The end of a journey…..CADIS

_DOI1258qq

Plaza de San Juan de Dios, Cadis

Early morning and we arrive at Cadis.  It is the last port of call on our Andalusian trip. Cadis has the honour of being the oldest  inhabited City in Europe, some say the western world.  The name Cadis is understood to come from the Phoenician word ‘Gadir‘  which means ‘enclosure’. Founded about 1100bc it rapidly became the gateway to the New World and a bridge between Africa and Europe. It was Phoenicians that established Cadis as a trading post. Cadis has a history influenced by all the many cultures, of which there are many,  that have either invaded, passed thru or indeed settled here making this a relatively small but captivating City, one of the friendliest on the tour.

One treat as we explored Cadis was a Flamenco Singer and Dancer, a display that was just so full of Spanish emotion, power and energy that gave even us a ‘bounce’ to our steps even though the temperature hovered around 30c… and the girls loved him!

_DOI1294qqq

The Local Police seemed rather laid back, in pairs with one always on the phone…which I discovered was a football match they were keeping a close eye on! Then you go round the corner and there is a Bride with her Groom on the way to their Reception…

_DOI1273qqq

_DOI1415qqq

Cadis was our last Port….but it was also a Port that Fred Olsen Cruise Lines chose to assemble there small fleet of 4 vessels all together at one time. We were at the end of our cruise, others ships were mid journey and one was just starting its voyage.  So it was celebrations in the Port and at the end of the day all 4 Ships sailed out of Cadis together.  Escorted by Fireboats.

With all 4 Ships pausing ‘bow first’ in a Thank You for a great days hospitality and as salute to Cadis….

_DOI1501qqq

A very fitting end to a memorable trip. Sun and blue sky for the most part, temperature a dry 28 on average and only 5 minutes of rain….not bad 🙂

13th October

(C) David Oakes 2018

Advertisements

Lisbon….. Portugal’s Ancient Maritime Centre

_DOI9515a-qq

Dawn and a new day and a new port of call…this time Lisbon. As the sun rose in the sky the colour and architecture of the town that hugs the coast was revealed in all its colour, layer upon layer of red roofed houses all crowded together above the harbour.

Portugal has a proud history of Maritime Exploration and Discovery of far flung lands around a world they went into the unknown.  Each sea trip was a big adventure. Lisbon was the centre of this activity so it is not surprising is that they have a fantastic Maritime Museum.  It has been created in the old Jeronimos Monastery at Belem. Vasco Da Gama along with many other explorers are celebrated but pride of honour in the display is the map of Portugal’s ‘World of Discovery’…

_DOI9578.jpg

The Museum is also home to the colourful collection of Royal Barges.  As you explore you get a true impression of there enormous size, there intricate design and vibrancy…..all powered by man.  There are also a couple of early Seaplanes…

_DOI9632

_DOI9653

Close by is the famous  Belem Tower on the banks of the River Tagus..

(sadly due to a Military Parade we couldn’t get nearer)

_DOI9692.jpg

Close to Belem is the much newer, dramatic and ornately sculpture monument…

“The Monument of the Discoveries”

_DOI9696

In fading light as evening descended we headed off back up along the Tagus taking a last look at Lisbon’s waterfront and then out under the giant ’25th de Abril’  bridge.

_DOI9761

8th October

(C) David Oakes 2018

Generalife Palace, Alhambra

_DOI0433-copy

The Gardens of Alhambra probably cover more of the city than the Palaces.  Not surprising as the gardens were developed over many centuries gradually taking over buildings and existing gardens. Not sure how the name Generalife Palace came about, maybe because these gardens became the peaceful retreats for Granada’s Monarchs.

Water and shade play a large part of the gardens architecture as does the mix of plants, plants that would find life difficult outside the walls. We soon got used to Oranges and Lemons on fruit trees, not something we see in the UK, but the biggest surprise were the Pomegranate Trees laden with fruit.  So come on take a stroll in the garden…

_DOI0422

Commanding wide vistas in every direction the gardens will not disappoint.

It is from here on high above the plains that surround that you also get to see the modern Granada laid out below.  Sadly our trip to Alhambra was over and after an early start, a late finish was in store and the knowledge that we would have to plan to come back to Granada of the Moors.

5th October

(C) David Oakes 2018

Dawn and a Dramatic Coastline

_DOI9864

It was an early start to travel across the dramatic but arid desert east of Almeria… an attempt to keep cool.  Salt Pans and Sand Dunes, miles of low cacti then the occasional village of a few houses always dominated by a church was the vista.

The area is known as Cabo De Gata and is classed as a Natural Park. Ultimately you come to the Lighthouse perched high on the craggy headland and as the sun climbs the sea turns into its characteristic Mediterranean rich blue…

_DOI9855-copy

The lighthouse and rocky coastline all seem rather out of place, sitting as it does, right by an arid sandy desert.  Yet despite its remoteness people still cling to the edge of the cliffs to build their homes…one thing is for sure, its peaceful.

 

9am and temperatures above 39c…. but that sea did look so inviting

_DOI9862

2nd October

(C) David Oakes 2018

Almeria….Spanish with a Moroccan Flavour

_DOI0042

Ancient and modern in both architecture and culture.  North Africa mixes well here in a truly Spanish style.

_DOI0074

The City is dominated by the ruins of the Cathedral Fortress, Alcazaba built as a defence against Barbary Pirate Raids (sadly it was barricaded off for our visit to allow Filming of Wonder Woman!) but still an impressive statement about Almeria.

Almeria is truly a city that has embraced modern culture yet has retained its historical past. A Spanish Beach resort blends into a vibrant Commercial City that has retained all the essential elements of its culture, a culture that has been influenced by all religions and peoples from across Europe, North Africa and further afield. Busy, yet relaxed in approach… a welcoming City. So lets take a tour….

_DOI0059 - Copy

A spotless City where even the graffiti  is smart…

 _DOI0087 - Copy

1st October

(C) David Oakes 2018