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LIVE from the Prinsendam - 24 day Med Rivieras & River Explorer - please join us

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38 minutes ago, Vict0riann said:

Looks like the daily specials in Canaletto have some new choices, too. I seem to remember a swordfish puttanesca from a long, long time ago (in the days when they did the cotton candy) and it was my very favourite. Looking forward to having it again. Was Rifki still the maître d’ in Canaletto?

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 Yes he was and he was VERY accommodating.


Gave me a reservation for x time and told me to come whenever it suited us.  Told him I would call to confirm and he said, no need - just come - you’ll have a good table.  And we did 🙂 

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9 hours ago, samsonmo said:

Jacqui. Unfortunately we are home and have to think what to eat. Your pics of the various food items makes us jealous.





I know that problem all to well, but lucky you two - you will soon be on board for the final sailing collectors’ cruise.  So, I too am a tad jealous 😉 

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5 hours ago, puppycanducruise said:

Wow.  This thread is wonderful.

Loved your pictures of Herculaneum, someday I'll get there. :classic_rolleyes:

And the flowers are so beautiful.

But the food!  Wish I was there.

Thanks for sharing.


Thanks kindly.


Glad you are enjoying it.


I have to review my pics of Alicante to eliminate duplicates and duds and then I will post our wonderful day here.


I bought more flowers today and we have decided to gift the plant to the captain in honour of King’s Day tomorrow.  It will last longer in his cabin than it will in ours.  🙂


the new flowers are also orange. 😉 

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3 hours ago, DeeniEncinitas said:

Jacqui, just got caught up again with your wonderful blog!! 

Thank you for bringing us along on this fabulous voyage! For this final Swan Song

no better person than you to give us all a in-depth look at the legendary Elegant Explorer and your journeys!!

I will try to keep up, but DH with business

will be leaving Sunday to Paris and I’m going to tag along. Still wish we could of done this Voyage.







Hope you have a fabulous time in Paris - I’m sure you will 😉 

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On a happy note, our missing roll call members were at Alicante to greet us all.


They got checked in and were on their way to their tour.


Glad to see they got here safely.


An expensive trip I’m guessing as it wasn’t booked with HAL flight ease.


Sorry to see them losing two days of their cruise but very glad they are here.


I gave them their name tags I made for the Meet and Greet so they at least had them.


I suspect they will not fly in the day of again - but I didn’t ask that 😉 


They are having fun now and that’s the main thing 😄 

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Tomorrow is Malaga.


We love this city and have been many times so we will do a bit of enjoying, grab some wifi and then do a tapas tour with a couple of roll call friends and a lovely Canadian who has been in Malaga for over 20 years taking us to some of the secret spots.


If it’s good, there will be definitely food porn pics.


Here is tomorrow’s When and Where








And of course, tomorrow is KING’S DAY on the ship and in Holland.


Our waiters and DR Manager were encouraging us to visit the Lido and have a bite as they will be serving a Dutch dinner tomorrow night.


And then they suggested we come down for a light bite 😉. OMG !!!


We have an Orange party scheduled for 8:45 though so we may just have to check out the Lido assuming we are back from Malaga in time. 😉   We should be by then I would think.



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Our day in Alicante had started and we were off on our tour.  A lovely group of 9 of our roll call members.


My thanks to Tony (sailingdutchy) for finding this guide (she actually owns the company) who certainly knew her history and wanted to share it with us and how Alicante came to be.


The city kindly provides a free shuttle to save the 20-30 minute walk into town.


Considering some of the walking we were about to do, taking the shuttle was a wise decision indeed.


We were starting off with the magnificent fortress which has quite the history


Look WAY up.




this is a later view and yes we went up:




I will tell you the story on this pic later if you like.


Fortunately, there is an elevator to get you up to the first level (you still have to go up, up, up on foot).  the elevator is very quick and actually takes you up the equivalent of 48 floors.


At the first level:








The views from the first level:





this fortress/castle/jail (and it was all of those things) has quite the history and Maria shared a great deal of it with us.


