Garden - Apr/Jun 2016

Another funny year. The end of April found is covered in snow and wondering if spring would ever arrive.

By mid June the fields were yellow in buttercups - the trees lush with leaf and blossom was appearing on the hedgerows.

The first bed to spring into flower was that in front of the woods. Geums - Veronica - Geranium - Aquilegia and Verbascum.

NCL Epic - Western Med - Day 10

Day 10/11 - Sea Day and Home

To conclude this has been most excellent - a near  perfect Itinerary and one I would highly recommend (it seems to only happen once a year as the Epic repositions before slipping into its summer 7 day routine around the Med). We were blessed with fantastic weather which made the alternating sea days on this trip a breeze.

The final full day is also a sea day so lots of dancing and sunbathing on the top sundecks. A lovely lunch from the buffet washed down with wine. That evening we had a great meal in the MDR and then a stroll around all our favourite areas. If I had one small complaint about the Epic its the fact the promenade deck doesn't wrap around and that the internal public areas are a bit clumped together down one large corridor like space.

We inevitably ended up back in the Cavern for the Starlights and Beatles. The Starlights  themselves were almost finished for this season and were heading back home in a week; we had a little chat afterwards to thank them, they seemed very touched that we had turned up night after night to support them.

The Beatles as usual put on another great set - not a single show had passed where they hadn't managed to get the dance floor full.

Click here to return Home

NCL Epic - Western Med - Day 9

Day 9 - Livorno - The port of Florence

After the full day yesterday we decided to take it easy and have a simple day wandering about in Livorno - quite a charming town with its network of canals and fortified harbour. The options here are quite endless but we had ben to Florence a couple of times before after a wonderful holiday in San Gimignano.

The port had a free bus to the gate and the town is covered with handy tourists signs and maps for all the sites so its easy to work out a nice walk along the canals and harbour. Another lovely day so it was nice to escape into the shade of the Church of Santa Caterina to admire the dome and the extensive use of trompe l'oeil in the side altars.

After a lovely morning we took a glorious coffee which came with lots of free cakes in a little shop in the Piazza Cavour. It wins the award from me for best coffee in Italy. We then strolled back to the pick up point and took the free bus back for lunch followed by afternoon tea on the deck as it was still lovely and hot and took advantage of the front top deck.

Dinner that evening was once again in Cagneys. Following this we decided to watch the main show "The Adventures of Priscilla in the Desert" which sounded good in theory - after all its an established West End/Broadway show.

Sadly it was in my opinion badly staged and scripted (with some of the worst delivered and predictable jokes ever) and had all the life sucked out of it due to a terrible backing track - which made it sound more like a cheap karaoke show. We headed back to the cavern for some proper live music.

Click here to continue this cruise