Malaga and Cadiz - Sometimes Just a Sniff is Okay
Trip Start Apr 17, 2001
272Trip End Ongoing
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The Solstice folks provide tiny bits of information about ports of call, in hope that you'll choose them for everything from loading you into a bus and taking you to a far off city, to selling you bottles of water to quench your thirst on the way there.
The port city of Cadiz, four or five hours west of Gibraltar is the get-go point for your journey to the beautiful city of Seville. But you've only got eight hours in port. Do you spend the $90.00 - $140.00 for a rather lengthy bus ride, quick chow-down, quick cathedral look-see, (Seville's cathedral is the 3rd largest in Europe) quick rush back to the bus, so you can get back to the boat just as it's ready to set sail again? Or do you soak up a simpler pleasure, like wandering the streets of Cadiz for free? We went for Cadiz.
The churches of Cadiz I don't expect match the ones – especially the big one – of Seville, but you can do these closer-to-boat excursions at your own pace. We even found that Cadiz had stores where you could buy your own water. It was a magical little town with its narrow streets that all seem to lead to one enchanting town square or another. Cadiz was a place where I had time to collect both photos and memories.
Twelve hours later, through the Strait of Gibraltar, on the Mediterranean coast, we docked at Malaga. Christopher Columbus set sail from this historic city more than 500 years ago. And here we were, docking at the same port. It was the same thing from the Solstice folks. This time the lengthy bus-ride was to Granada. No bus ride and no expensive water for us, thank you very much, we nodded to one another with a compliant wink. We adventurers, buoyed with Cadizian confidence were once again off on our own.
The Captain, who has been a joy, just made his daily announcement. We're 325 kilometres from Barcelona, and the end of our journey. When the anchor is dropped we'll have traveled 8,463 kilometres. In spite of the expensive excursions and a few other annoying money extraction methods, the Solstice has been an opulent experience. Some of the on-board entertainment has been top-notch, and the food has been, for the most part, very good. So good, that if you happen to be a bit too skinny and are looking to beef up a little, there's nothing like the Solstice to get you back up to your fighting weight. That being said, we'll likely never do this again...unless we can find a boat going from Asia to America.
Photos of Ponta Delgada, in the Azores, Lisbon, Cadiz and Malaga will be sent separately. Internet access has been difficult, which has also caused a bit of stale dating.