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

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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

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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

10 Sep 2016
Cartagena, Spain: From the New World to the Old

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Cartagena is on the Costa Cálida, the Warm Coast of Spain’s Murcia region. Cartagena is one of Spain’s more historically significant places because of its superb and easily defended naval port.

But Cartagena is less-known than many other coastal cities of Spain,

In fact, its distant namesake, Cartagena de Indias, in Colombia, may be much better known.

Cartagena, Colombia grew as one of the principal Spanish fortresses to hold the treasure taken from South America, the Caribbean, and Asia.

Cartagena, Spain has long been a crossroads of civilizations and navies. It has a fine collection of early 20th century Art Nouveau buildings, intermixed with a spectacular Roman Theatre and remains of Phoenician, Byzantine and Moorish structures.

A CARTAGENA ALBUM

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About 50 kilometers or 35 miles north of Cartagena in the interior is the town of Murcia, the provincial capital and university town, a much larger city of 440,000.

Murcia has a similar back-story to Cartagena, a mix of Roman, Moorish, and Spanish cultures.

One of the treasures of Murcia is its Cathedral, begun in the 14th century after the reconquest of Spain from the Muslims. Its style is considered Churrigueresque—highly ornate and complex Spanish Baroque. The style gets its name from architect Jose Benito de Churriguera.

The 19th century Murcia Casino, with an exterior inspired by the Alhambra in Granada, is inside more like a British gentleman’s club, a place to socialize and play billiards.

THE CATHEDRAL OF MURCIA

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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.

9 Sep 2016
Malaga, Spain:
The Art of Attraction

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

The rust-colored walls of the Alcazaba, the azure waters of the Mediterranean, the dramatic flair of Spanish and Moorish architecture.

All are conducive, I suppose, to great art, and it was here that Pablo Picasso was born.

For all of these reasons and more, Málaga has wrapped itself in a mantle of art.

This small city has developed a remarkable portfolion of world-class art collections, starting with a Picasso collection and a branch of Madrid’s Carmen Thyssen museum.

More recently, the Centre Pompidou Málaga and a branch of the Russian Museum of Saint Petersburg opened.

On this visit,  I went up into the hills to visit the ancient city of Mijas, the “Balcony of the Costa del Sol.”

It was the morning after the night before, in Feria or fair season.

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A MALAGA ALBUM

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Granada, one of Spain’s most spectacular and famous cities lies just under two hours to the northeast of Málaga, at the base of Sierra Nevada mountains.

The city has been inhabited for thousands of years.

In the 8th century, the city became the capital of a province of the Caliphate of Cordoba.

The Alhambra, Arabic for “the red one”, or the red fortress, was built in the mid-14th century.

In January 1492, the last Muslim sultan in Iberia surrendered control of Granada to Ferdinand and Isabella, Los Reyes Católicos (“The Catholic Monarchs.”)

By the 16th century, Granada took on a Christian and Castilian character, as immigrants came from other parts of the Iberian Peninsula.

Many of the city’s mosques, some of which had been established on the sites of former Christian churches, were converted to Christian uses.

GRANADA 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

 

8 Sep 2016
Cadiz, Spain:
Religion, Wine, and Horses on the Frontier

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Cadiz is the oldest continuously-inhabited city in the Iberian Peninsula, and possibly the oldest in all of southwestern Europe.

Think of it as a frontier town, the Wild West of Europe.

Cádiz was part of the Muslim realm of Al-Andalus, now the Spanish region of Andalusia.

Its history and culture are built on a base of Moorish or Muslim cultures, and by earlier forces: the Iberians, the Carthaginians, the Greeks, the Roman Empire, the Vandals, and the Visigoths.

The Phoenicians built an outpost here about three thousand years ago and called it Gadir, which means walled stronghold. And for most of its existence, that was its role: a fortress and an armory.

A CADIZ ALBUM

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Roman Theater of Cadiz

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Alameda district of Cadiz

The Moors ruled between 711 and 1262, until they were finally ousted by Alphonso X of Castile. During the Age of Exploration, the city was re-energized.

Christopher Columbus sailed from Cádiz on his second and fourth voyages.

By the middle of 16th century, when the Spanish Empire ruled or traded with much of the world, Cádiz was the receiving end of the treasure train from Asia and the New World.

Spanish Galleons would pick up gold, silver, and other treasure from Mexico, South America, Japan, China, the Philippines and other parts and try to get it past the real Pirates of the Caribbean and back to Europe.

