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S: Caribbean Cruise

BC: Made with love by Marya Byrne 2010

FC: Mediterranean Cruise July 2010

1: The calm of the sea, the beauty is eveywhere...

2: Ice Sculpture

7: Taking the metro around Barcelona

8: Downtown Barcelona | Catedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulalia

9: Our last day in Barcelona Spain... on to the French Riviera...

11: The | Spa

13: Villafranche - Nice French Riviera

16: Downtown Villafranche

17: Downtown Monaco

21: Monaco & Monte Carlo French Riviera

24: Casino Royale Monte Carlo

32: Going to Orvieto

40: Orvieto Cathedral, Umbria Italy

41: Orvieto, Italy sits atop an isolated mesa, 1033 ft above sea-level and 640 ft above the surrounding plain, offering unparalelled views of the Umbrian countryside. The town is now completely pedestrianised and can be reached on the east by a funicular railway from the station, or by escalators and a lift elsewhere. The town is very picturesque, particularly now that it is traffic-free, both due to its magnificent position and also the unusually large number of fine 13 C houses and palaces that still exist in its streets. Orvieto's chief glory is its duomo, the splendid cathedral, dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It was begun before 1285, perhaps by Arnolfo di Cambio, on the site of an older church, and from the 13 C until the 16 C was enriched by the labours of a whole succession of great Italian painters and sculptors. The exterior is covered with black and white marble. The interior is of grey limestone with bands of a dark basaltic stone.

46: Artifacts found during construction of the cathedral

47: National Archaeological Museum of Orvieto Located in the medieval Palazzo Papale, the museum holds findings from necropolises in the Orvieto area (Crocifisso del Tufo, Cannicella, Fontana del Leone, Settecamini), where valuable materials have been unearthed. Standing out among these are the very fine red-figure Etruscan ceramics and the full suit of armor in bronze, composed of a helmet, cuirass, shin guards and shield. Also of particular interest is the area with the two famous painted chamber tombs, discovered in 1863 by Domenico Golini and recently reconstructed in the museum with the original detached frescoes. The paintings deal with the themes of the banquet and the journey to the underworld, celebrating in great detail the rituals of the noble class.

49: Chamber tomb Frescoes

50: Messina is known as the door of Sicily. Messina was founded by the Greeks who named it Zancle which is connected to the word Scythe, in the ancient native tongue of the city, and was also the name of the legendary king, who built the harbour, whose name was said to be Zanclus. Following the Roman, Byzantine and Arab invasions, in the latter of which Messina was the last to submit to the Arab yoke, the Normans, Swabians and Angevins came to Sicily left their mark and were either conquered or fled the wrath of native Sicilians. Messina's epoch of glory come with the rule of the Aragon dynasty, who made Messina the capital of the kingdom of Sicily and recognised its value and potential as a port. Today the city is growing and developing along the coast, and due to the violent earthquakes that have struck the area on several occasions and areal damage and bombardment during the second world war, it is almost completely modern. Learning from past lessons, modern Messina is constructed with safety in mind. Streets are wide and buildings relatively low.

56: Mykonos is one of the Cyclades, a group of Greek islands in the Aegean Sea, lying between Tinos, Siros, Paros and Naxos. The largest town is Mykonos Town (Hora), on the west coast., a village in the center of the island. Mykonos is connected by ship with Piraeus, Thessaloniki and the many other Aegean islands. In Greek mythology, Mykonos was the location of the battle between Zeus and the Gigantes. Today, Mykonos is a cosmopolitan island immensely popular with visitors from around the world. Mykonos beaches are magnificent, the villages are charming, the nightlife is legendary, and the major archaeological site of Delos is only a couple of miles away by boat. Mykoniots claim that exactly 365 churches and chapels stand on the island, one for each day of the year. Many of the whitewashed structures are well worth peeking into. | Mykonos Greece

68: DELOS GREECE | As the birthplace of Artemis and Apollo, the Greek island of Delos (Greek: ; Dhílos, "Brilliant") was a major sacred site for the ancient Greeks, second in importance only to Delphi. At its height, the sacred island was covered in a variety of temples and sanctuaries dedicated to a variety of gods. Today, it is a fascinating archaeological site located just two miles from Mykonos. Ancient Origins Remains of a settlement found on top of Mt. Kinthos show that Delos was inhabited since the 3rd millenium BC. Originally known as Ortygia (Quail Island), it was a religious center and busy port from ancient times. Although a barren island with virtually no natural resources, its harbors are protected by the three islands that circle around it (the Cyclades) and it is conveniently located between the Greek mainland and the Asian coast. According to Greek mythology, Delos was the birthplace of Artemis and Apollo, the twin offspring of Zeus by Leto. When Leto was discovered to be pregnant, Zeus' jealous wife Hera banished her from the earth, but Poseidon took pity on her and provided Delos as a place for her to give birth in peace. The Ionians colonized Delos around 1000 BC and made it their religious capital. The island was so sacred that, at one point, no one was allowed to be born or to die there - those about to do either were rushed off to the nearby islet of Rinia. A great festival, the Delia, was hosted here in honor of Apollo, Artemis and Leto, as described in Homeric Hymn 3.

78: Athens Greece

83: Ephesus is the biggest and best-preserved ancient city in the country and is one of the world's spectacular historical sites. The city was established with a harbour on the mouth of the Cayster River, and in the 2nd century BC it became the most important port and commercial trading centre in Anatolia, from Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic period to capital of Roman Asia under Augustus in 133 BC. The city went into final decline during the Byzantine era with the silting up of the harbour and by 527 AD it was deserted. The city is also important as the early seat of Christianity, visited by St Paul, whose letters to the Ephesians are recorded in the New Testament. Among the amphitheatres, murals and mosaics, baths, fountains, brothels and columns, the chariot-worn streets lead to some of the highlights, including the enormous Library of Celsus, the impressive Temple of Hadrian, a row of public latrines and the Grand Theatre where Paul preached to the Ephesians. The city was originally dedicated to the goddess Artemis and her once-magnificent temple was considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Ephesus contains the largest collection of Roman ruins in the eastern Mediterranean. Only an estimated 15% has been excavated. The ruins that are visible give some idea of the city's original splendor, and the names associated with the ruins are evocative of its former life.

84: Ephesus Kusadasi, Turkey

86: Gate of Augustus | Roman Library of Celsus | Ampitheatre

91: In the Marketplace

92: Our last day in Turkey... next stop is Amalfi Coast ~Italian Riviera~

93: Italian Riviera

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  • By: MARYA B.
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