One's destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things - Henry Miller

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


5/07/2010 9:00 PM
Today we had our first disappointment of the tour.
We avoided Rome and were looking forward to viewing some Etruscan tombs and the museum in the Palazzo Vitelleschi in Tarquinia but we whizzed past the burial sites being told that all the artefacts from the site were stored in the museum. Then when we got to Tarquinia, we were told the museum was closed on Mondays. Very disappointing. We took a guided tour through the old mediaeval township and I ducked in to visit the Cathedral of St Margaritae before finding our way out to a beautiful lookout over the Marta River valley and Tyrrhenian Sea from a site chosen by early Popes as their summer retreats.
Still believing the farm visit would make up for our disappointment imagine how we felt when we were taken to a family restaurant in the middle of town, crowded into a small courtyard eating area and told what ice cream was made from. While a $40 000 machine made the ice cream we went and chose ourselves three scopes of ice cream from the front of the store and sat back down and ate it. Then when the “demonstration” ice cream was ready we were served more ice cream – all very pleasant but not what we’d been anticipating.
The Tuscany countryside is very rich and a kaleidoscope of colour from the wide variety of crops farmed. We enjoyed this aspect of the day but saw no livestock either – just one field of sheep and a couple of horses. Fortunately we did get an opportunity to buy some local produce... peaches, figs and tomatoes ...all very fresh and delicious.
I’m glad we are avoiding the bigger, more crowded cities. The stories of pick pockets are growing daily. Since Athens people have been robbed everyday and laundry gossip has it that Barcelona is the worst. People on Princess Tours seem to be safe. It is independent travellers who are getting caught out.
Back in our cabin early we had time to kill before an Italian tenor came on board to sing for us in the Atrium...Can you believe this is the foot of Hobo 1? How will he get on in the bindies when he gets home AND he has another two months at sea to go!!!
Can you believe there were 10 cruise liners in Civitavecchia with us today? It was spectacular to see us all sail off one after the other this afternoon each heading off in different directions once out of the harbour. Wonder what tomorrow will bring?

1 comment:

  1. Ooh, the cathedral you guys visited has a wonderful name, haha. Sorry to hear that part of your trip was a little disappointing, hopefully it will only get better.

    Also I've heard, if either of you are up for it, a good pickpocket deterrent is mousetraps in your pockets, you just have to make sure you remember they're there as it can be quite a nasty shock.