Monday, 9 May 2016

Mother's Day in Venice

Wyona writes:

Sailing into Venice; One can never sail into Venice too many times. Feast your eyes. So many boats and ships and water taxis!

And then the larger buildings appear surrounded by waterways everywhere.

And the only way to move is on foot or on a boat. 

We just left the ship and walked around. Just popped into a church and there was a string concert inside.  We took a pew and sat there; soloists etc. It was magnificent. A Mother's Day to be remembered!

The church itself was just a marvel and then to listen to Bach, Handel and others was a real treat. We made our donation on the way out. The musicians were all ages and all playing abilities. But a concert not to be missed.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Crete, Greece

Crete is a long Island with a mountain range down the middle. We took a bus ride to the top of the mountain where there was an old castle. The first photo is looking over one side of the mountain and the second photo is looking at the other side.

We took a walk through a small village.

The roads go straight up. No curves here.

The mountains are called 'the white mountains' because the mountain tops stay white with snow year round.

And the beaches are sandy and long.

The drive up the mountain is full of pintail curves.

Again here are the white mountains. Almost every spot on the island is terraced  and used for olive orchards or  some kind of garden. The drive was amazing and beautiful.


Mykonos, Greece

Here we have breakfast in our room. A friend sent us chocolate covered strawberries and we happened to have oranges in our room. The donkey purse is from Santorini.
And another day we came back to the room with a ship folded up o our bed so I added the gelato, nuts and cookies. Oh yes, and then a couple of necklaces from Turkey and look at the ear on the donkey.
Mykonos from the ship.

And the ship, Constellation from the boat tender.

 All the buildings in Mykonos are painted with limestone white. It is the law. Even the pathways are painted white between the stones.

No cars, taxis or buses are allowed in Mykonos. Only small vehicles or scooters are allowed on the streets when they are delivering goods to the shops.



Sunday, 1 May 2016

Valetta, Malta

This was our first time in Valetta, Malta. The sail in was spectacular. All the buildings, walls and ground are the same limestone color.
 This was such a stunning picturesque view with the waves splashing up unto the walls and buildings. Just breathtaking.
 There is an elevator that goes from sea level to the higher level where the old city is located. The elevator moves quicky up and down.The view from the top is stunningly beautiful. Walking through the city we came upon a giant T-shirt. The people are proud of their team.

St John's Cathedral is an amazing gothic structure with gold trim and frescos covering the walls and ceilings.  The Maltese Cross is in the entryway to the museum and everywhere in the Cathedral. Greg laughed as we were going in because he remembers Doral Pilling's joke which is, (Oh no, Greg is asleep and I cannot remember it...what is the difference between a Maltese cross and a...or what makes a Maltese cross mad...or...I will just wake him up...maybe I remember).  "What makes a Maltese Cross?"
Oh Greg just woke up so here it is. "How do you make a Maltese Cross?"
The answer:  "Poke it in the eyes." Now get your parents to explain it.

You can see the Maltese Cross on the tomb in this picture. The twisted column is copied after some of the columns in the Vatican. There are skulls on either side of the white bust.

The floors are all tombstones of the Saints or heroes of the day. So as you walk through the Cathedral your feet are walking on and covering fabulous inlaid marble tombstones with Latin inscriptions. This was 15 euros well spent to go through the Museum.

Tenerife, Canary Islands

One of our stops on the way from Rio to Barcelona was in Tenerife, Canary Islands. Canary Islands come from the Latin word for dog which is 'canaria'. When the islands were first discovered, the Europeans who discovered the islands found large dogs on the island of Grand Canary.
This was a first for us; seeing a man riding a bike with a parrot on his shoulder. Greg snapped his picture while he was stopped at a light. Great pet to have!

We always love it when we pass by a local market. You can find nuts, dried fruit and olives in abundance.

 Greg is a master at framing a photo before he takes it. This is another view of Tenerife.
The mountains have not changed since 2012. I know this because I took this photo in 2012 when I was in Tenerife with Arta. 

Rome and Gelato

One of the reasons we like to stop in Rome is Rome itself. But another reason is the gelato. Moiya found this gelato shop when I was in Rome with Arta, Dave and Moiya. Now when we go back to Rome, we stay in a hotel near the gelato store.

We hit the gelato shop once on Sunday evening, twice on Monday and twice on Tuesday. We thought about not going the second time on Tuesday but since we left for the ship on Wednesday, we went back a second time.

So many flavours it is hard to choose. Somehow we left the camera back in the room the other days.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Naples today, Valetta Malta tomorrow

Valetta Malta
A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Naples today,

Valletta Malta tomorrow.

We have nine ports in 12 days, so there is lots to see.


Monday, 25 April 2016

Ryanair -- Photos of Rio

Walking by a man selling nuts in Rio I could not resist. The peanuts are covered in crusty sweet coating and little pieces of coconut are covered in the same. So delicious.

 On returning to Rio we searched out the nut man and took a healthy supply back to the room for the trip. Here the nuts are mixed with a few other treasures. The cheesecake lollipops were a delight on the ship. We tried to eat some everyday.

Here the olympic stadium for the Olympics looks great but the rest of Rio is still under a lot of construction. How they can be ready in time, I don't know.

Our stop in Salvador Bahia had a huge elevator (279ft), dividing the lower town from the upper town.
Here is a street scene from the upper town. You see the old and the new.

Ryanair -Beware before you book

 We left amazing Barcelona to take a Ryanair Flight to Rome. Ryanairs moto is ‘point to point’, no frills cheapest fare. We paid $150.00 Canadian for 2 flights oneway. Good Deal!  Went online to checkin, one can do this 30 days before but you pay extra if you do that. So I went on again 7 days before to checkin online. We were travelling in low season so prices were less. 1 bag of 20 kilos= 30 euros, 1 bag of 15 kilos= 20 euros, to pick seat=4 euros, priority seating so you have a place for hand luggage=6 euros. I ended up paying more for luggage and seating than our seats originally cost but I did it for Greg’s peace of mind and mine but not so much mine. I just sucked it up and paid with my credit card online. Could not print out the boarding passes but I saw them.

Greg reading in our cruise room.
Greg studying the map in Rome in our hotel room.
And lunch in Rome consists of cheese, drink bread and homemade salad. 

Got to the line to drop off bags and because I did not print out the boarding passes, it was going to cost 15 euros each ($25Can) to have boarding passes printed out. I just kept refusing and finally when the third person came to tell me I had to do that, I stepped out of line, opened my ipad and started checking in again to find where I saw the boarding passes. (I had to sign in on Barcelona Airport wifi and needed to pay money so checked the free box and then somehow read I would get a free iphone in the mail. Knew something was wrong. What had I joined?) After half an hour or more, I got online and I found the boarding passes again. Showed them to the guy and he said OK. Hah!  I kept that 50 dollars in my pocket.

Then we had to show the boarding passes when checking in with security. I had kept my ipad open to the passes. However, one pass got read and then my ipad said I had to refresh it. So I stepped out of line again and searched again until I found the passes again. Got through security. Then I had to guard my ipad so I could get on the plane. I managed. Put the ipad in my bag. Then had to show the boarding passes again to get on the plane. Found the passes again.

Somewhere during all of this I read where one could download the Ryanair air app. But as Marcia knows, I could not find the app store. What a nightmare. Greg and I were so happy when we finally did get on the flight. Next time, I will think twice before I book Ryanair, the airline for cattle!

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Stazione Termani
We are here in Rome at Rome Accommodation ... a hotel?

It is the size of a room in London.

We stayed here before and Greg liked it.

The only good about it is it is close to Termini Train Station.

We went for gelato tonight at the place Moiya found.

We bought a baguette and hunk of cheese before and chunked it on the way to gellato.

We were up early this morning.

Flying Ryanair is a nightmare. Will write about it later. Too tired now.

Hard not to want one of each!
We are safe and here until Apr. 27 early morning.



Thursday, 14 April 2016

Sugar Loaf Mountain - answers to questions

From Wyona:

To answer Ivan's question,"How many fit inside"? This is a photo from inside. Greg thinks more than 30 people can go in one car.

And to answer Jamie's question, "How big is the landing"? This is a green walk on the middle landing. This is only the first level of the landing. There is a drinking/restaurant on each level, green trees, flowers, walkways. More room than it looks like.

And to Trent who believes that helicopters can fly past his bedroom window when he is dressing and see him, here is a helicopter just by the top of Sugar Loaf

And after a hot, hot day going up to Sugar Loaf, we sat down for a salad, the first green thing in five days. 

Rio's favelas...neighborhoods going up mountains

In Rio, the rich people lived in the valleys. The poor people really owned no land so they built their homes going up the mountains. These neighbourhoods are called 'favelas' which used to mean slum. However, they are built well and are now part of the culture. Greg walked up the mountainside and took these photos. There are cement stairs all the way up to the top.

Here Greg is looking down at where he came from.

They decorate, paint and have art all over their walls and fences.

This is a picture taken from the highway. You can see the favela going up the mountain. It has taken me over 3 hours to load these photos. The ship was rocking around last night and all day today. Just hang on as you weave across the hall. 

Dinner is waiting.