I’ll share a smidge of it tomorrow with more pics.  Alicante has an amazing and sad history and wonderful people.


I am very glad we had a chance to see Alicante in depth and hear of it’s history.


Lovely spot.


More tomorrow.  It’s 11 pm and we have a full day tomorrow but I should have some wifi time tomorrow as my favourite Place de Merced 😄 


Weather forecast is smiling at us with another beautiful day promised.  Unbelievable and we will take very minute of it 🙂 


Buenos Noches from the Prinsendam as we sail from Alicante to Malaga.




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I feel so sad for the couple who missed the ship.  I can only imagine how stressful that was.  Hopefully they were able to turn it into an adventure and get some enjoyment out of it.


The next time I go to Malaga I am going to The Arab Baths.


Have an amazing time in Paris, Deeni!!

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Miss G ❤️

Thankyou so much! It was last minute 

but I was able to fly with my DH with work in business so I am happy. 

Gone for 10 days so I will try to keep abreast with our Jacqui’s adventures! I love how she writes!! I feel I’m there.

Take care 


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I forgot to tell you that the fee for the elevator is just over 2.5 euros BUT if you are a senior and have Government ID, you ride it for free 🙂 


Two of the ‘babies’ in our group had to pay 😉 


The first level of the fortress where the elevator lets you off.  


This started out as a small fortress with a single tower.  Since it was originally built long ago there was no need for any walls facing the water.  There were no cannons back then and no need to protect from that area.  Instead, walls were built around the three areas facing the land for protection.






Unfortunately for Alicante, it was a much desired location so it was subject to numerous wars, conquests, etc and, later bombings.  As a result, some of it’s history has been lost due to destruction but most can be traced and tracked.


During Franco’s regime, the fortress was turned into a jail.  The women and children were sent to schools and hospitals to be imprisoned and the men were sent here.


At this level y ou can see the inscriptions of the prinsoners’ names at various periods of history on the floor:




This part was actually used as a chess board as well.






The men were kept here and sent to what is now the shopping centre today.  At the time, it was a concentration camp they were constructing.  Once it was complete, they were all transferred there.





These are the toilets the prisoners used.  Right at the edge - YIKES!  There was no wall or bars on this side as to try to jump into the sea was certain death with the height.




The fortress started out small and was expanded over time.  In order for Alicante to become a city it had to have a church and a much larger fortress.




This is Now it is huge despite attempts to destroy it. 





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Water was a serious problem for Alicante as they couldn’t drink the sea water.  They created aqueducts and reservoirs to save precious water.


There were 3 reservoirs under the fortress to ensure a good supply.  Here are the wells above one of them.




This is the remains of the church of Santa Barbara.  It was not destroyed by bombs but by a mistake at the fortress.





During an attack, the mayor feared that there would be more and ordered the mayor of the fortress to build more cannon balls and prepare the gunpowder.


The workers had a long trek to get the gunpowder (and believe me after walking up the hill I totally understand about the long trek) so they decided to move it to a building close to the church so that they could do it faster and easier.


Unfortunately, the building was the kitchen and a spark caught the gunpowder and caused a massive explosion, destorying most of the church.  This is all that is left.







We resumed our climbing:






Couldn’t resist this.  As we were climbing, workers were trying to scare away the sea gulls so they didn’t pester people.


This mother was nesting and she blasted the workers.  She wasn’t moving and they left her alone.





Still walking up - I can see why they moved the gunpowder - LOL.



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This is the original tower of the fortress.  You can see where the masons left their marks to keep count of how many bricks they had done so they could calculate their payment.


This is the only place in the fortress you will find this which tells us it is the oldest.




Some of the holes you see were made by cannon balls when the fortress was attacked.  As you can see it was a very sturdy tower.




Still walking and I loved the flowers here




This is a copy of their veil of Jesus held in a church nearby.  The story goes that the woman who wiped Jesus tears tore her veil in 4 pieces.  And, it is supposed to have healing powers.  The church nearby led a procession when there was a drought and when they got to a certain spot they could not move it.  Rain came and as a result the church was built on that very spot.


