Our final day on the ship (weep!) and of course check-out of the cabin meant we had to be up and out earlier than we had been on any of the previous mornings. After a rather turbulent night (or so we thought; when sleeping, sounds of luggage trundling along the service corridor do become much more dramatic... turns out we weren't sinking after all), we managed to drag ourselves up and out for one final breakfast on deck.
While most guests were already disembarking for home in the early morning, we were fortunate enough to have until late afternoon which gave us the chance to have another go at Malaga and to enjoy the perks of life at sea for a few final hours.
On our first attempt at heading out we encountered three flights-worth of passengers leaving the ship, so retreated to the promenade deck where we could keep an eye on their movements. When my parents wandered past (not all the way past before stopping to have a conversation across the port), we decided it must be safe to have another go. Our second attempt was far more successful, and for the first time all week, the tower we headed towards was not too far out of reach at all! Although we got caught up in yet another procession of some sort (as I write this, I wonder whether I actually mentioned the procession in Cadiz with the pointed hats?), we managed successfully to wend our way through the crowds, narrowly missing horses doing their business and street sellers offering toy drums, in search of a road sign (as had become our custom) to lead us to the cathedral.
As was also apparently becoming our custom, we managed to approach from the rear, this time to find a much more impressive interior than we were greeted with in Cadiz, with gold embellishments, ceilings that met the sky, and gory paintings galore.
Once out of the cathedral, we headed for the ruins we had seen from aboard ship. Unfortunately today we had not beaten the crowds, and we were not sure that at this stage (having received our 'onboard account' bills) we were willing or able to spend any more holiday money, so instead we settled in a sunny spot on the steps of the small ampitheatre that stood just outside the entrance. The sun moved in no time, so we decided it was time to do a general swoop of the area before retreating.
We found squares, pretty placquards and an abundance of cycle tours and came to the conclusion that Malaga would be quite fun for a night out as there appeared to be many a wine bar, and jazz advertised too!
It was with great sadness that we waved goodbye to Spain and headed back to the ship. Of course on our return we could not help but be very distracted by the sea, so allowed ourselves a short paddle before deciding it really was time to go (before our onboard account was not active, not before our flight, don't be silly!)...
A champagne and Margarita toast in our favourite window seat seemed an excellent way to end what had truly been the most spectacular, tasty, beautiful, surreal, fun, relaxing, idyllic (had to drop that one in there, Lorna) week.
Until next time, cruising!