Swan Hellenic Cruise Blog Day 4
This morning we woke up to a very wet and windy Livorno. I had pre booked a morning walking excursion of Lucca today so donned my sensible shoes and dug out my umbrella (the ship don’t provide these). I had a quick breakfast in the Veranda restaurant before being called to board the coach for Lucca.
The journey took approximately 45 minutes and the turn out was very good considering the weather. Once within the town walls we left the coaches and could either take the Swan Hellenic guided walking tour or wander around independently. I chose to have a look around at my own pace and stop off for coffee and cake in one of the lovely little cafe that lined the cobbles streets. There was great shopping to be had in Lucca, with small independent shops selling gorgeous Italian leather bags, shoes and belts. I also came across two large squares where they regularly hold their food market. After a few hours wandering around (in the rain) I decided to head back top the coach and get lunch onboard before the afternoon excursion.
My group and I decided to have lunch in the Swan Restaurant this afternoon. A lot of guests opted for a tasty looking shepards pie but I went for the vegetarian option of stuffed peppers. During lunch I decided to forgo the trip to Pisa. I have been before and thought my time was better spent having a wonder around Livorno where I’ve not ever been. I went off with a few others from my group and had an hour or so at the local food market where we sampled all sorts of Italian olives, cheese and oils before heading back to the Minerva to get ready for dinner.
This evening we dined on a table with none other than John Carter, one of the founders and original reporters of the BBC’s Holiday programme when it was launched in 1969. He was very charming and full of stories. It was a wonderful evening despite the fact the waves were picking up more and more. After dinner we made our way to the Wheeler Bar for a drink and further chat with John.