After the frenetic activities of the last couple of days, it was nice to be able to put the alarm on “snooze” this morning, and it was at the relatively late time of 8.25am when we got up and went out onto our balcony to greet the new day. 🙂
After the usual substantial breakfast in the Windows Café, we pottered around the ship for a while before deciding to go ashore and take a walk into Livorno itself. The sun was shining and it was pleasantly warm with a tantalising sea breeeze. We love looking at ships and yachts and boats, so we thought we’d walk along the harbour, which would also allow us to get some good photos of the Pursuit as well.
As we strolled along, we just followed the signs out of the port and walked in the general direction of the town, looking at the boats and other cruise ships. We crossed a busy road and came to a long street full of shops on both sides. We had a good browse around the shops with the colourful clothing, household goods, stationery items and confectionary. At this point, I remembered I hadn’t get bought any of the traditional holiday sweets that you bring back for your work colleagues, so we went into a shop where they had a selection of what we’d call “pick ‘n’ mix” and I filled a bag with a selection of sweet treats – job done. 🙂
When we got to the end of the street, we decided to walk back down the other side, and we came to a massive indoor market. The building was huge, with a high ceiling and long rows of stalls, it reminded me of a large major railway station. We wondered if that is what the building used to be (a quick look on Google confirmed to the contrary, and here you can read about the mercato centrale ).
We spent some time looking around in the market. There were sweet-scented stalls of fresh flowers, fruit, vegetables and herbs, along with meat stalls and delicatessens and fishmongers with an amazing array of fish and seafood. There were also small coffee shops and bars with tables and chairs set out before them; we therefore decided that now was a good time to have a cold beer and a sit down. 🙂
As we sat there enjoying our beers, we noticed a group of schoolchildren, all in matching t-shirts, being taken around the market by their teacher. When she heard us speaking, she brought the kids over, apologised for intruding, and spoke to the children – one word I recognised was “inglese“. The children were learning English and were very excited to meet us! They asked us questions such as “where are you from?” and listened carefully to our responses. We, in turn, asked them their names and whether they liked sport. At times the kids were all talking at once, all eager to practise their English, and as they walked away they called “Bye bye! Bye bye” and the teacher thanked us.
Shortly afterwards, another group of children with a different teacher came over, and once again the kids were delighted to be able to converse with real live English people. It was a nice little unexpected interlude as we sat there enjoying our beers. 🙂
Afterwards we took a slow stroll back to the ship; my Samsung watch showed me we’d nearly completed our 10,000 steps already. 🙂
Back on board we enjoyed a light lunch in the Windows Café, before returning to cabin 6062 for an afternoon power nap. We then spent some time sitting out at the pool deck for a while and partaking of a couple of drinks each.
As the Pursuit was due to sail at 4.30pm, Trevor went up to the topmost deck to watch the sailaway, while I stayed on my stool at the bar. As the ship slowly moved away from the dock, she gave three long, loud blasts on her foghorn, causing a group of German passengers at a nearby table almost to leap out of their skins! I couldn’t help giggling at the startled expressions on their face. 😀 😀
Then we returned to our cabin and got showered and changed and ready for the next unusual event advertised in The Insider, the daily programme.
Here we were, on an American ship, and they were having a Geordie get-together!! What on earth…? 🙂
Lee, the assistant cruise director, was from Jarrow, on the banks of the Tyne, and indeed we had come across other passengers from the North-East. Strictly speaking, you are only a “Geordie” if you come from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, but as most people in the rest of the country can’t really spot the subtle differences in the different north-east accents, everyone from the north-east tends to be referred to as a Geordie.
We therefore found ourselves, at six o’clock, heading for the Living Room where part of the room had been reserved for us. Lee was waiting for us, along with some others, and a waiter came over and took our drinks orders while we all reminisced, asked each other where we were from (there were others from Durham as well; one couple used to live just a couple of streets away from us!) It was great, and it’s certainly been the first time we’ve ever seen a Geordie get-together advertised in the daily programme on a cruise ship! 🙂
At 7.00pm we went to the Discoveries Restaurant for another delicious meal, washed down with chilled white wine and finished off with an amaretto. The service in the restaurant, indeed all around the ship, is first class.
After dinner we spent the evening in the usual way; a drink or two in The Den before the show. I remember The Den when the ship used to be the Adonia, although it was called Anderson’s Bar then. Here’s a comparison: left is Anderson’s Bar on the Adonia in 2016, and right is The Den on the current Azamara Pursuit.
The entertainment tonight featured the British comedian Chas Burnette again. He was very funny once again, but maybe we preferred his first show. Nonetheless we enjoyed the show a lot. 🙂
We finished off the day, as usual, up in the Living Room, sitting on our stools at the bar, and laughing and conversing with the people we’d got to know: Mark and Alfredo, Pinky, a guy called Jason (who comes from St Neot’s in Cambridgeshire, where our daughter lives!) and others.
Around midnight we returned to 6062 and briefly went out onto the balcony, listening to the gorgeous “shhhh shhhh” sounds of the sea washing against the Pursuit‘s side and looking along the side of vessel as she glided along in the Mediterranean, next stop Nice.
Then we got washed and into our ‘jamas and settled down in our big comfortable bed where, once again, we enjoyed an excellent night’s sleep.