Showing posts with label Cruise. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cruise. Show all posts

06 January, 2017

Cruising & City

Sydney CBD-9780

So I skipped a day, but continuing with 'C'...

I have some friends from brisbane staying with me at the moment. They left just before Christmas on the Celebrity Solstice on a 12 night cruise over the Christmas/New Year period. I did photograph their departure, but the other morning, the 3am alarm went off as I was heading in to shoot the cruise liner coming into Sydney Harbour.

There was some stunning light about and I took a pic of the Sydney Skyline with the Opera House in it (the Harbour Bridge was to far to the right from this location really... haha)

Anyway, the MS Noordam (Holland America Line) entered through the heads first, and was lucky enough to sail past in this light...

Noordam Sydney Harbour-9797

This light didn't last that long though, when the Celebrity Solstice (Celebrity Cruises) sailed through...

Celebrity Solstice-9885

Celebrity Solstice-9923

Celebrity Solstice-9982

It was a nice morning to have been out on the harbour...

Hoo roo for now...

23 April, 2012

Photo a Day Challenge - Day 112 Vegetable

We were on the cruise leg of my trip to Angers France for the Turf Conference in 2010, and one of the meals we had onboard, we were served Vegetable Samosa's with a mango chutney as an Entree... Now, I was worried about this, but when I tasted it, it was actually very nice, curry spiced inspired, but nice all the same...

Vegetable Samosas Mango Chutney

Hoo roo for now...


06 May, 2010

Day 34: - At Sea and behind the scenes...

Today was a day at sea...

So what did I do? Well, after breakfast, we packed whilst Michael and Julie saw the presentation on Rome. After this, we met up with them in the Grand Promenade Cafe where I was on the Internet. We then went for lunch... After lunch, whilst Michael and Julie packed, I went on a behind the scenes tour of the stage area and Metropolis Theatre. WOW! It had been some years since I was actually on stage (10 years in a production was enough...) and it felt great to be back in front of the lights, and behind the curtain! The theatre seats around 1300 people, and the fly tower covers from deck 2 where the stage is, right up to deck 6! After starting on the 'Prompt' side, into the wings, behind the rear fly (which is an LED encrusted fly at 4" centres that they can actually put an image on! Behind here is the Wardrobe and dressing rooms (which were actually 'cubicles' where costumes were hanging, so you were in REAL trouble if you had Modesty Issues! Then onto the 'Off Prompt' side to see where the actual stage sets roll in and out from the computers!

There is also no cue run sheet either, as it is all run from a series of 8 networked computers! All of the 9 band members are listening to a 'clicker' which sets the speed of the show. It all (lights, audio, SFX and even the cast and choreography) run at a speed of 32 frames/minute. Thank GOD, I am not part of this show!!! And it all runs like this for an HOUR!!!

Anyway, after the tour, we had to calculate the 'Gratuities'... This is a very strange concept for us, being Australians' where 'tipping' is not a common thing at all and in fact, can be seen as a bribe or something! So we worked it out based on the USD and headed to the ATM to withdraw some cash. Trouble was, the machine (after a WHOPPING $6 fee) only dispensed Euro! So it would have meant a further fee to exchange it into USD! So I got out my phone (love my phone apps...) and got the exchange rates for the day, and made sure we did it for the same amount! We also put in a personal note to all of the staff (Waiter, Assist Waiter and the State Room Attendant) thanking them for the service and apologies for the Euro and not USD!

With all of this done, I hit the spa (for 90 mins) before our last dinner with our lovely dinner companions... We exchanged email addresses at the end of dinner and got a photo of us all as when the ships photographer got it at the table, Michael and I were 'Isolated'! Oh, by the way, we got a letter saying that we will be compensated for the time confined for the next RC Cruise we take!!! I am already looking!

Tonight's performance show was great, from a recap of the performances, to a snippet of the Cruise in Review DVD (bore) to a Cirque de Solie performance from two performers which was first class, especially the very last drop!!

So its off to bed now, and then into Rome tomorrow where I will upload ALL of the remaining photos to Flickr that is not in FB, and I will either do a Mosaic for all of the posts missing photos, or an overall slideshow of them all...

Hoo Roo!


05 May, 2010

Day 33: Mt Etna!

