Ferrol, Galicia, Spain

Back to the cruise, and we had about five hours in the port of Ferrol in Spain, sometimes called El Ferrol. The town is a short walk from the docks and I think we were the last people back on board as we ‘did’ the town in two chunks, going back to the ship for lunch. We did have coffee and churos in a cafe in Ferrol, as we hadn’t tried churos before, we weren’t that impressed with them.

Anyway, we realised that the time had come for the Black Watch to set sail, but we were still in the port.

Bing bong The captain was speaking and the upshot was that they hadn’t been able to get the fuel ‘bunkered’ fast enough hence the delay.

an impromptu deck party 2

The good news was that an impromptu deck party was going to take place at the stern! The weather was gorgeous so we made our way to the blunt end of the ship where Jess Belleza and the Black Watch Band were in full swing.

impromptu deck party

Honestly it was like something out of a Cliff Richard film, I had the weirdest sensation of unreality. A couple of the dancers were jigging away in the shallow end of one of the pools and having a great time too by the look of it. Of course being an absolute cynic a large part of me was thinking that the extra time docked in Ferrol meant more money being paid out by the Fred Olsen cruise line. I’m fairly sure that the whole thing was got up to push the sales of sangria and help to pay the extra port charges – but heigh-ho it was good fun. The music must have been blasting all over the town of Ferrol, a rude awakening for some still having a siesta maybe.

jet skis

All too soon the ship was ready to sail, we found it interesting that despite the fact that they use oil for the fuel they still use the term ‘bunkering’ for the storing of it, as it was when they used coal for the fuel.

The jet skiers were dancing around in the bay, all adding to the sense of celebration.

Then we sailed past ancient fortifications. It’s a very historic area and of course England and Spain were at daggers drawn during Tudor times, so they put on a bit of a show for us, pretending we were the old enemy and seeing us off!

fortifications

There’s a chap in this photo somewhere, done up in medieval uniform and shooting at us – several times, he was thoroughly enjoying himself, boys will be boys!

Castle San Filipe 5

The ship visiting seemed to be a big occasion for the locals and some of them had been lining the harbour as we left, taking videos of the Black Watch and the nutters on it all madly waving. We were sad to leave Ferrol, the weather was fab, much hotter than usual for mid October and we hadn’t had a drop of rain, quite unusual apparently, and I can believe that as the place is very green.

harbour outlet

On we sailed down Spain’s Atlantic coast with the water still disappointingly calm and on to Porto’s port Leixoes.

Ferrol in Galicia, Spain

Back to the cruise and after sailing across the Bay of Biscay from Aviles we reached Ferrol in Galicia, north-western Spain. It’s quite a large city, a centre of naval shipbuilding and was the birthplace of the dictator General Franco.

The photo below is of palm trees just on the edge of the docks, so exotic looking to me anyway.

atrees at port

There are some lovely buildings, it all seems prosperous here anyway.
abuilding 3

asquare 1

The town is set out in a grid pattern and seems to be mainly pedestrianised and each long street led to separate large squares, often with an ornate building, town hall or some such thing, all very stylish.

asquare 3

There seemed to be a never ending supply of streets and shops and I was impressed that most of the town squares were beautifully planted, and a lot of them had play areas for children, swings and such. What a great idea, for city dwelling children and for any kids being taken into the town, something they often dread, at least the parents will be able to promise some fun at the play area after being dragged around the shops.

second square 2 trees

asecond square 1 trees

I think tree-lined avenues are a feature of Spain and they do make lovely dappled shade, just what you need in their sunny climate, this one was just a short walk from the city centre.

aavenue of trees

Ferrol was a very vibrant place, lots of locals were carrying multiple carrier bags from stores and boutiques, the place was fairly crowded but suddenly the background hum that probably every city has just disappeared, the streets seemed to have emptied somehow – it was 2 pm – siesta time! Most of the shops shut, apart from eateries. It’s very bizarre this siesta malarkey and I heard Andrew Neil on The Daily Politics mention that the siesta had a bad effect on the Spanish economy, if so it’s about time they gave it up and dragged themselves into the 21st century.

asiesta time