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Lost At Sea

Civitavecchia, Italy


A thirty hour journey was ahead: first, a train journey from Naples to Civitavecchia, from where I could take a direct ferry to Spain. (I decided not to go to Rome, expensive for backpackers and somewhere I have already been to and will hopefully get the opportunity to go to again. I also decided not to stop at either Sicily, Sardinia or Corsica, as these are difficult to see without a car and I felt that I had done enough island hopping and wanted to see as much of Spain as possible.) The train was not too bad, and I managed to have a short conversation of broken Italian-English with a family who got on at Rome seemed fascinated by my trip. I arrived into Civitavecchia in the warm late afternoon and sat down looking out onto the calm water.

The ferry, I soon realised, was going to be a different beast to those I had been using for the first seven weeks of my trip. It was bigger, comprising 11 decks (which, I later noted, was two more decks than hell had circles and the tortures here were even more imaginative), and there were at least five times as many passengers as on any of my previous crossings. These could be roughly seperated into two categories: the 18-30s and the 65 and overs. The latter group occupied the lower decks: the more sedate bars, the casino, the fancy restaurants, etc. The former group mostly occupied the upper deck, a half-in-half-outside expanse complete with bar, seating and empty pool, should you wish to lie by it and pretend you could go swimming. If you wanted to spend time in the sun, this was your only option, and you had to endure the crowds, the sweaty sunbathers, the drunk Italians and Spaniards and the heavy Euro-trance that kept hitting a scratch on the CD and replaying a beat over and over in some kind of epileptic, hypnotic purgatory of sound.

I managed to sleep surprisingly well on the lower decks, surrounded by the elderly and those few younger travellers who were not part of the Italian/Spanish trans-European pub crawl. Indeed, when I woke up, I was shocked to see that it was past midday and I had spectacularly missed breakfast. So, in order to make the most of the sun, I headed upstairs. Yes, I chose to endure the aforementioned hell, but only because I wanted to make the most of a day I would be spending entirely on a ferry, and the only way to do this would be to spend as much time in the sun as possible. Fortunately I managed to find a corner away from the crowds and spent the day relatively quietly.

The day passed quickly, and by early evening we could see the Spanish coast. The sun was just threatening to creep behind the mountains when we disembarked in Barcelona.

permalink written by  BenWH on May 18, 2009 from Civitavecchia, Italy
from the travel blog: Gap Year Odyssey
tagged Spain and Italy

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