Iberia 2013

IBERIA CRUISE – APRIL 10 – 22, 2013

Lisbon, Portugal to Barcelona, Spain


We took the 2-day pre-cruise tour of Lisbon and the surrounding area before boarding our ship MV Tere Moana on April 13. Then when we disembarked in Barcelona we spent 2 days sight-seeing with Peggy and Jim & Corky who flew in to meet us there.

APRIL 10, 2013


-6:53AM (PST)- Lv SFO on UAL Flt. #1739 to EWR (Newark). (Seats 31D & 32F)

-3:17PM (EST) - ARR EWR.

-8:10PM - LV EWR on UAL FLT. #64 to LIS (Lisbon, Portugal) (Seats 9C & 9F)


APRIL 11, 2013


-12:35PM (Local time) - ARR LISBON

We were met by Gohagan's rep in the area outside Customs and when everyone had assembled we went to the bus and travelled to the hotel.

We met Shelly, our Gohagan co-ordinator and Luisa, our Lisbon guide in the Dom Pedro Palace Hotel lobby. They gave us the key to our hotel room and said our bags would eventually show up there - and they did...

13-4006 Elevador Glória (Z200-1-118)

We wandered around the big, new mall across the street from the hotel, then got a taxi at the taxi stand by the mall and went to the funicular and got tickets to ride The Gloria Funicular - up & down the Calcada da Gloria.

Ginny got photos of the statue in the park in the center of the street and then we went to the Hard Rock Cafe across the street about 5:00PM.

We both had a couple of Sagres cervejas and a burger for dinner and paid cash (euros).

Got a taxi outside and we were back to the hotel about 7:00PM for the night - VERY long day!


APRIL12, 2013

LISBON, PORTUGAL - Dom Pedro Palace Hotel

After a Continental breakfast in the hotel dining room, we went on the 9:00AM Morning Lisbon Tour that was mostly down by the waterfront.

13-4009 Lisbon View Pano 1 (120-122)
13-4045 Discoveries Mon Pano (176-177)

Saw the "Discoverers", the Belem Tower, 25 de Abril Bridge (Golden Gate Bridge’s sister in Lisbon), and Jeronimos Monastery.

After returning from the morning tour, we walked further on down from the town plaza and saw the skinny, tall building that was the Santa Justa street elevator and rode it up to the hilltop for photos looking down on the city. Then we rode the #12 Tram up to where the old castle sits (never did see it!) and then got the Hop on - Hop Off bus out around the north end of the city and back we got back to the plaza just in time to take the Hop - On that went out around the waterfront where we were this morning.  When we got back to the Town Plaza, we found the Honra Restaurant about 5:30PM.

The Restaurant opened at 6:00pm so we sat and had a couple of beers at the bar. It seemed like a pretty old place but it was very clean and very modern inside and just had a nice feel. We decided to try the restaurant and the food was excellent! I had the grilled king prawns - 2 huge, delicious prawns and paella.

It was 9:15PM when we got a taxi back to the hotel.


APRIL 13, 2013

Embark on M.V. Tere Moana to Begin Our Cruise

13-4187 Lunch in Sintra (Z200-1-419)

After breakfast, we checked out of the hotel and boarded a van for our excursions to Queluz and Sintra.

After leaving Sintra, the van got us to the port about 4PM and dropped us off at the passenger terminal. We boarded the M.V. Tere Moana and we had to wait in the lounge until we were called and then got to check in and go to our cabins.

We left Lisbon at 6:00PM and the Captain's welcome reception was at 7:00PM. After the reception we went to dinner and then back to our cabins for the night.


APRIL 14, 2013


The ship arrived in Portimao about 8:00 AM and we were off at 9:00 AM on our Morning Excursion in the Algarve to the small mountain village of Alte and nearby town of Silves where we opted for the van ride up to the castle ruins.

After the excursion, we went back to the boat, and had the afternoon at leisure.

At 4PM, we went to the lecture by the prof from Queens in Ottawa.

At 5PM, the ship departed Portimao and we were on our way to Seville, Spain.

