14 Oct 2016
Piraeus (Port of Athens), Greece:
Back, in Time

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises 

We have reached the end of our extended journey from Lisbon into the Mediterranean and after a loop of the Greek Islands have arrived at Piraeus, the ancient and modern port of Athens.

As your vacation ends, ours begins.

I hope you’ll join me here in these pages in a few months as we take to the sea once more.

We next sail on Silver Spirit in the Caribbean in December and January. Later in 2017, we will be aboard Silver Wind and then Silversea’s new flagship Silver Muse.

Until then, safe travels.

Καλή αντάμωση.

Or if that’s Greek to you, Arrivederci.

Until we meet again.

Athens Parthenon

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Text and images copyright 2016 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

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Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

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Hudson Book Cover

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

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13 Oct 2016
Mykonos, Greece:
The Party’s On

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

From the island of Apocalypse (Patmos) we head to a place that is an unofficial island version of Sodom and Gomorrah. A bit of hyperbole in all of these descriptions, but when you are sailing in the Greek Islands legends seem just a bit more real.

Mykonos is an island of beauty and a bit of history, but for many people it is best known as a party island: an Aegean version of Ibiza in the Mediterranean or Monte Carlo or St-Tropez.

I find it hard to imagine what the ancient Greeks would think of it all, especially when you consider that at one time Mykonos had as its principal role raising food and delivering supplies to the nearby tiny sacred island of Delos.

Delos was the religious, economic, and political hub of the Aegean.

A MYKONOS ALBUM

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A DELOS ALBUM

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Text and images copyright 2016 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

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————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Hudson Book Cover

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

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12 Oct 2016
Patmos, Greece:
After the Apocalypse?

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Patmos is a lovely, peaceful small island in the Aegean Sea, one of the northernmost of the Dodecanese islands of Greece. It lies just off the coast of Turkey and the continent of Asia, west of the ancient Greek and Christian site of Ephesus.

It is also, to true believers, the source of the details of the Apocalypse, one of the more dramatic and (for some) least understood parts of the New Testament.

So why is this peaceful Greek island associated with Apocalypse? Because it is believed that it was here that the final book of the New Testament was written.

That book, written in Koine Greek, received its title from its first word: apokalypsis. It does not mean “The end of time” or “the destruction of life as we know it.

Literally translated, apokalypsis means “un-covering.”

The book’s introduction states that its author, John, was on Patmos when he was received a vision from Jesus and wrote it down.

Today we walked up from the port about 3 kilometers to the cave said to be the place where John received the revelation. We started on town roads but switched over to ancient cobbled paths. From most everywhere we could see back to the harbor,  where our small ship makes a pretty statement: white on blue, like most of Greece.

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A PATMOS ALBUM

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Text and images copyright 2016 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

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11 Oct 2016
Kusadasi, Turkey:
Gateway to Ephesus

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

The Greeks, the Lydians, the Romans, the Queen of the Amazons, Diana, the evil eye, the Persians, Saint Paul, Saint John, the Virgin Mary (perhaps), a beautiful port, and throngs of pilgrims.

Kusadasi, on Turkey’s west coast, is the gateway to the extraordinary remains of the ancient city of Ephesus.

We arrived this morning to a wary city, certainly Turkish but very much oriented to modern tourism. The Turks of Kusadasi, like the vast majority of the ones I have met over the years,  are gracious, welcoming, and uncertain about their country’s future.  I wish them well.

The Silk Road reached Ephesus, nearby to Kusadasi, as early as 475 B.C., during the time of Herodotus. The path ran some 2,857 kilometers from the city of Susa in western Persia (now Iran) to the port of Smyrna (modern İzmir in Turkey) on the Aegean Sea.

The Roman Empire took possession of the coast in the 2nd century BC, and into the early years of Christianity.

Saint John the Evangelist came to the area, and according to Roman Catholic sacred tradition, so too did the Virgin Mary.

The city at the navigable end of the Menderes or Cayster River, Ephesus, was one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League during the Classical Greek era.

In the Roman period, in the 1st century BC, Ephesus was a major city. In the year 100, it may have been home to as many as 500,000 people. That made it one of the largest cities in the Mediterranean.

A few hundred years into the modern era, the city was damaged by earthquakes and the river silted up, leaving its harbor landlocked.

Today it is one of Turkey’s major tourist lures, a spectacular view of the bones of a major ancient city.

