Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Butterflies and Tea


Happy Hallowe'en Y'all!!!

Careful - she's turning people into frogs!!!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Genoa, Italy and Cannes, France

Cruising the Mediterranean - Prt. 2

I will try to give you a taste of what we saw on Day 3 and 4 of our cruise.
Details are beginning to fade as time goes on so I'm feeling some urgency to get "recording" these events!

Genoa, Italy

The farmer, my favourite travel planner, was able to hire a local guide to walk us through this amazing Italian City!
We got up early to watch the ship dock at this renowned commercial port - it was surreal and beautiful.

The guided walking tour didn't start till after lunch so we had the morning to explore the Maritime Museum,
the street vendors along the old harbour, the pirates galleon, frescoed buildings, the famous aquarium, and some gelato of course!

The afternoon walking tour was fabulous. We were led through the narrow streets and arches
to beautiful piazzas (town squares), ornate buildings and fountains, elegant shops, tastes of fresh baked focaccia bread, homemade gelato (the best ever), Greek ruins, and all narrated beautiful by a very passionate local guide!

The Sala deli Specchi - which inspired the famous Hall of Mirrors in Versailles!

Caught the photographer and the farmer in one of the giant mirrors.

Porto Soprana - remaining gate in the ancient city wall.

Palazzo Rosso

San Lorenzo Cathedral - one of many black and white striped churches we saw
wherever we travelled.
Breathtaking elevated view of Genoa.

Genoa (pronouced Genova by the Genoese) was one of our absolute favourite cities.
We rushed back to the ship for our 6 p.m. departure time.
While the ship cruised to our next port in Cannes, France - we did the compulsory emergency drill
followed by some fine dining - always such a treat!

Day 3 - exhausting and exhilarating!

Cannes, France

Arrived in Cannes at 7:30 a.m.
Today we took a ship excursion to Monaco, Monte Carlo & Nice.
The ship anchored and disembarkation was done by tender boat service - that was fun!

We were bussed to Monte Carlo, passing through Nice on the way.
Not many chances to take pictures out of the bus window but the drive along the coastline was stunning!

Soon we arrived in the Country of Monaco.
First stop was Monte Carlo - the famous casino surrounded by lush gardens
and mirror spheres.

The Casino is reflected in this mirror!

Can you spot the photographer and the farmer in this one?

Next stop the Prince's Palace and Saint Nicholas Cathedral

Changing of the guards at the Palace!

The Palace view - overlooking the country of Monaco!

Saint Nicholas Cathedral
where Princess Grace 
is buried.
Her tomb always has flowers on it!

Inside the Cathedral!

Soon it was time to head back to Cannes and on to the MSC Orchestra!

Ship's Tender waiting to take us back.

Another delicious meal with this elegant poached pear dessert
was served to us in the ship's dining room.

We relaxed on the deck and in our rooms as this floating hotel
sailed 348 nautical miles to the island of Palma de Mallorca.

In the meantime, here at home, we said our final good-byes to Marie Leis, my amazing Mother-In-Law. The memorial service was so beautiful and I am forever thankful to be part of this lovely family, raised by this ever loving, strong and faithful woman.

"All is over, hands are folded
On a calm and peaceful breast.
All is over, suffering ended
Now our mother is at rest"

Till next time ...... are you still reading after this very long post? A few more days on the cruise ship and then Italy - here we come!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Cinque Terre on the Italian Riviera

A recent trip to Italy started out with a one week
Mediterranean Cruise ...

It was the perfect way to start our European Adventure!

The not so perfect part was our initial trip to the airport
when we became involved in a stop and go traffic jam because of a crash
on the 401 Highway.
We almost missed our flight and literally ran, lugging our bags,
 from the airport parking lot to get checked in and make it to the gate - whew!

Landing in Rome our driver whisked us to the port at Civitavecchia (Rome) where the beautiful
MSC Orchestra Cruise ship waited embarkment.

What a week ...... our wee cabin even had a porthole!

Exhausted and the bed was SO comfy!

The 7 day/7 night cruise included ports at:

La Spezia, Italy

First Port - we bought public ferry tickets to discover part of
the breathtaking Italian Riviera - namely the Cinque Terre (five lands).
This region has been named a Unesco Mankind's World Heritage - and that it is!
What a view from the water!

Corniglia - Fairy Tale town

Vernazza - with it's signature colourful umbrellas!
Sheer rock face and beautiful harbour - this picture
does not give it justice.

Monterosso al Mare - just as beautiful as we
remembered from visiting there in 2006!

Riomaggiore in the rain - breathtaking!

Manarola - perched way up on the rugged rock!

The only two that we stopped to explore where Monterosso and Riomaggiore.
We enjoyed the rest from our sea view.

One of the places we passed, Portovenere, is one we wished we could have
stopped at.
It's distinctive striped church and beauty are yet to be discovered ...

I think the boat listed to one side as we all strained
to get a picture of this amazing place - Portovenere!

My favourite shot of the day - Riomaggiore

It was always nice to get back to the ship for a nice dinner
and evening entertainment. What a day it was!

Stay tuned ....

Next up:
Genoa, Italy
Cannes, France
Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Barcelona, Spain
Ajaccio, France
and back to Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy

In the meantime here at home, we are preparing to say our farewell to
my dear MIL who passed away last week while we were still in Italy!
The Lord has taken her home and she is finally at rest. We are so thankful for that.
Till we meet again ...

Till next time ... I am far behind in reading and responding to all the blog posts that I have missed while we were travelling. Looking forward to an evening or two by the warm fire, doing some catch-up. Thank you so much to those of you who have been praying for us during this time.

Monday's Mood

  Today my mood matches the weather! Might it be because it is Monday, dreary, rainy and cold? Is it because the "naked lady'' ...