Last Thursday had us popping up to check on “Chance” and to top up with fuel to cover the possibility of the frost-stat coming on in the cold weather. Then it was off to Heathrow airport ………
……. where our accommodation for the night was a “pod” in Yotel at Terminal 4. These pods are small but perfectly formed as they say! Under electrical power the bed slides down the wall and across the floor like a drunken sailor ……….
…… and a curtain hides the very adequate shower room. A very early flight on Friday took us to Rome’s Leonardo de Vinci airport and then an hour’s coach journey northwards to where we boarded Cunard’s very beautiful “Queen Elizabeth” for a Mediterranean cruise back to Southampton.
Even on the first afternoon there was activity all around as passengers arrived from Rome in their dribs and drabs throughout the day. Some still had enough energy to dance in the fabulous Queen’s Room.
The Grand Lobby is looking really stunning with the Christmas decorations.
On Saturday our first port of call gave us the chance to take a short journey to Pisa …………
….. where the Tower has to been seen to be believed! The Piazza dei Miricoli is a beautiful area encompassing the Tower and Cathedral and here are a few of the obligatory photos of our most impressive day out:-
The monument is 55 metres high and weighs 14,500 tons. The recent work to stop further leaning has reduced the inclination by 0.5 degree but it still looks incredibly precarious!
Despite the look of the skies the day was warm and sunny, making the white and grey San Giuliano limestone look as though the buildings were constructed only yesterday.
A trip to the top of the Tower was essential …..
…… Doug was very happy to be there …….
….. and James, taking the chance to face his fear of heights, was also happy to have done it!
On the ground below the Tower is a striking bronze sculpture of a “Fallen Angel”.
We were able to get right to the top of the Tower and walk amongst the bells – the bells!!!
We had a superb view of the Cathedral and surrounding countryside from the top.
The steps are well worn and the climb up and down felt very strange as the tilt of the Tower throws you from one side to the other.
After the Tower we made a visit to the Cathedral which was sensational. We were lucky to be the first ones in after the lunchtime closure so there was nobody inside and we could experience the silence of this lovely space.
It had the largest pulpit we’ve ever seen and the carving of the stonework on it was quite remarkable.
After a wonderful afternoon we headed back to “Elizabeth” ……..
….. where we were in time for afternoon tea in the Queen’s Room.
More tea vicar?
We’ve been on the ship for 2 days now (seems like 2 weeks!) and have already got to know a quite few passengers and a few staff. It’s a truly lovely ship and, being only 4 years old, is in prime condition and very “Cunard”.