Monday, 14 May 2012


Hello Friends,

After another lovely day here in Box we are just having a wee shower of rain, this will help Peter as he thought he might water the potato plants tonight !!

Now I better get the last part of the cruise story down before it all becomes a distant memory !!

The island of Lanzarote certainly was different from any other I have visited in many ways and certainly in the way that they grow the vines that make the lovely Spanish wines. On our way down from the top of the Volcano (one of only about 10 on the island) we stopped at a vine yard where we were all given a glass of was very nice !! pity it was only one LOL. All around was the vine growing area which stretched up the side of a hill. The “earth” of course is volcanic and so a very dark colour almost black actually and the vines are not grown in the normal “lines” but are enclosed in quite small horse shoe shaped walls built from the volcanic rocks. There is an indent in the middle where the vine is planted and where they grow protected from the dry winds, any moisture is retained within the hollow...I have put on a picture but they are not exactly as clear as I had hoped. Anyway Lanzerote was good so good were our guides that they did not realise the time we had taken and we were supposed to be back on board our hip by was 1.30 when we rolled up !! we were rushed aboard and almost before we were on they were bringing up the gang plank !!!

Our last stop on the trip was Vigo which if you look on a map is in the top left hand of Spain. We stopped there last year. We did not organise a tour as we knew just where we were going and knew that we could get around the town fairly easily. It is only a short stroll from the ship and although once again it was not as warm as one would have expected at this time of the year in Spain it was ok for getting around. The town is actually in two parts the lower area and much higher part. To get up to the top part one can take a lift (elevator) in a shopping complex up to the 3rd. Floor and exit from there take a walk across a bridge and there you are at the top of town..once up there we were met by a Spanish band ?....well they seemed to be enjoying themselves !!! then we headed back into the shopping mall for the usual coffee...and back on board our ship....

You may be interested in some facts about the independence of the Seas..

it is 1,112ft long, 185ft wide, has 15 passenger decks,14 elevators,aprox 3,634 guests, 1,360 crew. The Alhambra Theare holds 1,320, 3 main dining rooms hold between them 1,885 guests, of cousre there are another 4 eating places a self service area that holds 774 a cafe with 74 and two smaller dining rooms as I have never been there don't know how many they hold !! so it is all in all a pretty large ship. It amazes me that especially when the sun is shining most of the areas look fairly empty !! oh I forgot there is also a British style pub and a champagne bar !!!

and so the story ends...where it started back in Southampton where Peter was waiting to bring us home.

Next time I come back I will tell you what we have been up sinse we came home which has been equally exciting !!

Love One Another .

Sunday, 13 May 2012

cruise update 2

Good evening again. What a lovely sunny day we have had here it has even been quite warm !! forecast says back to rain tomorrow !! Have made most of the day though, after church and lunch Peter and I visited a Nat. Trust property near here in the village of Lacock where they were having a “hawk” experience day...more about that sometime. But before I forget I will get on and try to get the next episode of cruise        Lol

I finished episode one just as the worst of the storm left us and the Captain decided to that we would not stop at our first scheduled Island .... Madeira...We were all rather disappointed as we had been looking forward to seeing the many spring flowers there. However as we had ..lost...7 hours sailing time it was the best way to just go on to our next stopping place which was the largest ( I think) Canary Island...Gran Canaria..We were fortunate to have been able to book wheelchair friendly transport for each island that we stopped at, as soon as the ship docked we were were I think most people, probably glad to be on tera firma after the storm !! Our coach took us first to a town called Maspolamas where we had an hour to look around, to be honest there was not a lot to see but we did have a stroll round a shopping centre, back on the coach and along pretty roads the eventually took us down and round many corners to a pretty village called Magan. I could have stayed there quite easily it was so pretty, the houses all led down to a small harbour full of yachts etc.the streets were all narrow lined with white and pink painted houses festooned in beautiful flowers the bougainvillea was particularly gorgeous. We managed to have a bite to eat in a little cafe in a square whilst being serenaded by a lady playing pan pipes..just perfect..All to soon it was back on the coach and back to the ship. Our next stop was the island of Tenerife, Our coach took us high up into the Canadas national Park it has a rather bleak barren volcanic rocky terrain. We stopped for coffee one point and the ..rain came down !! we were informed that it had only rained twice this winter!! this was the second time, Thankfully our driver drove on to another very nice cafe where we were served lovely coffee and biscuits...and even better, was that the owner would not take any money from us !!

Next day found us at Lanzarote. This island is different from the other canary Islands, in fact different from anywhere on the planet. It has an unusually striking appearance, often descibed as Lunar or Martian like. The landscape the result of the islands volcanic origins.As the climate is very dry and there is little erosion the terrain looks much as it did right after the last major eruptions in the 18th and 19th centuries.We really enjoyed this island and found it fascinating..we were driven into the Timanfaya National Park and when we reached nearly the top we stopped at a restaurant for coffee and were able to see just how close the the surface the volcano still is as it was only about 2 feet down the we were able to gaze in wonder at the still hot lava...A guide gave us a handful of gravel like stones and they were to hot to hold in ones hand I had to throw them from hand to hand till cool enough...this after the last eruption in I think she said 1802 or thereabouts. On our way back down it was great to be able to take photo's of the lava flow etc. and near the bottom to stop at a vineyard, where we were given a lovely of wine !! I will leave to next time the description of how the vines are grown quite unique to Lanzerote.
So there we are part two...I will try to get the final part written tomorrow!!
God bless  and remember to

Saturday, 12 May 2012

cruise part 1

Good Evening Friends.

How are you all, it seems an age since I was last here giving you any news but time just seems to fly when you are having fun...and fun I sure have had these past three weeks or so. As you know it was cruise time for Sybil and Mary again and so on Sunday 22nd. April we were whisked down to Southampton, Peter driving us down in my car ( it is easiest using ,my car to transport the wheelchair) Soon we were aboard the independence of the Seas. The same cruise ship that we were on last Sept. It was great to be aboard and knowing where everything was, made it all the easier to get around. Our cabin was not quite ready so we made our way to one of the cafe's and had some lunch before making our way to the 10th “floor” where our cabin was, it was identical to the one we had last time but one level up. Before we left port we had the mandatory safety drill, was it my imagination or were there many more attending the drill....maybe the grounding of the cruise ship recently had something to do with it !!

6pm was dinner where we met 4 very nice table companions an elderly couple (who came from Trowbridge a village only about 7 miles from us here in Box) and two ladies from near Manchester. After dinner we went along to the theatre for a Welcome Aboard Showtime, it was very good and from there it was, for Mary and me, bed time!! ( I have to say that it would appear that the ship wakes up after about 10.30pm but that is not for me !!!)

Mon. dawned nice and sunny but a bit breezy...The Captain's voice then came over the tannoy welcoming us aboard for the second time ! And to inform us that we were going to hit some stormy weather going through the Bay of Biscay and that there were anti sickness pills available for anyone who might need them ...mmmmmmmm.....Mary and I decided we would be ok, probably woudn't be too bad anyway..famous last the day went on the seas did get a bit rougher and by mid afternoon the Captain once more informed us that he was locking all the outer doors as a preventive measure as he didn't want anyone swept overboard....laughs galore !! by now the people wandering around seemed to drift away ( to their beds/cabins? Perhaps ?) Mary and I found our fav. Cafe on the promanade and a front seat so that we could watch the antics of various people as they tried to stay upright...then we heard crashing sounds as glasses went flying from a table nearby, next the shops closed as the wine and spirt bottles were in danger of flying through the air etc etc etc... At dinner that night we were two down as our friends from Manchester were in their cabin ! I wonder why ? I admit that mary and I did have an earlier night than usual that night....well there was not a lot going on. The storm grew ever wilder, we had a TV in our cabin where we could watch the forecast and see the wind speeds etc. also the ships speed which had dropped from aprox 19 knots to 7knots. I have to say that both Mary and I found it all quite exciting especially later when the Captain informed us that at one point the wind had reached hurricane speed, and it had been the worst spring storm he had ever had in the Bay...just think we survived it all.    If you are interested, Mary, when the ship started to roll a bit just stood stock still and anchored her two crutches and feet as firmly as she could and waited till it leveled out again...only a couple of time she found herself grabbing the wall !! Because of the delay in getting through the storm we were unable to visit the island of Maderia which was a pity as I especially would have liked to see the spring flowers that it is famous for at this time of the year.

This has gone on long episode  tomorrow.

Good night God Bless.....
.Love One Another