SUEZ CANAL. Wednesday 25th April 2018.
The day of our ANZAC service was also the day we sailed through the Suez Canal. Our second time in one year.
As we took so many photos last year we added only a few this year.
PIRAEUS, GREECE. Friday 27th April 2018
We had decided that we would take the metro into the Plaka area today but a lucky encounter with Belinda and Patrick with an invite to join them for the day meant we got to spend the day with them and their longtime Greek local friend Oreistis.
After meeting us at the train station 3 stops from the port we all jumped in his car and headed to one of The marina’s for coffee and chat before heading on down the coast for spectacular scenery, great company and delicious Greek food.
Back in close to the port we finished the day walking past the fabulous local churches and shops before we walked back to the ship in time for our early sail away.
VALLETTA, MALTA. Sunday 29th April 2018
We enjoyed Malta immensely on our last trip here in 2017 and were very excited to be coming back for another day here.
The sail in and out of Valletta is one of the most spectacular you’ll have.
The island itself is full of rich history and character and just an absolute treat to experience.
We paid 15€ for the hop on hop off bus along with Belinda and Patrick and many others from the ship and headed to Mdina the old walled city high on a hill.
It’s late April and certainly not hot summer yet so we weren’t going to the blue grotto swimming as we had last year.
The Mdina is a beautifully preserved town of great architecture and charm.
We had coffee and cake at the same restaurant we went to last year which is placed on the walls surrounding the town with expansive views. The cold wind drew us inside one of the two glassed in rooms to enjoy the delicious cakes and coffee without loosing the vista.
From the Mdina we walked to Rabat and walked through the catacombs, World War Two shelters and St Paul’s grotto all underneath the church.
We then hopped back on the bus for the blue line trip back to Valletta which took us by countryside and the seaside holiday towns already seeing the first of the tourists.
It gave us a chance to see more of this great island and reiterate that we could easily come here for a longer stay.
Back in Valletta we walked through the town from coast to coast stopping for a few pastizzi and a beer before arriving at the upper battery overlooking the harbour where our ship was docked and enjoyed the view before it once again was time to head back home to the ship.
Malta is magical and if you get the chance to visit definitely do.
Only one stop left before we take the final run to Tilbury and the end of this cruise and the start of our next adventures on land.
Life onboard is still enjoyable and we are still meeting new fellow cruisers everyday.
We are so inspired by the huge amount of travel people we meet have done and planning. It’s great to talk with fellow travel lovers and learn more of the wonders to be seen and experienced on this planet.
GIBRALTAR. Wednesday 2nd May 2018.
We have driven past Gibraltar several times on tours but had never actually been to “The Rock”.
This was our last port call before three days at sea and disembarkation at Tilbury London.
We were expecting cooler weather and dressed appropriately in layers. We ended up with a cool crisp morning and stunning warm, blue sky day to visit this famous town.
What a fabulous surprise to see a beautiful town with super friendly locals whom must be tired of pointing out places to tourists but didn’t seem to let it show.
We only had a short time here and determined to make the most of it we walked into town and straight to the cable car to take us up The Rock.
Glorious views were our reward and with battlements and St Michaels caves to also see up there it was a few great hours of enjoyment. The caves are some of the best we’ve seen and the natural auditorium hosts concerts and other events in what was used as a hospital during WW2.
The Rock also has a glass skywalk which I was brave enough to walk on and is home to many Barbary Macaques monkeys which you have to be careful of as they are known to bite and attack to get food from tourists. Though they seem to be well fed from the amount of food we saw being put out for them by local rangers.
I returned to travel down by cable car and James walked down and headed off to the tunnels, moorish castle and suspension bridge while I had a pleasant wander through the town shops and enjoyed a flat white coffee before returning to the ship for our 2 pm sail away.
Gibraltar was an unexpected delight and would certainly go again.
By the way it’s duty free heaven for those wanting some great alcohol bargains.
1litre gin from £5.
It was pleasant enough to sit at the back of the ship on sunloungers for sail away with a cocktail and a beer.
While I was busy getting ready the trivia team of James, Wendy, Sandy, Phil and Kin won and there’s a Bottle of wine to share. It’s a hotly contested game so kudos for the team to take it out at least once.
The trip is quickly coming to an end and people are making arrangements for last lunches and dinners with new friends they’ve met and contact details are being exchanged left, right and centre as the time to start the packing begins.
This next photo is of Paula,Beryl, Pat and myself. My English mates I met onboard. We sat next to them most days on our sunloungers. They all either live part time or full time in Spain and were great fun.
We have met several English couples whom live in Cornwall and have found another couple who are headed down to Mousehole for a weeks holiday so we should be able to catch up with at least one or two of them whilst down there.
AND IT ALL COMES TO AN END.
Before we knew it May 6 th arrived and on a stunning blue sky day we landed on the docks of Tilbury London and with lots of goodbyes and hugs we left all our Colombus ship friends and with Patrick and Belinda we called an Uber to take us To Paddington station.
There we parted company and we headed off to catch our train to Penzance, Cornwall and start our next adventure, 20 nights in Mousehole a cute and quaint fishing village.