Ok, after yesterdays 'dummy spit' I have calmed down a lot... So lets talk about Mt Etna!

We arrived in Messina Sicily at a little after 1.15pm, and after 'clearing' through security, we were on the bus to Etna, Mt Etna. Etna is Europe's largest MOST active volcano! On the drive up, which took around an hour, well, lets just say it was 'interesting'... With all of the bends, hairpin bends and sheer drop-offs, mum was a little 'green'! But she made it out of the bus ok for a taste of Italy, a Canoli and a local Orange Juice (we left the Almond Wine AND the Etna Fire ALONE!).

The craters were fantastic, and at over 7000 feet, it was a little cool and there was snow! But it was a fantastic feeling being atop of an active volcano!

On the return trip, we stop at Giardini Naxos and had a great view across to Tourmina. Tourmina is a coastal town, built on the hills and cliffs and is fantastic! But, as we did not get across to Tourmina, we did not see the infamous, 'Black Madonna'! We arrived back to the port and ALL of the buses arrived at the same time which was a bit of chaos! We ended up leaving around 45 mins late due to the congestion of people coming back onboard and only ONE person checking the passes! Oh well...

We are now back at sea, and tomorrow, we arrive back in Rome!



Day 32 at sea and in a shitty mood!

What a shitty couple of days... Literally!

Going back a couple of days... On the day at sea, well, not to gross you out with the details, but Michael and I came down with 'Stomach Flu'... Or GI as the ship are calling it! At first, I thought I was the only one, as I had the fish for lunch on the Nile a couple of days before. No one else from our group did, so I thought it was just me. But during the day, I was told that Michael was also not well, and it all came together. We tried to think what we had that mum and Julie hadn't, and the ONLY thing we could think of, was the fish from the dinning room. So we took ourselves down to the medical room and we were both given a 'complimentary' consultation with the doctor, even though we just asked for something to 'block us both up'!

Now the process was great, fill out around 4 or 5 forms, they asked what we had eaten the day the symptoms started, the day before, 2 days before and even 3 days before... I only filled out the day before as that was ALL I could remember! Vitals were taken and I was in to see the doctor. Left with some Imodium (can ONLY be prescribed by the doctor, yet at home, I can buy it over the counter...) and a special diet. Additional paperwork saying that we are isolated to the room, the minibar is now free (YAY!) as with movies on the pay to view! So far so good...

I quickly fell asleep just after mum and Julie went to the last Formal Dinner and briefly woke up to get changed (10pm ish?) and the next thing I knew, it was 7.30am the next day! So far so good...

I called room service and mentioned what I wanted OFF the special diet we were on... I also asked for a banana (ON the menu) but was told there was none. This is where it all started to fall down... When mum came back from breakfast, I told her what I had and that no banana's were left. Yet she had one for breakfast! Anyways, I had another nap through the morning, and as it was getting close to the 12 noon 'clearance call' from the medical room, I took a shower. 12 came and went, so I called them and got a VERY rude, ignorant and pathetic nurse, who had the compassion of an absolute twat! She had me repeat what I was asking 4 times, before I was handed over to a nurse who could understand English! And this nurse was the same nurse we saw the day before! I was told that, it needed to be 24 hours since my last, well, you know... before we will be released! I reminded her that she said she will ring me at 12 and if all was ok, I can be released and be ready for the day excursion to Sicily. She sternly repeated she will NOT release me until at LEAST 2pm which is when we were to be boarding the bus, and reminded me that the Seapass is blocked and would NOT be allowed off the ship! I reminded her that I WILL be leaving and I WILL be coming down to see the doctor if SHE wants, but I was told to (FIRMLY) stay in my room!

So, I called for Room Service, 2 soft eggs and toast please, a Banana as well and was promised it will be here within 30 mins. 45 Mins later, they arrived and when I cracked my eggs, I cracked it!! They were HARD as a rock, green instead of yellow, and I had had enough! I called Guest Services to complain (by the way, due to there being NO banana's I was given 2 jellies) about the food, I was directed to the Medical room! To add salt to a very raw wound, Michael had been released!!! Anyways, I hung up on her (I eventually had to ask the nurse after another 4 times of repeating myself to her, if she actually UNDERSTOOD English!) and called Guest Relations again! Getting nowhere with this call, I was well and truly ANGRY by this stage, I picked up my tray of green eggs, and headed down to deck 5.

