So, why would someone pay to go on a mystery cruise; get on a ship and head to ports unknown? Since I love to cruise, this sounded like an interesting opportunity to sail into, well, mystery! I’ve now done two of these cruises and both on the Braemar. I really like this ship. It is a smaller one and feels like family. It is very easy to sail solo and meet lots of friends on this ship.
On the first cruise, we sort of knew where we were going. The passengers were given a choice and we voted for one port or another — but we did not know where we were going until we got there! Here are the ports we visited:
Porto, Malaga, Barcelona, Valencia, Cartegna, Cadiz, La Coruna
The second mystery cruise was truly a mystery — one that would include only maiden ports (ports where our ship had never visited). It was very strange not to be able to plan or research the ports we were going to, nor to be able to know exactly what to pack — for warm or cold! The cruise was early May, so it was hard to plan for everything. It started in Dover and we waited to see if we would turn to go north … or south (or if we could even trust that, in the night, the ship would change directions!). As it turned out, we continued North and thus we began a cruise that went to Norway, Denmark, Germany and Sweden.
The ports included:
Larvik, Hundested, Nyborg, Fredercia, Wismar, Lyskil
Would I go on another one? It would be hard to keep me away!
Y más or “and more …” is my review of my top favorite places to visit — as least at of today! Here is my countdown…
Number Five: Cadiz, Spain! I was so surprised at the beauty and walk-ability of Cadiz. At to that a Fortress named after my patron saint that is constructed in a star shape, beautiful beaches and great seafood — what more could I want!
Number Four: Lisbon has beautiful architecture, twisting streets, great museums, amazing music and, of course, good food and wine!
Gate to downtown Lisbon
View of the opera house and Plaza from the Santa Justa Elevator
View of the castle from the Santa Justa Elevator
View from the Castelo de Sao Jorge
Number Three: Buenos Aires with it different neighborhoods, tango all night, and friendly people — I think I lost part of my heart there!
Me at the Piazolla New Year’s Eve show
Number Two: Cuba! I am still dreaming about Cuba and all it has to offer. I love Cuba and her people. Viva Cuba!
And number one should not be a shock to anyone who has read my blog … BARCELONA! If I could, this is where I would like to live. Architecture, people, beaches, food, night life, museums, concerts — it has everything I love (and did I mention football and Camp Nou?).
All the research I did indicated that it would be easy to walk around Cadiz from port where the Braemar would dock. There is also a Hop on, hop off bus. So, I opted for a quick trip around Cadiz to get my bearings, then it was time for a nice walk next to the beaches and through parks. Cadiz is a great place to walk and see some interesting architecture, beautiful beaches and gardens and old forts. Perfect for pictures!
Before leaving ship, I got top see a submarine being towed out of the port, then heading out to sea.
There are several parks that run along the Atlantic Ocean. Here are somize of my favourite areas.
There was an interesting area with a waterfall, dinosaurs and ducks …
and this beautiful tree that provided shade to a memorial for Jose Marti — the Cuban poet and freedom fighter.
I did mention beaches, right? One very nice one is located between two forts.
One of the fortresses is a star-shaped fort named Santa Catalina.
From this beach, it is an easy walk to the main plaza and other sites such as churches and monuments.
Cadiz is a beautiful city — very easy to get around and friendly people. I was sad to leave.
I have lots of stories and photos to share about my latest cruising adventure. As I posted earlier, it was a cruise where the passengers choose which ports we would visit. So, where did we go? Here is an overview of the cruise:
From Southampton, we sailed 530 nautical miles to Leixoes, Portugal and a visit to Oporto.
Next, we sailed 521 nautical miles to Malaga, Spain
After another 530 nautical miles, we visited Barcelona!
Another 182 nautical miles latter found us in Valencia.
And another 182 nautical miles brought us to Cartagena, Spain.
After 366 nautical miles, we arrived in Cadiz, Spain.
We sailed back up the Iberian Peninsula for another 522 nautical miles to La Coruna, Spain.
Then, we headed back another 368 nautical miles to Southampton. More detailed stories are coming about each of the ports as well as a bit about sailing on the Braemar. It was an amazing trip!