After seven months of travel in Europe, we head back to the States the same way we came, a Trans-Atlantic cruise. This cruise departed from Civitavecchia, Italy and landed in Ft. Lauderdale. I very much enjoy the days at sea. We can be as busy as we wish or simply relax.
Sixteen Day Trans-Atlantic Cruise to Ft. Lauderdale
The Leaning Tower of Pisa
Because we had already been exploring Europe for so long, at times I’m disappointed when there is a stop on our cruise itinerary, offering yet another port to explore. Obviously others on the cruise selected this particular route because of the many interesting ports. However, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is not something the first time traveler should miss. (Sorry Kris…) Despite predicted rains and a long train ride, I set out alone to this tourist
trap attraction. After waiting 90 minutes I boarded the local train expecting to be dropped off just blocks from the tower. Noticing the train speed through my desired stop, I hurriedly found the conductor who only spoke Italian. Panicked tourists are not new to this man. “Mai de Domenica,” bummer, not on Sundays. So I then had to navigate from the subsequent stop via the local bus back to the tower, all the time worrying about the absolute deadline of getting back to the ship for departure. Thus far, the rain had held off. But it started to pour just as I exited the bus, sending the throngs of tourists following their-flag toting leaders to shelter. This was a day full of minor missteps at every single leg of the journey. I looked forward to the next day at sea.
Throughout Europe we stayed at small rentals found through VRBO (Vacation Rental by Owner) or Airbnb. We would then grocery shop for a simple fruit and cereal breakfast. Now destined for Italy from Montenegro, we stayed in some hotels and were quickly reminded why we avoid these… their breakfasts. The typical morning offerings include cucumbers, beets, tomatoes, pickles, olives, salami and lunch meat.
Of course you need to leave room for the nearly raw bacon and beanie weenies.
What’s to See at Sea
Our routine was to exercise 0n the ship every day when not in port. Staring out at the waves we would see flying fish gliding from the peak of one wave and diving into another. Capturing one with my camera proved to be quite a challenge lasting several days. Success at last.
There were also soaring albatross. These birds can have a wingspan of over 11 feet. Gaining altitude by gliding into the wind, they can fly for many hundreds of miles and never flap their wings.
More unexpected sights while at sea, mowing the lawn.
I took far too many photos of ocean waves. None turned out as well as hoped or imagined. I find them soothing, relaxing and never ending.
I’m looking forward to the variety of foods available in the United States of America, specifically Thai, Indian and especially Mexican food from Northern New Mexico. Hummm red, green or Christmas?
Our next ‘blog’ stop will likely be White Sands National Monument in New Mexico.