S: 2013 Mediterranean & Greece Cruise
1: Sunday 5/19 - Barcelona, Spain Monday 5/20 - Cruising Tuesday 5/21 - Livorno (Florence), Italy Wednesday 5/22 - Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy Thursday 5/23 - Cruising Friday 5/24 = Cruising Saturday 5/25 - Piraeus (Athens), Greece Sunday 5/26 - Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey Monday 5/27 - Santorini, Greece Tuesday 5/28 - Cruising Wednesday 5/29 - Naples (Salerno), Italy Thursday 5/30 - Cruising Friday 5/31 - Barcelona, Spain | Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas
2: Barcelona Spain
4: Does it get any better than this?
5: "Havin' a good time" wave & drink
6: The Centrum
7: So many to choose from...so little time!
8: Never stop exploring | La Spezia, Italy
9: Cinque Terra, Italy | Manarola
14: Monterosso al Mare | Our young wine tasting steward!
15: Pasta with Pesto sauce...wine...life is good!!
18: The white on the mountain is marble not snow
19: Italian Riviera countryside
20: Anguillara on Lake Bracciano
24: Winery in Cerveteri.
25: Port of Civitavecchia, Italy | Local fisherman
26: The Strait of Messina is the narrow passage between the eastern tip of Sicily and the southern tip of Calabria in the south of Italy. It connects the Tyrrhenian Sea with the Ionian Sea, within the central Mediterranean. At its narrowest point, it measures 1.9 mi wide.
31: Port of Piraeus is the ancient name of the harbor created in the early 5th century BC. Today it is the main port for the Greek capital city, Athens | Stadium erected for the Olympics | Greece
32: Panathenaic Stadium is the stadium that hosted the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896. The stadium, first built in 330 B.C., is made of white marble from the mountain Penteli and has a seating capacity of 45,000 for the concerts and events.
33: Odeon of Herodes Atticus In ancient times, an odeon (or odeum) referred to a concert hall, which was usually smaller in size than a typical theater and often covered with a roof. Herodes Atticus was a wealthy Greek aristocrat and Roman senator. In 161 AD, he built an odeon on the south slope of the Acropolis in memory of his wife. The odeon had thirty-two rows of seating and accommodated 5,000 people. It was built similar to Roman theaters, with a semi-circular orchestra (stage) paved with black and white tiles. A cedar roof was built over the theater, improving the acoustics. The roof had no support columns, at the time quite an architectural achievement. The building's large facade had four arched stories, three of which are still partially visible. Niches contained statues of the nine muses.
34: Views of Athens from the Acropolis
35: Acropolis The word acropolis means "highest point". Most Greek cities had their acropolis, where people sheltered during war times and where they built their sanctuaries. Today the term refers specifically to the Acropolis in Athens, a 156 meter (512 ft) high limestone rock. Here Athenians built magnificent temples, most of them dedicated to the goddess Athena, patroness of the city. In 480 BC the Persians destroyed all the buildings on the Acropolis. Some parts of the ruined Athenian temples were incorporated into the northern wall and are visible today. After the defeat of the Persians in 479 BC, Pericles initiated a huge building project at the Acropolis, lasting more than fifty years. The Parthenon, the Propylaea, the Erechtheion, and the temple of Athena Nike, all of which still exist, were erected during this period by those who were considered the greatest architects, sculptors and artists of their time. | Buildings on the Acropolis Propylaea Temple of Athena Nike Parthenon Erechtheion
36: Propylaea The gate and main entry to the Acropolis is formed by the Propylaea, designed between 437 and 423. They form the entrance to the holy district and are flanked by halls in the north and in the south; the southernmost one never has been finished. The entrance hall, carried by columns, represents the Doric as well as the Ionic style, which is a little more recent. The Doric front columns in the center are about 9 m high and therefore a little bit lower than the Ionic ones in the entrance hall, those being about 10 m high The natural entry to the Acropolis was located on the rock's western side. It was there that the construction of a complex with three wings instead of a Propylons was begun (6th century b.C.). In its northern part, there is the Pinakotheke, the right wing has allowed the conception of an alleyway to the hall of Athena Nike. A building with two symmetric constructions was planned. Those made possible the creation of the forecourt, together with a benching opened towards west. In opposition to the great possibilities of construction that offered the northwest area, the plans in the southern part failed because of the closeness of Athena Nike's Sanctuary, and the ruins of a Mycenean fortress. Also, the area's unevenness did not allow more than the construction of a hexastyle faade, that is, one with six columns in its front. Here one should hold on and become conscient of how marvellously Ancient master-builders have adapted the whole area to the uneven ground. The Pinakotheke could be finished with representations of the Trojan War. The difference of height at the hillside was compensated by a ramp.
