We sailed overnight to Gran Canaria, the second largest island of the Canaries and docked at 8am.
We had been warned by our friends that some of the bus drivers were a bit reckless and drove too fast around the many hairpin bends around the mountains. We had such a driver who was eventually asked to slow down by many people. Our guide used very creative English and the non English speakers had great trouble in understanding the unusually made up vocabulary that she used a lot of the time.
The first stop was up to the volcanic crater of Bandama then back down the mountain to the centre of Las Palmas. we opted to walk around on our own and not follow the guide as she talked incessantly. We had a nice lunch at the ‘Rifugio’ where we had a wonderful view of the surrounding rugged mountains. A recent fire had just spared the restaurant and neighbouring restaurants and trees close by had been completed burnt.
We drove to the pretty village of Teror which was deserted as it was siesta time again and the churches were locked. Our last stop was ‘Gardens of the Duchess’ with it’s many cycads, ponds, palms and cacti and large banana plantation. It was a long 8 1/2 hour trip and not recommended for those suffering from motion sickness or vertigo.

Our last port of call in the Canary islands was Tenerife, the largest of the islands and our 4 1/2 hour tour there took us first to ‘Playa de las Teresitas’ a beach with yellow sand brought in from the Spanish sahara in Morocco. The tour to the northern part of the island was with a much more sensible driver and guide.
The views down to the coast from the Anaga mountains were spectacular. It was a national holiday so it was slow going with the large bus having to pause many times for cars coming in the opposite direction. Down at the coast past the isolated village of Taganana we had local wine, cheese and olives and then drove to ‘Pico del Ingles’ with amazing views of Mount Teide Spain’s highest mountain before descending down to the coast to the ship.
We sailed from Tenerife for two days before reaching our last port of call ‘A Coruna’ on the coast of Spain.

Known as the Crystal city because of it’s glassed in balconies which glitter in the sun, A Coruna is a charming city with interesting architecture. The balconies have been so enclosed against the fierce winds which blow from the Atlantic ocean. It is a short walk into the city from the cruise ship dock. Our tour of the estuaries or Rias took us to the south to the medieval town of Puertodueme. The second stop was a beautiful view point over the estuaries and beaches where we enjoyed a tapas lunch with the good local Ribeiro wine. We had a photostop by a castle on a small island. From there we could overlook the city of A Coruna in the distrance.
We left for our final days’s sailing via the Bay of Biscay to Southampton which took another day and a half.

The dress code on the ship was informal until 6pm where we could wear shorts etc but after 6pm a jacket was required and on the three formal nigts a suit or tuxedo was required. We had bought Maurice a suit from M&S the year before which we kept at our friend’s house until required for the cruise. We had no need for it in the campervan.

We thoroughly enjoyed our time on the beautiful Queen Elizabeth and it’s lovely art deco furnishings, excellent food and services. We did decide however that shore excursions on a large tour bus were not our thing so if ever cruising again we would opt for touring independantly.

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