Day Six of my Review of our P&O cruise abroad the Oriana.

This morning, our sixth day aboard P&O’s Oriana, we awoke as we docked in Bilbao in Northern Spain at 07:00am.

Looking across from the ship we could see we were berthed along side Fred Olsen Cruise Lines ‘Black Watch ship.

As you can see from the above photo, the Black Watch ship is considerably smaller than the Oriana. It was joked among the Oriana customers, that the Black Watch could be used as one of the Oriana’s lifeboats. Although this analogy may not be true the difference in size was considerable.

We decided following breakfast to take one of the complimentary coaches provided by P&O from our berth into the town of Bilbao.

This was the only port in which we were required to carry our passports ashore. This was at the request of the local authorities, although we were never asked to show them.

Bilbao is home to the Guggenheim Modern Art Gallery. An art gallery famous not only for its wealth of treasured art inside it, but also for the structure of the museum itself. The avant garde architecture of the museum stands out against the river as you travel into Bilbao on the coach.

The complimentary coaches drop you off in the town centre and pick up at regular intervals throughout the day. Disabled passengers were catered for with a specially adapted coach with a rear lift allowing wheelchair users the same opportunities to explore Bilbao.

We strolled along the river bank from the town centre to the Guggenheim gallery a distance of approximately 20 minutes.
Some of the architectural features outside the art gallery are stunning such as this sculpture of silver balls.

I couldn't resist zooming in on this sculpture to capture the repeated reflections and contemporary feel of the art.

Another contemporary piece of sculpture outside the gallery is the giant spider 'Maman' by Louis Burgeois who sadly passed away last week aged 98.

Due to time restrictions and wanting to explore more of Bilbao we decided to not pay to go in to the gallery, instead wandering back into the centre before heading back to the ship at 3:00pm.

We spent the afternoon relaxing on the ships rear terraces. The ship cast its moorings at 4:29 accompanied by another sail away party. This time the entertainment team encouraged us to bid fair well to all those aboard the Black Watch as we left port.

The evening meal in the Oriental restaurant was a formal/ Black and white themed evening. This meant dinner jacket or tuxedo for the gentlemen and cocktail dresses for the ladies.

The food was again exemplary, with delights such as;
Wild Boar, Duck and dried fruit terrine with cider jelly and toasted brioche for starter.
Followed by;
Cream of Asparagus soup with parmesan croutons.
Main course was;
Breast of English pheasant wrapped in bacon with roasted fig and celeriac mash, gaufrete potatoes and thyme gravy.
A dessert of
Sachertorte with white chocolate mousse and an apricot curd shell to follow.
The meal was then rounded off with,
a cheese board and fresh coffee with speciality truffles.

After this beautiful meal we relaxed in the Crows nest lounge with evening mocktails and listened to the sounds of High Life.

Photo courtesy of GrahamAndDairne

Today had been a wonderful day. Great weather, lovely location and exceptional atmosphere aboard the Oriana.

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