. This used to be the ancient Capital of Lanzarote – not sure until when! Wandered around, looked at the 14th
C church and the old tithe Barn that has now been converted to a Bank and also walked down Calle de Sangre. It is called the Street of Blood due to the slaughter of local residents and 170 pirates on 7th
Drove back to the ship for a late lunch then walked back into Arricefe for a walk along the harbour and sea and then out to the Castillo San Gabriel.
It was very windy and Chris’ cap from Laos (visited 7 years ago) blew off into the sea! Walked out on the breakwater, before heading back into town (after a last look at Chris’ cap in the sea bobbing about!!) Sailed for Tenerife at 20.00hrs!
Day 14 – Tenerife – Thursday 6th
We had already been to Santa Cruz, Tenerife on another cruise and also spent a week on Tenerife so we had to find something to do!! Ah – what about the Piramides de Guimar! Not quite as famous as the Pyramids of Egypt but got to be worth a look…..
Off the ship about 8.15am and walked to the bus station through the car boot sale/ market. Caught the 9.45am bus no 121 (3.40 euros each, one way) to the outskirts of Guimar, in the Guimar Valley, and the bus driver said we had to walk up the street, then left, down the hill, which we duly did and located the Piramides de Guimar! 18 euros each to go in (seemed a bit steep) and a queue of people!!
Basically, its an openair museum, with a botanical garden, also a section on
poisonous plants, a tropicarium, and a huge exhibition about the Polynese Islands and people. There is an exhibition of various artefacts, just inside, that were transported from Papua New Guinea to the Canary Islands in 1992 on a Fred Olsen ship – Black Watch. It is all dedicated to the Norwegian scientist Thor Heyerdahl (1914-2002) who was trying to prove that ancient civilizations made contact with each other and travelled by reed rafts, such as the Kon Tiki, huge distances across the oceans. Thor Heyerdahl also recognised the importance of the Piramides and saved them from being destructed and dedicated himself to their study and conservation. The North wall of pyramids 2,3 & 4 is astronomically orientated to sunset at the summer solstice. Between pyramids 2 & 3 is an elevated horizontal plaza. According to Galindo (1632) the first inhabitants used to build stone pyramids in sacred places and align them with the sun and on June 21st
the sun shines in two places on the Caldera de Pedro Gil. No-one knows how old the pyramids are – they could be 14th
C or built by farmers in the 19th
C!! Thor Heyerdahl was also great friends with Fred
Olsen, which may explain why Fred Olsen has the monopoly on the Canary Island Ferries!!
Had a good wander around and learnt a lot about Tenerife and the Guanches – the history of the island, pirates, old games that used to be played, migration of people to South America – it was all very interesting! We didn’t really have the time to do it all justice as we were sailing at 17.00hrs and today was a Public Holiday (yes, another one!) in Spain so a limited bus service. However, the 14.05 bus turned up 5 minutes late and we arrived back in Santa Cruz for a wander back to the ship for about 16.00.
As a point of interest, according to Chris’ fitbit, we have also walked 100km or 60 miles this week, which may explain why my knees hurt!! Anyway, glad we didn’t miss the ship as tonight we are leaving Europe and sailing across the Atlantic for the Caribbean. Hoping the weather stays fine!!
Tot: 2.506s; Tpl: 0.059s; cc: 15; qc: 68; dbt: 0.0592s; 2; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 2;
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