Sunday, November 22, 2009

Policia Encounters - in the wrong place at the wrong time.

On the morning of Wednesday November 18, we were packing our stuff getting ready to leave Gijon for the last time and head toward San Sebastian. Our car was parked a couple of blocks away in an uncontrolled parking zone so we could avoid paying for parking. I (Tim) decided that it would be best to bring the car closer and pay for half an hour so we didn’t have to cart all our stuff two times over to the car. As I approached the car, I noticed that there was an orange cone at the rear of my car and no cars parked behind. I thought it was just zoned off for no reason that I knew of. I got in the car, started it up and made an awkward three point turn and made my way on the right hand side, navigating my way down a lot of one-way streets mind you, to park the car closer. As I crossed the lights, made a left turn and took my time making my way toward the park, all of a sudden I saw in my rear vision mirror and little blue Peugeot 206 with a single blue light on its roof speed up overtake me and cut me off with all sirens and lights blazing, Hollywood style!!!! At this point I was feeling quite calm and thought they had just pulled me over because of the GB number plates. Four undercover cops hopped out the car and approached the car rather cautiously, one guy with his hand inside his jacket. At this point I began to feel a little nervous because I knew he was holding a gun and they were going to question me in Spanish which I knew little of. The police began interrogating me while I was still in the car and I couldn’t understand a word they where saying, just the tone. ‘Lo Siento. No Entiendo!’ (sorry, I don’t understand) was all I could say in the panic! They made me get out of the car and stand on the pavement. I was now really beginning to shit my pants as they were all very serious. I tried to communicate by speaking in very limited and broken Spanish and lots of hand waving only to have them tell me to ‘Be Silent’ and ‘Keep Calm’. This seemed to be all the English they could speak. They wouldn’t allow me to call anyone or do anything!!! I started to really sweat when one copper got my car and drove off. I thought he was taking it away!!! It was ok, he was only moving it out the road of traffic. Because I couldn’t understand them, who knew what they were doing with my car??? I asked what I had done wrong with one of the more helpful cops who told me (in broken English) that I had run a red light… I thought to myself ‘All this fuss over a red light?!’ I couldn’t even remember which red light I could’ve run? I didn’t see anymore lights… Finally after lots of Spanglish, more hand waving and a thorough car search, Sally called my mobile Hallelujah! I told her to get her butt down stairs with our passports and our Spanish phrase book so we could ask the cops what they wanted to do with us. One of the cops looked at our phrasebook with much amusement when he read the line 'These drugs are for my personal use'. We were told we had to follow them to the police station so with me in the driver’s seat, Sal in the back, cop next to me in the front and a cop next to Sal in the back, we made our way to the cop station. We walked into the station with all eyes on us… we felt so conspicuous! Spot the tourist… Not one copper in the station could speak English and they had no access to an interpreter! No joke! After failing to get in touch with Marcos at his restaurant we finally got hold of Adriana who spoke to the police and interpreted for us - apparently the police were looking for a couple of similar description to Sal and I who stole a car like ours with British number plates and were supposedly on the run in Spain… Lovely coincidence! I guess we were just in the wrong place at the wrong time! Unfortunately we had to go the police headquarters to sign a book to say they had checked our passports. After two hours with the police they escorted us to Avante Garde where Marcos works so we could pick up his keys so we could get our stuff. One of the nicer cops who had been the most helpful gave Marcos an explanation of our situation and with a very warm farewell he let us go free!... Yah! We couldn’t get out of Gijon fast enough after that. Good story for the Grandkids. One that we’ll certainly not forget in a hurry!

We ended up arriving in San Sebastian at about 7pm and hung out at the hotel for the night (we were exhausted from the day) before leaving for Saint Emilion, France in the morning.


Sal's bit: So I was waiting for Tim to get the car so we could pack it to leave for San Sebastian....'geez, he was taking his time! What the hell is he doing' I thought to myself. So I gave him a call, only to hear on the other end...'Thank God you called, I've been pulled over by the cops and I can't understand a word they're saying. Can you come down here with our passports and phrasebook!' So with a half blow dried head, I went down there with my heart racing the whole way. We were both a bit shaken up about it all, but in the end we didn't have anything to hide, oh except for the drugs lol, so we just stayed calm and went along for the ride. Because in the end, that's what it entertaining ride and a bloody good story.

