Instead of purchasing a shore excursion for this port, we decided we'd just explore the city on our own. After breakfast we left the ship and navigated a small gauntlet of locals offering taxi services and tours. We decided to sightsee via a hop-on-hop-off bus, so after looking at a couple of different options we bought tickets and walked a short distance to the bright red bus parked just outside the port area.
It took a while for the bus to fill up and get going, but while we were waiting the guide passed out ear bud headphones that would allow us to plug into the sound system and hear the commentary in one of six different languages. Unfortunately, when we got going I figured out that the system on the back of the seat in front of me was static-filled. I could understand enough to get by, though, and enjoyed riding by the historic attractions. In my area 'old' is considered 250 years, and I had a hard time contemplating the timelessness of the centuries-old things I was seeing.
The sanctuary was modest, but beautiful. There were several other people doing the same thing we were, and Tony and I wandered around admiring the building's statues and multiple side chapels. Before long I realized I needed a bathroom break. I went back to the front door, and asked the woman where I might find one. All I got in return was a blank stare. I don't think she spoke any English, and my Italian is limited to just a couple of words. I tried asking for the 'baño' and got the same result. The woman must have read into my expression, though, and when she asked "pee pee?" I enthusiastically nodded. She had the girl guide us to the far recesses of the building, where there were two rooms labeled W.C. I used the seatless toilet and flushed it with the foot pedal, then washed my hands in the small sink. When both Tony and I were done the girl was waiting to guide us back to the church.
As we made our way towards the door the church bells pealed the call to worship, which indicates that Mass will be starting soon. Tony and I looked at each other, and quickly decided to stay and join in.
|church shortly before Mass started|
When Mass was over we walked back to the shuttle stop. We must have just missed a bus, because we had to wait for almost a half hour in the hot, humid sun. By time the next bus came all we wanted to do is go back to the boat, have lunch, and cool off.