37: Temple of Athena Nike The Temple of Athena Nike ("Victorious Athena") in Athens was the first Ionic structure to be built on the Acropolis. The temple was begun around 427 BC and completed during the unrest of the Peloponnesian war. It was built over the remains of an earlier sixth century temple to Athena, demolished by the Persians in 480 BC. The decision to build Athena Nike was an expression of Athens' ambitions to defeat Sparta and become a world power. Constructed from white marble, it was built in stages as wartime funding allowed. The temple's small size was compensated for in its position, resting on a rocky outcrop, positioned so the Athenian people could worship the goddess of victory in hope of prosperous outcomes in the war's endeavours. Once the temple was completed the Athenians added a protective parapet to express their determination and hope for final victory. The Temple of Athena Nike stood untouched until it was demolished in 1686 by the Turks, who used the stones to build defenses against the Venetians. It was later completely reassembled. Today, the main structure, stylobate and columns remain largely intact, but the temple is missing a roof and most of the typanae.
38: The Parthenon The Parthenon (Greek: ) in Athens is the most famous surviving building of Ancient Greece and one of the most famous buildings in the world. The Parthenon has stood atop the Acropolis of Athens for nearly 2,500 years and was built to give thanks to Athena, the city's patron goddess, for the salvation of Athens and Greece in the Persian Wars. The building was officially called the Temple of Athena the Virgin; "Parthenon" comes from the Greek word parthenos, "virgin." Throughout its long life, the Parthenon has functioned most importantly as a Greek temple, but has also been a treasury, a fortress, a church, and a mosque. Today, it is one of the most recognizable icons and popular tourist attractions in the world.
39: Erechtheion The Erechtheion or Erechtheum was erected between 421 and 406 BC at the most sacred place of the Acropolis. This is where the gods Poseidon and Athena battled for the right to be patron deity of the city. Each would give the city a gift, and then the people could decide which gift they preferred. ErechtheionPoseidon planted his trident in the rock, creating a salt spring. Athena planted an Olive tree. Since the water from the spring was salty, the Athenians chose the Olive tree, which they could harvest and as a result Athena became the patron deity of Athens. temple was named for Erechtheus, a mythical king of Athens and was dedicated to both Poseidon and Athena. Construction of the building started in 421 BC, and it was completed fifteen years later. Inside the temple's cella stood an ancient, wooden statue of Athena which according to legend, had fallen from the sky. Porch of the CaryatidsThree porticos led to the inner chambers of the cella. The most famous is the iconic porch of the Korai, better known as the porch of the Caryatids. Here the Ionic columns are replaced with statues of young girls. In their hands they held plates, now lost.
