Atlantis Alumni

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Cruise Finale: Palermo, Sicily

Our last port was Palermo, Sicily. We arrived in the morning and took a bus tour of the city, as well as a trip to nearby Monreale. In Monreale, the magnificent Norman cathedral contains the largest collection of Byzantine mosaics anywhere. They were crafted by master artisans from Constantinople in the 11th century. Both William the First and his son William the Second are buried in the cathedral. Those Norman kings not only conquered Sicily, but also England. Sicily is a conglomeration of many cultures, like Malta, though it was never a British colony. It became part of Italy around 1860, though the Sicilians still think of themselves as apart from the ‘continent’ or mainland of Italy. In Palermo we visited large Cathedral or Duomo, whose exterior shows the architectural styles of the Normans, Byzantine, the Gothic period, and the Baroque in its large dome. Inside, the Palermo Duomo is simply neo-classical, as it was changed in the early 19th century. We also managed to see the great opera house, the Teatro Massimo, which is the third largest opera in Europe, after Paris and Vienna. In the afternoon our ship the Equinox sailed for Civitavecchia, the port of Rome, where we will disembark. Jim had a wonderful time at the ‘splash party’ near the pool in the afternoon on Sunday. All the passengers wore swim suits and danced in light rain—our only rain on the trip. After the pool party we walked from the crowded Martini Bar down to the Silhouette Dining Room and had dinner with fellow passengers from many places: Brussels, L.A., Dallas and Chicago. Some of our companions we already knew, and others were new faces. But there’s an easy camaraderie on the ship and it’s usually easy to talk to our shipmates. Today we leave the Equinox with many memories of the Mediterranean. –Dan

No comments: