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Crystal Serenity - Part 3

Written By:
Tony Robinson

Crystal Serenity 08 November 2013 to 15 November 2013
Departing: Barcelona 09 Nov
Arriving: Lisbon 14 Nov
Part 3.

It’s the morning after the night before! Crystal Serenity has looked after us well and has done its best to cause me to have a hangover. Now it is doing its best to let me know about it! We’re in Castellon de la Plana on the first port visit since leaving Barcelona. Outside it is bright and sunny and there are a hoard of demented trumpet players, accompanied by an equal number of mad drummers warming up their instruments in that classic tuneless fashion that precedes the start of any musical offering. From my vantage point on my bed, in my cabin on deck 12, it feels that they are doing this on my balcony!

It takes me a good ten minutes to realise that they are not warming up, but are actually playing a musical version of the sound a trash compactor makes when it is trying to crush old tin cans and wooden boxes all at the same time, only to have a fault develop in the machinery and nobody can turn it off. It is a sonic shambles and yet it somehow passes for the welcome tune played by the local band brought to the quayside by the good citizens of Castellon de la Plana to welcome the first historic visit of the Crystal Serenity. A nice idea but I wouldn’t put them up for Spain’s Got Talent!

It is Sunday morning! First order of the day is breakfast. I must say I am getting very fond of the Lido Café. They serve Apricot French Toast and it is delicious. Lots of coffee and then the decision to venture into the town to see what’s what!

Castellon de la Plana at any time should be a very pleasant experience for the visitor. Today however, because it is a Sunday, all the shops are closed. This gives the city a rather empty and deserted feeling and the excitement of discovering a new town wears off faster than expected. After walking a few streets and visiting a local church or two, we decide to head back to the ship. Not much to report here which is sad. This is also the day the city is hosting a marathon race and I guess the citizens are somewhere else quaffing serveza’s in the local taverns along the route. I would say all is quiet except of the occasional firecracker that is set off when you least expect it. Nerve-racking on a quiet Sunday afternoon!

The bars on Crystal Serenity are hopping and after one or two so am I. Tonight we sail for Cartagena and until then it’s party time in the Trident Bar. We are looking forward to the comedic entertainment tonight. A comic by the name of John Joseph is in the bill and word on the street is he is very funny. So goodbye demented trumpet players. Goodbye mad drummers. I hope the next time we are back you have learned some new tunes!

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