Wednesday, 29 June 2011


As I walked out of the port in Castellammare di Stabia I was trying to look for a taxi but there was none at all. I was a bit perplexed as it was my first time walking about in Italy. As soon as I asked someone for directions I almost burst out laughing as their English sounded exactly like the Mafioso's in the Godfather movies. 

IE at Castellammare di Stabia

Rubbish collectors on strike...

I walked quite some distance until I got to somekind of stop and these small small minivans kept coming and dropping people off and taking other on and they also had a "taxi" sign on top. Finally I mustered my courage and asked fro Pompeii, the old guy who was driving said "Scavi?" and motioned me to get in. There was no meter to mention of.  

Reminds me of Asterix comics


The old minivan kept going and going up and down steep and narrow roads and dropping people off intermittently after they called for it. After some 20minutes I was alone with the driver and he said "momento" and stopped the van outside a shop. He got a couple gallon jars of table wine from the shop and we continued the trip. After some 10 minutes more we arrived the Pompeii archaeological site. 

The ancient Circus

The Circus arena and lecterns

Pompeii was buried in ash and pumice in AD79 from a violent eruption from the Vesuvius volcano. The town city itself was founded around 8th - 6th century BC by Greeks and Phoenicians. At the time of the eruption the city was a considered somewhat of a Roman holiday resort. 

The House of Venus 

Venus herself

The site was still open although the clock was ticking at 5pm, the personnel at the gate told me I'll have 2hrs to have a look around. So, in I went and started walking, the area is actually huge. At first I barged into an ancient Circus where people had been thrown to the lions for fun and gladiators had bashed skulls in. After the Circus followed some other public building and then the city started. 

More wall art

Ancient censor? 
...and more art

I was passing several buildings of which few were open for public display. The houses did not show much else than the walls and the rooms people had been living in those days, AD79. I guess they did not sport much furniture either. The other was the graffiti of the times that we today call art. There were in many places paintings of different motifs in many places. Many times it was with religious connotations and you could see that Roman Gods as well as Egyptian Gods had been worshiped in ancient Pompeii. 

Pompeian cobble stone street

I was running out of time and did not have enough time to walk the ancient town so I had to call it a day and go back onboard. The taxi was still waiting for me as agreed on before I went in and without further ado I asked him to take me back to Castellammare di Stabia.  

The park outside the excavation area

That he did the fast way this time as he took the highway and got me back in 10 minutes or so. He left me at the gate of the port and I was wanting to have a beer at the local tavern so I went across the street to a one table, one chair bar. The barman did not want to notice me so I stopped trying to get his attention and walked back onboard where I enjoyed a Kold Kingfisher instead.

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Valencia - Castellammare di Stabia

Having our business in Valencia concluded we leave on the 27th for Italy for our next engagement. The weather is fine and we embark pilot as usual and clear the "S" bend without any hitches. Soon we are on the high seas setting engines on cruising speed and heading for Italian riviera. The trip is uneventful and we make good speed for our ETA.

Castellammare di Stabia (by Google satellite)

On the 29th morning we arrive Castellammare di Stabia roads and wait for pilot. He eventually embarks and we proceed inside the port. There we make to the jetty on the East side of the harbor. The pilot assures us there is 5m water at the end of the mole. We make sb side to as to make sure there is no possibility of damage to our propellers. 

The outer breakwater and ferry jetty

After making fast the provisions circus starts with several trucks bringing in water, soft drinks, bonded stores, fruits, meat, vegetables, frozen stores etc. We make a chain and everybody pitches in so the galley is soon piled up ceiling high with crates and the Chef's are busy sorting it out and stowing their fridges and freezers.

Our jetty from the outside

Entrance to harbor and Mount Vesuvius in the distance

Having the practical issues dealt with I leave the ship late afternoon to nip into historical Pompeii for some sightseeing before nightfall. The roads in Castellammare di Stabia is full of rubbish, eventually it turns out that the rubbish collectors are on strike. Sounds a bit like my time in Greece.

Castle overlooking Castellammare di Stabia

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Saturday, 18 June 2011

Day on the beach

This Saturday I was invited by Sasha, my Carpenter from Ukraine to join him on the beach for some sun bathing and sea bathing while getting out of the ship to prevent cabin fever. To make matters easier we had also a few pegs of Russian Standard to grease the wheels and soon we are on our way walking to the "playa".

View of America's Cup basin from our agents rooftop office terrace

Visiting cruise ship in the commercial harbor

Sasha on the beach enjoying Kingfisher



Building sand castles can be fun too...


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Sunday, 12 June 2011

Valencia Science Museum

This day decided to visit the Science Museum of Valencia. As it was close by we decided to walk over there, the museum could be seen far away. The pedestrians were not very much favored as we ended plodding down paths in no mans land but eventually we made it on the road to the museum. 

Science Museum

Science Museum

The premises were nice but in the end it turned out not be much to write home about. The exhibits were more directed for kids and not really "museum" like at all. Entrance fee was high considering what was on display and for other interesting exhibits, like the IMAX shows cost additionally on top. 

Grabbing the bull by the horns

Art in front of the English mall

Eventually got fed up and we took a taxi to go see a movie in the old city but all movies turned out to be voice overs so we skipped that plan too as no one fancied listening to Spanish. Then we idled around and ended up walking by the bull fighting arena (Corrida) and the trainstation and then we found ourselves in Chinatown where we stopped in a local bar for a few drinks watching the locals spending time. 

Old town again

The "Corrida" and trainstation

After that we felt hungry and checked out a Chinese restaurant for a feed. The staff was Chinese the food looked Chinese but it wasn't very Chinese if you have been to China and seen what the food is there like, but nevertheless the taste was good.

Beer shack in Chinatown

Valencia streetview
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Friday, 10 June 2011

Valencia Old City

Went walking in the old town of Valencia for about 4 hours, interesting architecture and what they have done with the dried out old river bed. Also the restoring of old buildings is remarkable.

Being touristy I also fell for a 185€ folding knife that was a copy of something highway robbers used in olden times. The knife is hand made by Jose Exposito Picazzo. It was described as: This kind of knife was very much used by the bandits in the end of XVIII and middle XIX centuries. Raw materials used are s/s 440, engraving by etching, alpaca & cebu horn scales.

Bridge over river

The river bed is a park now

Bridge over river

Batman's triumph



Old town

Old town

Old town

Old town

Old town wall

View over "new" Valencia

View over old town

Somebody's terrace

Tiled advertisements

Did not know this was allowed in Spain...

Old church

Above from inside

Above from inside

Glass painting

Post & Telegraph Office

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