When I got there, there was a line of people there, so I bypassed them all and asked for the Manager immediately. I was assisted by the assistant Manager, and she could 'understand' my frustrations... Yeah right! By this stage, the line of people had grown, and were looking and listening to my conversation. I should mention, that the Captain had put out a flyer the night before saying that an outbreak HAD occurred. He also mentioned it in his normal noon address over the speakers. Anyway, I put it all out there, and reminded the Assistant Manager that my last motion was very firm, and that the medical staff were so rude to me, and how could they possibly know what my condition was, as they had not taken any stool samples or conducted any blood tests to determine what, if any, illness I had! I also said to her, that the companies Standard Operating Procedures (SOP's) needed addressing as clearly they were making decisions as they occurred in this instance as they couldn't give the same answer twice to the same person! In the end, she called the chef who came out to have a look at my eggs (proudly on display for all to see and smell) who apologised profusely! She also called the medical room, who finally said they will release me as of 2pm and I could eat as normal from the FULL Room Service menu. With it now being 30 mins until the tour left, and with the two head chefs standing beside me, I was PROMISED 2 cheese and tomato sandwich's will be delivered to my room in 8 mins. He even called his kitchen to get it done!

2pm came (yes, thats 30 mins now) so I left without my sandwiches, and I met the rest of the tour in the Ixtapa Lounge just as our number was called. By the time we walked down from deck 5 to deck 1 to 'check out' the Head Chef was at the machines and was HORRIFIED to learn I was not a happy caper as no lunch had arrived. And to top it all off, both Michael's and my card were rejected due to being ISOLATED by the Medical Team! A quick phone call by the security had that cleared up in no time at all, and we were on our way to Mt Etna!

I will blog tomorrow morning on how the day went, but I will be putting photo's up on FB...

Hoo Roo!!


03 May, 2010

Day 31: - A Panorama of Alexandria

An interesting day aound Alexrandria...

The day started with an almost element of confusion... Let me explain! When we first started booking our shore trips, for Alexandria, there were TWO identicaly worded trips... One though, was 3 hours longer and almost double the price! By the time we decieded that we will simply do the cheaper one, (yes, we are cheapskates!) but the Attractions desk was closed and the booking facility via the TV said bookings had closed. So I searched out the Manager and asked what the difference was and can we get on a trip! He mentioned that the cheap one had sold out, and to see him that evening (this was as we were departing for the Cairo adventure). When we got back some 13 hours later, he was nowhere to be seen, and I left a message with 'Guest Relations'.

The following morning, as I still had heard nothing, I went into the theatre where he was already dspatching groups. Luckily, we were accomodated on the longer (more expensive) trip which included the Roman Ampitheatre and the Museum! So our trip booked, we were now on our way!!

Our first stop was a Museum of local history dating back nearly 5000 years. It had some fascinating artifacts that covered the three eras of rule (Ancient Roman, Ancient Greek and finally Ancient Egyptian).

We then headed to the ancient Roman Amphitheatre. These were found when a building was to be built, but when piling for the foundations discovered the site, it all stopped! There was so much to see here, but the greatest thing was the amphitheatre! At a particular spot, a circular disc in the ground, and facing to the centre of the arcing grandstand, you can hear all of the people clearly that were in the grandstand AND you can actually hear the echo of yourself! However, the really cool part was, that no-one in the amphitheatre apart from you, could hear the echo! FREAKY!!!

Then it was off to the two Palaces and the Palace Gardens. The Gardens had over 20,000 species of plants (when I asked the guide, it was more of 20,000 plants in the collection, rather than 20,000 individual species or taxa!). Over all, these Gardens looked like the rest of Alexandria, rundown, with the distinct exception of the larger Palace; that of the Presidential Palace, which is used more so for visiting dignitaries!

To get up to the Palaces and Gardens, we had to take the road that went along the beach/coastline. In order to stop or slow down erosion, they are doing a lot of remedial works by laying concrete blocks within the breakwater. Also, there were three classes of beaches; Private, Public and a fee paying beach! There was already a ot of people out swimming and enjoying the sun. Apparently, in the busy peak period, one can barely move as it is a paradise for Egyptians!

