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Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Caribbean Cruise - Barbados

Following on from my last post, detailing the first stop on the cruise, at Funchal, Madeira, we then spent 6 rather windy days crossing the Atlantic, before landing at a cloudy Bridgetown, Barbados, on 22nd November.

We disembarked to take a minibus tour across the island, from the Caribbean Coast to the dramatic east coast. Our first stop was at St Johns parish church
St Johns Church
Built in 1846 to replace the church that was destroyed by the Great Hurricane of 1831, this classic Gothic church is solid and soaring. The church grounds are serene and the cliff-edge site 800 feet above sea level, commands a sweeping view of the picturesque east coast, as may be seen in the two images below.
Barbados View
St Johns View
Moving on from St Johns, we next travelled to Bathsheba, with its breathtakingly beautiful  wide white sand beaches which stretch along a dramatic coastline of striking rock formations against which the Atlantic rollers break in cascades of foam. What at first glance look like huge boulders washed up on the beach are actually rock formations broken away from ancient coral reef!
Bathsheba Beach
Bathsheba Rock Formations
Bathsheba Rock
Finally we went to the Highland Centre, located at the heart of the island, 1,004 feet above sea level. The Centre offers spectacular views not seen anywhere else in Barbados, overlooking a beautiful and lush natural valley below, beyond which you can make out the blue waters and breaking white caps of the Atlantic Ocean on the east coast of the island.
Highland View
Finally, I couldn't resist taking a photo of this sign, right at the top of the Highland Centre!
Weather Station
We did walk around Bridgetown in the afternoon, but with the rain, I didnt take many photos, though it was at least warm! And just to prove it was raining, a view from the minibus on our return to Bridgtown following our island tour.

Fortunately, the rest of the cruise was spent in warm sunshine. Our next port of call was St Lucia, which will be featured in my next post!

Friday, 14 December 2018

Caribbean Cruise - Madeira

This is my first post for over a month, as I have been relaxing on a 28 day cruise to the Carribean!

We set sail from Southampton on Sunday 11th November on board the MV Oriana which is a cruise ship and ocean liner of the P&O Cruises fleet. She is the smallest of seven ships currently in service with P&O Cruises, with a tonnage of 69,840 tons holding 1,880 passengers and 760 crew. Oriana holds the Golden Cockerel as the fastest ship in the fleet, replacing SS Canberra. She is the oldest, and longest-serving, ship in the fleet but is being sold next year, making her last voyage for P&O in August 2019.

Our first port of call was Funchal, the capital of Madeira and Portugal's 6th largest city. Madeira is a sub-tropical island in the Atlantic Ocean around 960 kilometers southwest of Lisbon and has been an autonomous region of Portugal since 1976.
Buy wallart of MV Oriana in Funchal
MV Oriana
The Oriana moored at Funchal.

Buy wallart of Funchall Madeira
Funchal
A view of Funchal showing the dramatic mountains that surround the city.
Buy photoart of St Anthony Church Funchal
St Anthony Church
A cityscape showing Saint Anthony Church which was built in 1789, where a chapel from the 16th century was built with Saint Anthony as its patron. This Rococo-style church is flanked by two tall bell towers completed in 1883. Between 1922 and 1928 it underwent several renovations, including the placement of a large clock in one of the two church towers.
Buy wallart of St Martins Church Funchal
St Martins Church
The Church of St Martin (Igreja de São Martinho) is the main church in the Parish of São Martinho, Funchal, Madeira. Dedicated to St. Martin of Tours. Although construction of this beautiful church began in the 18th century, it took over 150 years to complete the work and its size had to be adjusted to accommodate the growing population of Funchal. It was finally inaugurated in 1918.
Buy wallart of St Martins Cemetary Funchal
St Martins Cemetary
The Cemetry at St. Martin's Chirch in Funchal, Madeira.

After we had finished our tour of Funchal, we walked to the small Municipal Garden, one of many gardens in the town. In addition to the many flowers, I was pleased to capture the following two images of Monarch butterflies.
Monarch Butterfly
Buy wallart of Monarch Butterfly on Flowers
Monarch Butterfly on Flowers
We left Madeira in the evening and set sail across the Atlantic, heading for the Caribbean, and our first stop, Barbados, which we reached a week later on 22nd November. Watch out for my next post for images of Barbados!