July 29, 2014, 14:32, Messina, Sicily
Today was yet another gorgeous day on the Mediterranean. It is amazing that the weather, so far, has been perfect. Last week before we left, the forecast was calling for rain several days on our voyage. But, other than a small shower in Barcelona before we left on Friday morning, the weather has just been perfect for this journey.
Today we went to a nice, but rocky, beach in Sicily. There was sand, so it was not a man-made rock beach like the one we encountered in Marseille, but it was fine rock that had been pounded by the surf for many years on its way to the beach.
The water was crystal clear to the bottom. There were rocks in the water as well but still nice for swimming. If not for our friends the jellyfish clan. There were over a hundred total, probably. It was quite amazing to see so many at one time.
Have I mentioned that EVERYONE in Europe smokes? It is quite annoying for this non-smoker, especially after a shower. I just feel all stinky all over again. It’s my hair. It holds smoke like a net, seeping out the smell every now and again. Anyway, I came here, they didn’t come to my house, so I can’t really complain about it.
We took the City Siteseeing your today. We paid 20 Euros total for two rides to the beach, 2 beach chairs, 2 umbrellas, and rides back to the city center. The pick up and drop off points are directly across the street from the ship dock, and if you get off the boat at 9, you can catch the first bus to the beach around 10:15. That gives you just enough time to walk around the city center and see the cathedral, which is absolutely gorgeous, as well as experience some of the sites and sounds of the downtown area. They even play the Godfather theme song when you walk into the bus sales office.
Parking and driving here are something that one would have to get used to, I think. There is parallel parking, semi parallel parking, and then just up-on-the-sidewalk parking. Like I between two fairly parallel parked cars, you can certainly fit another car, right? Maybe not parallel but in sideways. With so many cars and so little parking, it honestly makes sense. I think I’ll try it at home where the idiots who parallel park and take up three spaces for two cars park. I see nothing wrong with it.
We sat on the beach watching the kids catch jellyfish for an hour or more. We have some Bruschetti with olive oil and tomato. They were like snack crackers in a bag. They were really good. Too bad you can’t get this kind of food in the states. It makes you never ever want to eat fast food again.
Tonight we will dress up and attend the gala dinner I suppose. On our first few cruises we always did, and then on the last one, we figured out that you don’t have to do that. You can just go to the buffet and enjoy more free time. Either way it works for me.
We set sail here at 15:00 or so. Leaving the European continent on our way to Africa. How cool is that?