We also headed for a rather grand restaurant (with a big history in Alexandria. Apparently, many important politicians and documents and treaties have been signed here), the Santa Cruz! We had the Beef in Mushroom Sauce and Jasmine Rice... YUMM!

After lunch, we headed for the ancient Catacombs. This was an old Ancient Roman burial tomb, that was discovered when a donkey fell into it from a 'sinkhole'! It was a circular 'well' that the deceased were lowered into, and a circular staircase (on the outside of the well) for the family of the deceased to walk down. Once at the bottom, the deceased then was carried to the final burial spot via a tunnel from the well. After the body was placed into the coffin of stone hand dug, the family then went into the 'reception room' (remember, we are three floors BELOW the ground) were they told stories of the family member, and then to avoid the bad spirit coming out of the tomb, they smashed all of the plates etc against the inner wall of the tomb and carry it all out and leave it on the ground above...

There is SO much more to report on the day, so I will keep the remaining parts for another day...

We are now back on board, and have a sail day tomorrow before arriving in Sicily.



02 May, 2010

Day 30: - Pyramids and the Nile!

A 'Day trip' to see the Pyramids AND a trip up the Nile...

Today was a day, that I think I had been quietly looking forward to! It was a day to visit the Pyramids of the Giza Plateau, The Sphinx, then onto the Nile for a buffet lunch whilst cruising up the infamous river. After lunch, we then headed to Egypt's largest Mosq which was amazing.

But first, the bus ride through Alexandria under armed guard. This was interesting as it was, in some ways, an eye-opener to say the least! Ok, I had seen it all before in Doha, but for some reason, it seemed a little worse! Others on the bus were really quite taken back by the almost sheer filth about the place. Not to mention the amount of properties that were incomplete as well! Now I am fairly open to seeing new experiences when visiting other countries and cultures, and trued to explain to these people that this is WHAT the locals only know. I wished that there was a bucket of money that would get people out of the poverty they are in...

When we were nearing Giza, suddenly through the breaks in sudden hotels everywhere, we spotted TWO Pyramids; one with the very top missing whilst the other still had the polished limestone on the top! These were truly a grand site to see and the closer we got to them, the great the 'awe' I was in... Once we got off the bus, it was GREAT to feel the warmth from the sun, something we had been missing since leaving home! It was also dusty and the air was dry. We headed for the nearest vantage point to get some photos, before heading around the front of the Great Pyramid. And NO, we did NOT go in as time was not on our side, nor was the entrance hole!

After about 45 mins, we re-boarded the bus to the top 'lookout' where we can get some shots with the city of Cairo in the background. It was almost utter chaos up here as there were many people trying to get unobstructed photos of loved ones with the Pyramids in the background (me included). In the end I gave up, and every time someone walked through my shot, I simply started to say "Thank You"! It soon got the desired reaction!

After 20 mins, it was back onto the bus and down the hill to the Sphinx. Again, an awesome sight with so many people here! We had a ticket to go in and walk around the giant creature, but when we got to the stairs to go up, it was so busy and we would have gotten up only to come down due to time! Yes, time was not on our side today as we had so much to fit into the 12.5 hours we were out! But I think I got some good shots!

Now we were heading to the Nile for the lunch as we cruised up, down and back. We had a belly dancer, some great food from the buffet, and even a guy in a skirt who spun around... Check out the pics, he was amazing! I went to get some pictures from the front whilst we were turning for home, when I was invited to the 'bridge' for a photo of ME at the controls! I think I did OK as no-one even knew I was out there until I showed them the photos to prove it!! Oh, and whilst I was out there, Michael saw a Crocodile!!! EKK!

Then it was off to the Mosq, where upon arrival, we had to put our shoes into the plastic bags provided at the start of the journey. It was dark inside, with many lights, but it was such an amazing building!

