30 June 2015
 Dubrovnik, Croatia: A History of Danger

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

George Bernard Shaw visited Dubrovnik in 1929 and said: “If you want to see heaven on earth, come to Dubrovnik.”

As I noted in my blog entry when we visited earlier this month, on June 6, this has not always been a heavenly place. It has been a place of war and unrest for most of its existence, its most recent time of battle in 1991.

The Walls of Dubrovnik run almost 2 kilometers or 1.5 miles around the city.

The stone walls have been in place since the city’s founding prior to the 7th century as a Byzantine castrum.

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There was near-continuous expansions and improvements through the Middle Ages and as late as the 17th century, and they were never breached by an army throughout that period.

DUBROVNIK 30 JUNE 2015

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The Cathedral of Dubrovnik and its treasury.

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.

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

29 June 2015
 Kotor, Montenegro: The City in the Hill

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Kotor, Montenegro is not a place many people visit very often.

I do.

This is our third visit to the spectacular city in the hill this summer. For more details and photos, see my blog entries for June 13 and June 5.

A KOTOR ALBUM

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I have sailed many times past the little island that holds Our Lady of the Rocks,  on an island built by residents of Perast in 1452.

Perast, under the Venetians, was home to several thousand,  with a fleet of 100 boats.  Today,  only about 300 people remain,  amidst 16 grand palaces

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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.

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

28 June 2015
 Corfu, Greece: In the Middle

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Corfu, an enticing mix of Venetian, Italian, Greek, and Albanian culture, with a soupçon of the British Empire mixed in, is a most pleasant place to spend a summer Sunday.

For more details and photos, see my blog entries for June 4 and June 14.

AROUND CORFU

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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.

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

Henry Hudson Dreams cover

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

27 June 2015
 Katakolon (Olympia), Greece: The Naked Truth

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Katakolon, which we visited earlier this summer on June 15 (see that blog entry for more details) is the gateway to the ancient birthplace of the Olympic games.

During the celebration of the games, an Olympic Truce was enacted so that athletes could travel from their countries to the games in safety.

During the truce, wars were suspended, armies were prohibited from entering the region of southern Greece on the Peloponnesos peninsula.

And legal disputes and the carrying out of death penalties were forbidden.

If only the Olympics could have been made permanent.

On this visit,  I went with guests to the ancient site of Olympia and the impressive archeological museum. I’ve been there before,  but always enjoy the sense of walking in the Nikes of Olympian past.

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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.

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

26 June 2015
 Athens, Greece: Ancient Gods, Modern Celebrity

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Even our wondrous small ship cannot sail into Syntagma Square in Athens.

We instead we dock at the port of Piraeus, about 10 traffic-clogged miles from Athens.

Safe travels to guests leaving us here. And welcome aboard to those joining us here for the next leg, from Athens to Venice.

Here’s our plan:

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Athens is one of the great cities of the world, and holds a collection of spectacular ancient sites and museums.

The Acropolis, the Acropolis Museum, the National Archeological Museum, the National Historical Museum, the Byzantine Museum, and so much more.

If you’ve never been to Athens before, there’s really not much question about what to put at the top of your list: the Acropolis is fully deserving of a spot on anyone’s bucket list.

AN ATHENS ALBUM

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The Acropolis was the fortified citadel and the state sanctuary of the ancient city of Athens.

It is perched on a flat-topped rock that rises above what is now the heart of the city of Athens.

And when I say ancient, I’m talking about peoples and civilizations that go back thousands of years before what we consider Classical Greece.

By the middle of the 8th century B.C., at least part of the Acropolis had been redeveloped into the sanctuary of the goddess Athena, the patroness of the city. Athena, as in Athens.

In the 6th century B.C., the first monumental stone, Doric temple of Athena is built on the Acropolis.

Even if you’ve been to Athens before, the Greeks—never mind all of their financial foibles—have done an extraordinary job with the design and construction of the New Acropolis Museum, which opened in June of 2009.

More than four thousand items are on display, including a portion of the frieze of the Parthenon—the part that is not in the British Museum, they will remind you.

In fact, some observers say one of the reasons the museum was created was to put pressure on the British Museum to return the Elgin Marbles to Greece where they could be displayed in their proper setting.

Good luck with that.

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.

