Cruise to Santander, Northern Spain
12/03/02 to 17/03/02

14 March 2002

Arrived in the harbour at Santander.
This was the first time the ferry had travelled on almost flat calm water since setting off.
The weather was dry and warm with light cloud and the sun was trying to break through.

Santander, Northern Spain.

As we disembarked the sun began to shine, so we headed off across the road to have a look in the
local shops.  The main sea front is very picturesque with statues and monuments.

Statue

From the main plaza we had a good view of the "Val de Loire" moored in the harbour.
Santander did seem unusually quiet though - we later found out why.

Unusually quiet?

After walking around for about twenty minutes we realised that most of the shops were closed
and that all of the bars and restaurants were full - the reason:
"Siesta Time" - we had arrived as all the shops were closing which meant we would be leaving
as all the shops were re-opening!  So instead of shopping we decided to find somewhere to eat.
Every bar and restaurant was full so we thought it best to try a fast-food restaurant.
Could we find a McDonalds?

Spanish Town Hall

We found Santander Town Hall but we couldn't find McDonalds.
Gemma suggested asking someone, "Excusez-moi".
Which is fine in France but we were in Spain! - Nice try Gemma!
Justin's turn, "¿Habla usted inglés?"
"No"
"¿Dónde está McDonalds?"
Unfortunately Justin had picked on an elderly gentleman who was in no fit state to give directions
let alone understand Spanglish!  So poor Justin had to stand for five minutes, while the old man
rambled on in Spanish about something completely unrelated to the question he had been asked!

The Tunnel

After walking around for what seemed like hours we decided to follow a road tunnel to see where it
came out, plus it had started to drizzle so a walk through the tunnel seemed like a good idea.
At the other side we found the bus and railway station.  Justin went into the railway station in
the hope of finding someone who spoke English and who might know where McDonalds was!
It turned out McDonalds was in the next town, a bus or train ride away - back to square one!

The Restaurant

In the end we went into a Spanish Restaurant "Bahia 2000".  All the menus were in Spanish so
I translated it and ordered the food in Spanish.  Everyone got what they ordered so my
Spanish can't be too bad!  Justin, Nikki and Gemma had toasted Cheese and Ham sandwiches and
a Coca Cola and I had half a chicken in a vegetable and mushroom sauce with a mixed salad,
basket of bread and a glass of beer. Delicious!
When we had finished we paid the waiter, (who never stopped smiling - NOT!), and left.

The journey back.......
<click here as the adventure continues>