Accio Jacksons!

An 11-inch holly blog with a phoenix feather core

November 15: Messina, with an approaching-death experience and a random Caravaggio

by Rebecca on 2008-12-04

Our first port! Messina was supposed to be an easy day. Our ship arrived at 11, one hour earlier than expected. Messina is not that far from Rome, so I still donʼt understand why it took 18 hours to get there by water, when itʼs only 6 hours driving. But anyway, we had a nice morning — slept in, got dressed, ate breakfast in the café. At 11:15, Celebrity hosted a get-together for those of us who had met on Cruise Critic. The party was a bit of a disappointment, though, since our Cruise Director did most of the talking, and we didnʼt really get to talk to each other. But at least now we know what everyone looks like.

At 12:15, we met our tour group to take a bus tour of Messina and its city museum. The bus drove us up and down and all around Messina. At one point we were rounding a corner on a very narrow downhill street when we came face to face with a big truck the size of our bus. There was no way we would be able to pass each other without smashing the cars parked on either side of the street, so our driver threw the bus into reverse and proceeded to drive backwards uphill around the corner and up the street where we had just come from. It was the most impressive driving we have seen in a long time.

We saw the city museum, which had a really random collection of art. But there were a couple of Caravaggio paintings in there, so that was interesting. We also stopped for a restroom/gelato break where we had our first gelato in Italy: chocolate, pistachio, and strawberry. Yum! We also met a nice couple from Pennsylvania who asked William if he was from Norway. His hat is certainly getting a lot of attention on this trip! Our last stop on the tour was Messinaʼs Duomo, which is famous for its clock tower. The church itself was bombed out in World War II and subsequently rebuilt. It has statues of all of the Twelve Apostles and some angel. And we were back at the ship by 4:15.

This time we were a little smarter and found an afternoon snack so that we wouldnʼt be ravenously hungry by dinner time. And it seemed to help quite a bit. And then we puttered around the ship until dinner time. I donʼt think that we will sign up for the late dinner on our next cruise because it throws our whole schedule off. We had a “snack” at 5:00, hamburgers and French fries. So, we werenʼt especially hungry by dinner time. But if we hadnʼt eaten then, we wouldʼve been starving.