Well Azura’s next port of call was to be the furthest west of the Canary Islands that we were to visit. The island of La Palma.
It had been decided by the family, that I’d go off on a tour by myself on this island, camera in hand, and let Mel and the girls have time to look around the port town together.
I chose an excursion called the Heart of La Palma which was scheduled, according to the brochure to take about 4 and half hours.
So knowing I was going to be out until early afternoon I had a good breakfast before heading down to my coach for the day, for my tour into the Heart of La Palma.
The tour started with a short drive to Santuario Virgen de Las Nieves. It is the religious centre of La Palma and one of the oldest places of worship in the Canary Islands, dating back to 1423.
The Church holds a terracotta statue of the Virgin Mary of the Snows, the patron saint of the island.
She sits on a marble throne covered in silver as you can see in the above picture.
It is not a big church, in fact it is a very modest one in size, but it makes up for it in it’s ornamentation.
I’ve stitched a few photos together in this post to try and help you see either the panoramic view, or more of the interior or exterior of buildings.
We moved on from here in the coach, climbing higher and heading towards the centre of the island, stopping for a quick photo stop on route.
As we did our guide explained more about the island, it’s inhabitants it’s history, climate and eco-system.
What I did find on this tour was that unlike the other Canary islands La Palma is a lot greener…
We arrived at La Caldera de Taburiente, designated a National Park,
and headed up through the pine tree boarded roads deep in to the middle of it.
The National Park has been created inside a 5 mile wide volcanic crater. It’s rims reach right up to the mountain ridge that runs from the north to the south of the island.
There was time for a walk through the National Park, soaking in the grandeur of the setting, it was fantastic.
With the Canary Pine trees growing all around us.
Unfortunately it had to end and with one last look…
It was back on the coaches. We had a short comfort break at the visitor centre just outside the National Park. I was disappointed to find though that the visitors centre had no shop or cafe. There was nowhere to buy a souvenir or even a quick coffee. The only option you had was a drinks machine. So remember to take some change.
Part of the tour was a final stop at a little cottage for wine tasting with an assortment of chutneys. The coach stops in a very scruffy looking parking area, and the guide escorted us across the road in to a garden completely hidden from the road.
For those who didn’t wish to sample the various wines there was fruit juice and the option to wander around the gardens.
Before it was back to the coach and back to Azura…
It had been a fabulous excursion. The guide had been excellent, very funny and very informative. The scenery had been breathtaking well worth the money paid for the excursion. Well done P&O.
I got back on board just in time for the end of the BBQ on the open deck by the Coral pool and very nice it was too. I certainly needed something after my busy morning out as well.
Mel and I spent the afternoon just relaxing in the gorgeous sunshine on our balcony. The girls were busy with their various activities and friends around the ship so we didn’t see much of them during the day, but we all met up for our evening meal.
The dress code this evening was Semi- Formal.
Two of the ships Headliners theatre company put on their own stage set in one of the lounges at 8:30pm so we went to watch them following dinner. They were very good although Nyna was obviously very new as she was very nervous when not singing. As soon as she started to sing though all signs of her nerves vanished.
We rounded the evening off with Asa Murphy’s tribute to swing in the Playhouse Theatre. He certainly has a fantastic voice.
Another great end to a great day I hope you’ll agree. See you soon for more from Azura.