AN EPHESUS ALBUM

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Text and images copyright 2016 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

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10 Oct 2016
Santorini, Greece:
Picture Perfect

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Santorini is the Greek island of your mind’s eye.

Whitewash and aqua blue against steep hillsides, with lovely beaches and spectacular views.

Santorini is one of the more spectacular sights in the Aegean, a half-circle of steep cliffs topped with two horizontal towns of white and blue: Fira and Ia.

Oh, and one more thing: It’s a picture-perfect Greek island that also sits atop a ticking time bomb.

The cliffs are actually the rim of a huge volcano. A huge dormant—not dead, just sleeping—volcano.

A SANTORINI ALBUM

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Text and images copyright 2016 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

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9 Oct 2016
Transit of the Corinth Canal, Greece:
Squeezing Through

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

The Corinth Canal is the strange passage between the seas, one of the most interesting and challenging little canals in the world.

It connects the Gulf of Corinth in the Ionian Sea to the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea, a straight four-mile (six-kilometer) line across the top of Peloponnesia in Greece.

Pelopennesia is the southernmost part of the mainland of Greece, although, you might instead want to call Pelopennesia the largest southernmost island of Greece, because for more than a century it has been divided from the mainland of Europe by the Corinth Canal.

It’s an obvious place for a canal, since it cuts off 185 nautical miles (213 statute miles) or 343 kilometers of sailing between the Aegean and Adriatic.

Not having to go down and around the bottom of Peloppenesia saves almost a full day for a sailing vessel or about half a day for a ship like ours.

The idea of having a canal here was so obvious that it was pursued way before modern times. The first serious consideration of a canal cutting across the Isthmus of Corinth was in 602 BC, when Periander, the Tyrant of Corinth and one of the Seven Sages of Antiquity proposed it as a public works project.

But he was not sage enough to figure out how to dig the ditch.

In 66 A.D., the Emperor Nero sent war prisoners from the Aegean islands and six thousand Jewish slaves to work on the canal. Nero himself started the work, digging with a golden hoe, while music played.

Nero’s slaves dug a ditch three kilometers or two miles in length and 40 meters or 131 feet wide before Nero had to rush back to Rome to quell the Galva mutiny.

In Rome, Nero was arrested on charges of treason and sentenced to death in 68 A.D. That unfinished canal was never used.

The 19th century, the Industrial Age, was the also the Age of the Canal. The modern pathway, begun in 1881, follows—almost to the inch—Nero’s plans. The Corinth Canal was completed and opened on July 25, 1893.

The canal was never a huge financial success. It was (and is) too narrow for big ships, too difficult in bad weather or tides, and too prone to landslides.

Earthen or rock cliffs flank both sides, reaching a maximum height of 63 meters or 207 feet above water.

Within that V-shaped cut, the canal is very narrow: 80.7 feet wide (24.6 meters) at sea level. That’s less than two tour buses or coaches in width.

Our ship, Silver Cloud, is just about the widest vessel permitted through the canal.

And we need help: a tug boat at the bow, an experienced local pilot and two spotters, and some white knuckles up on the bridge.

A CORINTH CANAL ALBUM

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Text and images copyright 2016 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Hudson Book Cover

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

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9 Oct 2016
Itea, Greece:
A Visit to the Oracle

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Itea is on the mainland of Greece, at its southern flank on the Gulf of Corinth. There’s not all that much to the place, just a few taverns and cafés and a few gift shops.

There’s a little beach in town; as is the case most everywhere, the better beaches are away from the harbor.

THE VILLAGE OF ITEA

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Pleasant enough, but that’s not the reason we’re here.

Just east of Itea is Kirra, which was the ancient port of Delphi. And 15 kilometers, or 10 miles northeast are the partly restored ruins of Delphi itself on the southwestern section of Mount Parnassus in the valley of Phocis.

It was here that Apollo slew the Python, a dragon who lived there and protected the navel of the Earth.

This was also the site of the Oracle of Delphi, the most important of the classical Greek world. An oracle was a person—or sometimes a group of people, or a place—considered to be a source of wise counsel or prophecy.

Oracles were considered portals through which the gods spoke directly to people. This is different from a “seer”, someone believed to be able to interpret messages sent by the gods through bird signs, animal entrails, and other methods.