41: Buildings and sights around Athens
44: Ephesus, Turkey Kusadasi became a major port -- claiming 250,000 residents during the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.D. -- in the Roman Empire. About 27-square-miles of awesome, excavated ruins lure visitors past houses, shops, a tavern, a bordello, columns, and even to the toilets, whose rows of cutouts in long marble slabs above mosaic floors provided businessmen places to socialize. The iconic faade of the library of Celsus, completed about 125 A.D., displays intricately carved columns and pediments. The library could store 12,000 papyrus scrolls in niches, read through slots. Despite earlier destruction, it was rebuilt in the 20th century. A Jewish menorah carved into one of the library's steps attests to a Jewish community's existence. The more recently excavated, multi-level, Terrace Houses -- dating from the 1st century B.C. -- demonstrate how wealthy Ephesians lived in homes decorated with mosaics and vivid frescoes. The Ephesus Museum showcases statues of leaders and 50,000 works, including medical instruments and jewelry Kusadasi is a resort town for locals, and repeat visitors will find much of interest beyond Ephesus. The port, Scala Nuova, is right in town. Archaeology addicts find other excavated sites close by as well. Christian and Muslim pilgrims flock to the stone house where many believe the Virgin Mary stayed. You can also visit the Basilica of St. John, where the saint is buried. The 25,000-seat Grand Theatre is where Paul preached to the Ephesians. Shakespeare alludes to St. Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians in his Comedy of Errors. Still known for its exceptional acoustics, the amphitheatre has hosted Elton John, Pavarotti, Diana Ross, and Sting. Turkey's typical fare such as sis kebabs (mostly lamb), dolmas (stuffed vegetables), boreks (stuffed savory pastries), and baklava (buttery, nut-filled pastries dripping with honey). At cocktail hour or lunch, sample mezes, small servings of items such as grilled sardines, lamb meatballs, roasted eggplant, and stuffed grape leaves. And, of course, thick Turkish coffee -- although many locals prefer tea.
48: ODEION Small theater used mainly for political meeting and concerts It was built around 2nd century AD and the roof was covered with wood. It held1500 people.
49: THE VARIOUS BATHS were built in the 2nd century AD. It is built of cut blocks of marble and has 3 sections - cold water, warm water and hot water.
50: THE POLLIO FOUNTAIN Built in 97 AD the water was brought to the fountains through aqueducts and distributed from the fountains by a branching systme of baked clay pipes | The romans sealed the clay pipes with a mixture of egg whites and
51: Temple of Domitian built in the 1st Century AD is located just across the State AGora in the most central part of the city. There were shops on the ground floor and the temple was at the terrace | A frieze of Nike giving a wreath of victory to the Romans | This was the City Hospital whose entrance was marked with a staff intertwined with a serpent which is a sign of the Greek god Asklepios, the god of medicine.
52: HERCULES GATE Named because of a relief of Hercules on it. It was brought from another place in the 4th century AD but the relief dates back to the 2nd century AD. The gate narrowed the access to the street preventing vehicles from passing. Only the 2 side columns remain. | Statue of Curetes found along the street named after him. | Backgammon game board. | THE FOUNTAIN OF TRAJAN The fountain was erected between 102 and 104 A.D. in honor of the emperor Trajan. and the statue of Trajan stood in the central niche on the facade overlooking the pool. The water was flowing from the pedestal of Trajans statue to the fountain
53: Looking down Curetes Street toward the library.
54: THE TEMPLE OF HADRIAN The temple was erected around 118 AD and was dedicated to the Emperor Hadrian, who came to visit the city from Athens in 128 A.D The facade of the temple has four Corinthian columns supporting a curved arch, in the middle of which contains a relief of Tyche, goddess of victory. The side columns are square. The pedestal with inscriptions in front of the temple, are the bases for the statues of the emperors between 293-305 CE, Diocletian, Maximian, Constantius I, and Galerius; the originals of the statues have not been found yet. | LATRINA The latrina built in the first century A.D. are the public toilets of Ephesus. The toilets were ranged side by side with no partition between them. The floor was paved with mosaics. They were part of the Scholastica Baths and built in the 1C AD. They were the public toilets of the city. There was an entrance fee to use them. In the centre, there is an uncovered pool and the toilets are aligned along the walls. The columns surrounding the pool supported a wooden ceiling. There was a drainage system under the toilets.
