Hello. Even if the itinerary had not been changed yesterday, this was still going to be our last Sea Day on this cruise before a series of Port Days. So the change did not alter today’s agenda, except for where the ship is headed. We are going further north and will reach Portugal (instead of Spain) late tonight.
Something we did not mention yesterday about Madeira is how rough the terrain is. The hills are pretty steep and it is heavy volcanic basalt rock. In order to create any flat spots along the hillsides, they have hauled rocks up the hillsides to create terraced areas that are flat enough to try to grow some gardens. All this was done many years ago when the labor was done by hand and carrying blocks on their shoulders. However with a million tourists visiting each year, they basically have to import everything for use on the island. However it was a fun place to visit.
They have installed an irrigation system across the island and along the sides of roads. There is a system of rock-lined trenches which moves the water from the mountains (where
there is up to 9 meters of rain each year) to the lower levels. Christina said that residents sign up for units of water (measured in 30-min increments flowing through their irrigation trench) when they want to irrigate their fields.
Anyway, back to today’s activities. Last night was a little “bumpy” but we were tired enough that it didn’t really affect our sleep. We got up and went to breakfast and then Janet went to her knitting group. Since this is our last day without a port call (for this cruise), this may be the last time some of the folks got together. Janet showed one of her scarfs and had several questions about what yarn she used, what sized needle, and what stitch – so she was justifiably proud of her work. If we were still at home Janet would be with her St Louis stitching buddies at a weekend conference in Dubuque Iowa. David certainly does appreciate her making the sacrifice and being here on the cruise with him. But she wants to say hello to her friends who went to Iowa.
morning. The Port Lecturer had pulled this together quickly but he gave us an overview of what to expect of Lisbon. Then David went to a presentation which was a virtual tour of the ship’s bridge and an explanation of what happens in the process of navigating the ship. He covered a lot of interesting facts but we’re not going to try to report them all here.
We met back in the cabin a little after 12:00 and went down to the Crown Grill for another Pub Lunch. This time we both had the Fish & Chips. Janet brought her own cup of hot tea since they don’t serve tea with Pub Lunch for some reason. David got a pint of Newcastle Draft. We sat next to a nice couple and shared details about what we did yesterday versus their activity. We had a nice visit with them before going up to the Horizon Bistro to pick up a little dessert.
Back in the cabin, Janet did some needlework before going to her Book Club review. She said there were people with various opinions about the books and she shared her 2 cents worth with them. They even pointed out a couple of things she had overlooked when reading the book. Anyway, she still thinks it was a good book to read.
David had skipped the Fitness Center this morning because there was a 5K Walk for Breast Cancer (23 laps of the short track) this afternoon. It was kind of breezy up on the deck-18 but not too cold. David wore his sweatshirt from Banff Canada but it wasn’t really needed once he got up to speed. Then he rewarded himself afterwards with an ice cream cone from the Swirl Girl. Also the ship gave each participant a ball cap as a thank you gift for participating.
Tonight is the last of our Formal Dinners on this cruise (before Barcelona) so we pulled out the fancy outfits one more time. This evening we got a picture of Jim & Bonnie, and of Jerry & Joyce. We didn’t get a picture of us, but maybe sometime in the future. For dinner Janet had Tomato Soup, and Veal Ravioli as the early courses. David had Shrimp Cocktail and Goat Cheese & Apple cold soup. For our entrees we each had the Lobster Tail and Prawns. For dessert Janet had Pineapple Flambé and David had Butterscotch Sundae. It was another excellent dinner. We had some white wine with dinner and our after dinner liquors after dessert.
After dinner we went to the Vista Lounge and heard a concert by the Alegria String Quartet. We have heard them before and have enjoyed them each time. Tonight’s concert was a collection of Tango music and once again was very enjoyable. Afterwards, we went back to our cabin to watch “The Martian” on our TV.
We got nice e-mail messages from Tessa, Patterson, and Melody Brink today with interesting things they’ve been doing. It sounds like they are having fun and staying healthy. It was very nice to hear from them. That’s about all from here for today. Good night.