We motored out from the main port of Elba heavy with the nation’s decision to leave Europe. We have been sailing in Europe for four years now and crossing a border instantly threw us into a new unique sense of place. The nations are gloriously, indescribably distinct, but the sense of shared values and expectations run through the weave of all. Over our time sailing we have felt the lightening of the load of the recession. Now we just feel gloomy at the futility of the retreat from a bright future. To me it seems a betrayal of the young, who already have not had the advantages of a state willing to invest in their future, which we had. We who ran up the debt they are clearly saddled with, along with all the other monies that have been sidled off the nations books and hidden away for them to sort out at some later date. None of our politicians can stand up with integrity, so why trust them to act alone without the muddled but often mitigating views from a broader conference of nations.
The several massive ferries plying to and fro with the threat of mild peril did nothing to enliven us. Our gloom persisted and hearing from the girls and how sad they all were too made it all the more real. There was enough wind on our quarter for a good sail, but we did not have the heart for it. Probably just as well. For it had risen to a force five by the time we arrived here. We had been allocated a finger pontoon near to all the facilities, which are lavish. So in the end we landed in the lap of luxury. The men John spoke to in the office here said that in Italy the young people were the ones wanting to leave the E U because of not being able to find jobs. These men looked to be in their mid thirties, to us they were young people. I hate to think what they considered us to be.
The marina is set in lovely gardens and across the road from the boats runs a raised terrace, with views across the marina to the sea. Each night ends in a spectacular sunset over the water. The facilities are strung out along this terrace, all within easy walking distance and as it is all covered over art exhibitions line the route. There are several bars and restaurants, all with seating overlooking the panoramic view. Further away and set back are the offices, a laundry, a supermarket and various other shops. There is a bakery, which is also licensed, which John thinks is an idea that should catch on. At the end nearest to the boats is a swimming pool surrounded by loungers set in pairs under parasols, the staff provide towels and will bring you drinks and snacks. Meals even if you want to recline like a Roman to eat. The pool is tiled in black, which looks stylish and mysterious, people’s bodies disappear into it; an excellent feature for those who have partaken of the bakery, as we had. The raised terrace allows a lovely cooling breeze from the sea to wash over you as you lounge. In fact after swimming it felt a bit cold up there till I dried off, all this Mediterranean heat is making us nesh.
So we chilled out and relaxed by the pool for a day, after which the charge down the shin of Italy begins.