Our final days in Spain (for now)

We left the small village of Zarautz on Sat Nov 14 and headed for Santander where we arrived late. I was having another bad day with pain, so I (Sal) hung out in the pension (budget hotel) and watched Packed to the Rafters on the laptop while Tim went out on the town with Marcos & Adriana (again- boo hoo). Our last day of travel back to Gijon with Marcos and Adriana was spent stopping at some stunning coastal villages and having another 3 course lunch along the way. I think we were all feeling pretty tired from the full week that we had and we were ready for a good sleep. It is pretty incredible to now reflect on the experiences we had during that week and the privilege it was to be travelling with locals who also happened to be our friends. We got to experience the Spanish culture from the inside so to speak and for us, that was pretty special.

When we got back, I think we all needed a bit of space from each other or at least to get out of each other’s pockets. So for the next couple of days, Tim and I did our own thing while Marcos and Adri prepared to go back to work. We savoured the sunshine in Gijon, explored the coastal city a bit and we ate in Marcos’ restaurant Avante Garde for the second time. We can say now, that eating Marcos’ food was the biggest culinary highlight of our time in Spain – now considering Spain is famous for its food, that’s a pretty big statement. Marcos, you are a veeeeery talented man! All we can say is thank you so much! In fact, we have to say a massive thank you to Marcos and Adri who are probably reading this, for taking us in and making us feel like part of their family. We won’t forget their genuineness and hospitality.

So the day we left Gijon – November 19, was an interesting day to say the least. Read on...


Friday, November 13, 2009

San Sebastian

After an entertaining day on Tim’s 29th birthday, we drove to San Sebastian – Spain’s gastronomic capital and a stunning seaside town that is obviously a very popular place to visit. We booked into a luxurious four-star hotel where Adriana managed to get us 40% off through her connections – sweet! It was nice to say the least and the bed was like sleeping on clouds!

When we arrived in San Sebastian, the weather was borderline monsoonal – crazy wind and rain, we didn’t know if we wanted to leave the hotel! However there was obviously too much to see and amazing food to be tried so we braved the weather, hopped into a taxi and went out to a pretty fancy restaurant where the food was incredible. Despite not living up to our previous gastronomic experience at Marcos’ restaurant in Gijon it was impressive nonetheless. The bill of about AU$400 for all of us did hurt the hip pocket a little bit, but asked ourselves – when do we really get to experience restaurants like this? That was our excuse anyway….ha! We finished dinner at about 12:30am and we were all ready for bed after a long drive that day, but the question was, how were we going to hit the sack with our bellies so full! I think we both felt a bit sick laying down that night and we woke in the morning still feeling like we’d just eaten!

Unfortunately I woke up that morning with excruciating pain in my lower back and hip – as most of you would know, the recovery after my hip operation has been extremely complicated, but I honestly thought I was past the worst of it. When I woke in this much pain, you can imagine how devastated I was….I wasn’t leaving the hotel room that day, because I couldn’t walk! So, for me this was one of my lowest points of the whole trip….Tim went out with Marcos and Adriana to check out the beautiful sights of San Sebastian while I was stuck inside four walls. I couldn’t understand why this was happening and it was that day I felt extremely homesick. I desperately wanted and still want, to experience to the full everything I can on this trip and being limited by my body is a real downer. The thing I have to keep holding onto is everything usually makes sense in hindsight. I have learned a lot about life and myself through all of this – the journey continues. At least I got to eat the entire contents of the mini bar (almost) that day! lol

So as I said, Tim went out with Marcos and Adri that day – here’s his version of events….

Started off the day on the foreshore at a placed called the Windcomb. All along the foreshore were many sculptures by a well-known artist, which were amazing. After spending a couple of hours walking along the foreshore we arrived at the Old Quarter of San Sebastian. The Old Quarter is filled with narrow laneways plenty of Pinchos bars. Again the vino and pinchos started flowing again as we proceeded from bar to bar, I was starting to feel quite sick from going to bed on a full stomach every night and really needed a break from the excessive food and alcohol lifestyle of the Spanish. On this particalur day the King of Spain was in town to open a new section of the aquarium. The atmosphere of the place seemed to be on edge as there was a lot of police activity. I grew to learn from Marcos and Adriana that the reason there were a lot of police was because there is a known terrorist group that fights for the independence of the Basque country from Spain. They are sort of an extremist group that have terrorist bombing attacks from time to time to make their point. Many of the police were wearing balaclavas to hide their identity to avoid being personally targeted by the terrorists. As we continued through the old quarter we came to a bar were I could tell Marcos and Adriana were a little edgy about entering (which I didn’t fully understand the reason at the time) but we decided to go in anyway. There were some crazy looking characters smoking weed, not really caring about the fact that it was illegal. Marcos told me the police turn a blind eye to it as long as they are not doing it in public; the police have bigger fish to fry. I saw there were Basque flags available at the bar and wanted to buy one only to be told by Marcos and Adriana that I should buy one elsewhere otherwise I would most probably be directly funding the terrorist group. So I left it…

