Saturday 22nd September ~ Baiona, Monte Real Club Marina
Our final destination in Spain, for the time being at least!! We would be ending the year in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria which as we all know is one of the Spanish Canary Islands!
Having left the Archipelago de Cies and sailed very gently to Baiona under Genoa only, we arrived at the Monte Real Yacht Club at lunch time and were shown to our berth by two very friendly and helpful marineros. They explained the workings of the marina and where everything we needed was, showers and laundry! They also explained that we wouldn’t be able to complete any formalities because the office was closed until Monday! They bade us a cheery goodbye and off they went!
Baiona ~ Our time here!
Baiona is an popular transit destination for yachtsmen on their way south to warmer climes, like us! It was a good ‘jumping off’ point to head down to Portugal having spent time in the Spanish Rias and enjoying all they had to offer.
The yacht club at Baiona is known too within the racing fraternity as it hosts international sailing regattas and the picture of the bay is evidence that it is an ideal yachting venue!
We didn’t have too much time to spend here, although we did manage to meet up with Den and Lizzie from the ‘Mighty O’ just briefly. They had arrived the day before and were anchored outside the marina ready to set off the next day to go to Portugal! It was good to see them, they are hilarious!! So, having re-provisioned Musetta, we set off to explore the town which is quite small but has within it a picturesque old quarter and so we roamed up and down the narrow streets …….
The randomness of the buildings in the ‘old quarter’
…….and out into the square with the town hall and the Baiona coat of arms depicted on the paving in front of it.
The Town Hall and the Baiona Coat of Arms in front.
Sunday 23rd September ~ The Castelo de Monterreal
This castle formed part of an impressive fort on the headland of Baiona and it has now been transformed into one of the luxury parador group of hotels.
The hotel is beautiful and has stunning views from almost every side. In the hotel grounds just in front of the main entrance is this Cruceiro which is so typical of them all in this region with Christ facing inland and the Virgin Carmen facing out to sea!
It was possible to walk all around the ramparts of the fort which are remarkably well maintained considering their age and the harsh environment they are in. The views were breath-taking at every turn, we really enjoyed the walk round.
Stunning views at every turn!
Baiona and Christopher Columbus
The most memorable historical fact of Baiona is that it is renowned for being the first European harbour to hear that Christopher Columbus had discovered America in 1493, a remarkable date in it’s history!
The pictorial history is depicted in this tiled mosaic which is on the harbour front at the entrance to the fort. Apologies for not being able to be square on to it, there just too many people!
A Replica of Columbus’s ship the ‘Pinta’ is permanently moored in the harbour, the ‘Pinta’ was the fastest ship of Columbus’s fleet and was sent back to Spain to bring the news! She arrived on 1st March 1493 and was commanded by Martín Alonso Pinzón and navigated by Diego Sarmiento – a local sailor, was this a coincidence!? Whatever, it was remarkable that they should even find their way back let alone be able to choose where they would arrive!!
Monday 24th September ~ Goodbye to Spain
We have had a wonderful few months exploring the North and Atlantic coasts of Spain and loved how dramatic and beautiful it has all been! We even survived the notorious Finisterre but now it was time to set off for Portugal?!