Welcome to 2022!

We wish you all a prosperous, happy and healthy new year! 🍀⚓🥂

As suspected, unfortunately, we didn’t have the time to write a post for last weekend…. But we certainly hope, you’ve had a fantastic New Year’s Eve and a good week!

But let me do a short retrospect about what we did on board Luna Azzurra:

On the 25th December, we arrived in Loano as predicted, just before four o’clock. Funnily, the sun came forward when we passed Savona. Before it was pouring down, for at least an hour. So, weatherwise at least, we were on a good path and we were able to unload the car in dry and sunny weather.

We were quickly installed and enjoyed our first glass of wine on board!

The only downside was that our cushions in the salon weren’t there. They are with Maldimare, being newly upholstered. Well, we actually reckoned, that would be the case. Never mind, we improvised with the matrasses from the guest cabins and made it as cosy as possible.

After dinner we watched a film on Netflix and soon went to bed, getting softly rocked into sleep.

We got up with the sun the next morning and even enjoyed our coffee in the cockpit! Incredible, it’s December 😊

Well, I don’t want to go into too much detail, but the following week we accomplished quite a few things. Unluckily, the weather was a bit unstable, with some rainy days in between.

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Among other things, the starter batterie needed to be replaced and later we discovered that the engine wouldn’t start. In the end Patrik had to change the starter relay also. Sadly, the weather changed again, so we were never able to go to the service station to fill up the diesel tank or remove the golden strip on the hull. Tasks for next time!

Instead, Patrik mounted the new batterie monitor at the chart table and the new plotter holder in the cockpit! That will be an advantage when sailing, because it’s turnable.

Annoyingly, we couldn’t install the new cupboard in the galley 😤. We need some kind of bracket to lift the whole thing off the floor a bit, since there are a couple of boards where access is necessary. So THAT was very disappointing…. 🛠

What else? On Tuesday evening we treated ourselves with a visit in a restaurant. Surprisingly, there were quite a few people strolling around, enjoying the outside, walking their dogs, talking to each other, and/or looking for a place to eat. We had no problem to find a nice one, called Lo Spuntino, since we were quite early (just before 7 p.m.).

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Some sunny day we just went for a walk and enjoyed the sunrays on our faces. After we returned to the boat, Patrik took the chance and replaced the two old rubber seals in the deck hatches. One started to leak a little and it would be a shame to ruin the new salon upholstery (…..or having suddenly to sleep in a water bed…. 😱). We also finally managed to mount the push buttons on the sprayhood.

Ah, and we placed the veggie/fruit nets on suitable places and a new cabinet has been installed in the bow head  (that happened on a rainy day again). I even baked a bread once 😋

Well, New Years Eve arrived and we prepared our dinner on board: Vegan shrimps and squids with fried potatoes, veggies and salad. It was very delicious and the white wine went perfectly with it.

We watched a movie afterwards…. unfortunately, I only saw half of it 💤 and shortly before midnight Patrik woke me up *ops* .

Anyway, we managed to open the bubble-bottle in time and welcomed the new year! Around the marina people were cheering and partying. Quite a few boatowners were also there and a firework was shown above Loano 🎆 (which wasn’t necessary if you ask me – poor animals…)!

Shortly afterwards we went to bed – the next day was cleaning- and leaving day 😒

A pretty grey and cloudy day welcomed us in the morning…. We heard that Switzerland had sunshine and up to 16 degrees! So it looked like it was a good day to leave and head northwards.

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The packing and cleaning went quick and we were able to load our car without rain. It was around one when we left and headed for Varese, where a hotel room was waiting for us.

We arrived at the Hotel Repubblica Di Oz Rooms just after three and it took us a while to find someone in charge. As expected, it was a very odd hotel, with a courtyard to park the car (which, once you accomplished the super tight archway, was perfect). Our room – the Napoleon Suite! – was three flights of stairs up (no elevator) and looked indeed like a museum. The furniture are antique and it seems a bit thrown together, but somehow it fits and gives a cosy atmosphere.

It even had a little kitchen, a fridge and the bathroom was very clean with a modern shower. The bed was comfy and soft (which is no Italian standard) and there was even a terrace. This was accessible via a ladder, through the window 😂. A leopard skin was nailed to the wall, opposite the bed…. it must be at least 200 years old, by the look of it and I just hoped it wouldn’t get spooky at night…. 👻🐾

However, the owner was very friendly and spoke good English. He’d even placed a bottle of Whisky on the salon table, as a welcome drink 😉.

After we showered, we went out in search of a restaurant. Unfortunately, the two recommended ones by Patrik’s working colleague, who lives in Varese, were closed. We actually wanted to meet him, but he was in quarantine, due to Corona. Shame!

So it took us a while to find an alternative. We ended up in an ordinary pizzeria, which was almost empty. The service was excellent, though, very hearty and they didn’t hesitate to do a vegan pizza for me! And let me tell you, it was the best vegan pizza I’ve ever had in Italy! Patrik had a Quattro Formaggi and we shared half a litre of the red house wine. (If I remember correctly, the name of the pizzeria is Orchidea).

Two coffees and a grappa later we were ready to leave and head back to the hotel. There we emptied the rest of our prosecco and finally fell into bed……. Buona Notte!

We slept surprisingly good in the slightly squeaking bed 😊

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In the middle of the night, though, I woke up with the feeling that a cat had jumped onto our bed……… 🙄    But I’m sure I’ve imagined the whole thing…..

Anyway, breakfast was served at 09.30 (yes, in our room) and at 11 a.m. we were leaving, heading for the big shopping-centre nearby. We wanted to check it out, for our next trip to Loano. It’s huge and unfortunately, we’ve spent a bit too much time looking around.

When we left around 12.30, the GPS told us we would arrive at home around four o’clock! Perfect 👍

Well, that was the theory, because soon after we entered Switzerland, we sat in the middle of a terrible traffic jam. We finally left the motorway and tried the side roads, but of course we weren’t the only ones with this bright idea…. Apparently, “whole of Europe” was on their way home from their skiing vacation! SUPERRRR…….

In the end it was 5.30 p.m. when we finally opened our front door! Jeez, what a journey!!

Luckily, we both had the next day (03rd January) off, so we could recover and relax (Patrik) and do some washing (me).

In exchange I also had the Tuesday off, whereas Patrik started working *hehe*.

Meanwhile our first week back home and working is over. Patrik had to travel to Poole in England on Thursday and will stay for at least a week.

We hope you had a good start too, meeting working colleagues, exchanging good wishes for the New Year!

Let’s be curious for 2022 and stay positive🔮

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