31 May 2015
 Civitavechia to Venice

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Welcome aboard.

We are embarked on a voyage that circles down and around Italy, from the ancient port of Rome on the Tyrrhenian Sea through the Strait of Messina to Corfu in the Ionian Sea and then north into the Adriatic Sea.

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This cruise ends in Venice, once one of the world’s most dominant military, economic, and political powers, a thalassocracy of maritime colonies and trading partners that includes much of our itinerary as well as further east into the Aegean Sea to Constantinople, today’s Istanbul.

Here’s our plan:

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I’ll be posting stories and photos from each port.

I hope you’ll follow along on our voyage.

Text and images copyright 2015 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.

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4 MAY 2015
 San Francisco: Heading Back to the Atlantic

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We have reached the end of our journey that crossed from the southeast of the United States to near its northwest corner. From Fort Lauderdale, Florida to San Francisco, California making great use of the shortcut of the Panama Canal.

I’ll be heading home for a few weeks.

Next stop for us: Silver Spirit from Civitavecchia (the port of Rome) to Istanbul, then back down and around to Venice.

I’ll you’ll join me here (or there.)

Safe travels.

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2 MAY 2015
 San Diego, California: The Deep South of the West Coast

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

San Diego has a bit of a second-city complex.

A beautiful setting, a great year-round climate, a natural deepwater harbor, great beaches, and an economy based to a great extent on the U.S. Navy and tourism.

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Sailing into San Diego

It is, in fact, the second most populous city in California after Los Angeles.

In my opinion, L.A. gets all the attention but San Diego—and San Francisco—deserve all the praise.

San Diego encompasses about 200 deep canyons and hills separating its mesas, creating small pockets of natural parkland scattered throughout the city lots of hills.

Most of the homes and businesses are on the flat mesas, with the canyons left relatively wild.

We arrived on May 2, but in San Diego’s Old Town, it was Cinco de Mayo for the weekend,  a celebration of the Mexican heritage of many San Diegans and the city itself.  Here is some of what we saw today:

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DOWNTOWN SAN DIEGO

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Our cruise from Florida through the Panama Canal to California followed the path of some of the celebrants who came to San Diego for the Panama–California Exposition in March, 1915 as part of the celebrations of the opening of the Panama Canal.

The exposition was held in San Diego’s large urban Balboa Park.

At a time when many architects were celebrating the over-the-top Beaux-Arts style, in San Diego they chose Spanish Baroque, which includes some Moorish Revival elements, and a bit of Spanish Colonial design.

The fair was decorated with more than two million plants of 1,200 different types. Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell made a three-day appearance in November 1915.

Some of the Exposition’s permanent buildings are still standing, including the Botanical Building, originally home to a collection of rare tropical and semi-tropical plants, the 200-foot-tall California Bell Tower, in the form of a Spanish ship, the Chapel of St. Francis of Assisi, and the Fine Arts Building , now part of the Museum of Man.

As impressive as Balboa Park is, for many the most important and most lasting remnant of the fairs is The San Diego Zoo, home to more than 3,700 animals of more than 650 species and subspecies, including the Giant Panda.

The second half of our long day in San Diego was a night game at Petco Park, which is not a place to walk your dog but rather the home of the San Diego Padres baseball team. The modern stadium is nestled within downtown San Diego near the Gaslamp District, a great way to keep a city lively. Petco is not quite Fenway Park in Boston, but it is of a similar atmosphere.

A NIGHT AT THE BALLPARK

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ALONG THE WATERFRONT

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All photos copyright 2015 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

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

 

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