Tag Archives: Malaga

Mystery Cruises #AtoZChallenge

m

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.

20160513_184525

The ports included:

Larvik, Hundested, Nyborg, Fredercia, Wismar, Lyskil

Would I go on another one? It would be hard to keep me away!

 

 

A day in Malaga

The  next choice made on our “Choose your own cruise” on the Fred. Olsen Braemar was Malaga, Spain. It’s been five years since I was last in Malaga, and I was looking forward to re-visiting some familiar places and seeing what things had changed. We were able to dock very close city centre. It is about at 15-20 minute walk, but part of it is along the new pier promenade. When I was last in Malaga, this area was all under construction. Now, it is a beautiful promenade with lots of open-air cafes and shops. There is also easy access to a very nice beach.

IMG_3137 IMG_3129

I headed to the city centre and watched as Malaga slowly woke up — people opening shops or setting up food stands, Others were getting their first cup of coffee. It was nice to just wander around to the Cathedral plaza and find a little park on the side.

IMG_3648

Malaga Cathedral doors

IMG_2982

IMG_2986

IMG_2989

I made me way to the entrance to the Alcazaba, the walled fortress. I love this fortress. Not only are the view great, but there is just something about it that I find very special. At first, you see all the battlements that were built to protect it.

IMG_2998

IMG_3000 IMG_3024 IMG_3026 IMG_3029 IMG_3034

But, after walking uphill, you make a couple of turns into the inner courtyards and find beautiful gardens filled with jasmine, hibiscus, roses and oleanders. I forgot how much I miss the smell of jasmine.

IMG_3671 IMG_3695 IMG_3707 IMG_3726 IMG_3733 IMG_3740

Let’s just saw, I can spend a lot of time here because I find it both beautiful and very peaceful.

IMG_5183

But, other things called, so I headed out and made a quick stop to the Roman Theatre, which is next to the fortress.  Then is was more just wandering through the streets and trying some salted almonds from a street vendor — and they were really good and fresh! Then, I decided to see about getting something to eat and I went to one of the cafes on the pier promenade.

IMG_3114

There were lots of people to watch as I ate tapas and drank wine. It was also getting hot, so I thought I’d head back to the ship and go to the pool. With little shade, the walk was a lot longer than I anticipated.  But, all in all, it was a beautiful day in Malaga.

IMG_3128 IMG_3130

Choose your own cruise highlights

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.

Oporto, Portugal

Next, we sailed 521 nautical miles to Malaga, Spain

Malaga, Spain

After another 530 nautical miles, we visited Barcelona!

Barcelona, Spain

Another 182 nautical miles latter found us in Valencia.

IMG_3846[1]

And another 182 nautical miles brought us to Cartagena, Spain.

Cartagena, Spain

After 366 nautical miles, we arrived in Cadiz, Spain.

Cadiz, Spain

We sailed back up the Iberian Peninsula for another 522 nautical miles to La Coruna, Spain.

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!

A to Z Challenge: S = Spain

S = Spain

SSpain has to be one of my favourite places in the world to visit.  I see, to love everything about it – the food, the music, the architecture, the people.  There is just so much to do and see and so much diversity. So much, in fact, that I am already planning for my next visit; which, unfortunately will not be until 2015. But I leave a piece of me heart there each time I go.  Here are some of my highlights of four places: Malaga, Madrid, Toledo and, of course, Barcelona.

 

In Malaga, I spent a lot of time wandering through the fortress that overlooks the city and port, visiting the cathedral and wandering through the park that runs along the port.

 

Malaga

 

Malaga

Malaga

Malaga

Malaga

Malaga

Malaga

Malaga

Malaga

Malaga

Malaga

Malaga

Madrid is filled with people and music. I there were two impromptu drumming performances that I stumbled upon while wandering through the city. I was also there the night FC Barcelona was playing for the Euro Cup final – and I got the watch the game with a group of people sitting in the kitchen of a restaurant (before I headed back to Barcelona to celebrate the win in the streets!). I also spent a lovely Sunday in Retiro Park and meet more musicians. I do love Latin music!

Madrid

Dancing to drumming in Madrid
Dancing to drumming in Madrid
Dancing to drumming in Madrid
Drummers in Madrid
Row boats in Retiro Park, Madrid
Row boats in Retiro Park, Madrid
Mariachi Band in Retiro Park, Madrid
Mariachi Band in Retiro Park, Madrid

 

Puppeteer in Retiro Park, Madrid
Puppeteer in Retiro Park, Madrid
Arabic drummers in Madrid
Arabic drummers in Madrid

 

Toledo is another walled city with a magnificent cathedral, marzipan and winding streets.

Toledo

Toledo

And then, of course, there is walking down Las Ramblas in in Barcelona.

Catalan musicians
Catalan musicians

Las Ramblas

Las Ramblas

Las Ramblas

Las Ramblas

Las Ramblas

Las Ramblas

Las Ramblas

Man with pet rabbit on Las Ramblas
Man with pet rabbit on Las Ramblas

For me, Spain is filled with life – and life cannot get better than this!

Here are more links about my adventures in Spain: