The Second 10 Days

Read more slice of life stories at Two Writing Teacher’s blog.

The travel monologue continues. If you missed the first ten days, click here.

We are docked at Civitavecchia for the the day. Some passengers disembark and new people arrive with a sparkle in their eyes imagining the adventures before them in the next ten days. After a leisurely breakfast, we take the bus shuttle to the edge of the port. My goal is to find some free wi-fi. We wander the streets and discover a local farmer’s market. I have never seen red peppers so large. They are bigger than my hand with fingers extended! As the temperatures heat up, we look for the wi-fi. Ahh . . . McDonald’s advertises free wi-fi so we decided to get a beverage only to find out the wi-fi is not working. So no wi-fi on this foray into town.

Livorno, Italy is the first port of call. Many take the excursions to Florence and Pisa, but we opt for something different. Our

Overlooking Manarolo, notice the terraced gardens on the right

travel agent suggested Cinque Terra (pronounced chenk-uh tair-uh). There are five towns along the coast of Italy that are accessible by walking paths, train, or boat. We visited three of the towns and used all the previously mentioned modes. Words are not enough to describe the beauty of these villages. At times I felt like I was on a movie set. It was a fantastic trip!

The land of rich, casino is behind us.

There is nothing like Monte Carlo, Monaco to make you feel poor. We walked from one side to the other, continually surrounded by expensive cars and yachts. My husband’s head was continually spinning as he watched the cars. Unfortunately, I failed to appreciate the vehicles.

Next port of our journey was Barcelona, we have two days there. We did a bike tour of the city on the first day. What an interesting city! Our tour guide was from Florida. He came three years before and loved it so much, he stayed. On the second day we toured Antonio Gaudi’s contributions to the architecture of the city. He had concepts in his mind that were far ahead of his contemporaries.

La Sagrada Familia, they’ve been building this for 130 years.

Parc Guell, I thought I stepped into Flinstone’s world here

The plaza of Parc Guell with the mosaic bench

Palma de Mallorca is an island off the coast of Spain. They are known for pearls that are created there. Yes, I did get one. Our excursion involved wine

What a place to relax!

tasting. We were taken to a family vineyard via a very narrow and twisting road. There were times I wondered how we would make the bend. These bus drivers must have nerves of steel. A very enjoyable time was had by all on this excursion!

Finally, a sea day! Time to rest and relax as we make our way across the Mediterranean Sea to Tunisia.

Camels are being led onto the dock, this is not the usual site that greets us as we dock in La Goulette, Tunisia. An incredibly hot day was before us, 105 degrees. We visited the ruins of Carthage and an artist’s village of Sidi Bou Said. The village was not what I imagined. It was booth after booth of stuff.

All I could think was, really?

The vendors were aggressive and you were expected to bargain with them. That is not the form of shopping I enjoy. Tell me a fair price, don’t make me guess what the real price is. I’m glad I was there, but I have no desire to return to that port.

We now return to the island of Sicily. Palermo is on the western edge of Sicily. We once again decide to walk through the town on our own. I think it is just as hot as Tunisia. We see the cathedral, but then decide to head back to the boat. It is a Sunday and not a lot of businesses are open.

Our final port is Naples and we are part of a tour up the Amalfi coast. That scenery is incredible! I’ll just let the pictures do the talking for me. Wow!

See the road?

What if you woke up to this every morning?

The town of Amalfi

It was a sad day to depart from the boat, but the adventure wasn’t over yet. It was my husband’s birthday, so we decided to spend one night in Rome and

Overlooking the Colosseum from near the top

tour inside the Colosseum. Fortunately I had pre-purchased group tickets that would take us behind the scene. We were able to walk around the mob of people in line for tickets to collect our tickets. This tour was great! We went behind locked gates to get an up-close look at restricted parts of the Colosseum. Since it was my husband’s birthday, we did visit the gelato store twice. Yummy!

Suspended reality was over and home awaited. I was good to be home, but life smacked us in the face the morning after we arrived. Our air conditioner quit putting out cool air sometime during the night. The temperatures were to be in the 100’s. We were rescued later that afternoon as the temperatures in the house were nearing 84 degrees. Fortunately, it was a simple fix and not too costly. Welcome home!

I love visiting new places and I’m ready to go again, but home is a good place to be too.


17 thoughts on “The Second 10 Days

  1. Wow! Sounds like a wonderful trip! Your pictures, along with the wonderful descriptions make me wish I was there. I would love to wake up looking at that blue, blue ocean every day!

  2. I smiled many times while reading this post. I am so happy for you to have such a nice vacation.

    Our air conditioner also went out earlier this year, but luckily, like yours it was relatively inexpensive to fix. Enjoy the rest of your summer.

  3. b says:

    Wow, Elsie! Thanks for taking us on your Mediterranean holiday too. I enjoyed all the beautiful pictures so much! I also loved how you put me right into the details by using ‘you.’ I wish I were there too! Glad you had an awesome time!

  4. How wonderful Elsie! What a great vacation you’re having.

    Isn’t Monaco the cleanest place you’ve ever seen? I spent a day there in 1994 and couldn’t believe how pristine it was.


  5. This must have been an amazing trip! I would love to go to this area someday…once I’m beyond nap times and young children. You have some incredible pictures and I’m sure the memories are just as wonderful. Thank you for sharing a peek into your trip!

  6. Just glorious Elsie! What a trip of a lifetime. Amazing how life in other countries can be so similar, but yet so drastically different. I think it’s the view of the water in almost every picture. That blue that can’t be described? And all the other vibrant colors as well. That is what is so inviting . . . thanks for taking us on your journey.

  7. I’m so glad you had such a fabulous trip, Elsie. It just looks so beautiful everywhere, in spite of the heat. Guess it’s been a hot summer there too! I love the idea of just walking through the towns, taking in the tastes of what it must be like to live in one. Thanks for sharing all the details as well as the beautiful photos.

  8. Judy C. says:

    An amazing trip – thanks for sharing your experiences and pics with us. The water is so blue and inviting. Glad you got off the beaten path and was able to experience some of the towns on your own.

  9. Ah, the Naples coast…and I would like to wake up there every morning! Another thing in common L.C. I hate to barter. I had to face that in Costa Rica and I didn’t like it, plus I felt bad leaving if I didn’t purchase. Your trip was amazing and I’m going to share it with Dave, maybe someday…crossing my fingers. xo nanc

  10. What an incredible trip! I saved the picture of the terraced gardens in Manarolo (I love that name!) to show my Social Studies classes when we learn about terracing. I’m glad that when life smacked you in the face it was a simple fix!

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