April 2022 - Saga - Spirit of Adventure "In the footsteps of St James"

 April 2022 - Saga - Spirit of Discovery
















This region of Spain is famous for its number one consumed drink. Not wine and not beer but Cider. Its sharp and tangy in taste and at first glance looks rather a flat affair.

The cider therefore is usually served in the traditional way, where it is poured from a great height to aerate it with bubbles.

Oviedo is full of bronze art work. Culis Monumentalibus’  is simply a cheeky ass on legs or two butts on legs as the other side is exactly the same

This bronze behind was created in 2001 by artist Eduardo Úrculo, and still sits proudly naked in the middle of the city’s busy shopping section. The nude cheeks weigh almost a ton and stand over 14 feet high, casting a wide, round shadow on the countless tourists and locals who pass by those cheeks.

Woody Allens  statue was inaugurated after the  director dedicated  his compliments to the city of Oviedo upon receiving the "Premio Príncipe de Asturias de las Artes." In 2005, Allen came to Spain and reached an agreement to film “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” in Avilés, Barcelona and Oviedo.



Day 3 -  Jan 8th 2022 

This morning we awake early to find ourselves across the Bay of Biscay and slowly coming alongside at A Coruna.Its a busy Galician port apparantly making up 75%of all Galician sea trafffic. Yes we are back in Galicia again 5 weeks after being here on the Borealis and parked in exactly the same spot. When we came on the Borealis we headed to the town of Lugo which is a beautiful walled Roman walled town on the camino to Santiago de Compostela; so it only makes sense this time to finish the journey in Santiago itself.

Its an early start so  we decide to take full advantage of Cunards room service again and take a full hot breakfast in our room. Cumberland sausages and over easy eggs should keep us going for the morning. Rules in Spain have changed in the few weeks since we were last here. Masks are now required at all times outdoors as well as indoors which seems slightly Draconian. We're in green Spain again a beautiful looking part of the country that I would say is a must see for anybody - it's called green Spain for a reason though (especially at this time of year when it gets similar weather to Cornwall) .We discovered how changeable the weather can be last time however we are much luckier this time, it's a little grey but it is not raining. Innis is our guide today.

This year is a Double holy year in Santiago (an unusual one as the Pope has had to bend the rules to fit it around Covid). To explain - the holy years (when the feast of St James falls on the the 25th July) normally take place on the 6th, 5th, 6th and 11th year. As the last Holy year was 2010 the next would actually be 2021. But due to Covid a permission has been given for this to be moved back a year. Every Holy year the tradition is that pilgrims complete the walk (camino) to Santiago. Innis our guide today has  done it three times herself.

Innis is a little concerned that we wont get to see inside the cathedral as part of the tour because tour groups are not allowed inside; she does however promise  that we will have free time at the end to fit this in. But as things turn out we  are lucky. It's an off season Saturday and its a mass day so Innis uses her charms to negotiate with the doorman a quick look around at the Cathedral and the relics of St James under the crypt. 

She cant actually show us around personally which does lead to a slight misinterpretation of her instructions for a few guests on how we actually get out. Those that listened  carefully find her hidden near a doorway, whilst others followed the multitude of signs printed with  Salida and  dutifully followed them only to disappear and never  be seen again (only joking).

What was quite a turn up for the books though was that as we all sat in the sun outside the secret door waiting for Innis to find the missing few, the Bishop suddenly arrived to proceed with the Saturday  Mass - I suspect he was  probably wondering why his congregation was about to double for an off season Saturday.

Old Town..market..

 parador for coffee and cakes. 

The town of A Coruna and the port is a pretty place worthy of  a visit of its own. We will be here again soon onboard Spirit of Adventure for a third visit (Its a common stop for ships heading South or exploring the Iberian Coasts) and I suspect we may stay around the town on that cruise and explore the port a lot more.  This time though we set off at a march through the middle of the town with the help of google maps  to try to get to the Roman Lighthouse. 
Not strictly Roman in its current state the building we now see known as the "tower of Hercules"  only dates from the the late 18thC however there has been a lighthouse on this site since the 1st Century copied from the plans of the Alexandria Lighthouse. At the base there is still an original  cornerstone with the inscription MARTI AUG.SACR C.SEVIVS LVPVS ARCHTECTVS AEMINIENSIS LVSITANVS.EX.VO,  which points to the  original lighthouse towers architect as a  Gaius Sevius Lupus, from Aeminium (now part of  Portugal). The tower has been in constant use since the 2nd century and is considered to be the oldest existent lighthouse.
We cast off and  left the calm of the port and plowed back into the Ocean swell but we have all become used to it now I think. Its part of the enjoyment and journey of leaving the cold of the North and heading South and witnessing first hand how things change slowly with distance and time. No other mode of transport leaves you so much more in contact with the workings of  the planet and nature - whilst being cocooned in so much luxury.

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