ARCOS DE LA FRONTERA 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

7 Sep 2016
Portimão, Portugal:
Miles of Tiles

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Today, I went for a visit back in time to the hillside town of Silves, a relatively untouched piece of Moorish culture in Portugal’s stunning Algarve region.

We were greeted first by storks,  who serve as the modern lookouts, perched atop chimneys and parapets and anywhere else they can plant a nest.

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And then we went up the hill,  in the unusually hot September that has been visited upon Portugal to see first the small Catholic cathedral, from about the year 1050,  and then behind it the Almohad Citadel, erected by the Moors in the 8th century.

The cathedral mixes  a bit of Roman columns with Moorish arches.

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MILES OF TILES

The local art scene includes some fine paintings, carvings, and architecture.

But the specialties of this part of the world have to include azulejos, blue-and-white painted tiles, dishes, and other ceramics. They’re not all blue, either.

Many older examples illustrate scenes from the bibles or the stories of saints. There are also landscapes, geometric patterns, and floral designs.

You’ll find them almost anywhere you go. In Portugal, you can find azulejos inside and outside of churches, palaces, ordinary houses and even train stations.

The technique came from Spain, which learned it from the Persians in the early 15th century. The word azulejos comes from the Arabic al zulayj, meaning “polished stone”.

Portimão is a small city, about 45,000 inhabitants, located on the estuary of the Arade River.

Since pre-Roman times, Portimão has made its living from fishing.

Today it is a major center for the sardine-canning industry, and also luring its shares of tourists.

VISIONS OF PORTIMÃO

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Azulejo tiles in Portimão

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Ponta da Piedade, near Portimão

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Lagos, Portugal

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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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6 Sep 2016
Lisbon, Portugal:
Heading Down and Around the Corner

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Welcome aboard.

Silver Cloud is resuming her championship cruising after crossing over from Rio de Janeiro where she visited the 2016 Olympics and served as home to the gold-medal-winning American men’s and women’s basketball teams.

We’re off on a trip down and around the corner, from Lisbon on the Atlantic coast of Portugal through the Pillars of Hercules between Gibraltar and north Africa and into the middle sea, the Mediterranean.

Continuing east in the Mediterranean Sea, we are due to call at the glorious Spanish ports of Malaga, Cartagena, Valencia, and the grand city of Barcelona.

Then we are scheduled to head south to Palma de Mallorca in the Balearic Islands, and the next day call at Porto de Mahon on the nearby island of Menorca.

And then Silver Cloud will head back to the mainland of Europe for calls at the glitzy ports of Cannes in France, and Monte Carlo in the Principality of Monaco.

Here’s our plan:

MAP v1628

I  hope you’ll join me here. I’ll be posting photos and commentary all through the trip.

A LISBON ALBUM

Lisbon Belem1

Lisbon Belem2

Lisbon Discoveries1

Lisbon Geronimos2

Lisbon Jeronimos1

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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13 May 2016
Piraeus, Greece:
Καλή αντάμωση

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Καλή αντάμωση.

Or if that’s Greek to you, Arrivederci.

Until we meet again.

We have reached the end of our extended journey from Barcelona to Venice to Athens, a journey of six weeks.

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.

Until then, safe travels.

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.

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

Hudson Book 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 May 2016
Corinth Canal, Greece: The Shortcut to Athens

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Pelopennesia is the southernmost part of the mainland of Greece.

Although, some might quibble, geographically speaking. You might instead want to call Pelopennesia the largest southernmost island of Greece, because for more than a century it has been cut off from the mainland of Europe by the Corinth Canal.

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Ancient Corinth near the canal

The short and narrow canal connects the Gulf of Corinth to the west with the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea.

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

On our crossing today, we avoided the need to sail down and around the bottom of Peloppenesia, saving almost a full day for a sailing vessel or about half a day for a ship like ours.

And even better, it was a spectacular trip, one of the most challenging passages for a ship. Almost anywhere else in the world, the beautiful Silver Cloud is considered a small luxury vessel; here in the Corinth Canal, we are extra-large, right at the limits of width and height.

OUR PASSAGE BETWEEN THE GULFS, 12 MAY 2016

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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.

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.

So instead, his engineers produced another great project, the diolkós, a stone road on which ships were transferred on wheeled platforms from one sea to the other.

Stretches of that dry canal can still be seen.

Skip forward three centuries, and in 307 B.C., Dimitrios Poliorkitis, king of Macedon actually began excavation.

But the digging was suspended after Egyptian engineers incorrectly predicted that differing sea levels between the Corinthian and the Saronic Gulfs would inundate the Aegean Sea.