A DELPHI ALBUM

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HOSIOS LOUKAS MONASTERY

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Text and images copyright 2016 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

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8 Oct 2016
Argostoli, Greece:
The Ionian Island of Kefalonia

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Argostoli, on the island of Kefalonia (or Cephalonia, if you prefer the modern pronunciation, is a lesser-known island of Greece, at least if you are thinking in terms of modern history.

Going way back in history, though, the ancients knew this place well.

Kefalonia is the largest of the Ionian islands of Greece, about 300 square miles, or 781 square kilometers.

It is a spectacularly beautiful island,  a place of mountain peaks, handsome beaches, and jaw-dropping caves.

Here are some photos from today.

A CEPHALONIA ALBUM

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Greek myth associates the island with the mythological figure of Cephalus, who helped helped Amphitryon of Mycenae in a war against the Taphians and Teleboans.

His reward was the island of Same, which thereafter came to be known as Cephalonia.

Odysseus, to give his Greek name, also known by the Latin name Ulysses, was the legendary Greek king of the island of Ithaca and the hero of Homer’s epic poem the Odyssey.

Cephalonia has been suggested as the actual location of Homer’s Ithaca, the home of Odysseus.

There is a theory that Paliki, which today is a peninsula of Cephalonia to the west of Argostoli where we are scheduled to visit, was a separate island during the late Bronze Age, and it may be this which Homer was referring to when he described Ithaca.

Or, some point to the smaller Greek island that stands offshore of Kefalonia to the east and that today is called Ithaca.

One or the other, or neither…although many of the Greek myths have at least a kernel of truth somewhere within.

The coastal road out of Argostoli to the west was known during the Venetian period as the ‘Piccolo Gyro’, the little Gyro or little spiral.

Along the Piccolo Gyro lie the ‘Swallow Holes’ of Katovothres, a rare geological phenomenon where seawater is continuously disappearing into the sink holes.

Where does the water go?

We know now that the salt water disappears underground and travels under the island, re-emerging some fourteen days later about 15 kilometers or 10 miles away in the Karavomylos area of Sami, having passed through the underground Melissani lake.

But over the millennia, not much else of historical note has happened on Kefalonia with the notable exception of a short period of time during World War II.

Most of Greece was occupied by Axis powers—Italian or Greek troops.

But by mid-1943, Italy was falling and its post-Mussolini government negotiated a surrender to the Allies and some Italian units actually fought against the Germans in Italy and Greece.

In Greece, the Germans tried to disarm the Italians. Instead, between September 13 and 22 of 1943, the Germans fought the Italians in Cephalonia.

This led to the Massacre of the Acqui Division, also known as the Cephalonia Massacre, the mass execution of the men of the Italian 33rd Acqui Infantry Division by the Germans on the island of Cephalonia in September 1943.

About 1,315 Italian soldiers were killed in battle, as many as 5,000 were executed, and about 3,000 Italians drowned when a German ship taking them to concentration camps struck a mine and sank.

It was one of the largest prisoner of war massacres of the war.

The massacre was the back-story behind the bestselling 1994 book “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” by British writer Louis de Bernières.

When a fisherman leaves to fight with the Greek army during WWII, his fiancée falls in love with the local Italian commander.

Penelope Cruz and Nicholas Cage, respectively.

The 2001 movie was mostly filmed on location around the island.

Text and images copyright 2016 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

 

7 Oct 2016
Messina, Italy:
There But For Fortune

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Early Friday morning, we sailed south from Amalfi through the Tyrrhenian Sea into the funnel-shaped Strait of Messina.

On our left was the big toe at the bottom of the mainland of Italy.

To our right was the large island of Sicily, the football being kicked by Italy’s boot.

Almost anywhere the sea funnels into a strait, mariners know to expect strong and sometime treacherous currents.

And then down below us, the Eurasian plate is moving south toward the African plate. One of the hotspots, where the plates grind against each other, is southern Italy.

Which gives us Mount Etna, the tallest active volcano in Europe, nearly constantly bubbling over like a bowl of Arrabiata sauce left on the burner.

The day dawned as a mix of blue sky and scary black clouds. We went up to the Duomo, recently emerged from restoration scaffolding.

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THERE BUT FOR FORTUNE

And then storm clouds of a different kind arrived.  Out in the harbor, an Italian Red Cross ship arrived.  It docked a few hundred feet behind Silver Cloud, met by squadrons of health care workers, police, and government officials.

Aboard were several hundred people plucked from the Mediterranean off the coast of Libya.  In the past few days,  I learned,  more than 6,000 arrived in Messina. Their past was so awful they chose to risk their lives to escape; their future is uncertain.

