3 Oct Livorno (Pisa), 4 Oct 2014 Toulon, France

3 Oct 2014 Livorno (Pisa)
Peter got up early and had breakfast and a walk around. I slept in a little then had breakfast and went to the gym. They have all the machines I need. It is very well equipped.

Back in the room we have a new attendant cleaning so I go for a walk.

Our tour doesn’t start until the afternoon so I did a load of washing (necessary evil). Not my idea of a good way to fill free time! You use your cruise card to get tokens to work the machines. $3 per wash or dry. I had to go up 2 levels to find an empty machine though. They are on every level.

I watch Billy Joel in concert on the big screen on the top deck at 11am and Peter joins me there. Lunch at 12 noon. We sit and watch the containers moving around the port out the window.

Out at 1.20pm for our tour of Pisa. A full bus travels from Livorno (the port) to the parking area and we get in a little ‘train’ for our tour. Unfortunately it is a bit squishy with 4 to a seat on some rows. Our restaurant base (Il Turista) has free wifi and we are more excited about that than the tour! The ship’s internet is very slow and very expensive. I manage to update my photos and blog on my laptop in about 10 minutes while Peter looks around the town. The other recommended restaurant to eat at is Subway!

We meet at the white statue in front of the leaning tower for a selfie. He’s already seen everything so I walk around to see the Duomo, Baptistery and Campanile (the leaning tower since 1173), which is the cathedral’s bell tower, then meet him back at the restaurant. I bought a beautiful white cotton nightie from a little shop on the way. My nightie was turned into shreds in the washing machine (it had a rip in it already).

We all pile onto the ‘train’ again and do a whirlwind tour of the town of Pisa outside the old city walls. Onto the bus and back to the ship by 5.15pm. Not my favourite way of travelling but the walled city of Pisa is very beautiful.

We went to see the show ‘Bravo’ which included some opera and tunes from famous shows. They had a guest opera singer as well as the Princess singers and dancers. It was quite spectacular. I also went to see a murder-mystery whodunnit with some of the crew acting out the crime. The audience got to guess the killer. I guessed correctly but not the motive!

4 Oct 2014 Toulon
Up for breakfast. Just as well I didn’t see the chocolate buffet! Off to Bandol sur la Mer today by bus with plenty of others. We met another couple from Sydney who are also staying in Barcelona for 4 days. Travel to Sanary sur la Mer and have coffee at La Ptite Fbri’k. It is very busy as it is market day and the bus is restricted on where it can go. We walk along the foreshore and I go up high to see 10 stations of the cross. Then back on the bus to Sanary sur la Mer. They are gorgeous little French villages with big harbours and many yachts.

Back on the ship we stop for lunch. They have an enormous crocembouche (profiteroles) but we only have one each. I rush out again and hire a bike to go to the town of La Seyne sur Mer where the cruise ship is docked. It costs only 7 euros for 2 hours. It is a gorgeous day and I loved every minute of it. I pass a fort and mussel house in the bay and nearly get to St Mandrier but it is too far and I go back but not before I stop at La Corniche (sea road) to have a ponnes ou apricot tarte (apricot tart with custard) at a patisserie on the way.

Dinner at Symphony for the last time with Rinaldo, the waiter. Tried out the champagne we won in the trivia contest. Not bad! The waiters paraded bombe alaskas as is their tradition, thanked the staff and marched off. Then off to the last show – Nik Page – a singer and drummer from England. Not my cup of tea. Now I have to pack. Boo hoo.

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