|18/10/2009||Dover, England||Parking only £3 per day!|
|20/10/2009||La Coruna, Galicia, Spain||Santiago (again!)||Canapes in the Capilla Real!|
|22/10/2009||Gijon, Asturias, Spain||Two trips into town|
|23/10/2009||Santander, Cantabria, Spain||Wet morning in town & dry afternoon on coast|
|24/10/2009||Bilbao, Basque, Spain||Glorious morning in City|
|25/10/2009||La Rochelle, France||City and Ile de Ré||Lovely morning tour|
|27/10/2009||Dover, UK||Home by 11:30!|
After a rough crossing of the Bay of Biscay we had a late arrival in La Coruna. I was a tour escort to Santiago de Compostela for the third time. The wine and canapés in the royal chapel (capilla real) were as lovely as ever. My tour got back at 7:15 pm and I had changed and was on duty by 7:30! It was the western evening so I led two line dancing sessions in the Cor(r)al Club. Back in the Bay we had a force nine gale off Cape Finisterre so we turned back from Portugal. No return visit to Lisbon, no first visit to Oporto. Let's hope I get there next week on Boudicca!
We arrived two days early in Gijon, and I went into the lovely town twice. Braemar's first ever visit to Santander occurred on a wet morning. I had trouble finding a free Wi-Fi signal there, until I got back near to the ship at the old port building. This is now a modern art gallery with hundreds of old shoes arrayed on the floor, "pretentious, self-indulgent, craftless tat" as Ivan Massow said. However they did offer free Wi-Fi! The main art gallery was also full of rubbish bar one painting by Goya. By the afternoon the weather had improved and so I walked along the sandy coast to the free zoo and the royal palace on the peninsula.
At Getxo (pronounced Ghetto but not at all like one!) I took the 3 euro return metro ride into stunning Bilbao. I got off in the old town and walked back along the river to the fantastic Guggenheim museum. I wasn't prepared to shell out 11 euros to go inside to see more tat. In La Rochelle I was a tour escort again, around the city and the beautiful Ile de Ré. On the final day I got off the boat by 7:45 am and drove home for 11:30 am.