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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Magic in the Mediterranean ~ Our Cruise

My husband and I returned Sunday from a wonderful two-week cruise around the Mediterranean. We saw many magical sites I’d like to share. We began and ended in Barcelona, Spain. The ports were Cannes, France, in Italy, Florence, Rome, Naples, and Venice, and also a stop in Montenegro and one in Croatia.

In Cannes, we took a bus north to Grasse to tour the Fragonard perfume factory and a medieval village--both amazing! I think I enjoyed the chemical wizardry of Fragonard more than my husband, but he dutifully took excellent pictures.

The medieval village, St. Paul de Vence, was lovely. We saw several old villages during our trip, and were always amazed how the historic structures were actually being used for homes and businesses. The mix of old and new held a special charm.


At our Florence stop, we traveled by bus two hours south of the city into Tuscany--such lovely rolling countryside covered with olive trees and grapevines. It was easy to see why this area inspired so many famous painters and sculptors.

There we had an hearty lunch at a sheep farm. The food and wine just kept coming!

Nearby we toured through a medieval village called Volterra which is still used by a town of 20,000 people in the old buildings. All of Tuscany was beautiful!

Rome was our next port. We saw the Coliseum, Vatican museums, and St. Peter's Basilica. The Coliseum overwhelmed us with the engineering accomplished during that era.

Our Naples port was special for me. We hiked up to the top of Mt. Vesuvius and then toured Pompeii. My father had visited the volcano when he was in the army during WWII when it last erupted. He carved out a hardening bit of lava that flowed past him, and I still have it. It was a good feeling to walk in his footsteps and bring back a new lava sample to partner with his.

Looking from new Vesuvius to the old volcano nearby
Street of Pompeii
Dubrovnik, Croatia and Kotor, Montenegro were beautiful with pristine old villages tucked along narrow shorelines with mountains soaring behind. We climbed to the top of a mountain fortress in Montenegro--serious exercise and an awesome view!

Steve and I at overlook above Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik, Croatia
The fortress in Kotor we climbed! Phew!
Kotor with our ship in the port below, after our climb
Kotor, Montenegro
 After all the walking and hiking in the other ports, Venice finished our legs off. No motorized vehicles are allowed in the city. We got lost more than once in the winding, narrow streets. Giving our feet a rest during a gondola ride was a great way to travel in Venice. I can definitely recommend gelato from Venice too!

Us with our gondolier!
Riding through the canals

It was a magical trip, each port so amazing that it’s hard to pick a favorite. It’s also nice to be home with those memories—certainly a few will creep into my next few books!
 ~ ~ ~
Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. Read her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous epic fantasy romance: Book One, SEEKING A SCRIBE, Book Two, HERITAGE AVENGED, and Book Three, LOST VOLUMES. She has also authored the Ciel's Legacy series, with fast action mermaid/pirate storylines: TEARS ON A TRANQUIL LAKE and TORTUGA TREASURE.  For a FREE ebook download, read her historic fantasy, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.


Juli said...

What gorgeous pictures! I'm glad you had a great time. I may've stayed and forget coming home! ;)

Diana (@Offbeat Vagabond) said...

Your pictures are so stunning. I am so jealous. You too look like you had a blast. I have always wanted to visit a lot of those places. That shot of Tuscany is breathtaking. Love the countryside. Quality pictures, you would have thought you were a professional photographer. Thank you so much for sharing with us hon :)

Marsha A. Moore said...

Hi Diana! Tuscany was one of my favorite places. I'll pass on your compliment to my husband, the photographer. It's one of his hobbies. Thanks for stopping by.

Diane J. Reed said...

Oh my gosh--these photos are just exquisite!!!! I felt like a took a vacation looking at them as well as at your lovely descriptions. What a wonderful trip that will inspire you for a lifetime--thanks for sharing : )

Marsha A. Moore said...

It was an amazing experience--so many lovely and happy memories.

Faith Thomas said...

Those places look magical! I hope you took a photo of the food and wines they served at the farm; they must've tasted quite exceptional. That would be no surprise, given how exquisite the places were. Thanks for sharing your wonderful experience with us!

Faith Thomas @ The Berry Farm