At 6:45PM, we went to the lounge for the Cal Group reception hosted by Fritz & Sally Tubach and then to dinner at 8PM.


APRIL 15, 2013


(Saw digital temp reading in town, 33° C or 92° F!)

13-4290 Plaza de España (Z200-1-638)

At 8:00AM, the ship arrived in Seville and from 8:30 AM to 12:30PM, we went on the Morning tour of Seville where we spent most of the time at the Plaza de España.

It’s a magnificent 5 acres with tiled bridges and all of the buildings are Military Admin. Offices. After leaving the Plaza, we walked around the old section of town where we saw the temp readout on a bank, 33°C! Then we boarded our bus and went back to the boat and had lunch and freshened up before the afternoon excursion to the Gothic Cathedral and Alcazar.

The Seville Cathedral is the 3rd largest church in the world - mostly museum now with one altar open for masses. It is also the burial site of Christopher Columbus.

13-4456 Alcazar-Seville (Z200-1-848)

The Alcazar is an Ancient Moorish Palace and gardens that later became the King's castle.

A couple of famous movies shot in the Alcazar:

The Lion in Winter

Laurence of Arabia

We were back on the boat at 5PM and went to the special treat in the Lounge – A Flamenco performance by local dancers in costume!

At 7:00 PM, the ship departed Seville.

And at 8PM we went to dinner and then back to the cabin for the night.


APRIL 16, 2013


At 9:00 AM, the ship arrived in Gibraltar and we went on the 9:30 AM to 12:15 PM Morning tour to "The Rock".

13-4530 St. Michael's Cave (Z200-1-904)

Our van ride took us up to St. Michael's Cave and when we got back out in the parking lot, a whole barrel-full of monkeys were running around!

From 1:00PM to 3:00PM we did the excursion to the W.W. II Tunnels.

Leaving the tunnels, we were back on the van for the ride down through the narrow streets of the city lined with shops and stores and what seemed to be a pretty bustling place for such a remote location.

Back on the ship, we went to the Cocktail hour in Le Grande Salon at 7PM and then dinner at 8PM.

At 9PM, the ship departed Gibraltar for the port of Motril, Spain and our excursion to Granada.


APRIL 17, 2013


At 8:00AM, the ship arrived at the seaport of Motril and we were off on the coach for the 8:30 AM to 12:00 PM excursion to Granada where we visited Alhambra Palace and the Generalife Gardens. Another beautiful Moorish palace and the Gardens were awesome!

13-4645 Alhambra (Z200-2-107)

The temperature got into the 90's again!

From12:00 PM to 1:00 PM we all went to a local Granada restaurant where we were served a HUGE lunch! They just kept bringing plates full of food to the table – I had a couple of beers!.

We took the Granada City tour after lunch but it was very hot and I spent most of our free time nursing a cold beer while Ginny continued to take photos until it was time to meet and head back to the boat at 4:30PM.

At 5PM, we departed Motril and had dinner at 8PM.


APRIL18, 2013


Cruising on the Mediterranean Sea

- 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM - Lecture on Barcelona

- 10:45 AM to 11:45 AM - Lecture - Spanish cultural diversities by Fritz Tubach.

- 12:00 PM to 12:15 PM – Tour of the Bridge

13-4702 Ibiza (Z200-2-213)

- 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM - Lecture on Mediterranean Cuisine.  Ginny went – I rested.

- 3:00 PM - Arrive in Ibiza

- 4:00: PM to 7:00 PM - Tour of Ibiza.

We both took the bus tour thru the modern part of the town including the salt flats and airport. The walking tour started at the western entrance up to the old town. Then it continued on through to the east end of town. Then it went down the hill and back to the boat. That was too much walking for me but Ginny did it! I rode back to the ship on the bus.

- 11:45 PM - Departed Ibiza.


APRIL 19, 2013


13-4770 Palma Cathedral (Z200-2-444)

- 8:00 AM - Arrive Palma De Mallorca.

- 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM - Morning tour of the city. Main points of interest:

- Bellver Castle (World’s largest round-shaped castle.) We didn't go inside the walls.

