Why are we blogging?

We thoroughly enjoyed the blogs from those on the World Cruise 2010. They were so useful and some were also very entertaining and so we we started our own, late 2010, ready for the 2011 cruise(s).

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Day 45 - Livorno and is that tower leaning? July 8th

A better night for Paula anyway, thank goodness but I am still suffering with that dratted shoulder/neck.  Paula was on sail in and sail out photographic duty today and we still managed a bite before queuing for our bus tickets.  Livorno, or at least our berth, was very much a section of the working docks, as we parallel parked, slotting in behind a container ship. The dockside had a fair few new and the stack of containers on the other ship was mind boggling.  The night before, Paula noticed that the tickets had been issued for the afternoon tour but the nice people issuing stickers swapped us over to one of the morning tours to Pisa – the one where you had to walk about 800m to see the leaning tower of Pisa, rather than ride a trolley from the bus park.

No worries.  Today's guide was Anna who was excellent for the short ride from Livorno to Pisa, past the sunflower fields.  The walk was all on the flat but as in several previous stops, you are approached (not hassled) by sellers of obvious African origin, trying to flog you sun hats, sun glasses and cheap watches.

Anna took is through the far gate of the walled area where our first view was indeed of the tower with the sun in just the right place.  You could go up the recently cleaned tower but there was always going to be a queue and the climb is about 20 minutes. Not much time to wander around.  We elected to do our viewing from the outside and wander the various stalls. It appears to be a strange fact of tourist life so far, but you are immediately a target for the previously mentioned Africans, but even her, in Italy, a high proportion of the stall holders are Indian.   Bargaining was low key and they were not overly pushy, but you do have to watch the prices.   For example, in Naples, they were selling cherries for 1.90 a kilo.  Here they were €3.40 a punnet...

We had to leave Pisa 11:10 as this coach returns to the ship, ready to take the afternoon tour.

This gave us time of the ship for a spruce up and a quick bite and a breather, before heading into Livorno itself for a wander.  The locals of course all have their lunch and a siesta, even when there are several thousand cruisers wanting to buy - and it was only a Friday. Shopping was a bit thin and my gelato ice cream was a scoop of cherry and a scoop of liquorice.  I like liquorice, but the flavour was so intense I couldn't even taste the cherry...  The dock shuttle coach driver was a real bundle of joy – not. He probably thought it was beneath him just to shuttle to and from the town centre.  For five Euros return and a short trip, who cares?    

Back yet again for a bite out on the deck but Garry must have been feeling the pace, as he didn't surface at all.  (Must have over celebrated his birthday last night, or he is now feeling his age.  The Vista show was hypnotist Chris Caress and we were there for the early show for a change.  As is usual for these sort of acts, the audience were the real stars.  Out of about 18 volunteers, he weeded out about 7 who he immediately put to sleep, laying them down on the stage. The remainder were sent back to their seats.  A lot of laughs.

We were in time for Alan & Alana's trivia quiz this time, and the subject was drink... We finished third!

After a hot chocolate and no dancing for us, (maybe tomorrow?) a 10:55pm (early for us) crash.

Tomorrow a private tour arranged by Ros, from Monaco.  No, the tour is from Monaco, not Ros...    

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