How lucky am I to have just returned from another Mediterranean cruise! (In case you're too jealous, this one wasn't quite as restful as it might have been, since we took mother-in-law, mum and dad with us - all amazing troopers in their mid eighties!)
Here we all are in our best bib and tucker at the captain's cocktail party. We do scrub up well!We flew into Palma and then cruised to Villefranche on the French Riviera coast. The weather was superb every day, nice and warm (mid 20s C) which was a good filip for us all before winter sets in here. Villefranche was a very pretty little town which had to be reached by tender.Here are the olds on the tender, with mother-in-law trying to work out the vaguaries of a disposable camera. Dad's sensibly keeping well out of it! This town was rather hilly, and saw DH and I making the supreme sacrifice of riding with them on one of those little white trains. It was actually a good way of seeing the town (which DH and I explored on foot later) and getting a good view of the ship anchored in the bay.Next stop was Marina de Carrara ( the port nearest Florence and Pisa). This area is famous for its marble and provided the marble for Marble Arch in London and Michealangelo's David. Here are great lumps of it by the harbour (look at the different colours!) waiting to be transported all over the world.Here is the view from the ship, and that's not snow on the mountains, it's marble! Lots of people on the cruise wanted to go to Rome (a 10 hour trip, with journeys of 2 hours each way!) but we stayed in the port of Civitavecchia, which didn't compare with the Eternal City - although was quicker to get to! I had never been to Sardinia before, and was very impresed with Olbia and its very up-market shops. Here are Mum, me and Mum-in-law just before we all headed into the nearest cafe for an Italian coffee. Sardinia is famous for its cork, and here are some cork trays for sale. They looked a bit hefty to me! We managed to resist them, and the cork mugs, bowls, flutes, pencils, necklaces, bottles, ashtrays and other ornaments etc etc which were in every souvenir shop!
Here is our ship, the Thomson Destiny, which was not quite up to the standard of its sister ship, the Celebration, although the staff were probably even more friendly. The layout of the ship wasn't as well planned - for example, there seemed to be a lot of unnecessary steps (three steps up, a flat 10 yards of deck, then three steps down) which didn't make life easy for the olds. However, they never complained, and we had a great time, just like a big party (although a slightly slow-moving one!)
Last stop was in Menorca, to explore the capital Mahon. To reach the town from the docks, you had to climb a flight of 100 steps, which was clearly not a good idea for the olds. We all piled into a taxi and then had a lovely wander along the narrow streets of this delightful town.
Sitting in a cafe watching the world go by is my favourite thing to do on holiday!And then back to Palma to fly home. I suddenly spotted these bags made from rocks at the airport, but couldn't get a good photo of them as we had already gone through security. What a fab idea! The flight home was uneventful and DD was there to meet us. The weather at home has been kind enough to enable me to get all the washing out and dried, and I'm now looking forward to my next holiday!