Trip to France, Spain and Portugal

Mike and Judy Henderson
September 1 to September 25, 2017

I'm going to leave the map on each page describing this trip so you have an idea of where we are.

9/5/2017  After a night of cruising we arrived at the port of Roscoff serving St. Pol-de-Leon.  This area of the Brittany coast gets very significant tides and I'm going to talk about that first.  Here we are docked at Roscoff.

Note the level of the ship compared to the dock.  We left for a tour of St Pol-de-Leon that lasted perhaps three hours.  When we returned from the tour, this is what the ship looked like.  And it wasn't high tide when we arrived!

This caused some real problems for us to get back on the ship.  The gangway, which was inclined towards the dock when we left (you can see the gangway at the left rear of the first picture), was now steeply inclined towards the ship.  The crew had us walk the gangway one at a time so that they could make sure no one slipped and was injured.

The tour took us through the countryside where we saw beautiful fields growing a variety of produce, including artichokes.  Then we went to the town, toured the cathedral and walked the streets of the shopping district.  Additionally, there was a "farmer's market" near where the bus parked, and it was interesting to see the various produce being sold.

Here's a view into the cathedral.

We also entered a separate church, described as a chapel, but with a very tall tower.  Inside was an interesting, modern stained glass window.  Our guide said had been done recently by a Korean glass artist.  It's very modern and unusual for an older church.

We set sail about 4pm for Concarneau.  The seas were running high and it was a very rough evening.  The ship was not rocking and rolling from side to side but was pitching up and down heavily.  This made it hard to walk on the ship, even holding on to the handrails.  Judy and I decided to skip dinner because of the rough conditions.  We were not seasick, but the ship movement was too heavy to risk walking.  The cabin attendant was very nice and brought us some cheese and crackers.  (I later found out that only a small number of the passengers, maybe 20, went to dinner and there was one or more episodes of food or drinks sliding off the table.)

Here's a shot I took out the front window of our cabin towards the bow.  Note that we're on the highest deck of the ship.  Occasionally, the bow spray would hit our window in force (not just a light spray!).  While this may not look all that bad, keep in mind that it went on for a bit over six hours.  You really feel beaten up during that time.

Here's a video of the same thing.

9/6/2017  We arrived at Concarneau this morning and will do a walking tour of the city.  Here's a panoramic view of the port area from our ship at dock.  The arrow points to the walled part of the city, where we will take our tour.

And here's a map of the city, with an arrow pointing to where we're docked.  The walled city is indicated on the map as the "Ville Close".

Our tour guide met us at the ship and we walked around the port to the walled city.  Here's the group entering the walls.

A view of the main street in the walled city.  We were early so there were not many people.  It was much more crowded when our tour was over.

We did the usual things when you visit a walled city, including walking the walls.  This is a view of one of the port areas from the wall.

Tonight is the Captain's Reception and Dinner so everyone will be dressed a bit more formally.  I tried to get pictures of everyone but I'm sure I missed a few.

Here's Judy and me with the captain.

The rest of the pictures are of most of the other people on the cruise.  Here's Rowena and Lynore.

This gentleman is a retired large animal veterinarian.   I think he said he was 94, but I may be off by a couple of years. I know he's over 90.  It was interesting to talk to him about being a vet for cows, since I grew up on a farm.

A shot of the captain's table.

And the other side of the captain's table.

The gentleman third from right (Gordon) was (and maybe still is) a theater set designer. He lived in the French Quarter of New Orleans in the mid '60's so we enjoyed talking about New Orleans and the people who lived there back then.

An interesting group of accomplished people!  It would be interesting to have a list of the different fields that are represented by the passengers.


Our Adventure continues here.