Haynes World - ships, ferries, a laugh on the ocean wave, and other interesting things...


SOVEREIGN 24th September 2016 (part 7)

Thursday 29th September 2016
Today we have arrived in Livorno, Italy. I was on deck early to see various comings and goings in the port, in the half-light before sunrise. As MEGA EXPRESS FOUR arrived, I could see work going on in the distance beyond her; I could also see MOBY VINCENT, WORLD ODYSSEY, and AETHALIA. One of my friends and fellow travellers was leaving the ship today so we said goodbye and best wishes on deck taking photographs in the wonderful golden light.

Mega Express Four arriving

Work going on in the yards in the distance

Moby Vincent

Aethalia of Toremar

Moby Vincent leaving

Our decks on SOVEREIGN were being washed down and, as it was not yet time to meet friends for breakfast, I went into the Spinnaker Bar for an early coffee. I was amazed to find it completely empty of other passengers and could take some photographs.

On deck

Early sunshine and coffee in the Spinnaker Bar

In the bar

Empty Bar

Near the entrance

After breakfast it was another sunny blue-sky day. Two of us took one of the shuttle buses into town with the plan to go to nearby Pisa by train.

The poster in the Tourist Office; once I had noticed the big yellow crane to the right/middle of the picture, I thought we were berthed on that same quayside at the breakwater end of it. We were much smaller than the ship in the poster picture!

In the end it was easier to get on one of the many regular tourist coach services, which stopped just a few yards from the shuttle bus stop.

In the city of Livorno

Return Tickets were available inside the nearby tourist office, where I saw and photographed an interesting poster showing an aerial view of the port; we were soon on our way to Pisa in a comfortable air-conditioned modern coach. We had set times to depart and return, but that proved perfectly convenient.

The so-called Leaning Tower of Pisa was amazing to see, and I read that the building of it was begun in 1173 - unfortunately on uneven ground which produced an unintended tilt! It felt good to know that some years ago a British Engineer had been called in to stop any more tilting of the Tower. I have teenage memories of visiting the Tower and being able to take the stairs inside and climb up to the first and second floors, and then walk around outside to view the scenery. Today there were enormous queues to enter the Tower, Baptistry and Cathedral nearby and we were surrounded by probably thousands of other people in this part of the ancient town.


Leaning Tower


That sinking feeling...

A picture in the ticket office

A view of the Cathedral, Baptistry and Campanile (the bell tower)

After taking the necessary photographs, it was decided that a local backstreet cafe amongst shrubs and parasols was just the place to get delicious coffee, so we left the crowds and enjoyed a quiet break.

Heading for the quiet square, past ancient walls

Back in the coach park we could sit on our bus and then enjoy the drive through the tranquil countryside back to Livorno, always with the mountains in the background. Back in town we took one of the historical town walk routes and were amazed at the sights and smells in the Fish Market, the food market, the big public square and then along various canal tow paths, including past the old fort.

The Central Market in Livorno; it opens very early in the morning, and was closed by the time we arrived after 2 p.m. but the smell of fish lingered...

Port for sale

Wonderful building

Looking down from the city walls outside at the water and fish

View along the canal path

A huge public square

With statue

Canalside again

Looking in the other direction

Further along, with lovely reflections under the hot sun

Along further, watching the fisherman on the canopied boat, and who occasionally tossed a piece of fish to the hopeful gull nearby

Looking towards the Fort

Back on the ship I could take photographs of port activity.

Bunkering Norwegian Epic

Mega Express Four and World Odyssey

Mega Express Four and Moby Aki

World Odyssey (ex-Deutschland)

Teak rail, hot sun, ships and city

Cruise Smeralda arrived

Going astern to her berth

Once back on the ship life continued in its usual relaxed way, with tea and chats with other travelling companions, followed by another enjoyable evening.

Ships seen: Sovereign, Norwegian Epic, Moby Aki, Moby Vincent, Mega Express Four, World Odyssey, Aethalia, Cruise Smeralda

To be concluded...