Wanderings

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Innocence lost

WE have joined the club of terrorist massacre countries.  A fine French-Canadian gentleman has taken upon himself to open fire in Québec City’s Grande Mosquée while some one hundred were performing their evening prayers: 6 dead, 28 wounded, aged 10 to 60 years.  Just last week, mayor Labeaume, of Québec, was boasting about how safe his city was, not one murder in 2016.  Poor Régis was crying last night while commenting the events.

According to witnesses, the 6 died trying to fight off the shooter.  They should be posthumously decorated for their courage.  We, Canadians, pride ourselves on our tolerance, openness of mind and hospitality.  Diversity, used to say Pierre Elliott Trudeau, is our strenght, and it was repeated last night by everybody. Of course we have our racists and bigots.  These days they are comforted by our southern neighbours president and may be emboldened by his rheroric.   Let’s hope this will be but the act of a lone wolf and no copycat will emulate him.

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Academics and intellectuals, please abstain

Our Prime Minister has revamped his cabinet in an effort to adapt to the incoming Trump administration.  In the process, he replaced his foreign affairs minister, a respected academician and efficient climate change negociator and his immagration minister who organized the Syrian refugees programs, by business persons who have demonstrated some affinities with some Trump nominees.

I can understand his motivations but I fear that he will become subservient to herr Trump.  Trudeau, the father, had freed us of U.S. shackles, I guess Trudeau, the son, will, albeit reluctantly, return us to those shackles.  It would confirm rule number one under Trump:”Say what I want to hear…or else!”

 

Going home

That June 8th, at 1pm sharp, the ship left it’s moorings and headed out of Dubrovnik toward Venice.  We said good bye to the Balkans hoping we could get back…some day.  However when you are in your early 80s and late 70s hope is just about all you have since the future, uncertain at any age, is just more so as you get on in age.

Next morning early we sailed up the watery Venetian boulevards that we had sailed down a week before.  As we progressed, I spotted the MSC Divina following us as we had followed her last Saturday.  We had met her in Bari, but not since.  We had also a nice surprise: docked alongside the boulevard was this beautiful 3 masters.

A fine “au revoir” from a city that built it’s fortune and Empire on shipping and trading and sent Marco Polo all over, or most of, the then known world.

We disembarked at 8:30, the shuttle bus came at 9:30 instead of 9 as announced, (Mussolini, where are you?).  Then we stopped at another pier to pick up Divina passengers, yes the same guys that were on our plane coming in and will be again going out.  After winding our way through the morning traffic we had a picture of the airport that we had not seen coming in.  Last Saturday, it was off the plane, into the shuttle and on the ship, bingo.  Today we got into an overcrowded departure deck and were told we could not check our bagages before 1:30, 3 hours away. so we were directed to the waiting area

outside the building under plexiglass canopies.  Although grey, fortunately, it was not raining.  We took turns going in to the pizza counter to get something to eat (it was very good) on our luxurious stone bench.  At 1:30 pm though we were quickly through the embarkment proces and security.  All the room lacking outside was explained by all the room, past security, taken over by duty free shops and very nice ones at that…but no sitting room;  finally, after some shopping, we went through the Customs (La Guardia di Finanza) desk and walked down to the boarding area…lo and behold, comfortable seats.

Since our plane was way out on the tarmac, we had to board a shuttle bus to get to it.  Photo taken from my seat through the porthole.  We left on time and landed in Montreal slightly ahead of schedule.  But before we flew over the Alps, Italy gave us another beautifull sight

A very nice bye bye..

Just wandering

Hello out there, some friends have asked for details about my last trip to the Mediterranean.  I have chosen WordPress to do so.  so Here is hoping that it will work.

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