The end of a journey…..CADIS

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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!

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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…

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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….

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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

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Lisbon….. Portugal’s Ancient Maritime Centre

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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’…

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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…

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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)

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

“The Monument of the Discoveries”

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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.

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8th October

(C) David Oakes 2018

Generalife Palace, Alhambra

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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…

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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