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.

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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”

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

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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:

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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”

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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:

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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

 

24 Sep 2016
Palma de Mallorca, Spain:
The Green Boulevard

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We return to the largest of the Balearic Islands, Mallorca as in major. On this visit, Silver Cloud we called at the capital  city of Palma, a very green and handsome city in the Mediterranean.

Sailing over last night from Barcelona we enjoyed a spectacular thunderstorm,  a wondrous sight from aboard ship with 360-degree views of the horizon.  This morning dawned clear, and we hope for dry days on land.

I went out in search for remembrances of Antoni Gaudi along the lush and green boulevards of Palma.

PALMA DE MALLORCA TODAY

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We were in Palma de Mallorca on 13 September, and in the resort town of Alcudia on Mallorca on 20 September. You’ll find additional photos and commentary in the blog entries for those days.

It was under Roman rule that the towns of Pollentia and Palmaria were founded. The local economy was based mostly on the cultivation of olives and grapes and the mining of salt.

The Romans were ousted in 426 when the Vandals sacked the island. And then came the series of back-and-forth invasions and clashes of culture that is part of the Mediterranean story.

In 534, Majorca was conquered by the Byzantine Empire, and administered as part of the province of Sardinia. Under Byzantine rule, Christianity flourished and numerous churches were built.

But starting in 707, the island was increasingly attacked by Muslim raiders from North Africa. In 902, the Caliphate of Córdoba conquered Majorca and eventually the island was managed from Damascus.

The locals were quite active in the sacking of ships (both Muslim or Christian) which passed nearby. Eventually, the piracy lead to retaliation from Al-Andalus, (Moorish Iberia) which launched its naval power against the city and the whole of the Islands.

And then about 844 came the first of a number of attacks by Vikings; they sacked the entire island.

But through it all, the Muslims were the dominant power until 1114.

Now the Europeans came storming in, at least for a brief moment. In 1114, an expedition of Pisans and Catalans overran the island, laying siege to Palma for eight months. After the city fell, the invaders retreated, and were replaced by tribes from North Africa, Berber Muslims who ruled until 1229.

Back came the Europeans: in 1229 King James I of Aragon launched an invasion with 15,000 men and 1,500 horses.

And then from 1479, thirteen years before Columbus, the Crown of Aragon was in dynastic union with Castile, during the buildup of the ambitions and the power of Ferdinand and Isabella.

I’ll stop here–skipping over the War of the Spanish Succession in the early 18th century, the Spanish Civil War in the early 20th century, and the modern invasion by tourists.

Let’s just say that Mallorca has seen history come at it in all directions.

A PALMA MALLORCA 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

 

22-23 Sep 2016
Barcelona, Spain:
Hola i adéu

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Hola i adéu. Hello and goodbye, in Catalan.

Adéu to guests leaving us here in the glorious city of Barcelona.

And hola to those coming aboard for a winding path that will take us to three of the Balearic islands of Spain, the Italian island of Corsica, the French island of Corsica, the glitzy principality of Monaco, the charming port of Portofino, the gateway city of Livorno, and finally to the port of Rome at Civitavecchia.

It’s all good, and I hope you’ll join me here. Here’s our plan:

MAP v1630

A BARCELONA 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.

 

21 Sep 2016
Castellon de la Plana, Spain:
The Orange Blossom Coast



By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

In this regions of castles, King Jaume I (James I) granted a petition to move a town from the top of a hilltop down to a fertile plain near the Mediterranean.

And thus was born in 1251, Castellon de la Plana: Castellon on the Plain.

It’s on a handsome stretch of about 75 miles of the Spanish coast with dramatic rocky cliffs, hidden coves, handsome beaches, isolated villages, modernist buildings, 15th century palaces, and some extravagant resorts.

In modern times, the promoters of tourism ask you to call the place the Costa del Azahar, the Orange Blossom Coast.

I went with guests up the coast to the castle-crowned town of Peniscola,  at one time a rock cut off from the sea at times,  a small version of Mont St-Michel. Its name, from the Latin, means “quasi-island.” That is similar to the origin of “peninsula.”

The castle was begun in 1294 by the Knights Templar. From 1415 to 1423 it was the home of Benedict XIII (Pedro de Luna, also known as Papa Luna), one of the Avignon popes during the Catholic schism.

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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

 

20 Sep 2016
Alcudia, Mallorca, Spain:
Poets, Pianists, and Raindrops


By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

There is something very special about this island in the Mediterranean. Something that attracted ancient peoples, the Roman empire, the Moors, Pirates, and Vandals.

In 1838, the great Polish composer Frederick Chopin and his mistress, the writer George Sand, arrived for a respite. While Chopin appears to have fallen in love with the place and wrote one of his better pieces here, Sand very much did not. But working on a delapidated rented piano he worked on his “Raindrop” prelude.

The great architect Antoni Gaudi came to work on some projects here in 1901, but he ran into some disputes with contractors. He left, but his acolytes kept up the work in places like Soller and Palma.

The artist Joan Miro spent his final years on the island.

The English poet Robert Graves spent most of the last half-century of his life living in the little village of Deià, and it was there he died and was buried in 1985.

On this visit, we avoided the hustle and bustle of the principal city of Palma de Mallorca, and instead came in to the charming resort village of Alcudia to the north; it’s also the site of some of the oldest remnants of ancient civilizations on the island. Roman ruins including a theater still stand at Pollentia, just outside of Alcudia. There is also evidence of inhabitants as far back as the Bronze Age.

Today Alcudia sits within its 14th century walls.

I went with guests up an almost impossible switchback road to the 13th century Lluch Sanctuary, a place of respites then and now.

LLUCH SANCTUARY

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AN ALCUDIA 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

 

19 Sep 2016
Sète, France:
The Venice of Languedoc


By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Sète is a commune in the Hérault department of the Languedoc-Roussillon region of southern France.

So it is French, of sorts, although its ancient origins are as part of Occitania, a region of the Roman Empire also known as Aquitania.

Occitan is a Romance language, and still spoken in places here and there in the Languedoc region that includes parts of southern France, the Occitan Valleys of Italy, Spain’s Val d’Aran, and a few tiny corners of Monaco.

It is the southern terminus of the Canal du Midi, begun in 1666, which cuts the corner between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean with a connection to the Garonne River near Bordeaux. The canal is much too shallow and narrow for use by large ships, but  Sète retains its canalized harbor and center city.

A SÈTE ALBUM

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On this visit,  we made a pilgrimage to the Cimitiere Marins, the Sailor’s Cemetery,  which sits on a hillside above the Mediterranean Sea.  It is a resting place with a view to die for.

And it is here that poet Paul Valery is buried.  One of his best-known poems celebrates the cemetery.

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Valery was a cynical romantic, responsible for writing like this:

“War is a massacre of people who don’t know each other for the profit of people who know each other but don’t massacre each other. ”

And a riff on Rene Descarte: “Sometimes I think,  and sometimes I am.”

A PLACE OF EXODUS

On July 11, 1947, the creaky packet steamer SS President Warfield departed from Sète. (The ship was named after a president of the ship’s original owner.)

On board were more than 4,500 Jews who had left displaced persons camps throughout Europe and were willing to take their chances on an unauthorized attempt to reach Palestine.

Five days into the journey, the President Warfield took on a new name: Exodus 1947. Ultimately, the journey was unsuccessful, but later attempts had more success and this was one of the bases for the book and move “Exodus” and an important event in the establishment of the modern state of Israel.

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Incredibly, there was an earlier exodus that also had its start here.

In May 1939, in the tremendous tumult that led up to World War II, the Sinaia set sail from the port, carrying 1,599 Republicans, opponents of Francisco Franco and thus on the losing side of the Spanish Civil War.

They had been detained in camps in France but were finally permitted to sail away to Mexico, which was the only country at the time that recognized a Spanish Republic in exile.

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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

 

18 Sep 2016
Marseille, France:
The Second City

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Marseille is the oldest city in France, with the country’s second-largest population behind only Paris.

In 1792, Marseille sent 500 volunteers to Paris to support the French Revolution. The song they sung on their march from Marseille to Paris, a call to arms that became known as La Marseillaise, now the national anthem of France.

A MARSEILLE ALBUM

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The Basilica Notre Dame de la Garde stands watch over Marseille, offering a great vantage point from its perch at the highest point in the city to the south of the Old Port, and some striking architecture.

Ornamented with an ornate Neo-Byzantine design, it was begun in 1853 and completed in 1864. Locals commonly call the church la bonne mère (“the good mother.”)

The church was built on the site of a 13th century chapel, also dedicated to Notre-Dame de la Garde: Our Lady of the Watch, the traditional guardian of seafarers.

The 200-foot-tall belfry and statue can be seen across much of the city and for miles out at sea.

The interior is decorated with inlaid marble, mosaics and murals. Many of the walls are covered with ex-votos, including paintings, plaques, model boats, war medals and even football shirts given by players and supporters of Olympique de Marseille, the local football team.

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Along the lively waterfront, a grand mirror designed by architect Norman Foster brings sea, land, and people together in a new dimension.

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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.

17 Sep 2016
Toulon, France:
A Change in the Winds

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

The winds were against us this morning, and so we were unable to put down our ship’s anchor offshore of St-Tropez and come to shore by ship’s tenders.

Instead we sailed on by, and came into the port of Toulon, on a lively Saturday under a bright blue sky…and a bit of breeze.

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This is a place of great antiquity in this part of the world. Archeological studies, including those at the famed Cosquer Cave near Marseille, show evidence of human inhabitation as far back as the Paleolithic era. It went on to become an important Greek and then Roman colony.

Today Toulon is a major naval base, home port to the French Navy’s aircraft carrier Charles deGaulle and her supporting fleet.

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Toulon still bears the remnants of the fortifications put into place by the great French military engineer Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban.

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And fans of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables know Toulon as an important character in its own stead. It was here, in the bagne of Toulon–still standing to the right of the entrance to the harbor–that Jean Valjean spent 19 years at hard labor. And it was also the birthplace of the novel’s protagonist, Javert.

Do you hear the people sing?

SAINT TROPEZ

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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

————-

16 Sep 2016
Monte Carlo, Monaco:
Breaking Even

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Speaking of suspension of disbelief, welcome to the Principality of Monaco and its port at Monte Carlo.

To guests who are leaving us here, arrivederci. Until we meet again somewhere else afloat.

And welcome aboard to those joining us here, on a jaunt through some of the prettiest parts of a lovely part of the world.

MONTE CARLO TODAY

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We head out tomorrow to Saint-Tropez, one of the playgrounds of the Côte d’Azur, a small place famous for being outsizedly famous.  From there to the much larger second city of France, Marseille.

Our last call in France on this cruise is at the intriguing canalized city of Sète in Languedoc.

From there we head due south into the Mediterranean for a call at Alcudia on the Spanish island of Mallorca; it is an ancient less-visited alternative to the big city of Palma on the same island.

Back to the mainland, we are due to call at Castellón de la Plana which sits between the spectacular cities of Valencia to its south and Barcelona to the north. It has its own appeal, and a co-claim to the origins of paella as well.

This cruise will finish in Barcelona, which is always worthy of a return visit.

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A MONTE CARLO 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

15 Sep 2016
Cannes, France:
Suspend Your Disbelief

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

It requires more than a little bit of suspension of disbelief*, but Cannes was once a small and humble fishing village.

It is no longer small, by no means humble, and today’s fishing is aimed at the wallets of visitors.

It is, though, a very interesting place with grand architecture, high-end shops and restaurants, and a back story of movie stars, high fashion, and romance, fabulous festivals, and jewel heists.

Oh, and a beach.

A CANNES ALBUM

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* The term suspension of disbelief was brought to us by the poet and aesthetic philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1817. He said that if a writer could infuse a “human interest and a semblance of truth” into an otherwise unbelievable fantastic story, the reader would suspend judgment on the implausibility of the tale.

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

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

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

All of the islands of the Mediterranean have served pretty much the same role across history: an offshore sanctuary, a supply depot, a marshalling place for navies. Think of them as aircraft carriers.

Cyprus, Crete, Malta, Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, and the Balearics have all fit that description.

Safe harbors, on the ancient trading routes for long-vanished peoples, as well as for wave upon wave of empire builders including the Carthaginians, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Vikings, the Spanish, and the English.

And then right along the watery highway for incoming Islamic tribes, and then for outgoing Crusaders.

Today, close enough for invading holiday makers to hop on a ferry or a flight from the mainland to the beach.

September has been unseasonably,  ridiculously hot in the Mediterranean, topping 42C or 108F recently.    Today some of us were quite happy to welcome gray skies and a light sprinkle of rain.  Snow would be even nicer,  but that is not yet on the horizon.

A PORTO MAHON 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.

 

13 Sep 2016
Palma de Mallorca, Spain:
The Big One

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Mallorca is Spain’s largest island possession, and its second-most populated island (after Tenerife in the Canary Islands.)

The name Mallorca derives from Latin insula maior, “larger island.”

Larger than what? Why, the smaller neighboring island known as Menorca. And then there is also Ibiza, plus the very small islets of Formentera and Cabrera and another 150 or so uninhabited rocks.

Collectively, the islands are called the Balearics, and they are a very popular holiday destination for neighboring Spaniards and just about anyone who enjoys sun, sea, beaches, fine architecture and art, beautiful hills and valleys, and great food. What’s not to like?

