|On Tuesday Kotor again pleased us when we had a bit of a wander around the town. On Wednesday about lunchtime we sailed in to Messina for our second visit and, after going on a tour the last time, we thought we'd just spend the afternoon exploring the town. Unfortunately Messina follows and expands on the Mediterranean tradition of closing up shop for a lunch break. In Messina almost everything is closed from noon until 4.30 pm, no wonder some parts of the Mediterranean are so poor when even the tourist shops close when a ship with 5,000 people on board docks.
While the Sicilian countryside has so much to offer, Messina itself is very run down with piles of rubbish everywhere. We used to think Naples was the dirtiest city in Italy but after seeming Messina we think that has to take the crown.
Thursday saw us arrive in Naples and, not wanting to check out the state of the town or to visit Pompeii again since we'd been there previously, we opted for a tour of Herculaneum. Herculaneum was also wiped out with the eruption of Vesuvius but the buildings are much more well preserved, a very worthwhile visit.
Sadly, today is our last day and night aboard the Royal Princess. It is an "at sea"day so at least we have a chance to relax in between getting our bags packed (and the ironing done). Of course we've also had a bit of excitement on our journey with, in addition to the usual medical emergencies among the passengers (heart attacks, broken limbs, etc), the ship was diverted to the aid of an inter island ferry on fire a week or so ago and just a few days ago the crew on the bridge sighted an empty life raft and undertook a visual search of the surrounding seas until the coastguard arrived and took over the search.
We have enjoyed our 4 weeks on board and have met lots of really nice fellow passengers and crew. The ship is scheduled to dock in Barcelona at 5 am on Saturday morning but we have a late checkout of 9.45 am. We'll then make our way to the train station for the next part of our journey, Sitges.
All our very best wishes, Graeme and Ron