One of the reasons we selected this cruise was that there were more ports than any other ship going transatlantic. So far, we’ve visited three. (More in-depth articles will be upcoming as a featured destination in this blog.) Our itinerary was to embark in Barcelona, spend a day in Palma de Mallorca, then a day at sea, and then stop in Malaga, then Las Palmas, followed by six days at sea. We are to stop at Grand Turk before continuing to our final destination, New Orleans.
Cruising on the Mediterranean is markedly different from the Caribbean. For one, temperatures are cooler. All our ports hovered around a comfortable 70 degrees with low humidity making it feel even cooler. It’s not the balmy Caribbean. You won’t go home with a suntan from here – especially this time of year. We’ll have to wait for that when we reach the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Our first stop was in Palma de Mallorca. Since we were there for the day and the weather was beautiful, we decided to walk the 2+ miles to the Cathedral. It was a fun walk with lots of things to see along the way. The Cathedral is one of the best examples of Gothic architecture of anywhere in Europe. While we didn’t visit, the factory where Majorca Pearls are made is located here as well. I left pearl less, but with some cash and fond memories. You might say I was richer for the experience.
Next up, Malaga, Spain. This was our final day on Spain’s mainland and we made the best of it. Like most of Spain, Malaga is brimming with art and interesting architecture. Pablo Picasso was born here and his legacy is celebrated with a museum, smack in the center of town. If you are able, this is a wonderful walking city. You can use all five senses as you stroll through the streets of Old Malaga. There is an old Palace at the top of a mountain here. The climb is horrific, but when you get to the top, some breathtaking scenery awaits.
Las Palmas, located on one of seven islands that make up the Canary Islands, was almost anticlimactic following our whirlwind tour of some of Spain’s mainland cities. This was more tourist oriented than the others and there was less art and no enticing architecture. Tourist traps were everywhere, from people selling trinkets and souvenirs to high end sunglasses and clothing. It’s a good walking town, so we headed outside the core tourist area.
We found a little local bar where tapas were the hottest things going. Marshall got the local cervasa at less than $2 for 14 ounces and I got a 12 ounce bottle of Coke Light for about $1.50. Compared to what we had been paying, this was a relative bargain. We weren’t hungry, so we decided to observe. Spanish was the official language here and we finally got to use some of the skills we acquired for the trip. Free peanuts were included and they were yummy.
When we left, I dropped a small notepad. As we walked down the street, a man came tearing after us with the notepad in hand. He said he saw me drop it and thought it might be important. I love these people!
So our visit to Spain is over for now and we’re headed for the Turks and Caicos Islands. But first, we will spend six days crossing the Atlantic in accommodations much improved from those used by my grandparents more than a century ago.