Today I went with guests to the village of Soller, about an hour out of Palma.  We were delivered on the old railway,  originally built to haul fruit.  Today it carries only tourists,  up into the hills and through a long tunnel.

TODAY IN SOLLER

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A PALMA 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

12 Sep 2016
Barcelona, Spain:
Ramblin’ Around Your City

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We come to Barcelona six or eight times a year in this job. Tough work, but someone has to do it.

This is one of most handsome, most uplifting cities in the world. We arrived for a full day’s port call, and we’ll be back in just over a week for two more days. We’re already planning expeditions to parts yet unknown.

The most famous street in Barcelona is Las Ramblas, or the Promenade. It is actually a series of linked streets, each one of them a rambla mostly dedicated to a particular set of markets: flowers, art, pets.

Few cities are more imbued with the artistic vision of one man than is Barcelona. The visions, all of them beautiful and some of them a bit strange, were those of Antoni Gaudi, one of the masters of the Modernist or Art Nouveau style.

His crowning achievement was—or will be—La Sagrada Família, the Holy Family.

Gaudi designed it to have 18 towers: 12 for the apostles, 4 for the evangelists, one for Mary and one for Jesus.

Gaudí died in 1926, and they’re still working on the basilica, with plans to complete in in 2026, the centenary of his death.

Like many of you I have visited hundreds of cathedrals all over the world, many of them many centuries years old. Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia may well be the last monumental cathederal to be built, and it is amazing scene to watch the work underway.

BARCELONA TODAY

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GAUDI IN BARCELONA

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The waterfront at the base of the city, near the place where much of Spain’s great fleet of exploration was built and where Columbus returned from his first voyage, has been restored and improved.

Maremagnum, a sprawling shopping, dining, and entertainment complex has pride of place. Literally translated from the Latin it means the “great sea.” But as a Spanish idiom, it means an abundance or an overabundance or a confusion born of excess.

Much like Barcelona itself.

MAREMAGNUM

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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

11 Sep 2016
València, Spain:
Arts and Sciences and Paella

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

València is Spain’s third largest city, after Madrid and Barcelona, which is pretty impressive company.

But València can stand on its own as a wondrous old city, the former capital of the Old Kingdom of València.

The birthplace of paella.

The deathplace of the fallas.

And the modern resurgence of an ancient settlement around the spectacular Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències, the City of Arts and Sciences, completed in 2008 in the old bed of the river Turia.

TODAY’S PHOTOS FROM VALENCIA 

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Its highlights include structures by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, among them the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia opera house and performing arts center which is topped by a swooping wave which overhangs the structure.

L’Hemisfèric, an IMAX Cinema and planetarium is the centerpiece of the project. Its eyelid is reflected in a water pool, creating the illusion of a giant eye.

El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe is an interactive museum of science that resembles the skeleton of a whale.

L’Umbracle is a landscaped walk with plant species indigenous to Valencia including rockrose, lentisca, rosemary, lavender, honeysuckle, bougainvillea, and palm trees.

L’Oceanogràfic is the largest oceanographic aquarium in Europe. Built in the shape of a water lily, it is the work of another architect, Félix Candela.

CITY OF ARTS AND SCIENCES

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We eat oh so well aboard ship, but that is no excuse not to indulge in local specialties when given the chance. Few places are more worthy than this region of Spain, the birthplace of paella.

The dish is named after the pan used to prepare it. You can, if you wish, think of it as a Spanish version of a wok.

In many ways it brings together the Roman and Arab and indigenous flavors of the region.

In Moorish Spain, farmers improved the old Roman irrigation systems along the Mediterranean coast, leading to greater yields in rice production. And from this came casseroles of rice, meat, fish, and spices.

Paella Valenciana includes meat (usually chicken or rabbit). Paella de Marisco, with fish or seafood, or even Paella Mixta, with meat and fish. Not with sausage, ham, or meat broth; those are for tourists.

Paella is typically eaten at midday, so many restaurants do not serve it at dinner, which in Spain can be deep into the night. In its classical version, paella is cooked over a wood fire. Not gas. And if you see a microwave in the kitchen, run away.

MERCAT CENTRAL

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One of the most famous aspects of Valencia is a tradition that dates back several centuries, the Night of the Cremà.

This is the burning of the Fallas, large wooden and papier mache dolls or effigies—sometimes representing politicians or celebrities or allegorical figures.

It is believed the tradition dates back to the carpenter’s guild of Valencia, who would celebrate the Festival of their patron Saint Joseph by gathering in front of their workshops to burn old tools, other wooden utensils, and candleholders they used to give them light during the winter season.

The party takes place in March, which means work is well underway now in workshops around town.

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