Monday, 29 July 2013
COSTA CLASSICA 12th April 2013 Izmir, Turkey
Friday 12th April 2013
We arrived in bright hot sunlight in the vast bay that is Izmir, Turkey. We berthed alongside, saw local ferries all around, anchored container ships, a vessel in the far dry dock, and tugs in the nearby cut. The mountainsides are densely covered in tall flats and other buildings, all around, as far as the eye can see.
After disembarkation I went for a walk along the pavement near the sea side,
and then turned into the town area, which was interesting. At one point I heard shouting and saw flags being waved amongst a crowd of people, so made a sharp turn away from whatever might be happening there. A man was pulling a large chest freezer along the pedestrian roadway at the time, and he just carried on with his task, passing easily through the crowd as it parted to let him through.
My friend had been invited to visit a ship-breaker at Aliaga, further north up the coast, but I declined that invitation for myself. As a maritime journalist he found it fascinating; (he saw ANTIC ex ATLANTIC STAR, FAIRSKY etc., and VENUS ex PERLA, SOUTHWARD etc. as well as others) and we have all read about the ship breaking yards there and seen internet pictures of favourite ships. Indeed, COSTA ALLEGRA had recently been broken up there, and souvenir items were made from some of her metal. One of these small items was brought back to me, on the ship, as a gift from the ship breaker, as I had sailed on her with friends in November 2011. (See my blog pieces for Costa Allegra January 2012) Life certainly takes unexpected turns.
We sailed from Izmir mid-afternoon, this time with hundreds more passengers who had embarked here, in place of those who had disembarked.
Costa is unusual in that they offer several ports of embarkation on their cruises, but they back this up with coaches to and from local airports if required, at a reasonable extra cost to their passengers.
Ships seen: Poyraz the tug, Nl 125, MSC Sabrina cargo ship, container ship Green Fast, Orkun Kalkavan container ship of Turkon Line, ferry Venus 1, Yalova 1, Efendi Baba
Saturday 13th April 2013
This is a day at sea, so calm and lovely. I started the day by joining the Cruise Director Daniela beside the Central Pool on Deck 11, just below the Disco, to do a Healthy Walk which included stretching exercises for arms and legs. It was fun to do, and I thoroughly enjoyed my breakfast afterwards.
Various things available to do on board today included seeing the ubiquitous Inch of Gold on sale, making costumes for the evening’s Carnival Party, a Talent Show, a Fashion Show, a Costa Cruises quiz, Salsa dance lessons and a Free Footprint Clinic. That clinic sounded intriguing so I went along to the Caracalla Spa up on Deck 11, and was taken into a small consulting room. I removed my sandals and then had to walk over sheets of paper on top of inked boxes below the paper. The imprint of each foot was shown on the paper, and I was able to keep these. The young consultant of course wanted to try and sell me some products but I was happy with the footprints, and my feet were still as clean as when I started.
To be continued....