Our ship and Trieste
by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa
Splendid birthday 1
The Ungardener celebrated a big birthday in 2023. I met him when he had travelled down Africa in a Land Rover. We repeated that journey, at sea, down the East coast of Africa. After the lockdown years, I was daunted by ... travelling ... and crowds. We flew via Addis Abeba and Rome. Where they put me in a corner, (swabbed hands, shoes and bags) to wait, for an instant COVID test! Shoes OFF at every security control.
Israel and Gaza changed our itinerary. (One evening at sea, I saw a rocket, rise, and fall). Alexandria and Petra were cancelled. More sea days instead. In Trieste armed soldiers patrolled 24/7 to protect a Jewish school near our hotel.
|Castle of San Giusto in Trieste
We boarded in Trieste. Where we met the Ungardener's sister from Frankfurt - not seen each other since 2016. A few days with minimal Italian, before 5 weeks of German. Up and down hills to the Castle of San Giusto. From where our splendid ship is humungous.
|James Joyce - left my soul in Trieste
James Joyce wrote - I left my soul in Trieste. We enjoyed the food - asparagus risotto. Supermarket next to Roman amphitheatre. Hop on hop off bus.
Only when I saw the building did Lloyd-Triestino click into place. Shipping company based out of Trieste. We departed as sun set.
|MSC balcony and batch 23
|Our balcony and the Red Sea
For me the deal breaker was our own balcony. Repositioning cruise from the Med to Durban. Four weeks. Half full - would NOT like to be on the ship when it is full full! We disembarked in batches. And we were batch 23!
Our cabin was on the other side, towards the stern. Deck 12, two decks below the overhang - so we didn't get roasted, rained on, or noise from above. Always met at the next port by an ambulance, even diverted for a medevac to the Seychelles - where the ship is too big for their port. Much coughing and sneezing, and the four of us went down, one by one. We sat on our balcony looking out to sea - this is the Red Sea.
First stop on board was the 'library' - where there is not a single book. Someone organised a book swap. We met each day, brandishing our book (like a drug dealer). No not French or Cyrillic. But I did read German and English. Found myself in conversation with a burly rugby looking man - who revealed himself as an interested reader - Jersey during the German occupation.
|Freshly baked at sea
We tried the formal diningroom - that Sachertorte. First on the mezzanine gallery - perfect. But after they put us at the third table on the third evening - we had all our meals at the buffet. (Have food, but, where did I leave my husband??) Where we had space - a table to ourselves, wide windows with a view, and very many choices. Freshly baked - croissants, Danish, brioche and cake (for breakfast!) Tea - needed two sad teabags for each mug. Freshly baked biscuits for afternoon tea. Stairs - no lifts and coughs - from deck 12 to 5 and back again - with deck rounds (once I had 4 rounds all, to, myself!) - kept us fit. Disconcerted as the ship rotated in the harbour, when I was deck walking.
|Swarovski crystal staircase
If you have Swarovski crystals, use them to fill the treads of the staircase. Bling, mirrors and marble. Camp like Elton John. Entertainment was thin, but the best was Ian von Memerty and his wife Viv - piano, singing and how she danced!
|Durban with Cyril for new cruise terminal
Back to Durban a day early so Cyril Ramaphosa could open the new cruise terminal. We were stage setting, an Actual Cruise Ship. Durban is our busiest harbour so pilots travel by helicopter.
Part 2 Katakolon, Heraklion and Rhodes in Greece
I invite you to join us at Elephant's Eye on False Bay. Please subscribe as you prefer
or my Facebook blog page
Pictures by Diana Studer
Teal blue text is my links.
To read comments if you are in a Reader,
first click thru to the blog)
Thanks for comments that add value. Your comment will not appear until I've read it. I welcome comments on posts from the last 2 months.
Google and Blogger comments uncooperative? Use Name / URL instead.