Already feeling full, we made our way for another gastronomic session at a restaurant on a hill were I tried salmon roe (eggs) for the first time and loved it! It was a good meal but I still think Marcos’s cuisine was better. Although the chocolate dessert I had was absolutely amazing. It was filled with chocolate pieces that crackled in your mouth; a bit like the chocolate I tried a couple of days ago. The views of the city from the restaurant were beautiful to say the least.

After being more than full to the brim, I decided to return to the hotel to give Sal some company because I felt really sorry that she had missed out on such a great experience. We hung out there until about 8pm when Sal was feeling a bit better and was keen to go out for some non-minibar food. So we went out and managed to eat more pinchos! Not sure how that was possible!

Sal – Thankfully, I was feeling a bit better the next day (Thurs Nov 12) and was able to get out to see the beautiful city of San Sebastian. The sun was shining and it was about 20 degrees so I was loving it! Although I was still feeling a bit sore, it’s amazing what a bit of the sun’s rays on your skin can do for making you feel a whole lot better. San Sebastian is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen…..every building has been so creatively built, with the old and new perfectly blended together and it’s set right on the ocean surrounded by mountains. Tim and I walked the laneways of the old quarter, ate more pinchos, had another 3 course lunch and wandered along the boardwalk on the foreshore. It was such a relaxing day that we were able to spend on our own as Marcos and Adriana went to experience a Michelin star restaurant at 180Euros per head!!! It would have been nice to join them, but we just could not justify 300 Australian dollars each for lunch no matter how amazing the food was. Maybe for another time, when we’re richer!

Marcos and Adriana picked us up at about 7pm and we drove to our next stop on our way back to along the coast – a small village called Zarautz.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A birthday to remember (finally, a post from Tim)

So it was my birthday on the 9th, I was hoping something special would be in store. As it turned out it was a huge day! Just wait…. Let me expand on that. The day started out with a whole miscommunication from Marcos about what time we need to leave that morning. Apparently, we needed to be up and down for breakfast by 9am and then leaving at 10. Well we got up on time but the bathroom wasn’t available, so instantly I new we weren’t going to be on time. When I made my own way down for breakfast there was a concerned look on everybody’s face who were present (those who couldn’t speak English). I could tell they were wondering why Sal wasn’t there. How do you communicate to people when you don’t speak their language that we were running late because the bathroom wasn’t available??? Well it resulted in lots of arm waving and broken singular words that I don’t think I understood myself.

After everything was clarified we finally said goodbye to those who were present of the family we stayed with and set off for the day. Amazing to see that even in the Spanish culture the old men cry when they see people they care about leave and not know when they may see each other again.

Our first stop was a winery in the Rioja region (don’t remember the name sorry) where we had a tour and tastings. The cellar was built deep into the underground some by hand many years ago. Exciting times seeing how wine is produced in other countries! The wine tasting was good and would say it could give SA a run for its money on some wines.

We then made our way with Marcos, Adriana and the their good friends (who couldn’t speak English mind you) to the little town where we were stopping for the night. I must mention again that people here don’t do lunch and dinner at 12 and 6, hence the reason we were drinking vino (wine) and pinchos (Spanish finger food) right through to past midnight! We went from bar to bar in a horseshoe shape ordering pinchos and vino in each new bar we entered. On our bar hopping adventures, one bar was offering wine from a drinking contraption called a Porron. A Porron (pronounced pirrone) is like a small version of a decanter but with a long skinny spout for pouring directly into your month. A Northern Spanish tradition of drinking wine with no wine glasses involved lots of fun and spilt wine. The barman heard that it was my birthday and gave me a Porron as a gift - stoked! Lots of fun to be had with it when we get back to Oz! Not sure what I'd do if it got broken though....mmm. When we finally settled in the last bar for the evening, Sal had a couple of baileys and set of to bed as she is a light weight now days, while we carried on to the wee hours of the morning, carrying on the vino theme before moving on to some serious local rum and coke cocktails which made the communication thing a whole lot more interesting. With a bit of liquid courage into me I now thought I was a linguistic master trying to interpret everything and be involved in the Spanish spoken conversations… to no prevail, so it seemed.

As dawn approached we decided that we all should hit the sack as it was 3 am and we had another day of travelling ahead of us. All the guys decided that we would meet downstairs for coffee at 8.30 in what turned out to be a failed attempt of all other parties but me as they rocked up at 9 where I had already decided to go back to bed a long time ago. So much for being punctual.

Anyway, it turned out to be a brilliant birthday – certainly one to remember. To top it off, I got 30 personal messages on facebook to wish me a happy birthday! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Not just a tourist, but part of the family!

We left Gijon on Sunday and made our way to the family home of Marcos’ friends located in a remote village called Valpoesta in the Basque country where we stayed the night. This would have to be one of the major highlights of our trip so far despite the fact that the whole family didn’t speak a word of English. From the moment we stepped into their home though, they accepted us as if we were their own. Thankfully, Marcos and Adri did interpret for us a bit, but we also tried to communicate using lots of hand movements and our phrasebook – although the phrasebook proved pretty useless in this situation! It just didn’t contain what we wanted to say! Lol They cooked us a beautiful meal (first time we had squid ink risotto – surprisingly yum) and we sat around eating and drinking vino (wine) all night, getting merry and having a good laugh trying to decipher what we were all trying to say! It was Tim’s birthday the next day and it was such a special moment when the clock struck midnight and everyone sang happy birthday to him in Spanish and then in English – a rare moment we really should have captured on video. They then cracked open a bottle of Cava (Spanish sparkling wine) to celebrate the occasion. It felt so surreal at the time, that we were sitting around the table with a Spanish family, experiencing REAL grassroots culture and incredible hospitality. What an amazing privilege that we were definitely not taking lightly!

We were so mesmerised by their beautiful, multi-level farmhouse - the solid wood beams, colours, textures, shapes and the food on display were straight out of a dream, only this was real! How do you comprehend or take all this in? Their home is situated amongst the mountains of the Basque Country, such a gorgeous location, one that we didn’t appreciate until the next morning because we arrived so late the night before. I won’t forget the moment that I got out of bed and went to the window – I think my jaw hit the floor right then and there! WOW!! Time to pinch myself! Ancient buildings, Church steeple, mountains, lush greenery, dew on the grass…. I literally wanted to capture in a frame every glance at this utter beauty and take it home with me.

That morning, the man of the house (Marcos’ friend Paul’s Dad - can’t remember his name) showed us around an old Church located next door. The Church dated back to 804 A.D. and despite it being extremely run down, it was full of gold detail and displayed the original robes worn by the priests - fascinating and beautiful.

We left there feeling sad because in one night we had become a bit attached to this beautiful family. Paul’s Dad actually had tears in his eyes as we drove away and it really spoke to us about how much love this family has to give. We were blown away.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A pinnacle moment of gastronomy

So for those of you who are on facebook and saw my status would know that I promised to blog about the BEST food we have EVER eaten….well here goes….

It’s probably better described as our best all round experience in a restaurant, from the service, to the wine, to the atmosphere, the cocktails, to the 9 course degustation menu, everything was incredible and an experience that is actually a little difficult to put into words…ones that will do it justice anyway. I’m talking about the restaurant called Avante Garde where Marcos (our friend) is the head chef.

We arrived at 10pm for an aperitif before dinner – yes it was that late! Still getting used to the culturally late dinner times here, trying to get past the feeling of dozing off with my head on the table immediately after finishing my meal…anyway, the waiter, who thankfully knew some English, went through the wine list with us with some recommendations – we have never known any waiter to describe wine with such articulate detail and passion. After a couple of glasses of wine at the bar, a little dish arrived in front of us which we studied for a while to try and work out what it was, but it was definitely inviting! So we eagerly took our spoon and tried what we found out was quail egg. We’d never had quail egg before, but it was so smooth and creamy in texture and the delicacy and simplicity of the flavours were so good. It definitely wet our appetite for the remainder of the menu which was:

Salted-cured foie terrine (pate) with beetroot and red berries;

Lobster salad with "salmorejo" and melon

Monkfish with smoked aubergine puree

Vegetables tempura with 3 sauces

Dim Sum (surf n turf)

Pizza Avante Garde (Flore di latte mozzarella, iberico ham and truffle oil)

Sirloin steak with creamy mashed potatoes and wild mushrooms

Dessert - No dairy cream caramel with milk infused ice cream

The combination of flavours, the delicacy, the simplicity and the presentation of this food was an experience that we’ll never forget. Every bite was beyond delicious and honestly could not be faulted in any way – now that is a huge thing to say from two massive ‘hard to please’ food critics, when it comes to restaurants anyway. It completely blew our expectations out of the water! To top off the night, Marcos left the kitchen early to come and have after dinner drinks with us. We showered him with compliments about the food, but the question is, how do you describe to a modest chef just how good the food was in a way that he really gets it? Does he really know just how good of a chef he is? We would probably say world class! Maybe he does get it, who knows.

Another experience that won't be leaving our memory any time soon!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

No Entiendo.

No Entiendo – the Spanish word we’ve used the most since we arrived in Gijon at 12:30pm yesterday! Can you guess what it means? ‘I don’t understand’ lol. Needless to say, communicating with the people here has been somewhat challenging and a little frustrating!

We are staying with our friends, Marcos & Adriana. We met them through when they stayed with us in Adelaide about the same time last year. They are absolutely adorable people and we had such a connection the first time we met them. Keeping in touch has been effortless and it is now a really nice feeling to be with good friends in such a foreign place here in Gijon. It’s a bonus that they speak English! ;-)

We had about a 2 and a half hour drive from Bilbao (where the ferry docked) to Gijon. It was our first time driving on the right hand side of the road and we couldn’t read a word on any of the street signs. All we could think was ‘shit too bad if we’re breaking the law’ lol

With Marcos and Adriana both working in the afternoon, we decided to have a wander around the city and maybe have some lunch. Spaniards’ lunch time is traditionally 2-4pm, so we waited until then to find somewhere to eat. The only problem was ,that it took us about 10 minutes to read every menu that looked remotely in our price range and it was DRAINING!! You could imagine the locals amusement seeing two foreigners standing outside a restaurant with their phrasebooks trying to translate the menu! Especially in a town where foreigners are basically non-existent! At that point we said to each other – hmmmm, maybe we should have spent more time studying our phrasebook before coming to Spain. We finally found a place to eat and we decided to order from the Menu Del Dia which in Spain, is a 2-3 course set lunch menu for a very good price (generally). We recognised Paella on the menu and thought ‘yes, our first Paella in the land of Paella’….so we went in and asked the waiter “Habla Ingles?” (Do you speak English) only to hear “No”. ‘Shit, ok here goes’….the waiter said something but we had no idea what, so of course we responded “No Entiendo”. We managed to ask for the Menu Del Dia and then were told “No”. What the hell did he mean? Could we not have anything from that menu? Obviously not, but we didn’t know why at first, then worked out that it was just before 4pm, so they had sold out or were just not serving that menu as lunch was almost over. So after our experience there, we went to a supermarket where reading the labels was also a bit impossible, but we recognised a few words/items mostly in the confectionery/biscuit range which didn’t really help with our need for lunch. We resorted to buying some tomatoes and cheese and had this on top of cruskits which we had bought with us from the UK.

That evening we went out with Marcos and Adri to a traditional Spanish cyder bar where the barman pours the cyder from over his head into the glass held at waist height (entertaining). Then we moved onto a wine bar where we sampled some fine Spanish wine and tapas. The experience of both places was good, but the food/cyder nothing to rave about. It was also very strange to be in bars where every second person smokes. I think we forgot how disgusting it is to eat/drink around smokers!

After leaving the last bar, I think it was then that it really hit me – ‘we are a veeeery long way from home’. I actually started to tear up and felt quite overwhelmed about being here. I guess what I was experiencing was culture shock. Not only could we not communicate with anyone in our own language, but not being able to read signs, menus or food labels was a bit much for one day For me anyway (keeping in mind that this is my very first visit to a non-English speaking country). It would be interesting to know what your first experience was like – leave your comments after this post. I know it will get easier as time goes on and soon I will be thinking what the hell was I getting myself so worked up over!! (As you do in hindsight with a little bit more experience under your belt)

I think Tim probably felt a bit better about it all – here is what he has to say…….

