Friday, October 11, 2013

M.V. "FUNCHAL" at Bilbao











After LE-VERDON-SUR-MER, "FUNCHAL's" next Port of call would be Bilbao in the Spanish Basque Country, I have visited the city many times arriving or departing from the nearby Santurtzi Port on cruise ferries, the PRIDE OF BILBAO and the CAP FINISTERE. After the opening of the fabulous GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM in 1997, the cruise ship calls rocketed creating the need for better passenger facilities with a designated Terminal, this is how the new GETXO CRUISE TERMINAL was born, for all the information on this new infra-structure please click here. The surrounding area is beautiful with an excellent leisure marina, restaurants and bars and a very nice sandy beach. I arrived with plenty time to spare before the scheduled departure of the ship for 3 pm, unfortunately the weather was not on my side, decided to ask the Port Security officer for the best place in his opinion to photograph the ship underway, the person on duty was incredibly nice and co-operative, he even found me a place to park in front of his cabin, making sure that the coaches returning the passengers to "FUNCHAL" would negotiate the passage safely, after a few minutes of conversation without a doubt the best place would be the pier, where one can walk to the very end and almost touch the ships, the weather would not be a setback, so decided to find a proper "berth" for my car and brave the elements, when I got to the end of the pier it stopped raining, "FUNCHAL" was just slipping her moorings helped by two tugs, surely due to the strong winds, she was once again dead on time saluting the other passenger ship in Port, the SEVEN SEAS VOYAGER. If it wasn't for the weather this experience would have ranked among the most memorable recently, I remember just saying to "FUNCHAL" see you tomorrow at La Coruna and off she went gently rolling at the breaking water of the famous Bay of Biscay. Photos 17.9.2013

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