From here, we headed for the shopping spot and demonstration of the paper making from Paparyus. The paper making was good to see, but I had to pick up my Katoosh (sp) that I had ordered! It spells out in Hieroglyphics:

  • L: Controlling and Bossy
  • O: Funny and adventurous
  • U: Stubborn
  • Symbol of Lotus for 'Love'
  • Symbol of the Protector

Then on the opposite side it says:

  • B: Travelling everywhere
  • E: Fair and Just
  • R: Talk to Much
  • N: Flexible
  • Symbol of the Scarab Beetle for 'Long Life'

So, in essence it will read as Lou, my love will be protecting me for a long life...

So we FINALLY got back to the ship at 9pm, just had dinner and it is now nearly 11pm... Good Night!


01 May, 2010

Day 28 & 29: - Kusadasi and at sea

Yesterday, I was so tired, I could barely keep my eyes open... In fact, at the show after dinner, both Michael and Julie fell asleep and I am the one on medication that makes ME drowsey!!

Yesterday, we were on a tour to Turkish Villages and Towns, Sirence and Tire. It was an interesting drive from Kusadasi, through some very narrow streets and then out into the farming areas. In the fields, mainly Olives and Peach's, there was also wild red poppies as well.

Our first stop was the little village of Sirence, where a little Primary school was brightly coloured. A couple of the girls ducked down to the local shop to pick up some things for 'little lunch'! There was also some fantastic little markets here, with local handmade customs for sale, linen tablecloths that had silk embroidery and so on.

We then headed for Tire, a larger village/small town. Here we were taken firstly to a museum of ancient Roman artifacts and some old headstones. There was even some traditional Turkish costumes and silver here as well! After this, we headed for a local Mosc, before heading for some local felting, saddle making and more handcrafts.

A short trip on the bus found us at a Garden Restaurant for lunch. The sounds of running water under the shade of the tree was perfect!

After lunch, and back onto the bus, we headed back towards Kusadasi but stopped at a local weaving factory/showroom. We were taken into the first weaving room where the ladies were making double knotted rugs, both cotton on cotton and silk on cotten. After a round of drinks (tasted Raki, eww) and presentation of the rugs various styles, Michael and Julie started discussions on a silk rug, whilst I had my eyes on a runner. More on that in another post, but for now, lets say it was an interesting experience!

Today, we have been at sea heading for Egypt. So I will talk some more about that tomorrow!



29 April, 2010

Day 27: - Rhodes

A day Rhodes, Greece... Of course, photos of the day are continued in the folder 'Cruise'!

Our day started with us docking in at Rhodes. It was a very smooth docking! We then headed in for breakfast, and a very casual walk around the deck, before our 10.30 departure for the tour. We drove along the coast up to an archaeological site about 45 minutes outside of Rhodes. It was a lovely sunny WARM day, and the water here in Rhodes is a wonderful blue colour; both dark and light!

When we arrived, I noticed all of the tour coach's up the hill, and thought, oh know! But soon we were climbing up a dirt roadway, leaving a dust trail behind us! Apparently, they get at LEAST 300 days of sunshine a year here, so not much rain at all! BUT, what is even stranger, is that they actually export potable water out to other Greek Islands nearby as he have severe water shortages! Go figure!

Anyways, it was a magnificent site, and we were there for about 90 mins. We then re-boarded the bus to the centre of Rhodes itself. this is a city tat has a new city which is built outside of a wall that as the old city within. The old city, is also that of the Knights of St John, the once protectors of the area.

We then slowly walked back towards the ship, which from dockside with no buildings blocking it, really is quite impressive!

We departed, heading for Kusadasi Turkey, whilst having dinner, (MORE yummy food...) and after dinner, we went to the show which featured tonight, a soloist that sang in both English AND Italian.

So, for tonight, farewell, as we have an EARLY start in the morning. After Kusadasi, we are at sea for the following day before arriving in Alexandria Egypt!


28 April, 2010

Day 26: - Athens

This morning, we arrived in Athens some 2 hours early! We had an original arrival time of 9am, but when we woke up and went for breakfast, we were already docked and people were already heading into Athens (or at least, Peraus!)

So we got ourselves all ready for the day ahead, and headed for the Theatre for our departure. We were segrated into our assigned numbers and positioned in blocks within the theatre! Our number '6' was called and off we went on our adventure for the day. We were of to the Olympia Stadium in Athens, the site for the first of the modern Olympics, as our first stop. All of the pictures of course are in my folder!