To this day, people from Alicante make the 9 km trek to this church on the national. Holiday to commemorate it.


You would see this image in many places in Alicante.






The walk is always on an incline as you are going up, up, up.




Do you see the little door at the bottom of the tower?  This is the original entrance to the fortress when it was built.





Just a close up.



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Finally we got to the top.  Maria said it was worth it for the views.


She was right 😉 


Look at that pretty ship down there:












Our tour of the fortress was complete and we walked back down to get to the elevator to get us to street level to continue our exploration of Alicante.


The house built by a wealthy man next to the hotel.  It has 365 windows - one for every day of the year.  He built it next to the hotel (which was the nicest one in the city at the time as he swore it would be nicer than the hotel).  He wanted to get even.  He had been thrown from his horse and lost all his ID and money.  He was a regular at the hotel and after walking for miles he looked homeless.  The hotel refused him entrance so he wanted revenge 😉 





A close up of the top:




Plaza Espana


This was at one time walled and the water next to it.  The city reclaimed the land as the popularity of it grew to visit.  The walls were hammered down to make a rudimentary walk way back then.  Now it has a lovely marble walk way on top.  White for the mountains, blue for the sea and the famous Alicante red marble.  It’s a very famous and expensive marble.


Blue and white is the colour of Alicante’s flag.




While it may remind you of Las Ramblas in Barcelona, it is not called Las Ramblas.

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Malaga is nice and warm.  We are about to go Tapas tasting and maybe I will find some secret spots 😉 


I will be back to finish Alicante a bit later.  Really a beautiful spot.


Maria told me we were lucky as it had been pouring rain there all week.  We told her we brought the good weather.  It follows us (and then I hastily knocked on wood). 


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2 hours ago, puppycanducruise said:

Hope the good weather stays with you. I wish you could send some of it back here.


Dito.  It is either pelting cold rain or, like this morning, high winds, below zero and snowing.  So I just can’t relate to flowers, sun and walking around without being bundled up like it is January.  At least the flooded areas aren’t getting rain today.


hope your weather continues as you travel up the coast.  Your posts are a daily dose of hope that spring has arrived somewhere.

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15 minutes ago, 1of4 said:

It is either pelting cold rain or, like this morning, high winds, below zero and snowing.  


:classic_ohmy: Nooooooo 😭  I will be crossing the border later today.  It was in the 70’s in Virginia!


Jacqui, did you say the city put on a free bus to get you from the ship in Alicante?  We had to pay and then I couldn’t find one to get back so I had a very loooong walk in the heat.  After a long walk in the heat.  LOL

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2 hours ago, *Miss G* said:


:classic_ohmy: Nooooooo 😭  I will be crossing the border later today.  It was in the 70’s in Virginia!


Jacqui, did you say the city put on a free bus to get you from the ship in Alicante?  We had to pay and then I couldn’t find one to get back so I had a very loooong walk in the heat.  After a long walk in the heat.  LOL


Yes, the shuttle was provided by the port and it was free.


They are very grateful for the tourism here and want your business!


People are very friendly.




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2 hours ago, 1of4 said:


Dito.  It is either pelting cold rain or, like this morning, high winds, below zero and snowing.  So I just can’t relate to flowers, sun and walking around without being bundled up like it is January.  At least the flooded areas aren’t getting rain today.


hope your weather continues as you travel up the coast.  Your posts are a daily dose of hope that spring has arrived somewhere.


I hear you on the weather.


I’ve been following the Maritime weather and no way could I be gardening right now.  So jealous of those in the Med with flowers in full bloom already. ;).   

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5 hours ago, puppycanducruise said:

Hope the good weather stays with you. I wish you could send some of it back here.


I'm enjoying your pictures and comments.  Thanks.


I will do my best to pack some of the good weather with us.  We better have it by the time we get home.


Thanks for the kind comments.  Wish I was a better writer and could provide more humour.  It is what it is.

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