Entry 80, June 2nd, 2011, 4:38pm (ship time GMT +2)
I did not get to go to Rome today, which is very disappointing. As you know, the ship docks in Civatavecchia, a port about an hour away from Rome itself. There are buses and trains into the city on most days – but not, as it turns out, on national holidays. Today is Republic day, I think, and the word is that the Italian national transit systems operate on a flexible schedule today. By flexible, I mean that the locomotive engineers drive as far as they feel like going, and then stop for as long as they want – if they've shown up to work at all, that is.
Call me a coward, if you will, but I decided not to wager my continued employment with Royal Caribbean on the ability of an Italian to resist taking a smoke break.
Which means that I am stuck in Civitavecchia for the day. It is an industrial port – I've only explored in one direction from the pier so far, but so far all I have found is a few wharfs, a marina, a couple deserted cafes, and large fish market. The fishing boats are all in dock today, but I saw a couple men in the market repairing some nets.
There's also a little park that seems to exist for no particular reason, sandwiched between one of the old city walls and a hotel (did I mention that a few of the roads cut through old stone walls that have latin inscriptions on them?). It is quite pretty and smells like Lavender. That's where I'm sitting and typing this at the moment. Everywhere we've gone on the Mediterranean coast has smelled like flowers so far (well, except for the parts that haven't. Like the fish market). I can hear a dove cooing somewhere nearby.
Well, it turns out that I went exactly the wrong direction when I left the bus. After an hour of wandering, I came back to the end of the pier and went the other direction. Less than a hundred yards away I found a massive string of cheap restaurants, plentiful internet, and gelato carts. Figures.