Mediterranean Cruise - 2007


The Meddy Encore!

This was our third trip to the Mediterranean, as each trip simply seemed to suggest there was more to be seen. We boarded  Oceania cruise ship the Insignia in Barcelona and sailed for 14 days and nights before leaving the ship in Istanbul. The days were full, sometimes too full, and the weather quite good. We missed the terrible heat wave that the area had lived through and for the most part it was a quite pleasant. It was a beautiful ship, the crew service well above average and all in all was a great experience.

Our ship, Oceania Cruises "Insignia", our home for two weeks of living, our traveling motel. The red dot is about

where our cabin was located.

The cruise was advertised as casual formal or something, which we took to mean no ties. And indeed we saw very few ties at the dinners. Above centre, the four of us dressed for dinner.

Above left : We discover the reason that this particular cruise was chosen! Gail gets an autograph from well known TV Chef and Executive Chef of Oceania, Jacques Pepin. This is the one cruise he does each year. Gail was only too happy to lay out $50 for his book of recipes!

Above Centre:  The ship has two specialty restaurants along with its Main Dining Room. We managed to book 3 nights out of 14 in them. This photo was taken in the Polo Grill Dining Room.

Above right : Tracy loves Prime Rib, but even she was dismayed by the supposed "Queen Cut" portion. The "King Cut" must be rolled to the table on a wagon!

The Cote d’Azur and the French Riviera

The first two stops on the cruise were at St. Tropez and Monaco, all part of the French Riviera or the Cote d'Azur

Above Left: Early morning as our ship entered the harbour in Monaco. We had to anchor in the bay, because there was one other cruise ship tied to the dock on the left of the photo.

Above Centre: The yacht basin at Monaco. There were literally thousands of yachts in the area, a common stop for the rich and famous.

Above Right: The Palace of the Prince, Prince Albert was home this day as one can see from the flag flying overhead. Since the state of Monaco is known as a Principality, the head of state is a Prince. The current Prince is a descendant of the Grimaldi family, who have ruled Monaco since 1297!

Above Left:  We drove west of Monaco into the French Riviera to the city of Nice, where we took the above photo.

Above Centre:  We wandered the streets of St. Tropez and I examined some of the art displayed. Some elegant stuff.

Above Right:  The hill top town of Eze. The town was built hundreds of years ago, high above the sea to keep the inhabitants safe from the pirates of the day who cruised the Mediterranean pillaging cities and towns along the coast.

Italy - Florence and Pisa and Anzio

Our ship docked in the port city of Livorno, and we travelled by bus through Tuscany to the Renaissance city of Florence, stopping at the Leaning Tower of Piza on the return trip to the ship.

The next day we were docked in the port city of Civitavecchia, and took a bus trip to the Catacombs on the outskirts of Rome and then to the south and west to the area of Anzio.

Above Left:  The famous Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (1296), more commonly called the Duomo in the middle of Florence, the dome of which is 325 feet high. To the left is the Baptistry of the church. To the right of the photo is the Bell Tower or Campanile, a 14th Century structure.

Above Centre:  An open square with an exact copy of Michelangelo's statue of David on the left, and a statue of Ulysses on the right. The original David stood on this spot until the 1800's, when it was moved inside and a precise copy carved to replace it in the open.

Above Right:  This impressive door is the entrance to the Baptistry, the building shown on the left of the above photo. It has been called the "Gates of Paradise" and is bronze plated with religious reliefs.

Above Left:  Sorry, had to do it! The Leaning Tower of Pisa was started in 1173 and completed in 1350. It began to lean when the third stage was completed. It was straightened a few years back, but only 200 Years worth! They did not want to straighten it right up!

Above Centre:  The Appian Way, one of the famous Roman road systems built to move their armies to different parts of their empire. Returning armies used this road to Brindisi almost 2,000 years ago, and some of the cobblestones are original ones.

Above Right: This is a vista taken from a famous farmhouse called Montegiove. It overlooks the Anzio Beachead, one of the most famous and bitterly fought battles of the Italian campaign. Allied forces, primarily American landed here about 30 miles south of Rome in January 1944. The Germans counterattacked and hemmed the allies in for four months before they broke out., which led to the liberation of Rome.

Further note: The farmhouse from which the photo was taken has been in the family of the current owner, Count Raimondo Moncada for over 400 years.

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