There but for fortune go you or I.

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A MESSINA ALBUM

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A TAORMINA AND MOUNT ETNA ALBUM

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Text and images copyright 2016 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Hudson Book Cover

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

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6 Oct 2016
Amalfi, Italy:
The City in the Ravine

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We pulled up our anchor early this morning in the Bay of Sorrento and sailed south down the coast a few hours, which is a much more relaxing way to get to our destination than it is to endure the white-knuckle road called the Amalfi Drive.

The town of Amalfi today has a population of about 5,400 people, squeezed into a narrow ravine with a total area of 2.4 square miles or a bit over 6 square kilometers.

It has always been a small place, but at its peak about the year 1131, it occupied a slightly larger piece of coastline and had a population of about 70,000.

That was when little Amalfi was the capital of the maritime republic known as the Duchy of Amalfi, an important trading power in the Mediterranean.

Amalfi developed extensive trade with Byzantium and Egypt. Amalfitan merchants wrested the Mediterranean trade monopoly from the Arabs and founded mercantile bases in Southern Italy and the Middle East in the 10th century.

And Amalfitans were the first to create a colony in Constantinople.

AN AMALFI ALBUM

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Text and images copyright 2016 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

 

5 Oct 2016
Sorrento, Italy:
What Volcano?

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Campania is one of the most beautiful, dramatic, and dangerous regions in coastal Italy. It stretches from Naples south to Sorrento and down the coast to Amalfi and Positano.

And visible from almost everywhere, the hulking presence of Mount Vesuvius: one of the world’s most threatening volcanoes.

VESUVIUS TODAY

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In between Naples and Sorrento are Pompeii and Herculaneum, two of the Roman settlements covered by the eruption of Vesuvius in the year 79.

I went for guests on a return visit to Pompeii,  a place I have visited more times than I can remember and from which I always learn. Here are some photos from today.

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A SORRENTO ALBUM

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A POMPEII ALBUM

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Text and images copyright 2016 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

 

4 Oct 2016
Civitavecchia, Port of Rome, Italy:
Shipping Out Again

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We arrived at the ancient port of Rome early this morning. Civitavecchia, as in Ancient City.

To guests leaving us here, we wish you arrivederci. Until we meet again. And welcome aboard to guests signing on for a voyage scheduled to head down the length of Italy, through the Strait of Messina, and a very tight squeeze through the Corinth Canal at the top of Pelopennisia in Greece.

From there we are due to call at the picture-perfect Greek island of Santorini before entering into the Aegean Sea.

Our cruise continues on to a few more perfect pictures of Greek islands: Patmos and Mykonos, before concluding in Piraeus, the port of Athens.

Here’s our plan:

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A ROMAN ALBUM

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Text and images copyright 2016 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Hudson Book Cover

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

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2-3 Oct 2016
Livorno, Italy:
The Gateway

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Livorno is Italy’s second-largest port, after Genoa. It’s a city of some interest itself, although most visitors hardly notice as they pass through to the inland.

From Livorno you can easily reach the great city of Florence (Firenze). Or join the throngs on a pilgrimage to one of the world’s iconic sites, a certain tower in the town of Pisa. And there’s always beautiful Tuscany, Siena, and Lucca.

All such choices should be so rich.

Livorno was considered an ideal, or model town during the Italian Renaissance; it is among a small number of Italian towns that was actually planned.

In the late 1580s, Livorno was declared a porto Franco, a duty-free port. The Leggi_Livornine laws governed commerce and also granted freedom of religion; all were welcome if they contributed to the community.

Trade and freedom brought many immigrants: Armenians, Jews, Dutch, English, Greeks, Moriscos (Spanish Muslims forcibly converted to Catholicism).

At the end of the 17th century it was within fortified town walls—a few still stand—and crossed by navigable canals. Some canals remain in Livorno’s Venice district.

On this visit,  we choose to go local.  We took a city bus about 15 miles south of Livorno and then rode a creaky funicular (one of the oldest still in use,  dating from 1908) to the Santuario di Montenero.

It offers a great view of Livorno, and a glitzy 18th century Church with roots going back hundreds of years earlier.  The side chambers include some very unusual art: drawings and paintings depicting the deaths–mostly in accidents of various sorts–of some of the parishioners.