- Cathedral de Mallorca (1324 - 1587)

- Miquel Barcelo’s Chapel

- 1:00 PM - Back on the boat we enjoyed an afternoon at leisure and packed our bags for disembarkation in the morning.

- 8:00 PM - Depart Palma de Mallorca.


APRIL 20, 2013


Hotel Catalonia Portal de L'Angel

- 6:00 AM - Arrive Barcelona.

- 9:00 AM to 9:30 AM - Taxi to hotel.

- 9:30 AM to 11:00 AM - Jim, Corky and Peggy were in the lobby when we arrived! It was too early to check in so we put our bags in Jim's room and we all walked to the market area and then to the Metro station.

13-4842 Parc Güell (Z200-2-523)

- 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM – We all took the Metro to Park Guell.

Long walk from the Metro station and lots of stairways and escalators up to the entrance. Ginny got lots of photos through the park on the way back down.

- 2:00 PM to 2:30 PM - Got taxis back to hotel and checked in and bags up to room.

- 2:30 PM to 4:30 PM - Walked to De Taller Tapas for Heinekin for me and Sangria for the others. 4 kinds of tapas including tiny fried octopus –pretty good!

13-4887 Taller Tapas (Z200-2-565)

- 6:00 PM to 6:45 PM - We got taxis to the Restaurant where we had dinner and Flamenco Show reservations that Ginny had done online before we left.

- 6:45 PM to 8:00 PM - Dinner was Buffet Style and it was very good.

- 8:00 PM to 9:30 PM - The Flamenco Show was in another part of the building and we wended our way through the rooms and had a good seats at a table close to the right, front of the dance floor.

There were 3 main women dancers and 4 men dancers and they put on a very enjoyable show. (But No Castanets!)

- 10:30 PM - We got taxis back to the hotel.


APRIL 21, 2013


- 8:30 AM to 9:30 AM - We all met in the hotel dining room and had the buffet breakfast.

- 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM - We got the Metro to Sagrada Familia and got the tickets for just the Basilica - no one wanted to go up in the towers. We agreed to meet at MacDonald's, across the street at 12 Noon.

13-4924 Sagrada Familia (Z200-2-601)

We spent a lot of time exploring the mystical & fantastic interior and exterior of the basilica working our way in and around the huge crowd of sightseers. We even ran into our ship's post-tour group!

- 12:15 PM to 1:15 PM - We found a restaurant/ tapas place for sangria and an Estrella beer for me.

- 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM - We got the Metro back to the hotel and Jim & Corky had to get their bag and check out. (They're flying home this evening and will be heading out to the airport about 4pm.)

2:30 PM to 4:00 PM - We all walked around the area looking for a good tapas place but finally went back to Taller de Tapas, the place we went to yesterday.

- 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM - Jim & Corky left to get the Airporter Bus and we, and Peggy stayed and finished our drinks.

- 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM - We walked over to the Hard Rock Cafe and had a 40-minute wait for a dinner table so we sat at a booth by the bar and had a drink (They didn't have sangria).

- 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM - Had a WONDERFUL hamburger and fries and a couple of Estrella Damms! Peggy picked up the bill for dinner and drinks!!

On the way out, we stopped in the HRC store and I bought a little stuffed toy for Peggy that she said she would like to have.

- 9:00 PM - Walked back to the hotel.


APRIL 22, 2013


- 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM - Checked out and we all got the Airporter Bus to the Airport. Peggy's flight was leaving the same time as ours but a different Airline - to Sacramento.

- 10:45 AM - Our Flight UA121 departs BCN to EWR at 2:00 p.m. (Flight left on time!)

- 2:00 PM (EST) -  Arr. EWR  (Flight arrived on time!)

- 6:00 PM - LV EWR on UAL FLT #1523 to SFO. (Seats 8D & 10F) (On time!)

- 9:37 PM - ARR SFO Flight arrived on time - AMAZING!

- 10:30 PM to 11:00 PM - Got a taxi home - $50. w/tip.

© Virginia E. Vail 2012