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We’re in Vigo today, and we’ve just done an excursion “Border Country”. Unfortunately this, like the last one, was a bit of a disappointment.

It was supposed to be a visit to sites either side of the Spanish/Portuguese border, and I suppose it did that, but somehow it didn’t seem organised. It started with a drive to a viewpoint (La Guia hill) overlooking Vigo from where we all took pictures. However this was actually in the wrong directioon, so afterwards we had drive through Vigo to get to the town of Valença, just over the border into Portugal. During this drive through Vigo various ‘interesting’ sites (e.g. the first girl’s high school) were pointed out to us as we passed. In the end we didn’t arrive in Valença until noon,which was 90 minutes after the start of the excursion. At that point I have to admit that some problems occurred that weren’t the guide’s fault. First, her normal entrance into the old, walled town was unavailable because of maintenance work, so we had to walk into the old town by the exit. Then as soon as we got to the central square a number of fellow-passengers needed to use the facilities, and that took about ten minutes. Then we all crocodiled back towards the old town entrance so we could we could be shown a church that normally we would have seen as we entered the town; then we crocodiled back to the square by the loos, because this was the meeting point at the end of the excursion and the guide felt that we needed to be shown it again; and then we all crocodiled down a shopping street to a hotel at the end where coffee and snacks were available; and after that we were free until 2:15 to do what we wanted. As we arrived at the hotel there was a thunderstorm and the heavens opened so we sat in the hotel glumly watching the rain through the enormous windows that provided the panoramic views of – the rain.

Having had some coffee Val and I were seething with frustration so we made our excuses and left. Sadly it was still raining so when we found an open café/bar in the main square we dived in and had a glass of vinho each. I’d like to say it was excellent stuff, but it wasn’t – it was the default red wine in a locals-only cafe. You can judge for yourself how good it was when I tell you that it cost us €2.60 for both glasses, not just one. But it was fun in a way, and we were happy to add it to our list of places we’ve been in that were pretty authentic and in which we must have been completely out of place. You’ve just got to not mind looking silly.

By the time we’d finished the wine the rain had stopped so finally – finally! – we got a bit of a proper walk. Then it was 2:15 and time for the drive back to the ship which took just 40 minutes. Since then we’ve had chicken & fries from the Neptune Grill. It was actually described as ‘Cajun chicken in a rustic breadcake’ but it was actually a bit of standard chicken in a standard bun, with cold fries. Ah well…..

It’s the last formal night tonight and I’m about to order a bottle of wine from the wine line. We’ve preferred to do that on this cruise rather than buy a package. Tomorrow is a sea day and the last full day of the cruise.

One Response to “Cruising on Arcadia – an excursion from Vigo”

  1. […] But of course there were still more calls: Lisbon, and Vigo. […]

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