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edoyle


59 Blog Entries
2 Trips
371 Photos

Trips:

World Cruise
World Cruise

Shorthand link:

http://blogabond.com/edoyle




Lisbon

Lisbon, Portugal


Tue.May 31. Docked in Lisbon.Took the tour "Highlights of Lisbon"Lovely city,many wide squares.We visited the maritime museum which is part of what was a monastery.

The church is still there with lovely stained glass windows but it was never finished.There are marks on one wall where an addition was to be,but never was,and all the niches are empty,no statues.
The maritime museum has replicas of the ships used in the days of exploration and naval
costumes of the periods.
We drove by a tiled wall of various shades and I took a quick picture from the bus.

There was a statue of Christ,arms outstretched as on Corcovado in Rio,on a tall pole.Apparently
the Bishop of Lisbon visited Rio and wanted to have a similar statue.
We visited the monument to Portuguese explorers which has figures carved on each side,
including the figure of King Henry the Navigator.

The weather was lovely,warm and sunny, but not too much so.
Several people got off in the main square off which is a pedestrian street.

I am having a problem downloading photos.Only a couple of the last lot took.I am going to download some of Lisbon but if you don't see any you'll know that the problem is still there.
The internet is excruciatingly slow.I log in and the page disappears and I have to redo it all over again.

I may be able to write another blog or maybe not.I'll see how things go with the packing.

I am really anxious to get home now.145 days is a bit too much,although it has been very
interesting.

permalink written by  edoyle on June 1, 2011 from Lisbon, Portugal
from the travel blog: World Cruise
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barcelona

Barcelona, Spain


Fri.May 27. Docked in Barcelona.This is a very large port with several big ships docked.Had a quick tour of the city by bus.Saw the church designed by Gaudi,the Sagrada Familia (Sacred family)Extremely ornate,just the front finished.

Gaudi died in a car accident in 1926 and a designer who admired Gaudi's work took over.He is doing the back in a simpler style,representing the Passion and Crucifixion of Christ.The church was visited and consecrated by Pope Benedict but it wont be finished for decades.
We drove past Las Ramblas,the main shopping street which has a statue of Christopher Columbus at one end.

We then went to a winery,saw a film and got on a train for a tour of the vineyard.They are very "green".The cellar roof is just above ground level and is painted white to reflect the sun so less energy is used to keep it cool.The train went into a pitch dark building where we saw slides projected onto a wall.There were 3 porticos projected on the wall with different slides in each,telling the history of wine in the region.It was very well done.
Tomorrow is a day at sea and I have asked my stewardess to bring my 3 suitcases in so I can begin packing.We have no more formal nights so I can pack my formal clothes.


permalink written by  edoyle on May 30, 2011 from Barcelona, Spain
from the travel blog: World Cruise
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Malaga

Malaga, Spain


Sun.May 29. Docked in Malaga.This is a large port with 2 warships in.This is Armed Forces Day and there will be a parade and crowds of people visiting the port to tour the warships and tanks etc.The King,Juan Carlos will come.Many of us took the tour "Marbella and Puerto Banus"
Marbella is an exclusive resort,once a fishing village until the tourists came because of the weather.Many wealthy Arabs bought land and built large mansions.Jose Banus was a friend of Franco's and was given permission to develop a port.We saw many expensive
yachts,most registered in the Cayman Islands.We were told that some were so big they had to dock in Malaga.Talk about "conspicuous consumption".The town was attractive with wrought iron balconies and several small squares.


permalink written by  edoyle on May 30, 2011 from Malaga, Spain
from the travel blog: World Cruise
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Cadiz

Cadiz, Spain


Mon.May 30. Docked in Cadiz,3rd largest city in Spain,population 2 million.Went on a tour to Jerez de la Frontera.This is where sherry gets its name.A lovely little town with several squares.The main square is large with a huge fountain, in the middle of which is an equestrian statue,that invariably has a pigeon on the rider's head.It rained briefly,the first rain we've had.
We went to the Gonzalez Byass winery where they make Tio Pepe sherry.The founder of the company,Manuel Gonzalez,was funded by his uncle,in 1835, and named his best sherry for him,hence Tio Pepe,(Uncle Joe)They use only two types of grape and three types of sherry that vary from very dry to very sweet and in between.The founder joined with his English agent,Robert Blake Byass to form the winery.He later bought his partner out but kept the name bacause Gonzalez by itself is a very common name.
A tradition began when someone left out some sweet sherry and mice drank it.Now they put a glass of sherry on the floor with a little ladder against it and another glass with snacks for the mice.I took a picture of a photo of a mouse climbing the ladder.
I learned a lot about sherry today.


permalink written by  edoyle on May 30, 2011 from Cadiz, Spain
from the travel blog: World Cruise
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Marseille

Marseille, France


Thurs.May 26 Docked in Marseille.The old port was founded by the Greeks in 600 BC and now is only for small boats.There are so many it looks like a parking lot.One large boat is a restaurant

There is a free ferry which goes from one side to the other.There are many high rises and new construction.Notre Dame de le Garde Basilica sits on La Garde hill,a former lookout.