SANTUARIO DI MONTENERO

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A LIVORNO ALBUM

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PISA

Less than an hour north of Livorno is the city of Pisa, which at its peak was one of the maritime republics of this part of the world. How can an inland city be a maritime power? Well, the Arno River used to be navigable from Pisa all the way to the sea; it silted up and was one of the reasons Pisa went into relative decline.

Oh, and their celebratory campanile became dangerously defective. That sort of thing can happen when you build on wet and unstable soil.

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FLORENCE

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Text and images copyright 2016 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

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1 Oct 2016
Portofino, Italy:
La Bella Figura

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Portofino, of course, is famous as a beautiful place.

If it seems familiar even if you’ve not been here before, perhaps you’ve seen it somewhere else.

There are recreations of Portofino’s harbor in Orlando, Florida at the Portofino Bay Resort at Universal Studios and another one at Tokyo DisneySea at Tokyo Disneyland in Japan.

There are also real estate developments with a Portofino theme in Reston, Virginia and at Gulf Harbour on the Hibiscus Coast in New Zealand.

None are quite as handsome…or as small…as the real thing.

Elizabeth von Arnim, born in New Zealand in 1866 as Mary Annette Beauchamp, wrote more than 20 books, including “Mister Skeffington,” which was made into a movie in 1940 starring Bette Davis and Claude Rains.

In 1922, she wrote her novel “Enchanted April” while staying at Castello Brown which still stands above the harbor. That book was filmed in 1935 and then remade in 1992.

The novel tells the story of four very different women in 1920s England who leave their damp and rainy environs to go on a holiday to a secluded coastal castle in Italy.

The 1992 remake of “Enchanted April” was filmed on location at Castello Brown.

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On this cost,  I went with guests to Rapallo and Santa Margherita di Ligure, two larger towns on the coast. These are places with things not found in Portofino, like buses, trucks, and stop lights.

One highlight in Santa Margherita is the church of Saint Margaret of Antioch.

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Text and images copyright 2016 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

 

30 Sep 2016
Monte Carlo, Monaco:
Above and Below

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We’re back in Monte Carlo in the tiny principality of Monaco, a 700-year-old monarchy squeezed into about three-quarters of a square mile, or just a bit less than two square kilometers.

A country smaller than New York City’s Central Park.

Today I went for a helicopter tour of the region, from Monaco to Nice, a peek at the Maritime Alps, and across the harbor of Monte Carlo,  filled with expensive floating real estate for the Monaco Yacht Show.

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And then, back on land,  we visited the Oceanographic Institute near the palace for a glimpse below the surface of the Mediterranean and other seas.

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We were also here two weeks ago, on 16 September, and you can see additional photos and commentary in the blog entry for that day

A MONACO ALBUM

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Text and images copyright 2016 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

 

29 Sep 2016
Calvi, Corsica, France:
Nelson and Paoli, Yes. Columbus, Probably Not.

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Napoleon was born here. Nelson left behind a body part. Pasquale di Paoli fought the heavy hand of Genoa and then France. Those are facts.

Like Ibiza, and Spain, and four or five other places including Genoa, there is a monument here that celebrates the birthplace of Christopher Columbus. Probably not.

But back to the facts on the ground. This island flies a French flag, has an Italian heritage, and maintains a defiantly independent Corsican culture.

It is an island of jagged granite mountains and dense, dark forests.

It even has its own odor, a scent of the maquis: fields of aromatic herbs and shrubs.

Today I went with guests on a trip through the maquis to Iles-Rousse, the lovely little port town that was a stronghold of the 18th century independence leader Pasquale di Paoli.

ILES-ROUSSE

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A CALVI ALBUM

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Text and images copyright 2016 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Hudson Book Cover

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

 

28 Sep 2016
Alghero, Sardinia, Italy:
A Time Capsule at Sea

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Sardinia is part of Italy, while its neighbor Corsica is part of France.

But Italian Sardinia is closer to France at the narrow strait near Corsica than it is to Italy. (Although, French Corsica is closer to Italy than France.)

And much of the architecture and a bit of the culture is still heavily influenced by the Spanish and the Habsburgs who ruled here for many centuries.

The Ozieri culture was here in the 4th millennium BC; while the Nuraghe civilization was active about 1500 BC. Scattered around Sardinia are thousands of megalithic ruins known as nuraghes in Sardinian or nuraghi in Italian.

The name is believed to come from an old word meaning heap of stones, or confusingly, a cavity in the earth. In any case, they are usually located in panoramic or strategic locations; about 8,000 have been cataloged. Historians say perhaps 30,000 once existed.

