Tuesday, August 30, 2016

A touch of Aix-en-Provence!

We made port in Toulon, France yesterday morning.


I first visited France about 6 years ago on a trip to Paris and the surrounding areas, but to find myself in the famous south of France, the area that inspired artists like Cezanne was a dream come true.

It was also a “short” tour day, meaning we had to be back on ship by 3:30pm so that we could reach Barcelona this morning meant that we chose an easy walking tour around the charming town of Aix-en-Provence to soak up a bit of the flavor of this area of Provence.

This is also just a teaser post as we are in port in Barcelona and getting ready to disembark!  More when I return home.

Monday, August 29, 2016

A Day in the Cinque Terre!

This is Manarola!

I was just here – May of 2015!  The trip that inspired all of Allietare!

Yesterday was a bus, boat, train, bus day as we drove through Tuscany, boarded a boat and approached the Cinque Terre by sea.

We stopped in some towns I didn’t get a chance to see on the last trip, and got to spend more time in Monterossa than we did the LAST time.

In May, the town can be crowded…but in AUGUST….it is packed with tourists!

Many of these places do not have beaches, and what beaches you will find are quite rocky.  Instead, tourists and locals alike will pick a big flat rock slab, lay out a towel, and sun themselves on the rocks “much like lizards…..” in the words of our guide, Andrea!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

In a Time Crunch–Rome Teaser!

 Yes, I did stitch hexies on the way to Rome!  It was a lovely drive with beautifui country side – the sea to my right, and farm land and vinyards to my left….So great to be back in Italy again as I have very fond memories of the land that inspired Allietare!

This is going to be a very short post…our days are running together.  The last 4 days of this cruise have  long excursions that start at 7am, get us back to the ship at 5:30pm, dinner starts at 6:30pm and lasts two hours – yes, we dress for dinner in the dining room and I love relaxing and chatting with everyone in my group on what they did this day.

By the time dinner is done it is 8:30 and I can barely keep my eyes open.  I am asleep by 9pm.

The alarm goes off at 6am to start all over….today we are headed on a boat ride to the Cinque Terre, a spot I want to visit again since the last time was just not enough.

I have one hour between wake up and meeting in our assigned area before starting our journey.

Where is blog posting fitting in?  In 15 minutes before heading to breakfast where I will let it upload while I eat something quickly, come down and hit post – slow internet!

So today – only a few teaser photos from Rome!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Class Day Three at Sea!

Busy stitchers all around!

All talking about our port day the day before – Croatia!

One thing I love about cruising is that we are free to choose ANY of the ship’s excursions and see what we want to see.

Or choose NONE of the above and either stay aboard ship to get a massage and relax and stitch blissfully away, or curl up with a good book, take a nap – or just wander into town for a bit of sight seeing and try a local eatery.

I think that amongst us – we did ALL of the above!  And there was a lot of chatter about what we had done and seen the day before.

This was our last full workshop day at sea, but there were still 4 more port days ahead of us.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Krka National Park, Croatia!

Croatia is a country that has been through so much during my life time.

On Oct. 29, 1918, Croatia proclaimed its independence and joined in union with Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia to form the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes.

The name was changed to Yugoslavia in 1929. When Germany invaded Yugoslavia in 1941, Croatia became a Nazi puppet state.

Growing up I just remember hearing vague things about wars and rumors of wars yet I really had no idea where this area of the world was, and why all of this was going on.  It was beyond me.  I vaguely remember the following, again, placing it so far away from home:

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Venice, Italy–Day 2!

If I had a month of Sundays – it wouldn’t be enough to explore all that there is to see in Venice.

Oh, sure – there is the usual “Very High End” shopping districts down quite a few of the narrow alleys in the main areas around St Mark’s square –and we would shake our heads as we walked past mostly empty store fronts with 1,500.00 euro Gucci bags in the windows…evidently the finer folks that can afford these things were not in Venice the two days that we were in port.  But the street vendor kiosks were busy!

Getting up on the top deck bright and early and watching the sun rise over sleepy Venice was a magical moment.  I love my early mornings.  And this one was glorious!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Venezia, Italia–Day One!

Venice with friends!

Oh, no – we are not having a good time at all, can’t you tell?  HA!

Venice is amazing. 

I’m still pinching myself that we were able to spend nearly 2 days in this jewel of a city with so much history and culture.  Actually, two days is NOT enough – not by a long shot.

But we crammed in as much of Venice as we could into our two days knowing that no matter what we saw, it would be wonderful.  And no matter what we saw, there would be things we wanted to see that we would have to save for another time down the line.  This was a TASTE of Venice, and there was so much more.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A C&T Shout Out (And More Montenegro!)

Before I post ANYTHING, I want to let you know that I have another blog post up on the C&T Blog!

It’s a simple little post on pressing – and you might learn some things you didn’t know before.  So after you are done reading my little travelogue here, head over there for my article entitled Adventures in Chain Pressing and read up on something quilty, because there only a little sewing happening in this post!

I have snuck in small moments of hexie time here and there.  This photo was taken at the END of our Montenegro day, before we left port.  I was sitting on the balcony of our cabin just watching boats go by.

I’ve got quilter’s cabins on either side of mine, and it is fun to catch just a bit of conversation as they are out on their balconies enjoying the day also.

**Side Note** And to those who exclaim "Don't you EVER just relax??"  This IS the ultimate in relaxation for me.  I do what I want to do when I want to do it.  It doesn't get better than this! :)

While we were in Kotor, Mary Ellen and I visited another couple of ancient churches, the Church of St Mary Collegiata, and the Cathedral of St Trphyon.

Monday, August 22, 2016

To Montenegro by Sea!

Montenegro is a country I didn’t know ANYTHING about.

And when I say nothing….I really mean NOTHING.

It was never on my bucket list.  I never gave this area of the world a second thought.

And when it showed up on our ports of call list for this Mediterranean cruise, part of me just wanted to skip it, and Croatia, and get straight to Venice and Rome where all of the “Good stuff” is. 

I was wrong.  I was oh so wrong!  Kotor Montenegro is a beautiful place centered around a quaint medieval village with a rich heritage and the history loving person within me sang out as soon as we passed this little onion-domed church sitting alone on its little islet as we made our way in to the bay.

This is a magical place!