Thursday, May 16, 2024

16th of May 2024 - On our way home

Today we left the Silver Spirit after an excellent time both in Venice and on our Mediterranean cruise.

15th of May - Pompeii

Today we had a guided walking tour of the famous ruins of the ancient Roman city of Pompeii.  Mount Vesuvius overshadows Pompeii and erupted in 79AD burying the city under 20 feet of ash. This eruption killed the city’s 20,000 inhabitants.  The tour was challenging physically due to the heat and very uneven cobblestones.

The drive from Sorrento to Pompeii was not for the fainthearted with sheer drops along the coastal road and motorbikes weaving in and out of the traffic. This had been a hot and exhausting day so we were both relieved to get back on the tender to the ship.  When docked off Sorrento the tender was one of the ship's lifeboats.

14th of May - Sorrento

We arrived in Sorrento around midday and viewed the town set above cliffs from the ship.

In the afternoon we took a tender from the ship into Sorrento to just roam around the town, shop and had some rather superb ice-cream which Sorrento is famous for.


In the evening we dined at the Grill restaurant on board ship where we cooked our dinner for ourselves on this really hot piece of black rock.  The food was delicious.

We ended a lovely day in the observation lounge on the ship watching a spectacular Mediterranean sunset.

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

13th of May 2024 - Mount Etna and Catania

We arrived back in Italy in the port of Syracuse before being taking round the town of Catania on the way to visit Mount Etna.  The time spent driving through Catania would have been better spent having longer at Mount Etna though we did have a brief period walking in the Piazza Duomo in front of the cathedral. 

We then drove to Mount Etna which is Italy’s most active volcano. 

I was limited to walking around the visitor area however Ruth kindly gave me some pictures of the Crateri Silvestri that she was able to walk up to. 

Lunch was at the Cantine Nicosia winery after a tour of the winery.  One of the older bottles of wine in the winery had a crown cap which is a first for me.  The lunch was excellent partnered by some of the Cantine Nicosia’s wines.

We had a final view of Mount Etna sailing in the evening from Syracuse to Sorrento.

12th of May 2024 - Malta

Today we went on what supposed to be a panoramic tour of Malta.  Most of the island is heavily built up though there was some countryside to the east of the island.

Our first stop was in Marsaxlokk which is Malta’s largest fishing village.  There was a fish market on the seafront. 

We then drove on to Dingli Cliffs which is the highest point on Malta. 

On the return journey we passed Mdina which used to be the former capital of Malta. 

The tour ended in Mosta with a visit to the Mosta Basilica which was followed by tasting of some local refreshments.

On our return we took some pictures of Valletta from the ship.

With hindsight I should have visited Valletta and Mdina rather than going on the countryside tour of Malta.