Computer failure over the last week has resulted in this mammoth blog entry - being written as Britannia, with fog horn sounding, enters the English Channel and on route for Southampton cruise terminal on Saturday morning.
Having “done” Rome the previous day we decided to have a relaxed wander around Livorno on Saturday. Livorno is the port closest to Pisa (which we visited last year) and Florence (which we decided to leave for another time) and is a pleasant town……..
…… with typical Italian architecture ………
…… some of the best of which is found in some of the back streets.
On Sunday, due to circumstances beyond the control of P&O (not all of us believe them!), we found ourselves in Ajaccio, Corsica rather than Monte Carlo. For us it was marvellous as we were in Monte Carlo last year and have never set foot in Corsica before.
Ajaccio is famous for being the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte and it’s difficult not to be constantly reminded of the fact. He’s depicted as a roman emperor.
Ajaccio is very beautiful in the usual antiquated narrow side streets …..
…….. with much care and dedication being paid to the appearance of the place.
The cathedral square is very pleasant …….
……. and, down the Rue Bonaparte is, of course his birthplace.
If we’d visited Monte Carlo we wouldn’t have been able to take advantage of Ajaccio’s gorgeous beach and the wonderful sunshine to begin this year’s suntan.
Britannia completely dwarfed Ajaccio’s little harbour – in fact, the ship stuck out from it’s berth so much that it had to deploy the anchor to keep the front end from swinging about!
Just give an idea of the size of Britannia, here’s a couple of deck hands cleaning the rear skirt.
Monday saw us in Barcelona and, having visited a few times already, we decided to have a gentle wander around and to take in some of this city’s beauty by looking upwards for a change ………
…. the stunning buildings and their rooflines speak for themselves:-
What about this for an anti-pigeon device!
One of Gaudi’s less famous roof lines …….
…….. and, with a zoom in from our ship’s balcony, is the roof line of his most famous construction, the Sagrada Familia.
Next, and the last port of call, on Tuesday was Valencia. The old city is very lovely indeed ………..
……… with amazing buildings ……..
and stunning open squares.
……. and inside, neatness of display is the order of the day.
The Great British Sail-Away took place as we left Valencia for the three day trip back to Southampton. We had the most tremendous time during the trip with cruise friends Jill and Bill and their family: Sarah and partner Ben and John and partner Jane.
Our passage through the Straits of Gibraltar was as smooth as silk – the lower tip of Spain can just be seen through the heat haze.
…….it was the Chef’s Parade! We had the treat of the Executive Chef and the two senior chefs next to our table ……
…. and, as is customary, diners waves their napkins in appreciation as most of the 140+ chefs on board march through each dining room in turn.
After Thursday evening’s dinner show we spent a while in the Atrium ……
…… with friend, and entertainments officer, Laurie Evans who, together with all the other members of the team, have made our cruise aboard Britannia such a hoot.
Oh all right then, another pic!, this time just of the terrible two together with ……
…….. the fantastic and (we guess) tremendously expensive “Starburst” – the centrepiece of the Atrium.
Well, our cruise on the beautiful new “Britannia” came to end with an early and very easy disembarkation this morning (Saturday) and we’re now safe back at home doing all the washing and ironing!