FEBRUARY 23, 2015 (Monday)
Palermo! On the island of Sicily in Italy. We got up a little early and ate breakfast at the Grand Pacific Restaurant.
We were off the ship by 8:30 AM. When we got off the ship, we were accosted by all sorts of people who wanted to take us on tours. There were horse drawn carriage tours, bus tours, taxi tours, and then little motorcycle made into small taxis. They looked so cute. We started walking up what we thought was the main road but it was pouring down rain and we didn’t have a map. We were told we would be able to get some maps as soon as we got off the ship but the people hadn’t set up yet (we found out later as we got a map on the way back to the ship).
Because of the rain, and because we were once again stopped on the street about a quarter mile away, and because they said we could take an hour tour for fifteen Euro each – we said yes and got into the cute little scooter.
They took us to a park where the trees were really old and beautiful (they told us fig trees). We went to a huge cathedral where there was some sort of protest going on (they had fire, ambulance, and a blow up cushion for someone falling or jumping from the roof). We saw a huge fountain with lots and lots of statues. Every corner and every space was just beautiful. We also went to several other places that were pretty spectacular.
What was so fun on this little scooter thing was the fact we thought we were going to die several times. They took shortcuts through narrow little alleys, went around cars on very narrow roads, and went over bumpy cobblestone streets very fast. It was great fun but very scary. I told Michael I loved him in case we were killed in Palermo. Best tour though because of the terrifying aspect to it.
It never stopped raining during this whole time but it was still beautiful. At the end of the tour we paid the thirty Euro but they insisted no way, forty minimum. Michael had planned on tipping them a ten Euro but it made me mad the bait and switch thing. Next time we’ll get it in writing – but we paid up just to get on our way.
We walked around for awhile and looked around. Was fun walking back down to the ship, which took about an hour (still raining).
We got back and had lunch at the Garden Buffet, then a nap to rest up for dinner. We met Helga and Dennis at the Grand Pacific Restaurant at 5:30 PM. They had just gotten back to the ship barely in time. They said their excursion was great, that it went up into the hills and saw some ruins. Helga also said the tour guide was wonderful and knew lots of history of Italy.
Dinner was really good but the best part was it was chocoholics night. For dessert we got one of each of the eight desserts and everyone got a little of each. Fun. Was surprised but we managed to eat 90% of it all. We were finished in plenty of time to get to the Stardust Theater for the show. We got a front row seat and the show was fabulous. It was called Elements and it was so very good right to the end. There was something going on all over the theater. Loved it. Helga and Dennis have a cold so they left right after the show but Michael and I went to the atrium and listened to a guitar player and singer who was very good. He did some John Denver, Eric Clapton, and John Lennen.
We are now back in our room and I’m sad it’s almost over. It’s been a great cruise and I’ve loved it. Missed the kids and communicating with friends and family, but loved seeing all that we’ve seen. That was our day. Hope yours was great!