Archive for the ‘Gibraltar’ Tag

SOME HIGHLIGHTS: SOME NOT SO …   5 comments

That I haven’t written much here is a good sign – busy cruising and enjoying it,

Some days not so great, but others that are amazing.

Our visit to Civitavecchia (Rome) turned out to be not so great. I don’t like cities, and we’ve already been to Rome, so we didn’t bother to bus into the city. Doug did plan to visit Ostia Antica (sp?) on his own, — always an opportunity for photos. But it turned out the directions he received on how to get there had been correct two years ago, but not now. So he and his camera wandered on shore for a while. In the meantime, I got some work done on “My Father’s House,” (Writing, that is. Not carpentry.)

And Gibralter was no great shakes either. We had been to the top of the mountain on our previous visit, so this time we planned to walk into town on our own. I returned to the ship when I found nothing but high end jewelry stores with some equally high end leather for sale. Got a little more done on “My Father’s House.”

But then came our stop in Cadiz. What a joy! We visited beautiful white villages –“white” because the buildings are really white. Much to photograph partly on guided tour and partly free time. Now that’s the kind of pleasure that traveling is all about.

The next day in the town of Obidos, outside Lisbon, Portugal, we enjoyed equal beauty, though not with equal spirits of adventure. Doug climbed the ramparts etc., collecting photos. I stuck closer to the main route. I’ll just have to include some pictures when I get back home. Unfortunately, as I think I told you earlier, I forgot to bring the cable connector to my computer. Doug has been downloading them for me onto his PC, so, once I come into possession of a thumb drive, I’ll be able to get to work at editing. (“editing” = mostly deleting the disasters.)

I can’t share the same sense of excitement about our free time visit yesterday to Santiago de Compostelo outside Vigo Spain. It’s my own fault, I guess, but I got bored with the expensive and not so expensive shops of jewelry and religious souvenirs. And I must confess, I long ago reached the point where I feel that “I’ve seen one cathedral I’ve seen them all.” (See what I mean. My fault). It was fun, though, eating lunch at a restaurant there. Lovely food, beautifully served.

I loved what I saw of Spain – and it was really Spain. Like the early days of traveling where people felt no need to Kow-Tow to Americans’ limited ability to understand languages other than our own.

The best part of that day was a cappuccino at an outside café in the company of three lovely young Irish women.

And that, nutshell style, brings us up to date. This is our last full day at sea. I love it, though I wish there were more.

And I look forward to the rest of our days before winding up in Amsterdam for a three- day stay there before heading home.

 

I’M CRUISIN’   15 comments

Happy to say I’m back to my traveling self and enjoying every minute.

First, thanks to all of you who left me such kind messages when I wasn’t doing so well. They all really helped.

Now I’m too busy having fun to write in much detail, but a quick run-through. 4/28/16 in Naples, not feeling so great, but still enjoyed the eight-hour drive along the Amalfi Coast. Silently, but still as loud as silence requires, I repeatedly sent out the message that Carol was sending enthusiastic greetings to her relatives in the area. I hope they caught the vibes.

Other standouts: the catacombs in Palermo on the 29th. Fascinating. And on the 30th the Phoenician/Roman ruins of Nora.

Then, whew!, a breather at sea on May 1 – a recuperation, get sort of settled-in day. I love days at sea, but still no time for gambling.

May 2 found us “strolling” on the upper rock – Gibralter. Other’s call it a “stroll.’ For me it’s hurry up to catch up with the crowd, but I didn’t get left behind, and I did enjoy the experience. And walking is so good for my back.

Then Oh My! What a beautiful city is Seville. I mean, really as stunning as advertised. Major beginnings of my musings about the way one culture gets built upon the fading, conquering, and/or destruction of the one before it. Such beautiful Moorish buildings which the conquering Christians re-utilized as their own. Starting with the Romans (or earlier), one can only be aware that each culture thinks it is the never-ending height of culture. The “living end,” until they learn they are not the ultimate. Can’t help but think of our own assumptions about the permanence of our current culture.

Than came the amazing visit to the Picasso museum in Malaga with a super knowledgeable guide. I even came away with an understanding and appreciation of Picasso – working right up to the last day of his life, with still so much left to do. How very short is our individual span.

May 5 made even more concrete the awareness of cultures building on cultures with the beautiful – and fairly recent –excavation of the Roman theater. So many lives; so many cultures; so much confidence in one’s own importance, built one level atop another. What’s next?

Yesterday and today we’ve been in Barcelona, with a city tour yesterday highlighting the fascinating and unusual architecture of the city’s hero, Gaudi, like structures I’ve never seen. Unfortunately, I wasn’t pushing the button hard enough on my camera, so I didn’t get lots of photos I thought I had. Doug has promised to gift me with a couple of his, though.

And today was a visit to the Black Madonna at Monserrat. Spectacular views at the top. Amazing bus drivers in whom we put our trust. ( I remember reading “The Black Madonna.” I can’t remember if Monserrat was one of the sites the author visited in her pilgrimage.)

And tomorrow, a day at sea. One of my favorite things, but a frustration for Doug who likes to be on the go.

Celebratory things are coming up as the maiden voyage of our ship the Koningsdam is recognized, with Christening activities toward the end. I’ll try to get better about reporting.

Once again, thanks for all the nice messages you sent. And believe me, it does feel good to be back to my self.

 

 

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