They date from the middle of the Bronze Age (18th-15th centuries BC). Many were still in use when Rome arrived in the 2nd century BC.

Alghero at the island’s northwest corner is an intriguing place to explore, a time capsule of many civilizations.

This year’s seemingly endless summer continues,  with midday temperatures in the 80s. Today,  Wednesday,  is market day in Alghero and we walked along the beachfront Lido to Viale Sardegna. The aroma of dozens of types of local cheeses advertised the location of the market a few blocks away.

MARKET DAY IN ALGHERO

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Here are some views of Alghero from previous visits.

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Text and images copyright 2016 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

27 Sep 2016
Porto Mahon, Menorca, Spain:
In the Middle

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We are back at Menorca, the middle piece of the big three of the Balearic Islands.

We headed off in a different direction today,  along the waterfront to find the old electrical generation station of Porto Mahon from 1892, and then climbed up the hill to visit the 15th century Church of San Francesco.

The church combines Gothic, Baroque, and other elements including some interesting monochrome frescoes flanking the altar.

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We were last here on 14 September, and you can see more photos and commentary in the blog entry for that day.

A MENORCA ALBUM

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Text and images copyright 2016 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

You can help support this site by making purchases from
AMAZON.COM by clicking on the banner below.

 

26 Sep 2016
San Antonio, Ibiza, Spain:
The Party Line

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Early Monday morning we sailed around the corner to San Antonio on the west coast of Ibiza. In doing so, we moved to the second-largest town on the island, and a place that has only a bit of history.

The rest? Bars, restaurants, hotels, beaches, and clubs including Es Paradis, one of the first of Ibiza’s party sites.

Also in San Antonio one of the architectural highlights is an odd monument called “The Egg.”

It was erected in the 1990s—in the middle of a round-about, a traffic circus—in honor of Christopher Columbus.

Why? Because of a very flimsy claim by a writer and now by tourism folk that Columbus had been born on the island of Ibiza. (There may have been a party that preceded the claim.)

But just for the record: Columbus, it is pretty widely believed, was born in the Republic of Genoa.

But that’s kind of like saying Rudyard Kipling was born in the United Kingdom; Kipling was born in Bombay in British India in 1865 and died in London in 1936. British all the way.

Or, for what it is worth, that George Washington (and John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, and half a dozen more of the first American presidents) were born in the United States. There was no such place when they were born.

Back to Columbus:  Might have been born in Genoa, where they can show you a house that is almost certainly not his. Or Corsica—which was fully part of the Genoese empire—where they can show you the ruins of a house in Calvi. Or Aragon in what is now Spain, or in Portugal.

But Ibiza? Local politicians and the tourist bureau will have you believe that Columbus was born in Dalt Vila, the medieval part of Ibiza Town.

Why? Because his style of writing in his journals is said to be Ibizan, and because he used coastal names from the Balearic islands for some of his discoveries in the Caribbean: Punta de la Mata and Punta de la Rama among them.

That’s the party line, anyhow.

Text and images copyright 2016 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

 

25 Sep 2016
Ibiza Town, Ibiza, Spain:
The Party Begins

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

From the mainland of Spain at Porto Denia to Ibiza, it is about 75 miles or 120km. Mallorca and Menorca are 150 and 250 miles away, respectively.

On some summer weekends the Balearics seem like a suburb of Valencia…mixed in with jet-setters from around the world.

Looming over the old city are the massive medieval stone walls of Dalt Vila—a UNESCO World Heritage site—and its Gothic cathedral.

Modern Ibiza is very much a party town for the young. But it does have an ancient past. Its history is similar—but not identical—to that of Menorca and Mallorca.

The island’s largest cities are Ibiza Town; in Catalan called Vila d’Eivissa, or simply Vila, as well as Sant Antoni de Portmany, or San Antonio.

The Spanish have been trying for years to make the claim that Ibiza is not just beaches, bars, and bikinis.

Not very successfully.

Some call the place, “Gomorrah of the Med.”

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If you ask someone about the principal attractions of Ibiza, you’re not likely to hear about great museums, cathedrals, and historical sites.

You are much more likely to hear about Paradis, Amnesia, Privilege, DC-10 and other clubs presenting live acts or DJs featuring techno or dance music.

The peak Gomorrah season runs from about June through September.

AN IBIZA ALBUM

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Text and images copyright 2016 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM