Saturday, September 5, 2009

Friday 4th – Saturday 5th September
We arrived early in the morning at Naples. Since we had nothing in particular planned we took it easy and after breakfast etc., we took a stroll into town. Boy, is the traffic chaotic here. Traffic lights don’t seem to mean much. You just watch the locals and follow them to cross the roads. Of course you take your life in your hands doing it but the alternative is to stand on the corner and go nowhere. We made a couple a purchases and bought a few cards then headed back to the Ship for lunch. We decided to take an easy tour of Naples in the afternoon just to see what there was to see in Naples itself. One would really need a few days here to explore the surrounding area so, who knows, we may pass this way again one day and make Naples the base for a little while. We were late leaving port as someone took very ill and needed to go to a hospital shortly before we were due to leave.

Saturday: Today was supposed to be a full day at sea, however we found ourselves cruising into a harbour at Mesina, Sardinia. Another passenger had taken ill during the night and we had to make and unscheduled stop to send them off to hospital. We are now running about a half a day behind. This will be most inconvenient for those who were booked for a tour in the morning. We were due to arrive in Athens about 6am tomorrow. The ship will try to make up some time and they are trying to re-arrange tours. Greece would have to work a little more efficiently than Italy for that to happen successfully. We found the ports in Italy lacking in cleanliness. At some of the more popular tourist spots they appear to be cleaning up their act a little, but have a long way to go compared with other places we have docked. I expect the afternoon will be pretty much as the “Princess Patter” (the ships newspaper) indicates. Did I mention we get abbreviated versions of western newspapers, including an Australian version? It contains just enough information for us to know that down under is still there and what the weather, and for those who are interested, the sports outcomes. The weather has been terrific but unfortunately, yesterday we couldn’t get a good look at Mt Vesuvius as it was shrouded in a haze and clouds. After today we have about 8 ports in a row which takes us to Safaga, Egypt, on the other side of the Suez Canal. Hope we can stand the pace.

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