Sunday, June 23, 2013

May 2013 Trip, Part III--Many Ports then Back to England

My sister Barbara and I visited many ports on our cruise leaving from Southampton, England. We first hit a port in Spain, then on to Portugal and the Canary Islands before returning to Portugal and Spain (stopping at different ports) then ending up back in England. These towns and cities were historic as well as beautiful. They all had commonalities:

Vigo, Spain

Art                                                                                           Old Areas                       
My sister Barbara in old Vigo.
The port of Vigo, Spain has this rather odd sculpture. From the back,
 it's a mystery, but walk around and you find it's a face-planted head. 

The port of Vigo and our ship, Independence of the Seas in the background.

Lisbon, Portugal

Even the sidewalks are mosaic. 
The church entrance at the Monastery of Jeronemos,
the Maneline style is so ornate. 

Beautiful Lisbon.
Art students in the park across from the Monestary.

Lanzarote, Canary Island 
This island is unique among the Canary Islands. It is a volcanic dessert island, with almost no water or soil. It's development was greatly influenced by the Lanzarote artist, Cesar Manrique, who insisted on a limit to building height, that all buildings be painted white with blue or green trim. His art included "wind toys," paintings, sculptures, and an incredible cactus garden.

Jardin de Cactus

One section of Manrique's Cactus Garden.

Lanzarote living.

Lava tube with reflection in the collected water.

I have to admit that the rest of the Canary island ports were less distinctive and flowed into one another. A few adventures stand out, such as when an ATM ate my debit card. (Note to travelers: always take more than one card and notify your banks about your travel plans.)

The islands and ports are beautiful none the less and Barbara and I greatly enjoyed our taxi tours. Rather than going on the cruise tours, we chose to find drivers who spoke a bit of English and travel on our own.

Balcony Bouquets of Canary Islands
Hillsides are packed with colorful buildings.
Although there is some debate about how the
Canary Islands got their name, these dogs are
testament to the legend that the name comes from
"canine." One story is that the islands had native dogs
when first contacted by the Romans.

Catedral de Santa Ana, established in 1478, just a few
years after Columbas headed toward America.
Many explorers, including Columbus,
used the Canary Islands as a respite from the seas.
Barbara and our taxi drivers at another vista.

Madeira, Portugal

One of the many painted doors in Funchel.

The doors in the historic area of Funchel, Madeira were painted in 2011 during a project to promote art in the city.
Fishermen hanging out.
Ceiling in a small chapel.
In a small fishing village we visited a very humble (from the outside) chapel dedicated to the fishermen in the area. Inside was this fabulous painted ceiling.

La Caruna, Spain
In our last port, La Caruna, we celebrated Barbara's birthday. The day was rainy and we were fairly worn out after our 2 weeks of port-hopping. We settled for a nice lunch and a walking tour.

Barbara's birthday lunch.
La Caruna

We wrapped up our trip with 2 days in London. We saw "Wicked" and "Billy Elliot," both in theaters within walking distance of our hotel. Our last day we spent at the Victoria and Albert Museum which is a truly amazing museum.

What a wonderful trip!

1 comment:

Ruth Armitage said...

So glad you had this wonderful opportunity to experience new sights and places! The painting with the cactus really reminds me of your Hawaiian volcano apintongs!