Monday, July 22, 2013

Taormina, Day 8, 07-11-13

Europe 2013 Journal
Day 8, Taormina, 07-11-13
The ship dropped anchor off Nexos—Taormina, Sicily's port—at exactly 6:21 a.m. How do I know the exact time? Ships do not drop anchor quietly. It was just as well, since I had to be ready to go ashore at 7:40 to catch the bus for Taormina.

Taormina is a very pretty little town high in the mountains overlooking the sea. It has one main street, a couple pleasant squares. The streets are of course narrow, and only local residents are allowed to drive on those wide enough to be driven on. Even so, they have to move slowly and wait for people to get out of their way. The town's main claim to fame, other than its beauty and that of its spectacular views, is its amphitheater. It's not called a Roman amphitheater because the Greeks, Romans, Moors, and a few other conquering groups all redid the original several times. It is still in regular use after a couple thousand years, and today is popular with big-name performers. Pavorati and many music celebrities have performed there.

There was an afternoon tour to Mt. Etna, but it was “optional,” meaning it cost 55 euros...around $70. Since I've done nothing but run around for the last couple of days, and gotten nothing done about journals and photo captioning and emails, I thought I'd get a lot done and post it all this afternoon. Silly me.

4:30 They say that if you think you are crazy, it's proof you're not. I find that comforting, because otherwise I would have serious doubts. Internet on this ship is, truly, driving me to apoplexy. I am currently in a state of total self-loathing and fury over my utter inability to do things anyone else on the planet with the I.Q. of a stewed tomato should be able to do without batting an eye. I am apparently the only one on this ship who is having such problems with the internet connections. It takes me several tries to get on line at all, and when I do I cannot use my primary browser. When I try to post photos to Facebook I am told I must download a program I already have. If I could cry, I would...seriously.

6:59 We have just left Taormina and I began hearing odd heavy-splashing sounds. It then dawned on me that I am very near the bow of the ship and what I am hearing is the ship plowing through the waves! I've not heard it before when we've been at sea...perhaps the seas are just more rough than they've been. Really kind of fun.

Dinner is always pleasant even though I eat almost nothing. Tonight, however, rather than having tapas, I ordered shrimp from the ala carte menu. Five nice-sized shrimp, broccoli, and rice. A beer, of course, followed by coffee and dessert—a nice cream cake and slice of cheese. Mike and Tom, of course had just about everything on the menu and then some. Sigh.

Tomorrow is a full day at sea (with, of course, no internet).

Apparently the seas have calmed a bit because I no longer hear the “boom-shudder-boom” of the bow plowing through the waves.

I'll write later, of course. When you might get to read it, I haven't a clue.

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