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

25 June 2015
 Mykonos, Greece: Ancient Gods, Modern Celebrity

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

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.

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The sacred island of Delos in the background,  a sampling of mega yachts in the foreground.  Photos by Corey Sandler 

The Little Venice district along the water was once home to many of the old ship’s captains. Today it is home to fancy clubs where the captains most likely would not get past the bouncer at the door.

Delos, more or less in the center of the ring of islands in the Cyclades, is one of the most important mythological, historical and archaeological sites in Greece. That’s saying quite a lot, in a country that includes the Acropolis of Athens, Delphi, and so much more.

Delos had already been considered a holy sanctuary for a thousand years before the Olympian Greeks declared it to be the birthplace of the twin gods Apollo and Artemis.

Today, it is uninhabited except for thousands of tourists who make the visit by ferry from Mykonos to its ancient structures and ruins.

A MYKONOS ALBUM

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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.

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

Henry Hudson Dreams cover

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

24 June 2015
 Patmos, Greece: Apocalypse Now

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

When most of us think of the Apocalypse, we think in dire and dramatic biblical terms.

Or perhaps in explosive, cataclysmic end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it Hollywood blockbusters.

Which brings us to Patmos, 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.

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

And 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.

A PATMOS ALBUM

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Many Christians come to Patmos on pilgrimage.

Others come to uncover yet another lovely Greek island with peaceful and beautiful revelations at every turn, including some handsome little beaches and pretty towns.

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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.

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

23 June 2015
 Santorini, Greece: Fire and Ice, Part 2

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We’re back for another visit to Santorini.

I’ve been here more times than I can remember. But its beauty still stuns.

For more details and pictures, see my blog entry for June 16.

A SANTORINI ALBUM, PART 2

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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.

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

Henry Hudson Dreams cover

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

22 June 2015
 Rhodes: The Far East of Greece

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Through its location and its history, Rhodes has faced in many directions.

Rhodes has looked east and north to Turkey in the eastern Aegean Sea 11 miles away, looked north toward Asia Minor, south toward Egypt, southeast to Jerusalem, and west toward Europe and the mainland of Greece.

But for many, Rhodes’ moment in time came when people came to look up at the great statue in its harbor.

The Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

The Colossus of Rhodes was a statue of the Greek god Helios, erected in Rhodes by Chares of Lindos between 292 and 280 BC.

When it was completed, it stood about 107 feet high, making it one of the tallest statues of the ancient world.

The defenders of Rhodes had successfully defended their island against an assault by 40,000 men under command of Demetrius in 305 BC.

The land campaign failed because of the walls of the city, and then he tried to use massive siege towers mounted on ships to breach the walls.

But the defenders of Rhodes flooded the land in front of the walls so that the rolling tower could not move.

Demetrius’s army abandoned the siege, leaving most of their siege equipment.

The Rhodians sold the equipment left behind for a great deal of money, by some estimates the equivalent of hundreds of millions of dollars today.

The money was used to build a colossal statue of their patron god, Helios.

Today, the Colossus can be seen: on refrigerator magnets, rugs, etchings, and in the mind’s eye of tourists.

A RHODES ALBUM

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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.

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

21 June 2015
 Kusadasi, Turkey: Ephesus in Encore

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

As we return from Istanbul on our way to Athens and beyond, we are back in Kusadasi, gateway to the global treasure of Ephesus.

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Silver Spirit at the dock in Kusadasi today

You can read more details in my blog entry for June 17.

Here are some new photos from ancient Kusadasi, including a statue from the renovated archeological museum in nearby Selcuk.

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In the Classical Greek era, Ephesus was one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League. And then under the Romans, 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.

An earthquake partially destroyed the town in 614.

The city’s importance as a commercial center declined as the harbor was slowly silted up by the Cayster River.

Nevertheless, today Ephesus contains the largest collection of Roman ruins in the eastern Mediterranean. Perhaps only 15 percent has been excavated.

The Temple of Artemis was completed around 550 BC. The Temple of Artemis was said to be the largest building of the ancient world, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

All that remains today is one imperfectly reconstituted column.

The Greek goddess Artemis was one of the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities. Her Roman equivalent is Diana.

Together with the great Anatolian goddess Cybele, they were together identified as Artemis of Ephesus.