I took the tour "Marseille Highlights and Cassis"We were driven to Cassis,a popular resort town.We had to take a little train as the bus could not negociate the narrow streets winding down to the town.The train stopped above the town as it couldn't go further and we walked the rest of the way.There was a nice beach and little streets off the main square with lots of cafes.

I had a cup of coffee at one cafe and then we returned to the ship.A fairly relaxing day.

Fri.May 27. Docked in Barcelona.This is a very large port and there were several large ships docked.We saw our sister ship,the Mariner docked.We had a quick tour of the city,
leaving the bus to see the famous church designed by Gaudi,Sagrada Familia (Sacred Family)He died in 1926 and his work is now being recognised.He designed many buildings in the city,all very ornate.The church is unfinished and is taken over by a contemporary of Gaudi who is adding the back in a simpler style.It wont be finished for decades.It is quite extraordinary looking.


We were driven to Torres winery where saw a film about the founding in 1870.The 5th generation have a winery in Chile and one in California.They don't use pesticides or fertilizer and support the environment.The top of their cellar,which is barely higher than ground level,is painted white to reflect heat.We got into a little train which took us around the vineyard and then into a dark building where we had a display on a wall of rotating slides and these were shown through three simulated porticos.
The train then took us into the cask area with hundreds of casks on their sides and finally into the bottling area.
We returned to the main building for a tasting and then back to the ship.
We had a surprise event after dinner,a flamenco performance by a man and two women,
in the theatre.A wonderful show with several changes of costume.
Tomorrow we are in Malaga.


permalink written by  edoyle on May 28, 2011 from Marseille, France
from the travel blog: World Cruise
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Portovenere

Portovenere, Italy


Wed.May 25. Three of us took a tender in for about an hour and a half.Portovenere is a lovely little village.Small boats and cafes line the waterfront.We changed some dollars into euros and entered the village through a brick portal.The one street was narrow and uphill.I bought a pair of sandals,which I needed,in the only shoe shop.
The sky was blue and there was a gentle breeze.It was really lovely.
We got a tender back in time for lunch.

What a time I'm having with this blog.I wrote about the two days in Jerusalem and it wasn't saved so I had to rewrite it.There is also a problem with the pictures.I write down the numbers but often different pictures are reduced.I may have to limit the number of pictures I get reduced for the blog.
I'll have to think about packing soon and I dread this.

Times of arrival in various ports and excursions have been changed so we don't always know what's going on until almost the last moment.

permalink written by  edoyle on May 25, 2011 from Portovenere, Italy
from the travel blog: World Cruise
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The Holy Land

Jerusalem, Israel, West Bank


Thurs.May 19.Still docked in Ashdod.Met at 7:45am for our overnight in Jerusalem.Drove around the city.Saw the wall separating the Jewish and Arab areas.Our guide,jewish, has
Arab friends and said it was now difficult to visit each other.Saw the Dome of the Rock, the 3rd holiest site in Islam.

Walked the Via Dolorosa where the Stations of the Cross are marked on doorways.It is very narrow and crowded and we were told to stick together with our guide.The whole is a vast bazaar and we would have liked to have spent some time there.I took a picture of a handprint on a wall where Jesus is said to have leaned when carrying the cross.

We went to the Western (Wailing) Wall.Men and women have separate areas separated by a wall.The square was set up for a ceremony for the new graduating recruits.

We visited the Church of the Holy Sepulcher on the hill of Golgotha,site of the crucifixion,
burial and resurrection.
We had lunch,then drove through the Judean Hills to Bethlehem.Our Jewish guide could not enter so had to leave us and a Christian Arab guide took over.We visited the site of the manger in the Church of the Nativity.
We then returned to our hotel,the Leonardo Plaza,where we just had time to shower,change and were off to another hotel for dinner.We were shown into a lovely garden where there was a table of middle eastern hors d'oeuvres,delicious.That would have been enough for me but we were escorted to an open area beyond the swimming pool
where there were tables for 8 and a stage.We sere served a lovely dinner,too much food.
We were happy to learn that left over food is given to the poor.We had an M.C. who was a
terrible commedian and 3 wonderful musicians,one of whom sang.The last event was a pyrotechnic display which was magnificent.This was quite unexpected.

Day 2 Fri May 20.We left the hotel at 7:30am,drove through the Judean desert and Jordan valley to Tabgha where Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes.We saw the Mount of Beatitudes in the distance where the Sermon on the Mount was preached. We saw the Sea of Galilee which is quite a resort area.We had lunch in Galilee then went to Yardenit where
the River Jordan separates from Galilee and where Jesus was baptized.Many people come here to be baptized.


We went to Nazareth,to the Basilica of the Annunciation,largest church iin the Middle East.

