Friday, July 4, 2014

Cruise Days 7-8: Taormina and a sea day.

Pictures for Taormina are HERE.

Situated along the Eastern coast of Sicily midway between Messina and Catania (the latter the site of the Naval Air Station Sigonella, where I flew a military charter some months back), Taormina is said to be a bit of Capri and Monte Carlo. It’s not a coastal town, as I had somehow expected (since the cruise ship kind of “goes there”) but rather a place that requires another inland transfer, bypassing the cute little coastal village where our tenders let us off.

We debated making this a stay-on-the-ship day, but decided after all to head ashore and at least walk the little village. This was actually lovely and a relaxing morning. There was another town perched on the mountains above our coastal village (with Taormina proper inland of that), but we decided to stick to what we could see on foot.

Seems we should have been more ambitious. Though our walk was lovely, it sounds like Taormina proper was much worth the trouble to get there. A friendly couple we’ve met on the boat went there and said that every time you looked you felt compelled to take a photo. But one of the criticisms we’ve heard of this cruise (if it can be said to be appropriate to criticize a 12-day Mediterranean cruise at all) is that there is only one sea day, so one has something to do every day. None of it is strenuous, of course, but it does deprive one of a little down-time.

The following day provided that in spades: our one day at sea. We spent the day puttering at a very slow speed Eastward from Sicily to the mid-coast of Greece and then turning North to follow the coastline up to Corfu.

Susan decided to rent one of the little poolside cabanas, knowing that both pools would be swarming. It was an excellent choice, as it gave us a nice place to sit / lay down and store our stuff for the entire day. Usually, we try to find two deck chairs together, but they’re hard to find and hard to keep when so many people want them. So the cabana was a few bucks well-spent. I can see especially if one had kids the space would be indispensable (the extended family group next to us rented two cabanas and pulled back the little curtain to make one big cabana. This was an excellent idea). The best thing, for me, was that it kept me out of the sun the entire time. I’ve felt that I was getting much too much sun this entire vacation, despite my wearing long-sleeve things and my trés-façonable Tilley Hat. Susan thinks I may have officially changed races.

Tomorrow, Corfu.

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