The Library of Celsus was originally built about AD 125 AD in memory of Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus, the Greek governor of Roman Asia in the Roman Empire.

Before he died, Celsus paid for its construction from his considerable personal wealth, and he is buried in a sarcophagus beneath it.

From AD 52–54, Paul lived in Ephesus, working with the local Christians and—according to some—organizing missionary activity in the far reaches.

Also in the area was the apostle John. The Gospel of John may have been written in Ephesus, about A.D. 90–100.

AROUND KUSADASI

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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.

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

20 June 2015
 Dikili, Turkey: On the Road to Pergamon

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Dikili is a lesser-visited port of the great nation of Turkey. But it allows entry to a remarkable place of history: Pergamon.

Pergamon is cited in the Book of Revelation as one of the seven churches of Asia. (Another was at Ephesus.)

Pergamon’s library on the Acropolis (the ancient Library of Pergamum) was the second best in the ancient Greek civilization, behind only the Great Library of Alexandria.

The library at Pergamon was believed to contain 200,000 volumes, which Mark Antony later gave to Cleopatra as a wedding present.

Pergamon was also a flourishing center for the production of parchment, which had been used in Asia minor long before the rise of the city.

The site is today easily accessible by the Bergama Acropolis Gondola from the base station in northeastern Bergama.

A PERGAMON ALBUM

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All photos by Corey Sandler 

The Asclepion, named after the god of health, is reached via a sacred road lined with monuments and architectural fragments.

The Asclepion was a center of learning and science, along with a rehabilitation center and a sacred spring: a little bit of everything.

There are some major ruins still in place, and descriptions of the city but the most significant piece of architecture lies about two thousand miles or three thousand kilometers away, in Berlin, Germany.

A major museum in the heart of the city completed in 1930, the museum holds the reconstructed Great Altar of Pergamon and the Market Gate of Miletus, both transported from Turkey.

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.

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

Henry Hudson Dreams cover

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

19 June 2015
 Istanbul, Turkey: Astride Two Worlds

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

On this series of cruises aboard Silver Spirit, we are sailing in the pathways of the tangled and intermingled histories of Europe and Asia.

Istanbul is where they come together.

One of the great cities of the world, Istanbul is where East meets West, Asia meets Europe, Islam meets the Judeo-Christian world, and where ancient culture meets—sometimes smoothly and sometimes not—with modernity.

It never fails to fascinate.

AN ISTANBUL ALBUM

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To those guests leaving us here, we wish safe travels and arrivederci: Until we meet again.

And to new guests: Welcome aboard. We’re headed for the Greek Isles and on the cruise after that to Istanbul’s one-time great rival, Venice. Here’s the plan for the coming cruise:

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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.

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

17 June 2015
 Kusadasi, Turkey: The Glories of Ephesus

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Like nearly all of the country, Turkey’s west coast has been a crossroads from the dawn of time.

To the South by land is the Middle East: Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia. To the East is Asia: Iran, Afghanistan, China, Russia. A tough neighborhood.

The Silk Road reached Ephesus, nearby to Kusadasi, as early as 475 B.C., during the time of Herodotus.

The Persian Royal Road ran some 2,857 kilometers from the city of Susa 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 some threads of Roman Catholic sacred tradition, so too did the Virgin Mary.

Today, to walk the main avenue of Ephesus is one of the best ways to experience time travel anywhere on the planet.

A KUSADASI ALBUM

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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.

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

16 June 2015
 Santorini, Greece: Fire and Ice

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Santorini is the picture-postcard Greek Island.

Whitewashed walls and aqua blue domes against steep hillsides, with lovely beaches and spectacular views that include active volcanoes in the caldera and offshore.

The approach to the town of Fira 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.

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

Allow me to put that another way: the island is the remnant of a volcanic cone whose top was blown off.

A SANTORINI ALBUM

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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.

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

Henry Hudson Dreams cover

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

15 June 2015
 Katakolon, Greece: An Olympic Experience

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat, and a lucrative post-competitive career as a celebrity or a politician. Plus a not-all-that-surprising hint of scandal.

Ah, things have changed, haven’t they? Or perhaps not.

Olympia, a sanctuary of ancient Greece about 40 minutes away from Katakalon, was the site of the original Olympic Games.

Competitions were held there every four years, from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD.

