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Going home

That June 8th, at 1pm sharp, the ship left it’s moorings and headed out of Dubrovnik toward Venice.  We said good bye to the Balkans hoping we could get back…some day.  However when you are in your early 80s and late 70s hope is just about all you have since the future, uncertain at any age, is just more so as you get on in age.

Next morning early we sailed up the watery Venetian boulevards that we had sailed down a week before.  As we progressed, I spotted the MSC Divina following us as we had followed her last Saturday.  We had met her in Bari, but not since.  We had also a nice surprise: docked alongside the boulevard was this beautiful 3 masters.

A fine “au revoir” from a city that built it’s fortune and Empire on shipping and trading and sent Marco Polo all over, or most of, the then known world.

We disembarked at 8:30, the shuttle bus came at 9:30 instead of 9 as announced, (Mussolini, where are you?).  Then we stopped at another pier to pick up Divina passengers, yes the same guys that were on our plane coming in and will be again going out.  After winding our way through the morning traffic we had a picture of the airport that we had not seen coming in.  Last Saturday, it was off the plane, into the shuttle and on the ship, bingo.  Today we got into an overcrowded departure deck and were told we could not check our bagages before 1:30, 3 hours away. so we were directed to the waiting area

outside the building under plexiglass canopies.  Although grey, fortunately, it was not raining.  We took turns going in to the pizza counter to get something to eat (it was very good) on our luxurious stone bench.  At 1:30 pm though we were quickly through the embarkment proces and security.  All the room lacking outside was explained by all the room, past security, taken over by duty free shops and very nice ones at that…but no sitting room;  finally, after some shopping, we went through the Customs (La Guardia di Finanza) desk and walked down to the boarding area…lo and behold, comfortable seats.

Since our plane was way out on the tarmac, we had to board a shuttle bus to get to it.  Photo taken from my seat through the porthole.  We left on time and landed in Montreal slightly ahead of schedule.  But before we flew over the Alps, Italy gave us another beautifull sight

A very nice bye bye..



Here, I will wander and dream, but mostly wander.  For a beginning, I will take you on my recent trip to the Mediterranean.   Here, you have our first view of Venice and the causeway leading to the port where our ship, somewhere in the fog at top right, is berthed.

Here is the ship that will be home for the next 8 days.  All 70 000 tons of her.  We will be on deck 7, estate room 512, with balcony, no less, near the prow.  It is on the other side of the ship.

Ahead of us, the MSC Divina is sailing away on the canals leading to the open sea.  We sail up those canals like any city bus along a wide boulevard.  Almost unbelievable

Just coming to a street corner.

A vaporetto in front of a “road side” church.

Just to show that we are on a ship.

Feels as we could just walk in.  I never saw as  many churches as we saw on this trip.  Italians, Greeks and Croatians seem to be most devout peoples.

The Divina is on another street, ahead of us.

Thérèse on our balcony adding to my travel log.

The side screws pushing us againts the pier in Bari.

The land of taste is not just a slogan, we really tasted the food and wine.

See by yourself and these tidbits were delicious.

This is a trullo.  Legend has it that they were built with a large rock at the top.  Remove the rock and it crumbles.  A 12th century baron reportedly had them built that way to save is peasants from paying the king’s taxes on dwellings.  Whenever the tax collector came around they removed the rock and could prove that they had no dwelling.  When he had left, they just reassembled the shelter and they were allright for another year.  Tax evasion is nothing new in  these parts, just evermore sophisticated.

Inside a trullo.

We visited the place and tasted it’s food and wine and went into their trulli.  beware the low entrances to the trulli.  People must have been real short in 1300 something.

Back on the ship.  The Centrum is the activity hub where everybody congregates for a drink, to shop and just to know what is going on.

Sunset between Bari and Kerkyra (Corfou).

I thought this was a first glimpse of Kerkyra until I learned it was the Albanian coast.  OH well!

This is Kerkyra, the palaiokastritsa or old fortress.  We are sailing into port.

No, we are not in China.  The first British Governor of the Corfou Protectorate imported koum quats from China and the culture has held fast since 1825.  Koum quat products are now one of the main Kerkyrian industries with olive oil and tourism.  Kerkyra is really a green island and very fertile.

A koum quat tree with fruits.

Landscapes on Kerkyra.

When Napoleon’s empire crumbled, the French army abandoned this Russian canon on Kerkyra…of all places.

Well, folks, this all for today.  I’m tired and will come back with another installment on another day.  Next will be Mykonos and Athens.

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