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22nd December, 2016

El Ferrol

Today is day 3 on this “Mediterranean Christmas” cruise, with our Guests getting in to the festive spirit, the ship tastefully decorated by the ship's staff, and many wearing Santa hats.

This morning we arrived in El Ferrol in Galicia, with a sheltered natural harbour which makes for an attractive sail in. The fortress on the North side was named after King Philip II and on sailing in we normally get a gun salute. With a mainly Filipino crew it was interesting to hear that the Philippines was named after this Spanish King

Once alongside the coaches were lined up ready for the main shore excursion to Santiago de Compostela.  After 30 odd years travelling to this area,  I decided to take my wife and 2 daughters with me for a day trip to see what “all the fuss was about”. Santiago was founded as a result of the discovery of the tomb of the Apostle St James the Elder, and is now the final stop on the pilgrim journey along the Way of St James. What a treat this town is with its cobbled narrow streets, bustling cafés, great restaurants  and of course exciting architecture. The stand out is the Cathedral as shown from the photographs.

With a full day we had time to sample some Tapas, and again this place did not disappoint. With Pulpo (Octopus), Calamares, Prawns, Serrano Ham, Pimentos de Padron, Chorizo and Salad to share this made for a fabulous lunch. After a little bit of retail therapy (for my wife and daughters, not me!!) it was time for a strong coffee before our 45 min return to the ship. 

Galician bagpipers gave us a special send off and with an on time departure we retraced our steps from the morning.  As we passed the King Philip Castle the guns burst into action and we exchanged salutes with some lively whistle signals.

Captain Julian Burgess

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