Oh, and also: the experts declared that Poseidon, god of the sea, was opposed to the joining of the Aegean and the Adriatic.

Next up was Julius Caesar in 44BC and Caligula in 37BC; just thinking about it, but still concerned about Poseidon.

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.

The 19th century, the Industrial Age, was the also the Age of the Canal.

The success in 1869 of Ferdinand de Lesseps’ Suez Canal awakened politicians and engineers and construction companies around the world. The Suez helped bring about the Panama Canal, the Cape Cod Canal, the Corinth Canal and other efforts.

The modern pathway follows—almost to the inch—Nero’s plans.

Sixteen million cubic yards (twelve million cubic meters) of earth had to be removed.

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.

Corinth Canal

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The Canal cuts the Isthmus of Corinth in a straight line about 6 kilometers, or about four miles.

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

It is straight, which is good. But it is relatively shallow: dredged to 6.5 meters or 21.3 feet, in some places just a bit deeper.

Our ship has a draft of about 4.5 meters or about 15 feet.

Next problem: the canal is very narrow: 80.7 feet wide (24.6 meters) at sea level. And down below it is even a bit narrower, 70 feet or 21.3 meters wide. That’s less than two tour buses or coaches in width.

Silver Cloud is 70.6 feet wide.

Like many of us, our ship is widest around the middle and higher. So we have just enough to spare on each side of the ship and beneath our keel.

And memories of a tight squeeze.

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

12 May 2016
Itea, Greece:
A Visit to the Navel of the Earth

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Itea is on the mainland of Greece, at its southern flank on the Gulf of Corinth.

Athens is about 75 miles or 125 kilometers southeast, easily reached by car.

Not so easily by ship.

Before 1893, ships had to go down and around Peloponnesia to get from the Adriatic to the Aegean.

But we have ahead of us this afternoon one of those “tick-the-boxes” treats for world travelers: a passage through the strange, narrow Corinth Canal.

But first, we have a morning in Itea.

There’s not all that much in the port: a few taverns and cafés and a bank. There’s a little beach in town; as is the case most everywhere, the better beaches are away from the harbor.

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.

The ancient and the modern town of Delphi are 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.

Yes, there is a place in Delphi the ancients believed to be the belly button of the planet, the Omphalos.

ANCIENT DELPHI

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Photos by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved

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—considered to be a source of wise counsel or prophecy.

Oracles were considered portals through which the gods spoke directly to people.

The most important oracles of Greek antiquity were the Sybil or Pythia priestess to Apollo at Delphi, and the oracle of Dione and Zeus at Dodona in Epirus.

In some ways, not too bad a job.

Chosen from among the peasants of the area, she was required to be an older woman of blameless life.

She only gave prophecies the seventh day of each month, seven being the number most associated with Apollo, and only during the nine warmer months of the year.

Hordes of people came to consult with Pythia and her successors.

Some wealthier individuals were said to have tried to jump the line with special offerings. Bribes, you might say.

An acquaintance of mine who is a professor of antiquities in Istanbul described the oracles of ancient Greece as borderline crazies who spoke in tongues.

Actually, he may be on to something.

Observers wrote that the Pythia seemed to be in a trance, speaking gibberish.

She sat on a tripod seat over an opening in the earth.

Vapors rose from a cleft in the rock at the navel of the earth.

According to one version of the story, when Apollo slew Python, its body fell into this fissure, giving rise to the fumes.

Intoxicated by the vapors, the Oracle would fall into a trance, allowing Apollo to possess her spirit.

One line of thinking is that some sort of natural gas—perhaps ethylene or methane or carbon dioxide or even hydrogen sulfide might have been coming from the earth.

That might have been enough to intoxicate the oracle, if not kill her.

And it would have smelled pretty bad.

People consulted the Delphic oracle on everything from personal affairs to important matters of public policy.

The ravings of the Oracle were “translated” by the priests of the temple.

If it sounds like that might be source of some of the campaign planks of some of our current politicians…you just might be on to something.

ITEA 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

11 May 2016
Corfu, Greece: A Quilt of Many Colors

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Corfu is a little piece of Greece, the seventh largest of the country’s islands. But in many ways it does not much resemble the rest of Greece.

Its history includes a long period of domination by the Venetians, a bit of French, and a few decades of British rule.

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In 1386 the islanders placed themselves under the protection of Venice, which kept it for four hundred years. Corfu—or Kerkyra as it was called–was known as the “Door of Venice”,

The presence of the Venetians offered some protection but it also attracted assaults by Turkish naval and land forces. 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 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 and in many ways marked the beginning of the end of that empire as it began to pull back toward Constantinople.

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Empress of Austria Elisabeth of Bavaria, also known as Sissi, was a woman entranced by beauty.

She lost her only son, Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria, when he committed murder-suicide with his mistress in 1889, in what became known as The Mayerling Incident. This was one of the string of events that would eventually lead to the ascension of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand whose assassination was an immediate precursor to the first World War.

In 1890 Elisabeth built a summer palace to the south of the city of Corfu, with the powerful mythical hero Achilles as its central theme.

The palace, surrounded by neoclassical Greek statues, is a monument to platonic romanticism. It was named Achilleion, after Homer’s hero Achilles.

Achilles is everywhere within: paintings and statues in the main hall and the gardens.

In 1898, Empress Sissi was herself assassinated by an anarchist in Geneva, Switzerland.

After her death, the palace was purchased by German Kaiser Wilhelm II, who had his own thing about Achilles. Today, the Achilleion Palace has been converted into a museum, a very worthy place to visit in Corfu.

ACHILLEON PALACE TODAY

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The last statue is that of the Empress herself, with her famously–frighteningly–narrow waist. She did pay for the statue,  so perhaps there was a bit of alteration included.  Or not.

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

Hudson Book 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

10 May 2016
Kotor, Montenegro: The City in the Hill

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Montenegro is a ten-year-old nation with a thousand-year back story and some spectacular scenery at sea level and up in the mountains that fill much of the country’s interior.

Kotor, the port we are visiting, presents one of the most spectacular views offered from a cruise ship: an ancient city carved into the face of a mountain.

Silver Cloud at the dock in Kotor today

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Montenegro, part of what was once Yugoslavia, is one of the smaller countries in the world: about 14,000 square kilometers or 5,300 square miles.

A KOTOR ALBUM 

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Our approach to Kotor is through a winding waterway that some tourist guides insist on calling a fjord. That’s not technically correct: a fjord is a long, narrow inlet with steep sides or cliffs in a valley carved by glaciers.

Nearly all of the earth’s glaciers are at or near the poles, with only a few way up high in mountains near the planet’s mid-section.

What we’ve got in Kotor is a drowned river valley. The river was long ago covered over by a rising sea level in the region.

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On our approach just short of Kotor is a bay where we make a 90-degree turn to starboard.

Directly ahead is the little town of Perast, which under the Venetians was a very prosperous mini-maritime state with its own fleet and a bit of wealth.

And offshore are two islets.

One is a natural islet, Sveti Đorđe, the Island of Saint George, which contains a Benedictine Monastery from the 12th century and an ancient graveyard.

The second island is Our Lady of the Rocks. According to legend, local seamen found an icon of Madonna and Child on a rock in the sea at this location on July 22, 1452.

The seamen were said to have made an oath: upon returning from each successful voyage, they laid a rock in the Bay. Over time, the islet gradually emerged from the sea.

The custom of throwing rocks into the sea continues; every year at sunset on July 22, a small flotilla of boats sails into the bay for an event called fašinada, throwing rocks into the sea widening the surface of the island, takes place.

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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

9 May 2016
Dubrovnik, Croatia: Up on the Roof

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We are at anchor offshore of Dubrovnik,  no longer facing invasions by the Ostrogoths, the Ottomans,  Napoleon, Italy, Germany, Serbia…and others who have come here before.

Today, the invaders are tourists–some of them armed and dangerous with Selfie sticks, which had to be one of the silliest inventions of all time.

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Silver Cloud at anchor off Dubrovnik today

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We were most recently here just last week on our way north to Venice. I wrote about Dubrovnik in my post of May 3.

By the 15th and 16th centuries, the thalassocracy of Ragusa—its empire at sea rather than on land—rivaled that of the Republic of Venice and other Italian maritime republics.

For much of that time Ragusa had to walk a fine line, avoiding conflict with Venice and the Ottomans.

The Republic of Ragusa was a relatively advanced state for much of its existence. A medical service was introduced in 1301. Its first pharmacy opened in 1317 and still exists.

Other institutions of the time included an almshouse, a quarantine hospital (Lazarete), and an orphanage. Ragusa instituted Roman-style town planning rules, and a 20 kilometer (12 mile) water supply system was constructed in 1436.

Through it all, the Republic of Ragusa grew its wealth through trade by land and sea. The city had a huge fleet of merchant ships (an argosy) that travelled all over the world. The Ragusans established settlements as far away as India.