Then, after a city tour, we head slightly uphill towards the Acropolis! After parking and getting our bottle of water, assigned the radios to listen to the guide, we headed up the hill towards the Patheon. It was an amazing ascent, full of marble (highly polished, so caution was needed) as a path! Then started the steps to the summit. It was now blowing an absolute gale (if not stronger) up there which made it slightly unpleasant, but it was ok! There was a lot of restoration works in progress, and scaffolding about the place... You could literally see for miles up there; pity most of it was all the same colour and texture used for the blocks of units!

When we got back to the bus, we had a short drive down into the suburb of Plaka, which is still part of Athens, for some lunch and free time to shop. There was a fantastic little strip of shops we walked down with lots of souviners etc, but we first stopped for lunch! I had a club sandwich, with fries and a drink, mum had a baggett, whilst Michael and Julie had a Greek Salad!

We had to be back at the bus for a 3.45pm departure. And I think he was counting down the seconds as SPOT ON 3.45pm, we left! We also had an extra couple of passengers from another tour from our ship, i think they must have missed theirs!

After getting back onto the ship, I had a spa before dinner, and then got ready for the dinner! I had a 'Surf 'n' Turf' and a Pinapple Parfeit (and a Banana Cream Pie). Our waiter, James, seems to think we are constantly hungry, as he is always bringing us seconds, be it appetisers, mains or mainly, desserts! Oh well, just as well as I am going back (heavier) to my PT when I get home!

As we were heading out of the Athens Port, I got some sunset photos as well... Of course, you know where they are...

Tomorrw we are in Rhodes, another Greek Island.



27 April, 2010

Day 25: - At sea...

Today was a day at sea, and quite literaly, ups and downs! Let me explain...

As I mentioned yesterday, due to various strikes in Athns, tours were cancelled and we were heading to Crete instead. Well now, Crete is cancelled as SOME of the strikes are now cancelled instead! But this only came through this evening! Now when we were finalising what onshore activities we were to do, the Athens tour had "Enquire Onboard", so I did. It was sold out! But the chap said that we could go on a 'wait list' (and as we were numbers 20-24, there is a likely chance of an additional tour). But with the cancellations and then the cancellations of the previous cancellations, ALL tours are now a goer! Are you keeping up?? If so, drop me an email as I am confused!!

So what did we do today? Well, after breakfast (yumm) we went and had a look around the ship, up to the pool area, a walk around the jogging track and out to the very front of the ship! It was a little chilly and more than a little windy! So we headed back inside and mum went to have a rest, whilst Michael, Julie and I went up to have a look at the Chapel. This was very nice, non-denominational, but quite a nice touch!

We then headed down to lunch (a never ending eat-a-thon on this ship I think) to the 'Windjammer' bar and restaurant. This is at the very back of the ship and offers a wonderful view of the ships wake! Needless to say, some more fantasticly YUMMY food!

After lunch, mum went to a Scrapbooking class, Michael and Julie went to a History Lesson on Turkey and I went for a spa... Oh how I miss my spa!

We then had to get ready for the 'Captains Dinner, a formal night of fancy dreses and suits. As usual, I felt like a fish out of water in my suit, but it had to be done! After dinner, see the pics HERE, we then headed into the Metropolis Theatre for the 'Now And Forever' Singing and Dance Show. There was about a dozen or so performers and was a hour non-stop of dancing and songs from Broadway, ABBA Mamma Mia as an example and the finale ABBA sequence was great!

So tomorrow, we are (hopefully) off to Athens, so make sure you get to see those photos!



26 April, 2010

Day 24: - Sorrento & Pompii

WOW, WHAT a day... We did Sorrento and Pompii tours today! (for ALL photos, look HERE due to limited time (and cost) for internet!).

We first had a Dawn Service at 6.30am to remember our past lost soilders from Australia and New Zealand who landed in Gallipoli in 1915. It was quite a nice memorial, and I overheard the crew saying that they were originally going to have it for themselves, but on the passenger manifest they had so many of us (105 Aussies and 15 Kiwis), they HAD to do something a little more. We were greeted with Orange Juice and Champagne prior to the service (a little wierd, but a nice touch as they coldn't do it typically after due to breakfast and tours).