Our last visit was to the church of St.Joseph,built over his carpenter's shop.
We arrived back to the ship in Haifa,had a tour of the city,saw the large Baha'i Temple
and magnificent gardens.

We were all pretty tired.Now 2 days at sea and then Sorrento,Italy.



permalink written by  edoyle on May 23, 2011 from Jerusalem, Israel, West Bank
from the travel blog: World Cruise
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Israel

Ashdod, Israel


Wed.May 18. Docked in Ashdod,largest port in Israel.There are plans to enlarge Haifa which will then be the largest,but this is in the future.
Israel has a population of 7.7 million.Almost 20% are Arab and of that 20% 95% are Muslim
and 5% Christian.The Christian Arabs are mostly in Bethlehem.
I took a 5hr excursion to Tel Aviv-Jaffa.Tel Aviv is a lovely city,high rises,a lovely opera House.I saw the plaque marking the spot where Itzak Rabin was assassinated after he stood on a balcony and announced to 400,000 in the square,the news of the Arab-Israeli accord.As he walked from the rear stairs to his car a man came from the crowd and shot him in the back.(Where were his bodyguards?)I took a picture of the plaque,hope it comes out.There is broken rock behind it.Rabin was The Rock,now broken.
Our guide was very proud of the Law of Return.Any Jew born anywhere in the world can come to Israel and be accorded full citizenship.He is not immigrating but returning home.
If necessary he receives assistance with Hebrew,housing and anything else to ease the transition.
We drove to Jaffa and saw both the modern and old city.Jaffa used to be the port where pilgrims came to the Holy Land.Then Haifa was built and the port has plans to be enlarged.
We saw hundreds of cars on the dock and were told that they are either being sent to Eilat and from there to Africa,etc. or came from Eilat and were going to Europe.This avoids the expense and long wait transiting the Suez Canal.
Tomorrow we have the complimentary overnight to Jerusalem.


permalink written by  edoyle on May 22, 2011 from Ashdod, Israel
from the travel blog: World Cruise
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Sharm-el-Sheikh

Nabq, Egypt


Mon.May 16.Arrived at the tip of the Sinai Peninsula.Some went snorkling,some went on a glass bottom boat and some just took the shuttle into town.I did the latter.This is a big resort area but not much to see.Quite hot in the sun.Saw the hospital where Mubarak and his wife are,though she has been released now.When she was arrested for using her position to enrich herself she developed heart symptoms.

Tue.May 17 At 6am we entered the Suez Canal.It is now 2:30 here and we will reach Port Said in about half an hour.We will stay until evening to pick up the people who flew to Cairo from Luxor.They will be exhausted.This was an expensive trip but these were people who had never been to Egypt and didn't want to pass up the opportunity to see the Pyramids.Some just went on a long day trip to Luxor,3hrs there and 3hrs back and then visiting all the temples.They couldn't see everything and even that was expensive.

We arrive in Ashdod,Israel tomorrow and the next day those of us on the world cruise have our complimentary overnight in Jerusalem.We will have 2 full days and will rejoin the ship in Haifa on the 20th

We have had Israeli soldiers on board for some days now.They are not in uniform and are inconspicuous.They walk the deck with binoculars.They don't show any weapons but I know they have them.I feel really safe with them on board.

Security was strict in Egypt and I expect it will be more so in Israel.

permalink written by  edoyle on May 17, 2011 from Nabq, Egypt
from the travel blog: World Cruise
tagged Sharm

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Sharm-el-Sheikh

Nabq, Egypt


Mon.May 16.Arrived at the tip of the Sinai Peninsula.Some went snorkling,some went on a glass bottom boat and some just took the shuttle into town.I did the latter.This is a big resort area but not much to see.Quite hot in the sun.Saw the hospital where Mubarak and his wife are,though she has been released now.When she was arrested for using her position to enrich herself she developed heart symptoms.

Tue.May 17 At 6am we entered the Suez Canal.It is now 2:30 here and we will reach Port Said in about half an hour.We will stay until evening to pick up the people who flew to Cairo from Luxor.They will be exhausted.This was an expensive trip but these were people who had never been to Egypt and didn't want to pass up the opportunity to see the Pyramids.Some just went on a long day trip to Luxor,3hrs there and 3hrs back and then visiting all the temples.They couldn't see everything and even that was expensive.

We arrive in Ashdod,Israel tomorrow and the next day those of us on the world cruise have our complimentary overnight in Jerusalem.We will have 2 full days and will rejoin the ship in Haifa on the 20th

We have had Israeli soldiers on board for some days now.They are not in uniform and are inconspicuous.They walk the deck with binoculars.They don't show any weapons but I know they have them.I feel really safe with them on board.

Security was strict in Egypt and I expect it will be more so in Israel.

permalink written by  edoyle on May 17, 2011 from Nabq, Egypt
from the travel blog: World Cruise
tagged Sharm

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