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  Wanderlust Home and Pet Care

Mediterranean Cruise

October 22: End of cruise but the beginning of another adventure. Train to the Rome FCO airport and the hotel we reserved.

October 21: Naples. We walk to the train station so I can buy our tickets to my sister’s chalet in France. That was so successful we have time for another adventure. We take the metro and then walk a short distance to the National Archeological Museum which displays the mosaics, statues, frescoes, pots & pans left remaining after the discovery of Pompeii. It was amazing the objects they discovered. Caught a bus home - piece of cake.

October 20: Sea Day. We have had a National Geographic speaker talking about our ports of call. Her talks have been based on the architecture or sculpture of the important historical periods of the city. Architecture and sculpture is directly influenced by political and social events of the time. I didn’t know this!

October 19: Gary is off to find an Internet cafe and I am off to find a salon to get my hair cut in Mykonos. We are both successful. We then walk the narrow streets and try to get lost. The sun makes the white washed homes glisten. The neighborhood pelican is strutting his stuff - wish I had his picture! We stop for fried calamari, local sausage, gyros and local rose wine.

October 18: Day at Sea - thank goodness!

October 17:  This morning we go to the River Jordan and the approximate area where John baptized Jesus then it is the city of Masada. Herod the Great builds 3 different styled palaces on 3 different cliff edges (one above the other) and collects the rain fall from Jerusalem many miles away for his bath in his winter home out in the desert . Talk about over the top! Many years later, the city is used by Jews who have fled Jerusalem. The Zealots are able to hold out during a seige but the roman general begins to build a ramp to the city. The Zealots know the fight is coming to a close so 10 men are chosen to slay 990 men women and children. Only one man is left and he commits suicide. Death was better than slavery. For homework rent the mini series Masada with Peter O’Toole and Peter Strauss from 1981.

A movie from our tour guide Zahi :

We end the day by swimming in the dead sea.

A movie from our tour guide Zahi:

October 16: Jerusalem the Holy City. We visited the city on a Jewish holiday so we are told that there are 70,000 Jews who have come to celebrate. The streets are shoulder to shoulder with people. The West Wall is packed with the faithful. I am able but intimidated to place my prayer into the wall. Later they will be collected and buried. I will have a piece to me to live on into the future. I am glad of the Jewish holiday to see the various costumes. We are even blessed by a young rabbi. We visit some of the stations of the cross called Via Dolorosa. I am a calm observer until we get to the rock in the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prayed. A tear trickles down my face to imagine his grief and pain of knowing he will be betrayed and then crucified.

A movie from our tour guid Zahi:

October 15: Israel’s Western Coast. Caesarea underwent vast changes under Herod the Great. In 22 BC, Herod began construction of a deep sea harbor and built storerooms, markets, wide roads, baths, temples to Rome and Augustus, and imposing public buildings. The city hosted major sports competitions in the hippodrome, gladiator games, and theatrical productions in its theatre overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

The City of Jaffa is the city from which Jonah depart for his voyage but was eaten by a whale. King David and his son King Solomon conquered the city of Jaffa and used its port to bring the cedars used in the construction of the First Temple (see picture of history). It played a role in the crusades and on March 7, 1799 Napoleon captured the town in what became known as the Siege of Jaffa, ransacked it, and killed scores of local inhabitants. All this history is giving me a headache.

October 14: The Holy Land. Israel has a long and in some cases not so glorious a history. The Jews have been exiled, overthrown, and massacred many times since the time of Abraham. Please see the picture of their history boiled down to one page. The country has also seen 3 mono-theistic religions flourish sometimes at the expense of each other.

Our visit today was to Northern Israel. Much of Jesus’ ministries and miracles occurred at the Sea of Galilee (recruited four of the apostles and his walking on water) and the nearby cities of Nazareth (where Jesus is thought to have spent his childhood) , Tiberias, Tabgha (feeding five thousand people) and Capernaum (Jesus lived and is said to have healed several individuals).

October 12 & 13: Sea Days. Biggest challenge - deciding what activity to do and then trying to find where the activity is on the 14 floors of the ship. We were able to memorize the location of the restaurant however (much to my body’s chagrin).

October 11: Sicily, home of the mafia. I downloaded a walking tour of the Medieval Quarter of Palermo from the Frommer web site. Found just about everything on the map. One surprise was a private tour of the Biblioteca Centrale della Regione Siciliana. It was once a Jesuit college containing a double arcaded courtyard - beautiful.

October 10: We board the Celebrity Silhouette for a 12 day cruise of the Med.

October 9: We were able to catch the train to Civitavecchia Italy. While basking in the warm Italian sunshine, we enjoyed a gourmet dinner of dried meats, cheeses, eggplant parmesan, shrimp, and (who could turn down) the gelatto!