Thursday, 16 November 2017
Sunday 1st October 2017, Monfalcone
After that visit to the MuCa, we headed for local viewing areas so we could take photographs of the two new MSC ships in the Fincantieri shipyard. Finding somewhere with public access proved slightly difficult but eventually we found a small creek with a short boardwalk. I remembered the tune from The Drifters song (Under the Boardwalk) and, although it wasn't strictly accurate, I amused myself by walking along and humming it.
The views across this part of Panzano Bay to the Fincantieri shipyard were rewarding and we could see MSC SEASIDE and just the stern part of MSC SEA VIEW over the water. We could also see a couple of Grimaldi vehicle carriers, SPES and GRANDE DETROIT, although they were partly hidden by trees.
From the boardwalk I could see the remains of what looked like an old boat on a nearby grassy bank, in complete contrast with the nearly completed MSC SEASIDE in the shipyard - Ancient & Modern personified perhaps.
After many photographs were taken, we had to head back to the hire car and take to the road again, this time to the fabled city of Venice. We waved farewell to the shipyard, to the eye-catching water tower that somehow managed to survive war damage, the MuCa Museum with its details of the great entrepreneurial Cosulich family, and this delightful part of the Italian coast.
To be concluded...
Wednesday, 15 November 2017
Sunday 1st October 2017
The second day of our weekend started with breakfast in the Panorama Restaurant in our SAM Hotel in Monfalcone. The Hotel accurately described it as a room on the top floor, where glass walls and ceilings guarantee superb views. The sun shone down again from a cloudless blue sky, and we could see the two MSC ships in the Fincantieri shipyard beyond some trees and rooftops. We could also see the white-painted Water Tower that was so noticeable yesterday.
We checked out of our rooms, admired several items in the Reception area, and returned to the hire car in the street outside.
Our next plan was to visit the Museo Cantieristica Monfalcone (known as MuCa), which was in a restored building very near to the entrance to the Fincantieri shipyard.
It is located on the ground floor of a building originally conceived in 1920 as accommodation for unmarried workers not living in Monfalcone but working at the shipyard. It was bombed in the war, but in 2010 it was restored and developed; it is located in the Panzano district, known as the 'company town' and originally built on the initiative of the Cosulich family. The Museum was only opened earlier this year, 2017.
The MuCa exhibition is divided into 4 Thematic Areas:
* The city, the housing, social services, wars
* The yards, the entrepreneurs, the companies
* The factory labour
* Ships, collateral production, the corporate image
and we enjoyed seeing many of the details around the exhibition route. There were some wonderful and beautiful pieces of artwork in the rooms.
I have many memories from the visit, including watching and admiring the very deft handling by my friend of one of the cranes used at the shipyard. From a central control station the visitor can 'pilot' the crane, lift and put cargo on the deck of a ship, move along the dock and observe the famous SATURNIA motor ship still under construction. It was not as easy as it looked!
After that visit, we headed for local viewing areas so we could take photographs of the two new MSC ships in the Fincantieri shipyard.
To be continued...
Saturday, 11 November 2017
Tuesday, 7 November 2017
Saturday 30th September 2017 (continued)
We were finally taken back to the shipyard entrance, handed in our hard hats, and thanked our guides for a wonderful afternoon.
Maurizio drove us back to town where we parked and then walked along to the Metamorphosis Exhibition.
There were lots of people around and many were going into the Galleria. We followed them into the venue.
Immediately we could see model ships, pictures of ships, a video playing on a large screen at the other end of the hall, books for sale, leaflets about the Exhibition, and lots of exhibits that immediately attracted our attention. One of them was the good ship OCEANIC, which Home Lines (founded by the Cosulich family) had originally intended to be a liner, but later became the first modern passenger ship to be intended exclusively for cruising. She was launched in 1963.
Over an hour later we said our goodbyes and left the wonderful Galleria. It had been a fascinating experience to visit the Exhibition and follow the explanations of the Metamorphosis of the Company and Shipyard from Liners to Cruise Ships.
Maurizio drove us back to our hotel for a chance to drop off various souvenirs and quickly prepare to go out again, this time to drive the short distance around the bay to Trieste for dinner. We parked and walked along part of the promenade, familiar to me from my first visit here in November 2014 before sailing on COSTA DIADEMA on her maiden voyage. (See blog piece with more details.) She was built by Fincantieri and now I have experienced their Monfalcone shipyard at very close quarters.
One of the brightly lit buildings was the old Fish Market and we made a quick detour inside; Maurizio is to lecture there in a few days time, and he wanted to show us the inside of this converted building. Inside we were introduced to a Mrs Cosulich, and then to her husband, and she mentioned that she was involved with the arrangements for the annual boat festival of Trieste - the Barcolana. This is an historic international sailing regatta taking place each year in the Gulf of Trieste, with the highlight being the event held on the second Sunday of October. It must be an extraordinary sight, to see so many little sailing vessels in the Gulf. I've read that about 25,000 sailors take part (www.barcolana.it) during the weeks of the Regatta.
There were huge advertising pictures showing on the screen in the vast hall, and then I was offered a Virtual Reality experience for 3 minutes! I sat and had a headpiece placed on me, and suddenly I was sitting on one of the racing boats with a 360⁰ view of everything going on around me on the water! It's one thing to know about new technology, but even more fun to experience it.
We left the Fish Market reluctantly but had to get to a local side street restaurant for a dinner booking. We all enjoyed a freshly cooked and presented meal, as we discussed the events of the day. We had done many interesting things and were so glad to have made arrangements to visit the Metamorphosis Exhibition - which turned into many more events.
Tomorrow we plan to visit the Museo Cantieristica Monfalcone whilst it is open in the morning, take photographs of the MSC ships in the Fincantieri shipyard from local viewpoints in Monfalcone and then head to Venice to see what we can see.
To be continued...