We arrived in Vigo as dawn was breaking over the city.
We were very excited to be back in Vigo. We were here just a few weeks before and loved it. At that time, we took a wonderful tour to wine country, enjoying the traveling through the countryside, exploring the beautiful Village of Cambados and the Agro de Bazan Winery after which the ship was treated to a spectacular farewell while leaving port.
Well, today we decided to just enjoy walking around this beautiful port city and see what we could see. Earlier in the morning I had been talking to our next door neighbors, who just happen to be part of our tour group, and they mentioned that the first time in Vigo they had done some Christmas shopping and found wonderful and beautiful gifts to take home for the holidays.
We enjoyed a quick breakfast at the lounge and then met Tom and Barbara on the pier with the goal of walking around town and doing a little shopping.
Like a lot of European cities, Vigo is very hilly and we found ourselves walking uphill a great deal. Along the way we passed many wonderful antique and specialty shops and bakeries that made our mouths water.
The city was just coming to life when we started our walk. The trees were turning beautiful yellows, oranges and reds, the streets were so clean and inviting.
We stopped in several shops and just looked. Barbara and I wanted to check out as many shops as we could before making any decisions. Decisions were not going to be easy as we saw many beautiful things in many different shops.
Once we topped the hilly street we came across an impressive sculpture of a half man, half fish. I learned that the Merman was sculpted by artist Francisco Leiro and installed in 1991. From there we worked our way towards a wonderful tree-lined pedestrian shopping area.
We continued our walk stopping here and there, Barbara and me stopping in this store and that store, looking down the cross streets just admiring the city all the while Randy and Tom following behind having a good time just talking.
I was fascinated by two things along the way. Down one of the cross streets I noticed the lamp posts were not on the street by attached to the buildings and there were hydroponic planters on wheels in the middle of the pedestrian walk that added color and beauty to the area and, I thought: How clever.
Eventually, we made our way back to the original street we climbed and returned to a small antique shop spending some time looking for just the right gifts for my daughter Kara and her two daughters, Fiona and Lauren. There were so many delightful things to choose from but my eyes fell on just the right things and I came away from the store very happy.
Earlier in the morning Randy noticed a sign in front of the Meigas Fora sidewalk café advertising café latte for $1 Euro. Once again, we enjoyed a wonderful cup of coffee. Everywhere we stopped while visiting Europe the coffee has been just wonderful. I especially love that with each cup of coffee a little cookie or biscuit is placed on the saucer; what a lovely touch.
We considered staying in town for lunch so we made our way up to the Calle de Pescaderia that everyone told us about that was lined with one seafood restaurant after another. They all advertised a variety of favorites but, what I found funny was a menu that included barnacles. All I could think was: Really?
At the end of that street there was a staircase up to another level and what a treat when we reached the top. There was a small square with a beautiful church, the Iglesia Colexiata De Santa Maria, at the center surrounded by many artisan shops. We walked around this area for a while stopping in several of the shops and even purchasing a few more gifts. We bumped into Paul and Rachel and chatted a while before moving along.
Our last stop before going back to the ship was a three-level mall alongside the pier. The mall was full of families enjoying a day of shopping and being entertained by a group of magicians and mime’s. We stopped for a while enjoying the activity and returned to the ship.
We returned to the ship only to get off and return to the city for one last time. Just as we disembarked we ran into the members of Cregan & Co. who were leaving the ship to return to England. We chatted with them for a bit telling them how much we enjoyed the show and they were gracious enough to pose for a picture.
Now, the reason we got off the ship is that Randy had also noticed at the sidewalk café we had gone to earlier was also advertising beer for $1 Euro. He had three Euros left and they were burning a hole in his pocket. So, off we went back to the cafe.
What Randy did not realize is that the $1 Euro beer was the small. He ordered the large which was $2 Euros. I had taken my time deciding what to order and Randy had already been given his beer. Now there was not enough money for me to order a coke because it was $1.5 Euros. We did not have enough money. I told the waitress that I would be okay and did not want the Coke. A few minutes later she returned and said, “For you the beer and Coke will be $3 Euros”. That was just the amount we had. We thanked her and thought to ourselves what a wonderful, kind, generous and beautiful person she was.
We returned to the ship happy with that we had stayed in this beautiful town, happy with the people we had met and very happy with the gifts we would be bringing back home to our family.
While we were getting ready for the evening, I stepped out onto the balcony and watched as many, many sea gulls were flying around the ship. I grabbed my camera, I am a budding photographer after all, and spent a great deal of time trying to capture these beautiful creatures in flight.
As always dinner was great but we had to eat quickly so we could get to the theater. The headliner for the evening was a comedy magic act performed by Neil Austin. Without a doubt, Neil Austin comedy routine is one of the funniest, craziest and unique acts I have ever seen. I found myself laughing out loud with each and every crazy thing he did starting with stripping down to this funny outfit.
This was a long, wonderful and memorable day for both Randy and I. We retired with the hopes of being able to get a good night’s sleep and looking forward to a relaxing day tomorrow.
Tomorrow we start our cruise across the Atlantic towards home.