I LOVE Spain!

LOCATION: On board the Queen Elizabeth, docked today in Santa Cruz, Tenerife, Canary Islands – Spain
WEATHER: Very pleasant. Partly sunny. High 72

We docked about 9:00 AM. Again, we had decided not to do any of the offered excursions, but to explore on our own. So off we went to the city center.

We found one of the nice pedestrian streets leading away from the harbor and up to the main part of the small city. The street we selected was lined with shops and coffee shops. We stopped in a coffee shop for a “cafe con leche” and wifi. It was good to speak Spanish again.

We wandered around some more, then discovered the market. The top floor was an open-air market full of fruit/veg stands, lots of cheese and meat shops featuring local island goods.

We stumbled upon a wine shop where the saleslady offered us samples and suggestions. We left with 2 bottles of Canarian wine – one white, and one red.Then, we hit the jackpot downstairs – the fish market!

We spotted one popular seafood market that also sells seafood tapas.

We were lucky to score a seat at the bar and ordered glasses of white wine, like the locals were doing. Even though I can speak Spanish, I had forgotten the words for some of the seafood we wanted to try. I (somewhat brilliantly, I thought), took photos of the items we wanted to taste and ordered them by showing the waiter the photos.

First up was scallops. This is the photo I showed the waiter…

And this is what they looked like after being broiled slightly in a very garlicky butter sauce.

Next was abalone. Before….

And after…..

Final tapa was sea urchin. Before…..…and how it was served…

The Spanish custom is to eat tapas like these around noon or 1:00 and then eat a big mid-day meal at about 2:00. By this time we had escaped from the more touristy area and found a cute tapas bar to call lunch.

The tapas were displayed along the walkway.

Some men stood at the bar snacking on some tapas with their wine. We sat at an outdoor table and ordered our food and Canarian wine.

We shared two dishes – a smoked Canarian cheese and a platter of local octopus served with tiny potatoes.

This cute sign was on the wall

I lived in Spain for a year as a university student. Being here today makes me want to return for a long stay. I just love the language, food, culture, and wine!

The ship departed about 6:30, and now we are off on an 8-day voyage to Africa. Next stop Namibia.

DINNER: Instead of eating in our assigned dining room, we went to the British pub. We participated in a couple of trivia games (extremely popular among the Brits), and had pub food. George had an Indian lamb shank meal and I had a very good hamburger and chips (aka French fries).

Then, to the theater for an excellent hour of music performed by some popular British musician – violin, piano, voice and guitar.

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