Homeward Bound – 24 June 2015

It’s been a long day. Alarm rang at 7.45am and we were up and out before 9.00am. Breakfast then a spot of sunbathing on the pool deck. I went for a wander around the deck initially to shoot some shots of he P6240251- blog-175.jpg Moby ferry and the houses that rise up the hill. Then I noticed a bloke with a camera taking what I presume were fashion shots of a young lady wearing P6240263- blog-175.jpg what looked like a bikini bottom, a furry wrap around top and virtually nothing else. The shoot, if that is what it was, was being done on a public walkway. Try doing that down on the Clydeside Walkway in Glasgow.

After that, we were on the homeward bound machine, except it was the Italian version. Which is the same as anywhere else, except it takes at least twice as long to get anything done. We waited half an hour for one wheelchair user to arrive and find his place on the coach. Couldn’t it have been done like it is on a plane, when the wheelchair users get on first to be settled before the rest of the passengers are boarded? Nah, that would be too easy. Better to make everyone wait, that’s the Italian way.

Arrived at the airport to find that there was a mini traffic jam at the entrance. One person moved their car and two taxis took their place, then two Carabinieri (Polis) cars double parked and screwed everyone up. Eventually the coach driver managed to get close enough for us to disembark and enter the airport. We got straight through security and were boarded. Well, not exactly boarded, we were sent through the tunnel to the plane, but no further for about half an hour because at least six people in wheelchairs were pushed down the tunnel to be seated first. Why, oh why does it take so long to seat six people?

P6240270- blog-175.jpg Genoa is a toy town airport, pretending its a real one. Edinburgh is not bad, Glasgow is worse, but they are gold standard compared with this bunch of time wasters. The good thing was that while we werewaiting for the geriatrics to board and find their seats, it gave me time to take a couple of photos of two Piaggio P-180 Avanti II parked on the apron. There’s always a silver lining.

Got to Edinburgh and got stuck in a traffic jam almost all the way home.

And it was raining …

Civitavecchia – 22 June 2015

We waited until all the shore parties had left before making our way out of the ship today.  Got down the gangway to be told that the shuttle had just left.  Had a conversation with a man who had a plummy accent and had worked in Glasgow.  He didn’t actually say what he did or had done for a living, but he “had a sales manager”, so I’m guessing he was quite high up the food chain.  We talked for a while until the shuttle bus came.  The busride into town was fast, bumpy and hair raising at times.  Of course it was, we were back in Italy.  We arrived at the bus stop and were immediately set upon by taxi drivers eager to take us to Rome.  I started out saying “No, we’re not going to Rome today”, but they didn’t seem to understand that, or they weren’t interested, so I started saying random things like “No thanks, we’ve already got one” and “Hey, I’ve got a hat like that!”.  What we really needed was Murd to say something in Gaelic to them, because the first thing they say is “hello”.  When you reply, they can quickly establish what nationality you are and start their speil in that language.  Murd’s Gaelic would puzzle them I’m sure, especially with a few sweary words thrown in for good measure.  Anyway, we quickly ran the taxi gauntlet and walked into the town.

Civitavecchia is a working, industrial town, not at all given over to tourism.  It’s a bit seedy in places and not very pretty.  We walked into the main shopping area and decided that it wasn’t really going to be very interesting, so headed back to the sea front where there turned out to be a decent promenade.  Scamp loves promenades and we walked a fair distance along it.  We watched two guy practising karate or tai kwon do.  I’m not being facetious here, meaning they were fighting, no, they looked like they were performing a kata on the promenade.  Strange.  Pretty as the prom was, we decided to walk back to the bus stop and go to the ship.  We passed a wee cafe offering free Wi-Fi and stopped for a coffee and a beer.  Britain could really learn from the Europeans about using free Wi-Fi to encourage punters in to cafes. I’ve only once paid for a wireless connection and that was €3 for 60 min.  Compare that to the ship’s extortionate £1 for 2 min which equates to £30 for 60 min!  How many places in Glasgow or Embra give you truly free Wi-Fi in a cafe?  Very, very few.  So, I got connected and uploaded two days of blog with pics attached this time.  Then we headed for the bus and then back on board. 

Had lunch and sunbathed for the rest of the day.  Went to the Headliners show in the theatre.  It was quite good, not excellent, just quite good.  Yes, I know, damned by faint praise, but that’s the way it is.  For me the singing is rough and strident but the dancing and choreography is great.  Couldn’t agree on what to do with the rest of the night, but as we were both yawning, it seemed that the best thing to do was to have an early night, so once this epistle is done I’m off to beddy bies.

I don’t think I’d rush back to Civitavecchia again.  It’s pretty rough around the edges, but it is what it is, just another industrial town.  To sum it up, in one shop window I saw some swiss army knives and wilderness camping gear.  Nothing unusual there I suppose although it’s getting rarer in the UK.  The next window had machetes, short hunting bows, crossbows and throwing knives.  Hmm, camping doesn’t get tougher than this.  Thought for a while I was back in Carbrain.

Oh, one last thing.  We got talking to a couple in the theatre last night and found out they came from Croy.  Then the guy let slip that they are both Rangers supporters.  In Croy?