Saturday, 26 November 2011

MSC Melody Cruise

My Trip 2010 Part 4

Next part of my adventure about to begin - on my way to Genoa to board the MSC Melody for my cruise home to Cape Town South Africa.

My train was to depart at 09:46 from Rome and arrive at 15:00 in Genoa - so got up nice and early, had some breakfast - checked out of my hotel and walk down the road the station. Thank goodness I had asked inquiries the day before regarding as to which train to board, I was pretty confident that everything would be on track.

By 8:30 there was still no announcement as to which platform my train would be leaving from - I had no choice but to sit around and wait - did not mind much as I find people watching very fascinating - I was kept entertained for the next hour until my train departure time and platform was announced.

So off I was on to Genoa - by now quickly found out who were going on the cruise - quite a few people from my home country - so did not feel to alone. Everything was going smoothly - until we stopped at
Lervono station - and that's were we stopped for the next three hours. Thanks to the few Italian students on board that interpreted for us - the varsity students were doing a sit in at Pisa station on the railway line - protesting for some reason or other.

Nothing much we could do but wait it out. By now most of us South Africans had started to talk to each other and before we knew it we were off again. My plans were dashed for my afternoon in Genoa - as I had planned to walk from Brignole station to my hotel. We arrived in Genoa at 7:30pm  - dark, wet and very very cold. Temperature would drop to below zero that night. All I could do was catch a taxi to my hotel. Booked in and went for a walk - like to get to know the lay of the land. I was to meet up with a friend and his travel companion later  - they flew in that evening. On my way back to the hotel bumped into them coming from the station. They booked in and off we went for supper. Caught up on their travel experience from Cape Town over a good dinner and a glass of Italian red. As we had some time in the morning to explore before boarding the MSC Melody we decided to meet for breakfast and do a quick walk around Genoa the following morning.

Awoke the next morning to a very cold and snowy Genoa. As always I was up rather early  - so took a stroll before breakfast down to the harbour. Watched the MSC Melody docking.

She was going to be my home for the next 18 Days - I was looking forward to boarding later.

Genoa is a very busy port for ferries and Cruise ships - there were quite a few of the docked that morning.

Got back in time to the hotel for breakfast and was joined by Dino and Michael. There were quite a few South Africans staying at the hotel. A few of them we would meet again on board. Once we had finished our meal we were off on our quick tour of Genoa. As we had to board by 1pm we did not have much time.

The streets of Genoa are really narrow - no space for cars at all. Genoa is also the birth place of Christopher Colombus. In front of the main train station there is a monument in his honour.

In the background on the left is our hotel.

After a quick stroll through Genoa it was back to our hotel to check out and collect our luggage.

Yep a Primi Piatti.

Thank goodness our our hotel was not far from the harbour - so not that bad lugging the luggage.

Boarding the MSC Melody was quick and painless - very efficient. Once on board and settled did a quick tour of the MSC Melody and had lunch.

Departed Genoa at 4pm - it was such a pity that there was not enough time to explore more of Genoa, as they have the largest aquarium in Europe & so much more - will be going back.

As we left that harbour you get a good view of how Genoa is built - from the harbour and up against the mountain in the background - and the buildings all on top of each other. We passed many cruise ships and ferries on our way out.

We had hardly left port when we had to get to our mustering stations for our life boat drill. You have to be prepared in case of an emergency. I had no idea what to expect over the next 18 days - but decided to take one day at a time. I was looking forward to our stops at Barcelona (Spain), Cadiz (Spain). Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Canary Islands), Mindelo (Cape Verde), Walvis Bay (Namibia) and then Cape Town over the coming days.

That all coming up soon.

Some of the pics above courtesy of my good friend Dino.


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