Well I have been in Italy for a while now so I have to have picked up some lingo! Plus I have a translator machine...ahhh technology ! It really helps in restaurants, we have made some interesting (not!) choices without it ! Fish eye soup anyone?
Venice was lovely and still crowded even though it is getting to the end of the holiday season, but the weather Gods have been kind and we are still wearing our summer clothes, our 'just in case winter ones', still at the bottom of our bags.
We have been on the cruise ship for 8 days and today we are at sea, finally a little R & R time, holidaying is a busy business! Our lovely room has all that is normally required including a chauffeur (Captain may not like that?), porter, housekeeper, chef, social director, 4 dedicated personal wait persons each meal, one serving wine and drinks from our unlimited beverage package (still trying to figure out if this was a good thing, when I sober up I'll tell you!). All 4 of us have gained an average of ?? Kilos as, on our first day, they explained the statistics of the food on board and the waste levels and we felt we really should do our best to help reduce that...we are so noble! Anyway, in short, cruising is definitely a great alternative (or really, addition) to our touring these days!! For those who have not tried it, give it a go as your twilight years approach, your back will thank you but maybe not your liver or waistline!
Our first point of call was Ravenna, a typical Italian town with a cathedral, a church or ten, fort, piazza, pizza, bad coffee (yes!) so you have to drink the wine (see it's not our fault). Nice introduction to anyone that had not been to Italy before or had only seen Venice which is definitely not typical.
The second and third days were spent in Dubrovnik and this town was all we had been told to expect by many. A fabulous walled city right on the coast in very good condition even after hundreds of years of weathering, invasions, old and newer wars including the recent horrific civil war in the 90's!! We walked the wall (well almost) which is just under 2 kilometres long with many steps up and down following the natural hilly terrain, wandered the many narrow lanes and streets, saw beautiful architecture inside and out, watched the many boats and beach goers enjoying the seaside and marvelled at man's ability to even think about building such a town in the first place and then actually doing it (several times) without modern technology but with an exceptionally more beautiful result in the detail !!
This and many similar towns, villages and cities is why we keep coming back to Europe, we never tire of the magnitude, skill and age which, being Australian, is not available to us at home and won't be for 500 years or so and I'm not sure what that will look like but have my doubts that the 'Apple' store in Sydney will excite the travellers of that day the way Dubrovnik did for us! Maybe the Opera House and Coathanger will do the job if they still exist, after all they were built with relatively modern technology which may be time-limited. Hopefully 500 years from now Europe, however, will still be proving everlasting for our great, great etc etc descendants!
On our 2nd day we rode the cable car high over the city to really appreciate the complete view. Unfortunately the weather wasn't too kind but we didn't get drenched or blown off the mountain so there is always an upside! Many photos taken and I'm certain 'surefooted' Kev- (not!) - which results in me travelling with my stomach in my mouth when climbing hills/steps, descending hills/steps and on level ground, will supply a few to help you see for yourselves the elevations, beauty and possible disasters that is Dubrovnik! (no OH&S here!)
Enough for now, I am being called to music trivia, as those around me think after 35 of years in the industry I know the answers!! How silly is that!!