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Great Photos from our Mediterranean Cruise
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We flew into Geneva so Fred could visit Cern and its new Large Hadron Collider (LHC). While there we took a town tour and visited the botanical garden.
 Swans near Geneva&s Rousseau memorial  "Lawyer", "banker", "Fred", and "ad exec" share wine while Susan checks out the Rousseau memorial on an island in Lake Geneva  At CERN, the outside of the 4-story ATLAS control center is decorated with a schematic of the detector  Spiky red plant high in the tropical conservatory of Geneva&s botanical garden  New fern bursting forth in the botanical garden, Geneva
A long train ride took us to Venice where we visited Plaza San Marco, San Polo church, and the Rialto bridge.
 Basilica San Marco and the Campanile from the west-end collonade of Piazza San Marco, Venice  Gondoliers on the Grand Canal at dusk, Venice  The Lady Chapel (starboard apse) at S. Polo church, Venice  Basilica San Marco Venice. Originally just a chapel for the Doge&s Palace, right rear.  Going under the Accademia Bridge on the Grand Canal, Venice
After two days at sea we arrived in Athens and bused to the Parthenon atop the Acropolis. Later we had lunch in Plaka and were "granted" free time for shopping.
 The Parthenon, eight Doric columns by seventeen, Athens  Erechtheion with the porch of the Caryatids.  The Sacred Olive Tree left of center  is supposedly descended from an original tree planted by Athena.  Aphrodite in the National Museum, Athens  Susan admires an ancient coffee pot  St. Katherine&s in Plaka, Athens
Our first port in Turkey brought us to the ancient city of Ephesus, destination of one of Paul's Epistles. In the fifteen percent that is already excavated, the tour is downhill and covers the city center: theaters, fora, library, baths, 12 seater flush toilet, and more.
 Dignified cat graces the outhouse, Ephesus  The library in Ephesus is reminiscent of the library facade at Petra,  but this one held books and was once the third largest colection in the world.  Dancers in the "spectacle" staged by Norwegian Cruise Lines in Ephesus  Early season crowds are tolerable. Here we descend toward the library in Ephesus.  Part of a brick chimney still standing in Ephesus
Our tour covered only two sites next to each other: Topkapi Palace and Hagia Sophia. The palace is not where they filmed the movie. Hagia Sophia is a museum. No lunch, but lengthy bazaar visit.
 One minaret of Hagia Sophia, Istanbul  Mom helping her daughter buy leather boots in Istanbul  The Blue Mosque and its six minarets, Istanbul. The more minarets, the greater degeree of charity the mosque offers.  Blue pansies outside Topkapi Palace, Istanbul  Huge urn for drinking water inside Hagia Sophia, Istanbul
Ou visit coincided with a glorious day. It was easy to see why the indolent wealthy flock to this island.
 Port-side tenders ferrying passengers from Norwegian Spirit to dock in Mykonos  Life is great in Mykonos  Resort beach on Mykonos  Pulpit in Monastery of Panagia Tourliani, Mykonos  In the garden of the Mykonos museum
Fred climbed Vesuvius. Susan went to Sorrento. Both visited Pompei, which is an amazing place with its remarkable degree of preservation.
 Sunset in the Strait of Messina, sailing toward Naples  Seaside cliffs at Naples  Alley in Sorrento  Vesuvius dominates the western skyline from the forum in Pompei. The eruption in 79 AD had been presaged by an earthquake in 62 AD. Much of the forum had been rebuilt in the interim.  Some of the remaining wall and ceiling decorations in Pompei
Fred visited the crucial places: Trevi fountain, the Colosseum, and the Vatican. This is too much for one day, but that was all we had. Susan, having visited once before, bused through the countryside this time.
 Trevi fountain detail; Rome  Let your hands do the talking; in Rome  Entering the Colosseum, Rome  One of the many galleries to be traversed to attain the Sistine Chapel; statuary seems to exceed paintings  Rooms beneath the Colosseum floor housed trainers, competitors, animals, etc. Elevators brought them to the arena floor. The covered section at the far end shows where seating wouild have been. Capacity was 55,000--less than most modern football stadia.
Since the previous two days had wiped out Fred, he stayed on the ship. Susan visited the town centers of Pisa and Florence.
 Tower and Cathedral are together on Pisa&s town square  Tower and Duomo Cathedral in Florence  The circle of life; bas relief in Pisa Cathedral  Susan&s sweetest smile; in front of Ponte Vecchio, Florence  Gelateria in Florence
Barcelona offers decent bus tours that show you most everything and let you hop off and back on. We took time to visit MNAC, the Catalan national museum. Susan took the side trip by funicular to Tibidabo mountain.
 Palau National, home of Museu Nacional d&Art de Catalunya (MNAC), Barcelona  View of Pyrenees from Tibidabo Mountain Barcelona  Mies van der Rohe pavillion, Barcelona  Saint Mary of the Sea in Tibidabo Cathedral del Sagrat Cor on Tibidabo Mountain overlooking Barcelona  Old customs house, Barcelona Harbor
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Aug 20, 2012 00:52 GMT
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