Katakolon itself is a small town on a headland overlooking the Ionian Sea; today it is essentially the gateway for cruise ship passengers heading to Olympia.

AN OLYMPIA ALBUM

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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.

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

14 June 2015
 Corfu, Greece: Between the Venetians and the Ottomans

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Throughout this cruise—indeed, throughout this region—the influence of the once-great Republic of Venice is everywhere to be seen.

It variously traded with and fought against the Venetians, the Ottomans, and other powers. It was also assaulted by pirates.

In 1386 the islanders placed themselves under the protection of Venice, which kept it for four hundred years; Kerkyra–one of the older versions of its name–was known as the “Door of Venice”.

AROUND CORFU

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Photos by Corey Sandler

The Siege of Corfu in 1537 landed 25,000 soldiers from the Turkish fleet of Suleiman the Magnificent. They pillaged parts of the island and took 20,000 hostages.

But in the city, the Venetian castle held and the Turks withdrew because of lack of supplies and an epidemic.

The second great siege of Corfu took place in 1716, during the last Turkish-Venetian War. On July 8 the Turkish fleet of 33,000 men was encountered by the Venetian fleet off the channel of Corfu and was defeated.

Despite repeated assaults and heavy fighting, the Turks were unable to breach the defenses and were forced to end the siege after 22 days.

The 5,000 Venetians and foreign mercenaries, together with 3,000 Corfiotes, were victorious.

Once again Venetian castle engineering had proven itself once again against considerable odds.

The repulse of the Ottomans was widely celebrated in Europe, Corfu being seen as a bastion of Western Civilization against the Ottoman tide.

Today,  I went with guests to the Paleokastritsa Monastery outside of Corfu Town. It is frozen in time.  Here is some of what I saw.

PALEOKASTRITSA MONASTERY

BLOG Corfu Greece Paleokastritsa 14June2015-1953

BLOG Corfu Greece Paleokastritsa 14June2015-1955

BLOG Corfu Greece Paleokastritsa 14June2015-1964

BLOG Corfu Greece Paleokastritsa 14June2015-1962

We were last here on June 4; see my blog entry for that day for more detail and photos.

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.

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

13 June 2015
 Kotor, Montenegro: The City in the Hill

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Montenegro, of course, means Black Mountain.

And the region has had a version of that name for centuries, but not always in a Romance Language.

As far back at the 14th century, the hilly area was called Tsrna Gora (“Black Mountain.”)

Today its name is an adaptation of the Italian-Venetian translation to monte negro. Modern Italian would be monte nero.

Not that they speak Italian or Venetian anyhow.

The official language of Montenegro is Montenegrin, which is nearly the same as Serbian, Croatian, and Bosnian. In some areas, Albanian is the local preference.

A KOTOR ALBUM

BLOG Kotor Montenegro 13June2015-1944

BLOG Kotor Montenegro 13June2015-1950

Kotor Sandler-5

Kotor Sandler-4

Kotor Sandler-6

Photos by Corey Sandler

We were last here just over a week ago; see my blog entry for June 5 for more detail and photos. 

 

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.

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

Henry Hudson Dreams cover

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

12 June 2015
 Trogir, Croatia: In Plain Sight

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

The island-city of Trogir is one of the oldest cities on the Adriatic Sea, dating back four thousand years.

What you see today is a not-much-updated mix of ancient Greek, Roman, and Venetian structures with influences by Italy in more recent times.

What does that mean? The showpiece structures are Romanesque-Gothic, with the Lion of Saint Mark peeking around many a corner.

These days Trogir is a beautiful place hidden in plain sight, not much visited by outsiders: in 2015 there are only five scheduled calls by cruise ships, four of the visits by Silversea ships.

Trogir lies between the mainland of Croatia and Čiovo Island on the western entrance of the bay where once stood Salona, the ancient capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia.

And about 20 miles away lies the city of Split, a city still framed by the 1500-year-old walls of the Palace of the Emperor Diocletian.

On this visit, I went with guests to the resplendent Krka National Park, home of beautiful waterfalls and lakes. It was also used for one of the world’s first hydroelectric dams, inaugurated in 1895 and in use until the First World War. Also in the park is a working water mill for grain.