Tim: Its been an interesting experience so far. I haven’t really been overwhelmed with the culture shock here. I think I got over that when I was in Bali in the year 2000 where I had trouble getting over the filthy, smelly environment and the poor communication with the locals. What does make it harder being here than most other touristy places is that hardly anyone speaks English… at all. When you are travelling to well known places, you take refuge in the fact that there is likely to be other tourists who speak English, but not here. We are very thankful to have Marcos and Adri speak to us in English!

So…funnily enough, today we went back to the same restaurant for a second go at ordering from the Menu Del Dia but we weren’t that hungry, so we decided to just order for one and share. That was until we heard from the waiter a resounding ‘no’ when we asked to ‘compartir’ (share). He then rattled off something else in Spanish and we responded with our well practiced word – ‘No Entiendo’. The waiter just threw his hands in the air! ahhh! We worked out, that he was trying to tell us that we needed to order two servings if we wanted to eat there, but it was 12 Euros a head and we weren’t very hungry. So, a little sheepishly, we said “Lo siento” (sorry) and left the restaurant. We ended up having cruskits again for lunch! Lol At least we can say we tried! And I guess we will keep trying. J

Tonight we are eating dinner at Marcos’ restaurant where he is the head chef and he has already planned a menu for us (what a treat!!)… so it will be a nice little break from trying to decipher Spanish menus! For a little while anyway ;-)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Craving stillness - literally!

Ahhh! We’ve had hardly any sleep and we’re so tired! We hit the worst of the weather at about 3am this morning with a 9-10 metre swell!! The waves were crashing against the ship so hard, that we heard loose cargo clanging and banging around underneath us. It was so loud that it made our whole cabin shake! Little did we realise, that we were placed in a room near the front of the boat that apparently bares the brunt of the turbulent waves. It was worse than any turbulence we’ve ever experienced in a plane, plus we had that giddy, negative G stomach thing going on! So yes, we were feeling pretty sick however we have managed so far to avoid driving the porcelain bus – just! Lol. Thankfully after that episode we were moved to a better cabin at the back of the boat which had a little less sway. It was a significant difference.

This arvo the Captain announced our delayed arrival would only be 2 hours instead of the original 24. Yeeew! Thank God! We haven’t been handling the motion sickness all that well (can you tell? ;-) and can’t wait to set foot on dry land in Spain in the morning.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sea legs and stomach...

So here we are, we have boarded the ferry and we are on our way to Spain. The weather forecast is lousy and as a result we will be arriving 24 hours later, meaning we have about 65 hours of rocking and our insides doing somersaults! So much for ‘big ship, smooth sailing’! It sort of feels like you’ve had way too much to drink without touching a single drop (thankfully)– we have been ‘dancing around’ our cabin, with the sudden urge of needing to sit/lay down and QUICK! Hmmm, we may be driving the porcelain bus sometime on this trip ;-) Not sure if travel sickness tablets are going to cure this one!

Maybe the fact that our stomachs were already churning before getting on the ferry had something to do with it – because we lost our compact digi camera today! Well, it was today that we discovered it was missing anyway. The only possible explanation that we have come up with is that I (Sal) was pick pocketed at Heathrow airport on Sunday! Grrr! So we’ve made a police report and hopefully we can claim that one back on our insurance. It was a stressful day looking for it and we are pretty disappointed that we’re not going to have a ‘point and shoot’ for the Spain/France leg of our trip. What a lesson eh! Normally, our awareness is heightened when it comes to protecting our things while travelling, but because we were picking up friends from the airport, we weren’t in travel mode and I guess our guards were down. Can’t believe how professional those pick pocketers are! I remember someone bumping into me, but I didn’t think anything of it. You live and learn. Lucky for us, all our pics were uploaded to our pc and we didn’t lose any precious memories. After all, things can always be replaced.

Back to the ferry….tonight we thought we’d cruise into the show bar for some entertainment titled ‘Broadway’. Well needless to say, it lived up to the cruise ship reputation of being extremely cheesy but it was a good laugh nonetheless. We had performance snippets from Cats, Phantom of the Opera, Hey Big Spender, Footloose and We Will Rock You. Singing was out of tune, dancing out of time and the cast was made up of colourful characters – I’m sure you can imagine our amusement!

We’re off to bed now, hoping we will actually get to have some sleep tonight because the boat is a rockin!