Ultimately, Ragusa served as the agent of the Ottomans in the Adriatric and a counter to the Venetians. But the collapse of both powers left Ragusa isolated and vulnerable.

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Dubrovnik’s most beloved church is the Baroque Saint Blaise’s Church, built about 1714.

The main altar holds a polyptych by Titian, portraying a version of the Assumption of the Virgin, probably dating from 1552; the side altars hold paintings of later centuries.

The Cathedral treasury holds 200 relics from the 11th to 18th centuries; chiefly, the gold-plated arm, leg and skull of Saint Blaise and what is said to be a relic of the True Cross.

Another interesting church is Saint Ignatius of Loyola, completed in 1725 and modeled after the church of the same name in Rome. Ignatius was the founder of the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits.

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The Church of Saint Ignatius

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

Hudson Book 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

8 May 2016
Pula, Croatia: Arches and Amphitheaters


By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We are sailing out of Venice, one of the world’s most famous places, headed for Pula, Croatia, which is—to many people—quite obscure.

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Above, Silver Cloud at anchor in Pula today, seen through one of the arches of the Roman amphitheater, and below, beyond orange rooftops in town

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But Pula has had its moments.

Some will tell you it all began with Jason and the Argonauts.

According to legend, and a few inconclusive smidgens of archeological evidence, Pula was founded almost three thousand years ago by some of the crew of the Argo.

In the many-times told story, the son of the King of Colchis chased Jason and the crew of the Argo—the Argonauts—after they stole the Golden Fleece.

Colchis was an ancient nation on the east coast of the Black Sea. Today it is western Georgia, extending into Russia at Sochi.

Somewhere around what is now Pula, the story goes, the son of the king of Colchis was killed in battle.

Killing a king—or his son—is usually not something that pleases the ruling powers. And so, Jason’s men sought refuge…and founded Pula.

Now, remember: Jason and the Argonauts is a legend.

But some group did found Pula at about the time of the story.

The truly ancient story of the region includes evidence of ­homo erectus from about 1 million years ago caves near Pula.

There is also pottery from the Neolithic period (6000–2000 BC), and fortifications and tools dated from the Bronze Age of about 1800–1000 BC.

Archeologists and anthropologists believe the settlers of the Bronze Age are connected to sites found along the Danube.

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When the Romans conquered the Istrian Peninsula in the 2nd century BC, Pula became a military stronghold and from an important commercial port.

The Romans used the fine harbor as a landing place for conquests of the surrounding areas after 177BC. The Romans also added water supply and sewage systems and fortified the city with a wall and ten gates.

Some of those gates still stand: the triumphal Arch of the Sergii, funded by Salvia Postuma Sergia in 30 BC, was a monument to three members of her family. The arch was so spectacular it was said to have lured Michelangelo to sketch it during a visit to Pula in the 16th century.

ARCH OF THE SERGII

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In the yellow building along the Arch of the Sergii, the great Irish writer James Joyce taught English in 1904.

The Twin Gates (Porta Gemina) date from the mid-2nd century, replacing an earlier gate; a small section of the old city wall survives nearby.

The Gate of Hercules dates from the 1st century. At the top of the single arch is a sculpture of the bearded head of Hercules, and the names of some of the founders—or at least wealthy contributors—of the town.

The large amphitheater, with accommodations for 20,000 spectators, was built between 27BC and 68AD. In Roman times it was surrounded by temples of Jupiter, Juno and Minerva.

Today, it is the sixth-largest preserved amphitheater in the world.

THE AMPHITHEATER OF PULA

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In the 20th century, in the time of the Italian fascist administration, plans were made to disassemble the arena and move it to mainland Italy, but that huge task was never undertaken.

Instead, you can catch a glimpse of it up a city street above the port.

The Monastery of Saint Francis was said to have been established by Saint Antony of Padua in 1227.

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AROUND PULA

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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

7 May 2016
Venice to Athens, with a Shortcut

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Welcome aboard to new guests joining us here in the glorious city of Venice.

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Photos by Corey Sandler,  2016. For more photos see my blog entry of May 5-6.

Tonight we head south from Venice through many of that once-great empire’s important holdings: Pula and Dubrovnik in Croatia, Kotor in Montenegro, and Corfu in Greece.

From there we stop in Itea on the mainland of Greece before taking a somewhat-obscure shortcut across the top of Peloponnesia.

Our ship is scheduled to squeeze through the almost impossibly narrow, rock-bound V-shaped Corinth Canal to reach Piraeus, the port of Athens.

I’ll be posting photos and observations here; I hope you’ll join me here.

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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