55: SCHOLASTIKA BATHS It was built in the First Century and restored in the Fourth Century by a rich Christian lady called Scholastica. On the left of the eastern entrance, you can see her statue without head. The original structure was thought to have been three-storied but by the time the upper two stories collapsed. The baths have two entrances, one from the Curetes Street, which is the main entrance, and the other from the side street. When you enter you see first the dressing room (apodyterium) with ten cabins,then cold room (frigidarium) with its pool,and then the warm room (tepidarium) to relax, and finally the hot room (caldarium) with its developed heating system.The second floor was used for masseage and scrubbe as a therapy. It was used not only to bathe but also to socialize and discuss the topics of the day.The importance of discussing in the bath is well-known and effective developing of Roman philosophy. | View of the Commercial Agora from the Curetes Street/
56: Mosaic tiles on path bordering the Terrace houses | TERRACE HOUSES Ephesus terrace houses are located on the hill, opposite the Hadrian Temple. Also called as "the houses of rich." They were built according to the plan of the city in which roads transected each other at right angels. There are six residential units on three terraces. The oldest building dates back into the 1st century BC and continued in use as residence until the 7th century AD. They are covered with protective roofing which resembles Roman houses. They had interior courtyards in the center, with the ceiling open. They were mostly two-storied, upper stores have collapsed during time. On the ground floor there were living and dining rooms opening to the hall, and upstairs there were bedrooms and guest rooms. The heating system of the terrace houses were the same as that in baths. Clay pipes beneath the floors and behind the walls carried hot air through the houses. The houses also had cold and hot water. The rooms had no window, only illuminated with light coming from the open hall, so that most of the rooms were dim.
57: COMMERCIAL AGORA Being the most important trade center of Ephesus, the Agora was built in the third century B.C in the Hellenistic Period, but the ruins date from the reign of Caracalla (211-217 C.E). It is in the form of a square, each side 110 meters, and surrounded completely by columns. The Agora has 3 gates, one from the front of the theatre on the northeast, the other one opening to the harbor on the west and the third one from the Celsius Library. The north side of the Agora is left open, and the other three sides are surrounded by a portico, in which there are rows of shops. At the center of the Agora was a sundial and a water-clock.
58: CELSIUS LIBRARY It was built in 117 A.D. It was a monumental tomb for Gaius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus, the governor of the province of Asia; from his son Galius Julius Aquila. The grave of Celsus was beneath the ground floor, across the entrance and there was a statue of Athena over it. Because Athena was the goddess of the wisdom.
59: The scrolls of the manuscripts were kept in cupboards in niches on the walls. There were double walls behind the bookcases to prevent the them from the extremes of temperature and humidity. The capacity of the library was more than 12,000 scrolls. The facade of the library has two-stories, with Corinthian style columns on the ground floor and three entrances to the building. There is three windows openings in the upper story. They used an optical trick that the columns at the sides of the facade are shorter than those at the center, giving the illusion of the building being greater in size
60: BROTHEL Directly across the courtyard from the Library of Celsus was the Ephesus town brothel. Engravings in the marble street pavement show the way. The left foot and the woman's figure indicate that the brothel is on the left side of the road. There was an underground tunnel from the library to the brothel. The construction of the building dates to the Trajan (98-117 A.D.) It has two entrances, one from the Marble Road and one from the Curetes Street. It has a hall on the first floor , and on the second floor there are number of small rooms. On the west side of the house there is a reception area with colored mosaics on the floor, symbolizing the four season. The chamber next to it is the bath of the house with an elliptical pool. On the floor of the pool, there is a mosaic describing three women eating and drinking, a waitress standing, a mouse and a cat nibbling crumbs.
