WELCOME TO SANTA CRUZ DE LA PALMA, CANARY ISLANDS
We enjoyed a wonderful time on Crystal Serenity last evening. We skipped dinner, went to the Avenue Saloon until 11:00 PM, went to Pulse for Karaoke and stayed there for to Disco. When we got back to our room we ordered Pizza from room service.
Well.........That didn't happen. After all today is April 1 and April Fools Day.
So, let us begin with what did happen starting late yesterday afternoon.
After posting we watched the talk given by Eugene Robinson called Real News, Fake News, No News.
He began by saying that at around the time he was hired at the Washington Post in 1980 as a news writer that another reporter was hired. She wrote a story about a boy and the issues he and his family were going through and won a Pulitzer for the writings. Before she received the award the post did some additional research on her and learned that her resume was all made up and learned that she had made up the entire story. He said that was fake news. He contrasted this with some examples from today. One is that there are individuals writing stories on social media and how some of the stories are made up but have an impact when they are believed as fact. He gave an example of someone writing that Michele Obama and Chelsea Clinton attended a speech given by Trump and gave him the finger. It was all made up. He also gave an example where someone was feeding the Post wrong made up information hoping that the Post would publish it and then they could say that the newspaper publishes fake news. Thankfully the Post researched the information provided and determined that it was made up and didn’t publish the story. He went on to speak about the importance of writing factual information and the impact if the public stops believing in the news coverage and thinking it is all fake. None of this is good for our Democracy.
He also spoke about newspapers and how many have limited staff and no longer can fully cover state issues. He mentioned that with cutbacks if the local papers have to make a choice they will fund staffing to cover local issues but not states issues and the down-side when that happens.
He did say there is still hope and pointed to the Texas Tribune for their coverage but to keep this alive it requires donations from people similar to what PBS requires to keep vibrant local and state coverage.
One of the takeaways is that we have to stay vigilant and use good sources for our new and to support local and state newspapers. The other takeaway is that being informed and having a good investigative journalism is essential to a strong democracy
We began last evening with a pre-dinner drink at the Crystal Plaza.
These are the menus from Prego
Originally we were to dine at Prego with two friends but unfortunately they couldn't attend due to a health related issue. We still went to Prego and Cruise Director Rick Spath joined us.
We enjoyed a wonderful dinner with Rick which included non-stop conversation, delicious dinner, impeccable service and the ambiance of the dining venue.
We had three courses.
Anne Marie had the additional entrée as an appetizer of lobster and pasta and Keith had Warm Sage - Butter Poached Lobster.
We both had Caesar Salad and we had Pistachio Crusted Grilled Kingsklip for our entrée served with a minestrone.
The featured entertainment was a very upbeat show called Queen of Rhythm which featured music of Soul, Motown and Disco.
Coincidentally, the movie shown two times last evening was First Man which we watched in our room the other da about the life of Astronaut Neil Armstrong.
The only down-side to the evening is when we turned forward the clocks by one-hour as we sail into a new time zone.
We did sleep well even though we lost the hour. The seas remained relatively calm. Keith managed to get up at the same time he always does (a little more tired) and began the day with a workout at the Fitness Center. After his workout we enjoyed coffee and breakfast in our room and got ready to go ashore.
We have been accustomed to early sunrises and that was not the case today. The sun didn’t rise until 8:00 AM. This seemed very strange.
We arrived to Santa Cruz de la Palma, Canary Islands on-time.
Although politically the Canary Islands are part of Spain they are located closer to Africa than Europe and geographically they are part of the African Continent.
Santa Cruz de La Palma is located in the eastern part of the island of La Palma province of Santa Cruz de Teneife of the Canary Islands. It is the second largest city and the capital of the island. The population of the city is 16,500 people.
Highlights of the town include:
Old Town which is a colonial style old town with many boutiques, cafes, restaurants, chucher and museums.
Insular Museum of La Pama which is the largest museum of the town and covers history dating back to the 16thcentury.
Museo Naval which houses items showcasing local maritime life.
San Francisco de Asis which was originally a Franciscasn convent and now a Catholic Church.
Castillo Santa Cataline which is a castle built between 1676 and 1701.
Parque Nacional de La Carldera de Taburiente which was designated a geological park in 1954.
After departing Serenity we saw a ship pulling into the port in front of us. As it turned out it is the former Celebrity Zenith. We took our second family cruise in 1993 on the Zenith. Our first family cruise was in 1991 on the Big Red Boat on the Oceania Cruise Ship. The irony is that Oceania used to be part of Home Lines and we came on-board in Manhattan when helping Anne Marie's mom board the ship for a cruise she took with a friend. The other irony is that Keith sailed with Home Lines on the Homeric in 1968 on his first cruise with his parents, brother and Nana.
Zenith was our first cruise with Celebrity. We sailed round trip Fort Lauderdale to the Caribbean. We enjoyed the cruise line so much we sailed the next five years on Celebrity; Celebrity Horizon two consecutive years followed by Century, Galaxy & Mercury. We have wonderful memories of each of our cruises so it was very nice to see the former Zenith in port with us.
We enjoyed a wonderful walk around town. With map in hand we made our way to the Old Town Area. We took in all of the views of this charming areas including the colonial style and cobbled stone streets. There were many boutiques, cafes, restaurants, churches and museums along the way.
Our walk included a visit to the Castillo Santa Catalina (castle) and the Museo Naval which is inside the replica of the Santa Maria.
We walked along the waterfront, on interior streets, into small neighborhoods and to higher areas of elevations. We stopped to smell the aroma of baked goods, visited some stores, and stopped to smell the roses.
The weather was terrific. We wore light jackets. Many locals were out and about.
Shortly after returning to Serenity we had lunch at Marketplace. After lunch, I played Paddle Tennis while Anne Marie walked.
As we post this we are enjoying the rest of the afternoon on-board Crystal Serenity.
Anne Marie & Keith
This is the daily Reflections Program from today.