Our ship, the Seabourn Legend arrived in Monaco early Sunday morning, the very last port of call on our two week itenerary. The municipality is preparing to host the "Formula 1" automobile race through the streets of the town, so the harbor is full of yachts and there are spectator stands visible along the streets. We disembarked our ship and briefly drove through the town en route to the airport at Nice for the beginning of our long voyage home. Perhaps we'll visit Monaco once again on a future trip.
Saturday, May 18, 2013
We arrived in Livorno this Saturday morning; the city is the port for Tuscany, but most of its historic district was bombed and destroyed in World War II. From the port we took a tour bus to Lucca, a wonderful old Medieval town which a fine Cathedral, the unique and highly ornamented church of St. Michael’s and the Anfiteatro, which used to be an ancient Roman arena but in the middle ages turned into a vast apartment house. Also on our own personal agenda was the birthplace of Giacomo Puccini, one of the greatest of all opera composers. A small museum occupies the house his ancestors once lived in, and where the great composer of “La Boheme” and many other masterpieces, was born. We also enjoyed the beautiful countryside of Tuscany, full of mountains, with countless trees—cypress, olive trees and umbrella pines--- lining the roads. Tomorrow we return to Philadelphia, to our beloved pets and our friends, before heading up to Fire Island. –Dan
Friday, May 17, 2013
Our ship arrived in the harbor of Cannes Friday. We took a tender or small boat from the ship the Legend to the port. From there we walked to the old city Le Suquet to tour the Musee de la Castre. This is not one of the notable small museums of Province, but instead a mish-mash collection of anthropological art from Oceania, meso-America and so forth. I used to teach these types of art works in a course but am not that interested in those art forms today, except perhaps the Northwest Coast American Indians—a type of art not in the collections of the Musee de la Castre. But Jim particularly enjoyed the magnificent view from the top of the tall tower in the ancient building, which also included a Medieval chapel turned into a gallery. From that part of town we walked to the glitzy, modern part near the harbor where the Film Festival is currently taking place. We saw Uma Thurman—but only on a poster. The building where the festival is held is controversial because of its (rather ugly) later 20th century architecture, but it features the famed red carpet, and many entrances are restricted to those with press passes, etc. After our tour of the seafront we returned by the tender to the Legend, our Seabourn ship.--Dan
Thursday, May 16, the Seabourn Legend docked at the port of Ajaccio on the southwest coast of the island of Corsica. It was raining when we arrived, and Dan was feeling under the weather with a cold, so he elected to stay on board for the day. Jim decided to join other passengers on the tour we had previously booked going to "Les Calanches," a two hour drive North along the rugged and spectacular coastline of western Corsica. Here is what the Corsica travel guide has to say about the scenery:
The Calanches de Piana are an almost surreal world of weather carved pink granite, an other-worldly vista of strangely shaped red figures, often plunging dramatically into the turquoise sea below. Some of the dramatic rocks plunge towards the sea below, others stand poised high above at altitudes up to 300 metres, all are fascinating and beautiful, with the sea providing a perfect backdrop.As soon as we left Ajaccio driving north, the rain stopped. We were treated to many beautiful vistas along the coast of the heavily mountainous island of Corsica. Our guide explained that Corsica was once part of France millions of years ago..and the Corsican mountains were part of the Alps. The western coastline of the island is jagged and rocky. The eastern coastline has beaches. When we arrived at "Les Calanches," our tour bus parked and we went on foot along the narrow, winding mountain road to view the remarkable red granite formations. I haven't seen anything like this since Dan and I toured the southwest U.S. The formations are simply spectaular. The skies were alternately sunny and partly cloudy which provided a variety of lighting effects as I took many photographs. Here are some of the photos: