Tonight we set our clocks back, leaving Malta
I think it has been a few days since my last entry. It is a busy busy cruise. Short intense and quite wonderful. Full of fabulous conversations and beautiful scenery, the best cuisine at sea, sunny blue skies, warm weather, really good service.
Yesterday morning we walked round and round the running track on sports deck. Afterward we had coffee, ate a hearty breakfast and got ready to head to town for the day. Maybe the first morning we started to feel a bit rested. Up till now the sleeps have been short and welcome.
Saturday 29 April 2023 we docked in Sicily at Messina. 9 of my friends decided to take a taxi to Taormina for a nice independent walking excursion for a few hours. One of the gals is better at ‘negotiating’ a fair price with the taxi and suggested something we could all agree on. Loaded into the van, hanging on as the Sicilian driver took us on the half hour drive up the mountain and toward the beautiful view of Mt Etna. Taormina is a lovely town, mostly pedestrian …. Spectacular views, lots of shops selling ceramics and other local fare. There is a small 3 piece band playing in the plaza. Two hours to wander around leisurely before the drive back to the ship. All the folks in our vehicle become better acquainted and tell stories of their favourite ports of call so far and other travel stories.
Last night was the Captain’s party with free flowing drinks for over 2 hours as we sailed from Messina. After the party, upstairs to the buffet for fine dining and then two of us went dancing for hours. Several of the crew and entertainment staff including the cruise director participated. So much fun watching, dancing, selecting music, listening to the on-ship musicians and singing along …. Hours and hours. We were the only two from our group of 16 to take in the wee hours on Horizon’s dance floor!
Waking up to the most AWESOME views and vista as we sailed into Malta during the sunrise. Breathtaking. Over we walked, taking our own way trying to follow signs. Zig zag and up lots of steps (most people take elevators to the top to see the town square). Each stair has several landings so I could rest before tackling the next flight! Trees standing mightily and strong.
One landing and looking around we see a cat hotel called “cat cafe”….. well, there was signage to indicate that the felines can be seen all around, however this spot provides a place for feeding, watering and resting for the feral ones. Several beds and shelters for the wild small cats, complete with blankets and bedding, water jugs and food dishes. In fact strictly forbidden to feed cats elsewhere.
We grab a Starbucks decaf coffee and wander around taking lots of great pics of the architecture and colors of the interesting city of Valletta. Today is a short day in port, arriving back by early afternoon with time for a big fresh salad or two and a half hour rest.
Our first cooking class today on board the Marina entitled “Mediterranean Journey”. We learned about and participated in preparing creamy almond pesto pasta, sweet almond milk, 10-day limoncello, Socca Rucola Insalata, vanilla ice cream with Greek yogurt, personal size walnut cake soaked in honey based liquid. We had limoncello with fresh raspberries topped with Prosecco and a glass of rose. Very pleasant and fun. Off to dinner at Jacques specialty restaurant as that ended – ha ha. So full and tired again, we take an early evening, back in our rooms at 830 ish, to write the blog, look at todays pictures, check email and messages and prepare for losing one hour to time change tonight.
Sleep is so important and seems to avoid us a little on this trip just yet. Still adjusting to jet lag it seems. Even the beds on Oceania are so comfortable and tonight we got a feature card in our stateroom with how to purchase one of these super comfy beds.
Tomorrow May 1, we begin in Greece with a stop in Argostoli and a 5 and half hour excursion with the Marina chef taking us around the port town picking up items to bring back to the ship for our next and last cooking class.
Good night for now, more in a day or two. Hope you are all well back home. Sending love.
Ps. Sorry – no pics tonight. Frustrating wifi on the ship this evening. Check out my facebook site for some pics ….