S: Mediterranean Cruise - 2011
1: We had always dreamed of cruising in the Mediterranean seeing countries we had not yet visited. So to celebrate my 65th birthday , in April, 2011,we embarked on a wonderful adventure seeing the countries of Greece, Italy, Monaco, and Turkey. We first visited Athens before boarding the Insignia ship of the Oceania Cruise Line.
2: Athens was filled with Greek History, neoclassical buildings, the National Library, the Greek Parliament, the changing of the guard at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Constitution Square, explored the Acropolis. | The city was bustling, extremely crowded, filled with residents traveling by motorscooter.
4: Pictures on the next two pages are of the Parthenon and the Acropolis(a large rock area jutting out of the ground). The Parthenon is a temple on the grounds of the Acropolis. It is a temple that houses the remains to the greek god Athena, patron goddess of the city of Athens. So the Acropolis is actually an ancient city on top of the rock that emerges out of the ground. There were several buildings to visit on the site.
6: The temples are made of limestone and marble constructed between 432-447 BC. The statue of Athena was made of gold and ivory. | The sleeping dog was part of a crew that "guards" the temples. There is one group of dogs for the day, then they are placed in a pen at night to rest and then alternate keeping watch.
10: This coliseum below is the Panathenian Stadium, host to the first Olympics.
11: The changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Athens was fascinating to watch.
13: Kusadasi, Turkey is the home of the archaeological site of ancient Ephesus. The history of the ancient city dates back to 10th century B.C. There we saw temples, houses of noblemen, and community buildings lining the ancient streets.
15: The ruins were from 300 BC. You literally walked down the stone street into the ancient city. Ephesus. The road into the city was grooved from the chariot wheels. It was our favorite place to visit.
18: The best preserved section was the Terraced Houses which were inhabited by the wealthiest residents. The houses literally were terraced and as you went up the more wealthy people lived - all were richly decorated with mosaics and frescoes.
21: Santorini, Greece was a truly beautiful area. The homes/shops were literally built into the side of the mountains. When the city was first built there were only zigzag paths for the donkeys to travel. Can you imagine!
25: Santorini is a volcanic island located in the Aegean Sea. Santorini is essentially what remains of an enormous volcanic explosion that destroyed the earliest settlements on what was formally a single island leading to the creation of the current geological caldera (a crater formed by the collapse of the central part of a volcano.
26: Oceania cruise line was exceptional. It carries 684 guests with more than 400 staff members who attend to your every need. We would definitely use this cruise line/ship again.
27: We met the nicest folks while on the ship - Tom and Lynn Watkins from Missouri - Ray and Pam Glick from Illinois - Mary Jo and Jack Smith from Iowa. We hope to cruise with them again.
29: The town of Ravello was on the coast of Amalfi. The Amalfi Coast is one of Italy's loveliest resort areas. Ravello is perched high atop the craggy hills overlooking the sea. We visited the Villa Rufolo, a 13th century residence.
33: Here is the beautiful Romanesque cathedral located on the town's main square. Surrounding the town are lovely gardens with beautiful trees and blossoming plants. Note the tree on opposite page called a pino (like our pine tree).
34: We enjoyed beautiful sunsets on the ship with new friends Mary Jo and Jack Smith. Pictures on the right are in Olbia, Italy (means Happy Town). The monument is the city's Cathedral dedicated to St. Simplicio built in the 11th century.
37: Charlie and I have completely drawn a blank as to this port/city. We do remember shopping in upscale stores, eating ice cream and touring the old church with special friends. Does anyone recognize this place?
39: Monaco is the place to be for the rich and famous. We entered the Old City to see the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception where Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace Kelly married and now contains their tombs. We drove a portion of the Grand Prix to Monte Carlo's Grand Casino. It opened in 1878.
42: Our tour included the historical center in Florence where we saw the Cathedral of Santa Maria, the famed Duomo which lords over Florence. On next page you will see the only bridge to avoid destruction during WWII before the Nazis retreated from Italy. Also seen was an old leather school where we saw items being made and sold.
44: Passing from Florence to Pisa through the Tuscan countryside was a scenic ride. We toured the Campo dei Miracoli, or Field of Miracles, which contains some of the world's finest architectural treasures - the Leaning Tower begun in 1173. It began to tilt because the settling subsoil was unable to withstand the weight. Nearby is the Baptistery.