Santillana del Mar, Cantabria, Spain

Santillana del Mar is a municipality and an autonomous city, on the west coast of Cantabria, Spain. It is one of the most visited tourist villages of the region; much of the city residents live from tourism, especially with hotels, rural accommodation and shops of typical products. The historic center is organized around two main streets that end at the respective places. The first street takes various names (Carrera, Canton, and del Rio) and will give up to the religious square, the first center of the city, which gives access to the Collegiate. It is divided in two: in front of the Collegiate Church, Abad Francisco Navarro Square and on the side is Las Arenas Square. These are cobbled streets. The historic center is composed of homogeneous stone buildings, mainly from the fourteenth to eighteenth centuries. To see: the Valdivieso Palace (Altamira hotel today), the Palace of Velarde or Arenas (transition from the construction of Gothic to Renaissance); the Collegiate Church of Santa Juliana and its cloister of 42 Romanesque capitals; the Merino Tower (XIV); the Convent of Saint Ildefonso, among others. We also find many houses that have the coats of arms of the families to which they belonged.

Tips

Santillana has a hostel for pilgrims in the center, used in the Way of Saint James of Compostela and a number of hotels including the national Parador Gil Blas. We also find a campground.
Another interesting place to visit is the Zoo and Botanical Gardens apart from animals, it has a butterfly garden, a place with snakes and a space called Quaternary Park where there are replicas of animals that lived in the city in times of Altamira villagers. Altamira Cave, famous worldwide for its prehistoric paintings, unfortunately, is closed to the public.

 

Bath, Somerset, England

Bath is a city in the county of Somerset, south-west England, located 180 km west of London and 25 km southeast of Bristol. The Avon River connects it to the sea. The hills which surround and define the city, reach a maximum altitude of 238 meters and they make the streets are steep and the buildings seem to climb the coasts. It was founded by the Romans in 50 BC (although it is said it existed before) they build thermal baths and a temple in the hills surrounding the city in the valley Avon around hot springs. One of the first activities of the city is tourism. To see: Bath Abbey which is also the largest concert hall in the city (Norman church built on pre-existing foundations), the Museum of Bath, the Royal Theatre, Victoria Art Gallery, the Museum of mode, the Jane Austen Centre, Royal Victoria Park, among others. It is also a cultural city with many activities and festivals. You will also find archaeological sites from the Roman era; around hot springs, we can see the Roman foundations, pillars and bathrooms but the stone above the level of the bath is more recent.

Tips

You can explore the city on foot, with the open top tour buses or by the river channels.
There is a train that connects the city to Paddington Station in London, to Temple Meads Station in Bristol as well as Cardiff, Exeter, Brighton, Southampton, Plymouth, Pensanze, Westbury, Warminster, Portsmouth and Salisbury.
You will also find two campsites.

 

MSC Orchestra

MSC Orchestra is one of the cruise ships of MSC Cruises company, which was christened in May 2007 in Civitavecchia with the presence of Ennio Morricone and Sophia Loren. There are three twin ships: MSC Musica, MSC Poesia and MSC Magnifica. The ship includes:

13 passenger decks
13 lifts
system to reduce vibration and noise reduction in public environments
18 suites with private balcony
809 outside cabins with balconies, including 3 for disabled
173 outside cabins including 2 for disabled
275 inside cabins, including 12 for disabled
interactive TV, minibar, safe, radio, bathroom with shower, hairdryer, fresh fruit basket every day, air conditioning, heating, wardrobe, telephone and wireless internet (fee) in all cabins
sports facilities (mini-golf, tennis, jogging track, gymnasium, aerobics, yoga center, swimming pools)
Wellness facilities (saunas, steam rooms, thalassotherapy, aromatherapy, color therapy, beauty salon, solarium, whirlpools)
entertainment facilities (teen area, disco, games room, children’s area, theater, cinema, casino, library, art gallery, photo gallery, shopping area)
dining room (sushi bars, Internet cafes, cigar room, wine bar, restaurants)
other services (photographer, medical center, duty free shops)

In this vessel, they made an Italian film, advertising and scenes of a Brazilian film.

Tips

To make a reservation, it is best to do it well in advance because it’s not a very big ship and MSC Cruises usually are the Italian favorite that are quite used to do one or two cruises per year.
As in all ships, you will have the night of the Captain so you must bring an elegant outfit and themed evenings like the Italian night or little surprises that may occur at different times of the year.