BLOG Trogir Krka NP 12June2015-1921

BLOG Trogir Krka NP 12June2015-1910

BLOG Trogir Krka NP 12June2015-1915

BLOG Trogir Krka NP 12June2015-1904

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.

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

11 June 2015
 Ravenna, Italy: The Mosaic of History

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Ravenna is one of the jewels of Italy, which is saying quite a lot.

Tucked away in the northeast corner of Italy, below the much-more-visited city of Venice on the Adriatic Sea.

Ravenna only receives about two dozen cruise calls per year, and this year eight of them will be by Silversea ships.

What makes this place a treasure?

It’s all about the mosaics.

And the relative paucity of tourists, present company excepted.

Here are photos I took today at the Basilica of San Vitale, and the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo.

BASILICA DI SAN VITALE

BLOG Ravenna San Vitale 11June2015-1796

BLOG Ravenna San Vitale 11June2015-1831

BLOG Ravenna San Vitale 11June2015-1827

BLOG Ravenna San Vitale 11June2015-1816

BLOG Ravenna San Vitale 11June2015-1809

BLOG Ravenna San Vitale 11June2015-1802

BLOG Ravenna San Vitale 11June2015-1799

SANTA APOLLINARE NUOVO

BLOG Ravenna Nuovo Apollinaire 11June2015-1865

BLOG Ravenna Nuovo Apollinaire 11June2015-1871

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.

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

9-10 June 2015
 Venice, Italy: La Dominante, La Serenissima

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Venice, the Dominant, the Serene, is one of the most extraordinary places on earth.

A city afloat. The grand remnants of a once-great Republic.

The City of Water. The City of Bridges. The City of Canals.

Depending who is doing the counting and sometimes on how high the water rises, modern Venice consists of about 124 islands that sit in the shallow and marshy Venetian Lagoon along the Adriatic Sea in northeast Italy between the mouths of the Po River to the south and the Piave to the north.

A VENICE ALBUM

Venice Sandler-3

Venice Sandler-2

Venice Sandler-1

Venice Sandler-7

Photos by Corey Sandler

It was during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance that the Republic of Venice rose to become a major maritime power, along with Genoa, Pisa, and Amalfi.

At its peak, in the 12th and 13th centuries, the Venetian Republic eliminated the pirates along the Dalmatian Coast, acquired control of most of the islands in the Aegean, including Cyprus and Crete, seized and sacked Constantinople (today’s Istanbul) in 1204 during the Fourth Crusade, establishing the Latin Empire in the process and became a major power-broker, trading with Western Europe as well as continuing to deal with the Byzantine Empire and the Islamic world.

By the late thirteenth century, Venice was the most prosperous city in all of Europe. At the peak of its power and wealth, it had 36,000 sailors operating 3,300 ships, dominating Mediterranean commerce.

From the 13th through 17th centuries, Venice’s leading families vied with each other to build the grandest palaces and support the work of the greatest and most talented artists.

Six hundred years ago, Venetians protected themselves from land-based attacks by diverting all the major rivers flowing into the lagoon and thus preventing sediment from filling the area around the city.

During the 20th century, when many artesian wells were sunk into the periphery of the lagoon to draw water for local industry, Venice began to subside.

The city is still threatened by frequent low-level floods (called Acqua alta, “high water”) that splash over the walls. Saint Mark’s Square floods more than 50 times a year.

THE VIEW FROM THE TOP

One of my favorite parts of my job is giving commentary from the ship’s navigational bridge as we sail in or out of some of the planet’s most beautiful ports.

Among them is Venice,  and I was up top early on 9 June to help guests understand the great city.

Here are some photos from Venice,  starting with the view from the bridge:

BLOG Venice 09June2015-1695

BLOG Venice 09June2015-1715

BLOG Venice 09June2015-1713

BLOG Venice 09June2015-1710

BLOG Venice 09June2015-1697

BLOG Venice 09June2015-1747

BLOG Venice 09June2015-1731

BLOG Venice 09June2015-1727

BLOG Venice 09June2015-1720

BLOG Venice 09June2015-1724

Photos by Corey Sandler 

To those guests leaving us here in Venice, safe travels and arrivederci: Until we meet again.

And for those joining us for the next adventure, welcome aboard.

Here’s our plan for the next cruise, from Venice to Istanbul.

v5515

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.

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

Henry Hudson Dreams cover

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