Sunday 21 April, 2019 – Corsica
Today I woke up feeling completely better – How is that possible? Yesterday I still had a fever but today I’m perfectly fine. I got dressed and said to The Earl – I’ll see if I still feel okay after breakfast then perhaps we can go ashore. We went to the Buffet and after walking around the many stations for too long I finally got what I wanted to eat. There is just too much choice!
Later in the morning we went into the town of Ajaccio, Corsica. After having coffee at a cafe with free internet we wandered around a bit and then I saw a little train that I thought would be a fun way to explore the town.
It was a about an hour ride around the town and was quite enjoyable.
It was quite warm today and so we went to an open-air restaurant and had a smoothie each. Then we went back to the ship.
When we went to dinner our Arab table companions expressed their delight that I had recovered. The husband asked me all about my symptoms and medication. I couldn’t have chosen a more appropriate table mate as it turns out that he and his wife are both doctors currently doing advanced studies.
Monday 22 April, 2019 – Genoa, Italy
I woke feeling great again today. This morning we opted to have breakfast in the restaurant where we could be served rather than fight the crowds in the buffet again. What a pleasure it was! On Costa Victoria it was till partly self service but here the waiters come to take your order for everything. We both chose yogurt and fruit followed by Eggs Benedict – Totally awesome.
We went ashore at Genoa and after having coffee at a restaurant with internet we took the Hop on Hop off bus. It was the best way to see the city.
Tuesday 23 April 2019 – Pisa
I really, really wanted to see The Leaning Tower of Pisa and the ship offered a lovely tour but at the very high cost of €79 each! We thought that just too expensive and The Earl said we must just explore La Spezia. I was really disappointed and started scheming how we could get to Pisa on our own. Could we get a bus? How long would it take? Would we be able to make it there and back before the ship sailed? The tour was obviously expensive because it was so far to go!
Well I needn’t have worried. There was an information desk at the ships’ terminal and we asked the friendly consultants how we could get to Pisa. I was a little confused when the young man showed me a place on the city map – “Is that where we get a bus?” I asked – He looked confused – “It’s the best Pizza place in town,” he said. “No need to take a bus!
“Not Pizza,” I said feeling silly, “Pisa – The leaning tower? ” I must have pronounced it like Pizza instead of Pisa! So he explained that there was a train and it wouldn’t take us long to walk to the train station! Luckily we didn’t follow that advice as it was raining so we took a taxi and had we walked it would have taken half an hour!
Unfortunately, when I was ill I had switched my phone off and when I switched it back on I didn’t know the pin! I had left the piece of paper with the European SIM info on it back at the B&B in Rome! So we would have to find our way without Google Maps!
The train ride, we were told, by another official at the information desk, would take 20 minutes so we would have no trouble getting there and back in time. What she failed to inform us was that the trains only ran once every hour so if you missed it you would have up to an hour to wait! Also the train actually took 1 hour and 20 minutes to get to Pisa! We left the terminal at 10:30 am and needed to be back on board by 5:00 pm.
Luckily for us we only waited 20 minutes for the train and then met a very friendly French family on board. The Earl entertained the little boy and girl with pictures of wild animals on his phone. Their faces were a picture. None of them could speak English but we managed to communicate that we were going to The Leaning Tower and lucky for us, so were they. The mom had internet and Google Maps and said it would be fine if we followed them.
Well – it was pouring when we arrived in Pisa and after walking a short way, we bought another umbrella as sharing was just not helping! We jumped puddles and raced after the French Family who were enjoying the journey and getting wet and slightly lost. Every now and then Mom would show Earl the map and they’d decide on which way it was trying to direct us. It all worked out brilliantly and after half an hour, as we rounded a corner – there it was – The Leaning Tower of Pisa that had fascinated me when I’d learned about it in school. Priceless. To see this iconic tower in real life left me awe-struck. The rain let up to a trickle and we posed with our brollies for pics but I did not try to push the tower down as so many others were pretending to do.
The French family disappeared to do their own thing and I said to The Earl – so do you know the way back – No idea, said he. Well I have a vague idea – Let’s go – cos we need coffee and the internet and we must get a train before it gets much later.
After coffee, catching up with internet and browsing a few shops, we made our way to the train station. We had only 20 minutes to wait and this time the journey took just over an hour. We got a taxi to the terminal then the shuttle bus and made it to the ship by 4:30 pm! It was a wonderful end to our MSC cruise.