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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Trip to Spain - Roma, Italy to Marseilles, France

Weather:  beautiful sunny skies but blustery on the ship and on hills.

People were out at all the sidewalk cafes basking in the sun.  Nearly all the umbrellas at the tables were not deployed.

Let's step back a bit.

About the Euro.  It's so convenient now instead of dealing with a new currency every time you enter a new country.  The Euro paper money is easily recognizable for their denomination, but the coins....not so much.  You'd THINK they would make each coin very different from the other so they're easily distinquished.  In the USA, over the years, they kept trying to make dollar coins but the idiots who designed them, along with the idiots who approved them, made them too much like a quarter.  Well, it's not a whole lot different when dealing with Euro coins.

The 2 'dollar' Euro looks too much like the 1 'dollar'.  It's a smidget larger.  They both have the same coloring, but reverse of one another.  The 2 has a silver band with a gold inner circle, whereas the 1 has a gold band with a silver circle.  I have to read each coin to verify what I have by the number 2 or 1 printed on it.

The 50 cent piece is the same size as the dollar piece but it's a solid gold color.

The 20 cent piece is darn near a twin of the 50, just a teeny weeny bit smaller.  Again, I have to read the coin to tell what I have and the color makes it difficult to read the number.

The dime is smaller than the 20 cent...okay.  But, next you have the 5cent piece which is LARGER in size then the dime.  At least it has a copper color over the silver.

The penny is also copper like the 5cent piece, but it's teeny tiny like the size of a dress shirt button!


If you're a stickler for detail, you may have noticed I didn't blog about Florence/Pisa.  That's because I didn't go.  The ship went, I didn't.  When they changed the itinerary due to bad weather, I only had one day to book an excursion.  I somehow goofed in reading the information sheet and thought I could go see the leaning tower of Pisa by dashing into town where the ship would be docked.  Florence, on the other hand, required a tour involving a train ride to the city, so I opted for the simpler choice...Pisa.

Well, when I went to the desk to ask how I hop transport into town, the ship agent told me it wasn't possible, that Pisa required an excursion and the town we docked at was Livorno.   POOP!!!!   Well, I didn't know anything about Livorno and just decided to stay on the ship, get some blogging done, soak in the hottub and nap.   Normally, I would get all bummed out over missing the opportunity to see Florence or Pisa.  But, then I realized we were never scheduled to go there in the first place so it wasn't like I was missing something I had been planning on seeing ever since I booked in June.

We were over an hour late arriving in Toulon, France due to slowing down through the storm during the night.

Coming into the bay near Toulon, France.

The pilot boat who brought out a captain to steer the ship into port.



Tugboat maneuvering us into the dock....well...alongside it!!!

I had the choice of going to St Tropez but wasn't in the mood for looking at ritzy stuff.  Ditto when I was in Naples, there was an excursion option for the Isle of Capri.  Both places Eartha Kitt sang about, but...can't do everything!!

This photo was taken while on the tour bus along the way to Marseilles, France's 2nd largest city (approx 1 million population) after Paris.

Unfortunately, we had a tour guide who didn't shut up the entire 1 hour+ drive into the city.  My head hurt.
On the way back, he kept promising to stop talking but 5 minutes later he would interject something...pointing out a site he already pointed out on the way in.  OI VEY!!!

We had to get off the bus and climb about 100 stairsteps to reach the Basilica Notre-Dame de la Garde.









































It's a relatively young puppy compared to all the others I've seen (only 150 years old).






One of the overhead domes.

Intricate floor tile.  I want my bathoom like this!
Altar



Downstairs in the crypts.




Down at the wharf looking back to the hill and the Basilica.


The (very wide) waterfront promenade.  On the opposite side, lining the fronts of buildings were countless outdoor cafes where people hung out to bask in the sun and have a cappucino or beer.




I enjoyed a nice lunch at this corner cafe.




Uh Oh...a full moon arisin.  I need to run and hide in a corner.
Back aboard the ship and sunset.


...to be continued.  On to Barcelona!!!

Dano

1 comment:

  1. Wow what a beautiful Europe trip. Photographs tell everything, specially photographs taken from ship. Also I love every pic you shared in this blog. Thanks for sharing your Europe trip with us.

    ReplyDelete

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Cuenca, Azuay, Ecuador
This is all about my transition from an American lifestyle and culture to my newest adventure, life in Cuenca and greater Ecuador. I'll be recapping some of my day-to-day experiences (and mishaps) to highlight what it's like to live here.

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