Fred Borealis - part 5

Day 9(26th Oct)

Our second morning in Tenerife and we awake to find we have been joined at the port by the Borealis' sister ship the Bolette. We also have the Hapag Lloyd Explorer ship.  She's on her way to Argentina to start her Antarctic season; I checked the prices and it starts at around  £16kpp for 2 weeks BUT you do get a free rucksack and the option of using their private jet. 

We have a morning trip around the North of the Island and this morning as we pass above the Tacaronte valley, we finally  get those panoramic distant views of Teide we could not get yesterday because of the weather.

Teide's summit is 12200ft making it the highest point in Spain. Its actually an active volcano though nothing like as active as the Cumbre Vieja on La Palma. In fact it last erupted in 1909 and it tends to just issue steam from its vents.

We also head into Puerto de la Cruz so it's a good job we told Salvador, our taxi driver yesterday, to cut this out of the taxi route as he was willing to take us there as part of the package.
Since teenage one of my favourite subjects was the life and works of Dame Agatha Christie. I had forgotten what an important part Tenerife and Puerto de la Cruz played in her life and there are many reminders of this as you walk from the port to the town centre. She travelled here by steam ship taking 3 weeks, after her divorce to escape with her daughter for a while. Novels completed there include "The Mystery of the Blue Train" which I remember enjoying, though she herself found it difficult and unsatisfactory which is probably why she also created the "The mysterious Mr Quin" - a one off collection of stories and a unique book  among her work. It also contains one story directly connected to Puerto de la Cruz. ("The man from the sea").

We are back in time for  lunch in the MDR.  Food has been consistently excellent.  A halibut ceviche starter with an olive tapenade and parmesan crisps is followed by cod loin served with risotto.

After lunchtime it's time for the dreaded mid cruise lateral flow test. Fingers crossed all over the ship but it all goes smoothly - (they do everything and you don't have to touch a thing)

Finally its time to say goodbye to Tenerife and the port of Santa Cruz. We spin 180 degrees and depart  leaving the Bolette in Santa Cruz. As we pass alongside the two sisters engage in a horn battle as the passengers from each vessel cheer each other on. The Bolette is due to depart for La Gomera later in the day.

We arrive in Las Palmas - Gran Canaria ( meaning: Big Dog) tonight just after another fantastic dinner in the MDR. Slowly sailing in to the town as we finish dessert and coffee so we head onto the promenade deck to watch.

Entertainment tonight is the fantastic Lorraine Brown in the main theatre accompanied by the ships excellent house band. We were trying to  predict earlier in the week how she would end her set and her brilliant Shirley Bassey tribute confirms our thoughts.

Day 10(27th Oct)
A full morning planned here in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria (the largest city of all the islands, pop 400,000) where we enjoy a walking tour of the Old Town.
This morning another of Hapag Lloyd's vessels "Europa 2" has joined us. Much more affordable than their expedition ships I think J would be tempted by the French influenced  food and the fact every room has a balcony and separate bathtub and shower.

A quick coach trip takes us to the old town where after a peep at the local market we start to wander around the tiny streets that make up this area.

One of the first things we see is the Casa de Calon which was the Palace of the first governors of the island. Colombus stayed here in 1492 during a break in his first voyage to America, while one of his ships was repaired. This house is now a museum which house a replica of  how the Santa Maria would have looked inside.

The Town Hall is also in the Vegueta area directly opposite the Cathedral of Santa Ana. Once again time inside the cathedral would have been nice, next time!

The whole area of Vegueta is the oldest district of Las Palmas and consists of labyrinths of narrow streets, lined with historic houses and museums. 

Lunch in the MDR when we returned and we do feel we have earned it. I start with the ham hock terrine and falafel sauce with Japanese edamame beans. Followed by an excellent Ruben club sandwich it's all  topped off by the star of the show - elderflower pannacotta with a rhubarb compote.

After lunch we walk into town to check out options for next time. I think I would taxi to Santa Ana Cathedral  see Colombus' replica ship and then walk back to the port via the various museums and galleries next time as this city does offer so much to see.

Gran Canaria - Isle of the Big Dogs as the Romans named it  

 Opposite the port is the science museum with steam strains (yeah). And also perfectly positioned in a park behind the museums & near the taxi rank) is the city's tourist information building, housed in an lovely stucco building.

It's a pity we haven't had more time on this visit but we will be back either in 2022 on Cunard's Queen Elizabeth or later on one of Sagas Spirit ships.

We leave on time at 4pm heading for the Spanish mainland and the port of Cadiz. This means a day at sea tomorrow so we book  'Colour and Taste' restaurant for a change.

As we leave I notice that another Explorer Vessel has arrived - this time the rather unique National Geographic vessel  "Resolution".

Tonight's dinner is back to the MDR and after a lovely Salmon terrine I choose  the turkey ballantine and J the cod loin polonaise both of which are delicious.

Night time entertainment is provided by Tensai doing their second magic show and then we spend the night in the Ocean Bar listening to the wonderful string trio. The clocks go forward tonight to match the Spanish mainland which is the first change we have had. 


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