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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Emirates Cruise Day 3, 4,& 5

 Day 3

It was the Captains meet and greet last night. We all got dressed in our finery, had the usual photo taken with the Captain, was served martini's and champagne followed by canopies and then introduced to all the senior officers.

 Then it was dinner at the usual 6.15pm sitting and it was from there we had the first sunset of the trip. Temperature was also on the up getting warmer the further south we got.      

Sunny our waiter

Table companions, Ian, Val, Bob, Chris and Dawn

A bit disappointed with the show, a singer crooning Max Bygraves numbers, so we left after 20 minutes. It was straight up to the observation lounge for more drinks and to partake of the late evening quiz. Rolled into bed by midnight.

Day 4

So this morning I got up to see the most beautiful moon beams glistening on an almost calm sea. Tried to capture the moment but failed miserably. What I did get later though was the sunrise. Magical is the only word to describe it.

Another very lazy day supping red wine and rum & coke round the pool.

 Still a tad to chilly for a swim but some brave souls took the plunge. Show in the evening was brilliant. 60's music sank and dance by the Balmoral Show Company.

Bob, Val, Chris, Dawn and Ian

Day 5

Arrived in Malaga at 7am. Really wanted to see us moor alongside so set our alarm for 6.45am. Peered out of the balcony door and then realised it was still dark. What a let down. Wanted to watch the men drive in the mooring spikes!!!! Convenient bollards happened to be near so Balmoral was secured to them! (:

As the sun came up

First real view of Malaga

No excursions booked today so left Balmoral after breakfast to do our own thing. Had strict instructions from the crew to be back on board by 18.00pm as Balmoral would sail at 18.30pm come hell or high water!!

 Town center was a good 3 Kilometers away so took the local bus. Then as soon as we arrived in town we were grabbed by the local taxi's. Horse and trap!!! Took the offer of a tour round the city for 30 Euros with another couple so only 15 Euros each. And well worth the trip. No rip off just good information about the various attractions for a 30 minutes tour.

 It was quite chilly at first needing a jumper but by the time we had climbed to the towns viewpoint to admire the scenery, jumpers came off. The Castle of Gibralfaro was even further up and a must see (so we were informed) and by heck the views were even more spectacular. Loads more steps to climb as we walked the castle walls and I'm pretty sure the full English breakfast I had this morning didn't have time to deposit the fatty bits before I burned the lot off.

Bull Ring

Balmoral docked on the left

 From there we started our descent to Alcazaba a palace fortress of the Moslem governors. This was full of spectacular Moorish archways, ceilings, fountains and artifacts. By now feet was starting to ache but there was no rest for the wicked as Ian wanted to see the Roman Theater. Thankfully I got to have a rest on the steps and watch the local feral cats creating mayhem with there loud caterwauling.

 By 15.00 we started the walk back to Balmoral. I had stupidly said earlier that morning that walking the 3K back to the ship would do us good. Wish I had kept my mouth shut as Ian held me to that suggestion!!! Still we did stop halfway for a quick half pint and I did get to admire the boats in the Marina as well as watch the fish eating the scraps.

 Changed for dinner, got to the restaurant and an announcement from the Captain. Due to one of the coach  tours still on route back to the boat, we wouldn't be leaving at 18.30 after all. All those threats for nothing this morning!!! Eventually sailed at 19.30 again in the dark.

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