Sunday, May 27, 2007

Day 3 – Palermo, Italy (Sicily)

This is the first day we had an early morning schedule and we came through okay but it was tight. The ship docked at 7:00 am as planed. Lumiére’s opened at 7:00 am and we had to meet in Diversions for our tour at 7:30 am. We made it to Lumiére’s at 7:05 am but breakfast was a little slow because they had a mass rush since all the land tours were early. We were also slowed by the fact we finally found our server from last trip, Dom from Turkey. Greetings and small talk resulted in us leaving breakfast before we were finished and resulted in us being the last ones, signing up for the tour as the group was leaving Diversions. Quickly we got our papers in order and ran after the group. We were the first tour to leave the ship, Bus No. 1. We took the Selinunte and Marinella tour. The bus was a nice motor coach that had all the amenities you would expect. A very nice description of the trip was given by our guide who was very personnel and as it turns out made our day. The day was partly sunny and far better than yesterday. The first leg of our trip took us to the ancient Greek city of Selinunte. Founded in the 7th century B.C., Selinunte is now a magnificent Archaeological Park that houses a mass of impressive ruins including the majestic stone structures of the Acropolis. Before we entered the archeology area there was a rest stop. A small bar and shop exists at the parking area. You can purchase coffee, food and wine. I purchased one bottle of wine. A special note to this trip for those that will be cruising later on, and I think other trips as well, is to bring toilet paper. You will not find it on these side trips. This was the most discussed topic on the bus.

Our next stop was the beach of Lido Zabbara in Marinella di Selinunte which was a short bus ride away. This area is a small resort town that the Italians, and others with money, come to in the summer. Since summer has not begun, the town was not busy. I think it would be a different trip thru this town in a large motor coach traveling the narrow streets in bumper to bumper traffic. Our bus driver must have been a cab driver because he drove the bus like a cab and nothing stopped him. The sun was in and out during our one hour rest on the beach and the breeze was a little cool. That did not stop the kids from going in the water. I think the water was cold as well. A buffet lunch was served in the beach restaurant that was outdoors but it had wind block curtains that keep it comfortable. The buffet was filled with local fish, cheese, vegetables and salads. Crafts of white and red wine were on the tables for us to enjoy. I pick a table with a lot kids so there would be more wine for me. The lunch was excellent and the proprietor was wonderful. He keep brings small plates of food to the tables for family style serving. We were give oranges from the orange tree for desert as well as lemon ice. After lunch we traveled down the road a small distance to a wine shop for a tasting.

We purchased three bottles for consumption on the ship, for a total of four for the day. In all we were very pleased with this trip. I was able to show my knowledge of Italian customs when I kissed the tour guide on both cheeks as I said goodbye. Yes it was a pretty woman.

We did not get back to the ship until 5:30 pm and dinner reservations at Palo at 7:30 pm. Carol got ready for dinner while I went to the sail away party on Deck 9 and to take pictures on Deck 10 as we pulled out of the port. Ran back to the cabin, got ready, and caught the last 30 minuets of Michael Harrison’s last show. He did the Parrot and Snake skits, and the drawing pad with the face. The face on the drawing pad is very good and I am not sure I have seen that. What I saw was good but I had my fill of Michael for the trip.

During the show the ship started to rock and it never stopped until we got near port in Naples the next morning. Our luck we are having dinner on the highest point of the ship. I did not think the seas in this area would be rough. Well that is another thing I learned. It did not ruin dinner but it did put a damper on it. The lady next to us could not eat anything but hung in there so her husband could have a full dinner. After two appetizers I had the filet and tuna. Carol had the filet. I had to have the chocolate soufflé and the ice cream, which I did not ask for, and Carol had the cream bruelée. The weather was bad enough that they closed the upper deck and the events that were planned. Not that we were going, but we talked someone on the elevator. So we ended the evening full and uncomfortable. Tomorrow Naples and a long day.


PURTYPAT1 said...

Love your Blog, thanks for all the great tips, I am going out for tissue paper tomorrow. Love all your food description.

Looking forward to reading more.


Schiffy said...

Thanks, I am trying to keep up. The internet connection is slow and $$$'s

Brian said...

Schiffy, you're my kind of guy. Loved your process for choosing a lunch table! Looking forward to reading more as we prepare for trip in July.

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!