Wednesday, August 31, 2011

[ med cruise day 5 - barcelona ]

No. 5 ~ Barcelona, Spain

OUR CRUISE began and ended in Barcelona. We had been there before so this time it was just about wandering around, doing a bit of shopping and capturing some pics.



Barcelona is a beautiful city - filled with gorgeous architecture and narrow streets with all kinds of nooks and crannies.

lots of sidewalk caf├ęs...


artists and artisans everywhere you look...



humans disguised as statues...




rental bikes ready to take you around...



plenty of scooters...



and interesting shops...








The buildings are incredible, whether you are into the creativity of Gaudi...





or just the intricate details all around you...











even the sidewalks and utility caps were fancy...



I was smitten by all the interesting signage...













Barcelona is definitely a city all about the details and such a lovely way to start and end our trip.

lisa


Monday, August 29, 2011

[ med cruise day 4 - naples ]

No. 4 ~ Naples, Pompeii, Sorrento Italy

THIS WAS a packed day as we chose to take in a tour of Pompeii, a stop in Sorrento and a visit to an old Italian farmhouse to learn how to make mozzarella cheese.



We docked in Naples and the day started with a guided tour of the ancient city of Pompeii, which was completely buried by the volcanic ash of Mount Vesuvius when it erupted in 79 AD. It was later accidentally discovered in 1749 and excavated to reveal a fascinating look at life in a city at the peak of the Roman Empire.








We were most surprised by the phallic symbols embedded right into the roads and buildings which directed visitors arriving at the port to the brothel.





Apparently during excavation, many more examples of frescoes and items of a sexual nature were discovered and reburied in an act of censorship. Many artifacts are now in the National Museum in Naples where they reside in a cabinet once called "secret" where only people of adult age can view them.
 

Another amazing discovery was a large, luxurious home with remnants of frescoes, statues and inlaid floors.





During excavation, paster was injected into the voids under the ash layer where human remains were found which recreated the forms of the victims of that horrific day.




A truly fascinating tour!



Off to Sorrento!





The drive along the coast was very congested so we only had time for a brief visit in Sorrento, most of which we spent having lunch in a cute little spot.



A quick tour around and then off to the farmhouse to make some cheese!






Off to the old Italian family farmhouse!

A little shuttle up through the hills...








A family tradition of making olive oil, cured meats, cheeses, preserves.




Time to taste!



It was so great to get a "taste" of Italian farmhouse life, techniques handed down through generations in this same family.

A busy day, but definitely a highlight of the trip.

lisa

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