Posted by sean on June 29, 2017 at 1:34 pm in Holiday with No Comments

Awoke to a very hot morning and to find our ship had arrived and birthed in Alicante. Our offshore excursion was not due until late morning, so to avoid the inevitable large queues of people, wanting to leave before us and therefore getting an early breakfast, we had ours delivered to the cabin. Coffee, fresh orange juice and pastries are wonderful to wake up to!

Got off the ship. The weather is very hot! Luckily, Britain had its own heatwave the week before our cruise, so my body is used to it. Boarded the trolley train – all too familiar from our honeymoon. And sped through the streets of Alicante – the driver doing his up most to replicate Alton Towers by appearing to accelerate over the speed bumps in the road, causing us to bounce violently on our seats.

A police escort lead the train, while another local officer followed closely behind on a motorbike. As we were both sat at the rear of the train, we had a great view of the roads and policeman. I wanted to take a photo of him, but feared arrest and being thrown into an overcrowded, Spanish jail for the rest of my days. Plucked up the courage to get a photo, making it look as if I was photographing Santander Bank.

Our tour guide shows us the location where the locals go to celebrate the many achievements of the national football team. She adds there isn’t much to celebrate with regards to the local football side.

Alicante is a modern city, with many shops you would expect to find back in the UK. Dotted in between branches of Vodafone and Burger King are monuments, statues and historical buildings. Alicante does have a more traditional ‘Old Town’, but there are no suitable roads in those areas for the land train to drive down.

Claire and I thought we recognised various filming locations from the TV series Benidorm – something our tour guide proudly boasted was filmed locally. Stopped for drinks in a traditional Spanish bar, although as we were on a tight schedule, I barely had enough time to drink my bottle of Coke.

We are planning on skipping our evening meal, in favour of getting decent seats for the evening entertainment – Strictly Come Dancing. Therefore, had a cooked lunch, consisting of peas, chips and a Spanish omelette – well, when in Rome… or rather, Alicante.

Currently in the cabin, relaxing. The ship is still docked. Outside a port walker keeps shouting instructions to his colleagues. It sounds like there is a lot of swearing in his rant too, although I don’t speak the language, so can’t be sure. It just goes to show that Spanish Dockers are just as rude as those in England.

The captain has just informed us that we will be unable to attend Cannes on Saturday. This is because of poor weather in the region, which would make getting ashore by the small tender boats dangerous. We are therefore going to Ajaccio, in Corsica instead. We stopped at this port two years ago, on our honeymoon. Claire and I didn’t like it much, and shortly returned to our ship at the time. Therefore, this time around, the plan is for us to stay aboard and not venture ashore.

Am stood at the front of an ever-growing queue to enter the Headliners Theatre to watch Strictly Come Dancing. We’ve only been here 20 minutes and my legs are getting tired. The doors don’t open for another half an hour. It’s either take this option, or battle for a seat come 8 O’clock. We still had to battle for a seat – as soon as the doors opened, the people behind us charged through, like the stampede of wildebeest in The Lion King. With a bit of luck, determination and help from Claire’s parents, we grabbed front row seats. Then proceeded to laugh at all the latecomers, looking for seats of their own. Given the fact I’m not a fan of the TV series, I was surprised to actually enjoyed the Strictly show aboard. The dancing was very good, as you would expect, and the production was excellent. Has the experience converted me to watch the new series with Claire later in the year? No.

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