Thursday, November 15th -- The Bus Tour from Hell and a Lovely Formal Evening
On Thursday, we had signed up for YET ANOTHER all day cruise… Again, Roger and D’Arcy had wanted to try the “Corleone Village and Wine Tasting” tour but hadn’t purchased tickets as early as we had.
So, off we were (without our new friends) onto yet another large bus (but seated in the front). This time, we were bus “1”. We quickly determined that this tour guide was VERY annoying. We hadn’t even gotten out of Palermo (where the ship was docked) before we really wanted off the bus. We drove through Palermo and into the hills.
Finally, we got to the town of Corleone, famous for its Mafia connections. We parked the bus in front of a run down coffee house and learned we needed to go in and buy coffee or water to use the (filthy) bathroom. Plus, it was really, really cold!!! Soon, we were marching as a group down the street to head to a church and museum. The recent rains had made stomping through the grape fields impractical.
Now, we were freezing our butts off waiting in a courtyard for the local priest to open the museum. He was much more interested in finding out which Americans were from Houston (since he liked Houston) than in opening the museum… we were COLD!
The museum had stuff used in everyday life in Corleone about 100 years ago…
We were not really interested (I think we were just too tired of being on a tour bus and being cold). Next, we saw the local church which was not impressive from the outside but really quite nice on the inside.
So, now it is around 11AM and we were turned loose on our own in Corleone. We were led to believe that lunch was minutes away but Lisa wanted to try the local pizza (and it was GOOD). I was very glad we had a piece. I went back to the crappy coffee house by the bus and bought a cup of coffee so I could use the restroom again.
Now, we drove for quite a while and then landed at a large winery for a tour. They were determined to show us the barrels and bottling before we had any food. Both of us were really annoyed by now. We did have a wine sampling but none of it seemed very good. It was after 1PM before ANY food was presented. All in all, we were trapped at the winery for over 3 hours before we could take our bus ride back to the ship…
Thursday was the most frustrating day!!! We would have paid good money to have avoided taking that tour. Some other folks just walked off the ship into downtown Palermo and had a pleasant time exploring the city. Too many tour busses can be a very bad thing!
Thursday night was the second formal dinner on the boat (we had skipped the first). So, out came Lisa’s fancy dress and the tuxedo she had asked me to buy for the trip! Dinner was MOST enjoyable with our new friends! We watched the musical show and thought it was fun. We stayed up late drinking and talking with our new friends… it was a good time.
Later that evening, we found a hanging monkey towel creation in our stateroom!
Unfortunately, we were leaving the North of Sicily to have an open sea day to get across the Western Mediterranean. November is getting very late for this and the seas were projected to be very rough on our last day… Things were beginning to move as we went to bed.