61: Theater It was first constructed in the Hellenistic Period, in the third century BC during the reign of Lysimachos, but then during the Roman Period, it was enlarged and formed its current style that is seen today It is the largest in Anatolia and has the capacity of 25,000 seats. The cavea has sixty six rows of seats, divided by two diazoma (walkway between seats) into three horizontal sections. There are three sections of seats. In the lower section, Marble pieces, used for restoration, and the Emperor's Box were found. The seats with backs ,made of marble, were reserved for important people. The audience entered from the upper cavea. The stage building is three-storied and 18 meters high. The facade facing the audience was ornamented with relieves, columns with niches, windows and statues. There are five doors opening to the orchestra area, the middle one of which is wider than the rest. This enhanced the appearance of the stage, giving it a bigger, monumental look. The theatre was used not only for concerts and plays, but also for religious, political and philosophical discussions and for gladiator and animal fights. .
64: 25,000-seat Hellenistic theater dating back to 4th century BC
66: Silt from the rivers is extending the coastline more each year, | Our Turkish lunch
67: The Temple of Apollo at Didyma The earliest fragments of the temple found thus far date to the end of the 8th century BC. Construction continued during the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC, and portions were still under construction in the Roman period. It was never entirely completed. Modern experts believe the magnificent temple would have been one of the seven wonders of the ancient world had it been completed. Even incomplete, the temple is enormous and impressive; it is the third largest in the ancient world after those of Ephesus and Samos.
68: Medusa One of the Gorgons, and the only one who was mortal. Her gaze could turn whoever she looked upon to stone. There is a particular myth in which Medusa was originally a beautiful maiden. She desecrated Athena's temple by lying there with Poseidon. Outraged, Athena turned Medusa's hair into living snakes. Medusa was killed by the hero Perseus with the help of Athena and Hermes. He killed her by cutting of her head and gave it to Athena, who placed it in the center of her Aegis, which she wore over her breastplate. From Medusa's dead body the giant Chrysaor and the winged horse Pegasus, her son by Poseidon, sprang forth. | The Sacred Way “Didyma,” meaning “twin,” referred to Apollo and Artemis, a Greek god and goddess who were twins. Artemis’ temple was in Miletus, while Apollo’s was here. The proximity of the temples is still apparent today, since there are remains of a “Sacred Way” connecting the two. Flagstones visible on the road only date to the time of Emperor Trajan in AD 101, but he probably placed them directly atop an earlier road in the same location.
69: The art of making rugs by hand. The colors in these rugs are due to the different colors of the sheep's wool...no dyes used.
70: SANTORINI , GREECE Santorini Greece was once a single island in the Aegean Sea. Today, Santorini consists of several islands that are what remained after a volcanic eruption during the Minoan period. This was one of the largest volcanic explosions in history. It once had a volcanic cone. The top of the cone was blown off leaving a scattering of islands that are the top peaks of a vast underwater caldera. Around the caldera, sheer cliffs drop as much as 1,000 feet into the sea | Village of Oia | Village Village of Oia
71: Greek Orthodox church
76: Fira Fira is the capital of Santorini, Greece, and the most important of all villages. It is located at the west side of the island and 10 km away from the main port, Athinios. Fira has 1,600 permanent inhabitants. It is perched on the edge of an impressive cliff, at a height of 260 meters offering a great panoramic view over the submerged volcano. In 1956, the island of Santorini was hit by an earthquake that destroyed a large part of the island but luckily, some of the 18th century buildings were saved
77: Tired and thirsty... it's a good thing we had a place to "rest" on the way back to our cabins!
78: Salerno, Italy Salerno is the port for Naples on the Tyrrhenian Sea. This is the port from which Grandma and Grandpa Carestia sailed when they came to America.
79: Sights on our way to Sorrento.
80: A view of Mt. Vesuvius and the city of Naples in the background as we drove along the Amalfi coast.
81: Amalfi Coast
82: Sorrento, Italy | Sorrento is situated on a terrace overlooking the splendid Amalfi coastline with picturesque narrow streets and sits amid lemon and olive groves. Sorrento is famous for the production of limoncello.
83: Sorrento's greatest craft is intarsia (wood inlay)
87: "It isn't how much time you spend somewhere that makes it memorable: it's how you spend the time." - David Brenner