A breakfast fit for a king was had, and a couple at our table had a much earlier tour than ours... Ours was the last out, so we could relax after an early start!

Our day took us out to Sorrento. It was an interesting bus ride, past Mt Vusuvious (Volcano that buried Pompii many centuries ago) through mountains, along cliff edges and around some very tight bends... But we arrived at the Sorrento and had a quick demonstration in Inlayed Wood Working. It was vary interesting! We then had some free time in and around the city before boarding the bus for Pompii. We also had lunch here, which was a quick and easy hand held as we kept exploring!

Almafie Coast Sorrento, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Cheese Tasting Plate, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Flavoured Liquers, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Inlayed Wood Working, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Cameo Making, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

I actually had 40 winks inbetween, and we arrived in Pompii. We were taken into the Cameo Making Factory, and I was truly blown away! I had never seen how these were made before, and I can now appreciate JUST why these things are so expensive! The workmanship in them is stunning! After this, we then headed into the Ruins of Pompii. I had no preconceptions what so ever, and I was in awe... These ruins are stunning, and sureal at the same time. Seeing the plaster casts of how dogs and humans were found centuries after the explosion that buried the city, was the best.

Pompii Ruins, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Pompii Relics Human Cast1, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Pompii Road1, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

So now, we are once again sailing, but due to a strike in Athens, we may not get there. There are two causes, 1) is that the Union of Ministry of Culture WILL go on stike on Tuesday and as such most sites will be closed. Furthermore, 2) there is a possibility that the Athens Bus Drivers Union may also stike from Monday 26th through to May 8! As such, (if they both DO go ahead) we may be heading to Iraklion (Heraklion) Crete instead! So we will just have to wait and see what happens. Tomorrow is a day a sea, so not much will be happening, except for some rest and relaxation, maybe by the pool as sun is forecast!


25 April, 2010

Day 23: - Last day in Rome, first day of cruise

Today was our last day in Rome, and it was WET! Even wetter than yesterday!

But we still made the best of it and we headed around the corner to the Basillica of the Angels. It was a very non descript looking building, and looked as though i had either been bombed or in a bad state of repair! But when we got inside, OH MY GOD, it was beautiful! Lots of marble on the floor and walls, ornaments and so on. They also had a lot of bits and pieces about Galilleo Galille! A couple of bits in particular was a story about physics and speed, how pendulums work and even how a hammer and a feather fell to the ground at the same time on the moon back in 1969 where the astronaught stated, "Gallileo was right"!

We then head to our new favourite place in Rome; we had dinner the first night, lunch the second day and finally hot chocolate on the last day! Whilst it may seem as though we went all out first up, and then a little cheaper each visit, it was not the case!

We then headed back to the hotel to collect our bags and wait to be collected for the trip to the port. It was about a 90 minute drive outside of Rome, which was a pleasant drive, what I can remember of it as I fell asleep (not being the driver of course!). We arrived at the port and had our bags taken by the porter and delivered to the room. We then headed through security and in no time at all, we were onboard and in our room!

Nav Seas Room, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

We settled in and unpack our bag. We consolidated back in Rome and left a bag in the hotel as we are going back there for a night when the cruise has finished! We then did a little exploring before the Safety Drill occured.

Nav Seas Grand Promonade, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
On Deck Nav Seas, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

We then started to leave the dock after the ropes were all released, when a taxi came screaming into the dock area. A younge chap got out and was directed to the check in area. Surely as we had already 'departed' we would not go back, but following him was a police car with lights and sirens on! He also went up to the check in area and from inside, both the young chap and a police officer carry an envelope we granted boarding... Must be important!

So now, we have had dinner (one table back from a very large window) with a lovely couple from Rino Nevada, travelling with his mum and a wierd friend of hers (his words, not ours, but we did agree quietly!). It is 8.30pm, mum is in bed fast asleep whilst I am sorting out some last minute details. The ship is rolling slightly Starboard to Port and is really quite nice.

One late update from the cruise director is that, due to a Turist Guide Strike in Greece (Athens) we may NOT go there... DAMN! But instead, we may go to either Crete or Malta instead!

We will also be going to the Dawn Service up on deck 14 in the morning for the ANZAC Memorial...

At the going down of the sun, we will rember them... Lest we forget...