Of course, as expected, we awoke at 1am, 3am, 4am... By 5am, I gave up trying, and headed out to catch the early morning light! Genoa is a beautiful old port town, with enviable historical buildings, -but a major above-level highway running right through the waterfront area. Despite this division, the old city is still exotic and draws the tourists, although November is the off-season.
My dear old friend from 20+ years ago was able to come down from Milan this afternoon, so we had the most sumptuous dinner together! Lamb, Steak, pasta, Tiramisu. It had all the treats of Italy, and we waddled home satisfied and ready to sleep (Hopefully all night this time!) Tomorrow we head over to Savona to board our cruise ship. Internet there is going to be $10/hour, so blog posts will be less regular, most likely!
For some reason, last night's blog with photos didn't load properly!.. Well, more has happened since then. After a pizza buying experience, where I had to ask which language they preferred before I could begin to order, ("Spanish! Yes, Jose in the back room can speak that, bring him out!") We ate a pizza picnic in our rooms, and then headed out for a walk to see some of the city. It was dark, so I didn't take the camera.. it's a bit too flashy for the back streets of Genova!
We went into a little store to buy our first bracelets.. -we buy bracelets every stop we go when we travel- easy souvenirs to carry!-.. and it happened to be an arabic shop.. Someone else walked in behind us, and the guy at the counter said "Ah a lan wa sa ha lan" and the other man started to reply.. and suddenly the words jumped out of my mouth in reply: 'Al ham du lula, Kaifal hal? Al ham du lula"..
-Which is actually the only paragraph I've learned from my arabic tapes I've been listening to for a few weeks, to prepare for Egypt. .. (It's basically a 'hello, how are you', kind of conversation) It was hilarious to see all their faces go absolutely BLANK white!.. I smiled, and explained in Spanish that I've been studying Arabic for Egypt and it was my first time using it. They laughed then, all 5 guys standing at the cash, but then they stopped talking altogether, in case I knew more than that, and could understand everything they had said about us a few minutes earlier, while we were shopping!.. Of course that's the only phrase I know, so I paid for the bracelets, said "Shukran" and we left.. Iain was embarrassed, but I was laughing all the way home about the fact that I came to Italy and got to use my Arabic phrases on the first night!
In 24 hours we'll be over the Atlantic.. Can't wait to be weightless.. spread your wings and fly away!... perhaps I should just stay up there? Life has been heavy this week, sudden changes in financial security, big and little worries all gathering momentum like a tornado of concern. But tomorrow it will all wash away. There's nothing more to be done once the plane takes off.
I love flying. I was once a Flight Attendant for a year, and getting on a plane now feels so familiar, brings back memories, and it's as comfortable as getting on a bus. I've taught my son how wonderful it is to travel, and he's a great companion on trips. He's a trooper. He drops his child act, and becomes an equal. We are 2 world explorers pulling together to get to the other side. There's no greater experience in life than taking off with my son and sharing the world together. Tomorrow we're doing it again!
Sure there are those who've called to warn of riots in Cairo, Pirates at the end of the Red Sea, and a monsoon that may or may not have passed by the time we get that far south, but hey, if the Mayans are right, we'd better get out there and enjoy the Earth while we still can! Tomorrow's just another Monday. But it's also the starting point -we just need to jump the hurdle of our fears and live life to the finish line!
Well, in just 5 short days, we'll be leaving for our second 'trip of a lifetime!" We begin by flying to Italy (via Paris) and then spend 2 days in Genoa, Italy. On December 1st, we travel to Savona, where we board our cruise ship, "Costa Allegra"
Our first stop will be Naples, ITALY, and we'll visit the edges of Vesuvius, to view the archaeological ruins of Pompei!
Next we'll cross the Mediterranean (1 day at sea) to arrive in Alexandria, EGYPT. We'll have a whirlwind trip of Cairo, seeing the pyramids of course, and the museum in Cairo. Then back to the ship in Port Said to sail through the Suez Canal (Yet another canal!) Then we'll visit Sharm El Sheik, -beach resort on the Red Sea- for 1 day.
We'll cruise through the Red Sea to Luxor, and spend a full 15 hour day seeing all the amazing temples of Karnak, the gods, the Nile, etc.
Onward after that, we sail through the Red Sea, veering to the left, and head up to OMAN. Salalah is our stop there, where we'll go snorkeling and visit the Frankincense forest (one of only 2 still remaining in the world!). The next day we have 4 days at sea, -full of parties, social events and food food food!.. Then we arrive at the Sechelles. Hope I can still fit into my bathing suit by then! 2 days in the SECHELLES, -There we'll visit the Ylang Ylang forests, where the perfume is produced!
then another 4 days at sea to reach MADAGASCAR.
WE have 2 stops in Madagascar, Nosy Be, (big island) and a second island on day 2. Then on to Reunion Island, where we'll climb into the crater of a volcano!
Finally, the month long cruise ends in Mauritius, with a visit to the south of the island to see a lava field, black sand beaches, and other treats!
Our final 2 days will be spent in Mauritius, and then we fly out (on the 28th of December), for 1 night in Paris. From Paris, we'll fly home to Toronto on December 29th!
If you're wondering where we are, just check this blog!
IF time and internet allow, I hope to be posting photos of our journey here, as we travel!
Last summer I was doing some modelling for the MEETUP group of photographers that I run (TO PHOTO). This one was one of my favourites of me, from the day! Great lighting, interesting 'story' to the image. We were at an old western town setup, out in the country. Everyone had a great time, perfect weather, and lots to photograph! I don't remember who sent me this photo, and I'd love to give them credit, so if anyone recalls who took this, please have them email me!!
Hilary Slater: I write in the morning before I get out of bed. I write in the evening when the world is quiet. I write at Starbucks, where I can escape the household interruptions. But most of all I write in November, when NaNoWriMo inspires me!