A stopgap from the holiday

I really enjoyed Panama, both the capital and the two shore excursions to the mountains of Chiriquí. Everything was perfectly planned. After two weeks, I wanted to fly back and make an appointment at the German embassy during a stopover in Lisbon to apply for a new passport. But things turned out differently. In Boquete, on the hike around Volcán Barú, I received an email asking me if I could acutely stand in as ship’s doctor again on the Emerald Azzurra for about 3 weeks. The colleague who was to replace the current ship’s doctor did not yet have a Schengen visa, which would have been the prerequisite for the planned assignment. Of course I didn’t want to let the shipping company down and agreed. My perfect itinerary was thus cancelled and it was time to say goodbye to Panama and fly to Naples via Paris to board the Emerald Azzurra in Amalfi.

For the first time, I saw Vesuvius up close with my own eyes from a taxi. The drive through the narrow serpentines over the volcanic mountains of the Sorrento peninsula was breathtakingly beautiful and adventurous.

Amalfi was overrun with tourists. But the sight of the houses alone, built steeply one on top of the other as if glued to the rocks, is like a surrealist painting.

In the evening, we headed south towards the Strait of Messina. We spent the next day in Giardini-Naxos at the foot of Mount Etna.

We then drove around Calabria towards Puglia and stopped in Otranto, a small town with a lot of regional tourism and atmosphere and an impressive 10th century fortress: Castello di Otranto, which has been very creatively integrated into the city.

From Monopoli in Apulia we sailed across the Adriatic to Dubrovnik and the next day on to Korčula. I was able to set a partially dislocated index finger joint of one of our guests at the scene of the accident.

The evenings in Šibenik Bay are always worth spending on deck.

Our regular mooring in Zadar was quite busy this time because of a festival of lights.

The next day we spent on the island of Krk. There I had to have a passenger who had fallen taken to the hospital in Rijeka for an X-ray.

In Venice, my following colleague was finally able to get on the plane after he had finally received his Schengen visa.

A few days later we spent a nice evening in Split at the International Folklore Festival, which celebrated its opening night on 31 August.

On 3 September, my “fire brigade” assignment in Dubrovnik came to an end. My colleague was well trained and will safely run the medical centre on the ship for the next few months. I pack my things, take a few more photos and am taken to the airport. Dubrovnik – Frankfurt – After two hours I am back in good-old-Germany.

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