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Mediterranean Cruise...Cannes Film Festival, Pisa and More...

As I mentioned in a previous post, Balconies of Barcelona, my husband and I had an incredible opportunity to go on a fabulous five-night Mediterranean cruise.  When traveling, you need to be open-minded and flexible in case your plans don't go as expected.  There are so many variables that are out of your hands.  However, I am very happy to report that this was one trip that went off without a hitch -  from our flights to and from Barcelona to the perfect Mediterranean weather (apparently the previous couple of weeks were quite wet and overcast) to sailing on what was once the largest cruise ship in the world!  Accommodating 3624 passengers and 1360 crew members, Liberty of the Seas with Royal Caribbean was an incredible ship with a very friendly and efficient staff. 

First on the list of ports of call was Cannes, France.  On our flight over, I was reading a People magazine and saw an article on the 65th 2012 Cannes Film Festival going on that very minute and into the week we were there.  I only mention this because, sad to say, I was completely unaware the film festival was in full swing at the same time we were going to be there!  Now even more excited that we may possibly rub elbows with some stars, I couldn't wait to experience this exciting town on the French Riviera.  I guess I should also report - we saw no one famous but they were all there...I could feel them.:)

65th Cannes Film Festival
2012 Cannes Film Festival

This is the famous red carpet where the stars pose for the paparazzi.  

65th Cannes Film Festival
Red Carpet Fashion Awards


Oh, wait...is that a famous celebrity?...nope...sorry, just me!:)  But this is the red carpet where all the excitement and glamor happens. 

65th Cannes Film Festival



Cannes - South of France
Beautiful, sandy beach in Cannes


Cannes - South of France
View overlooking Cannes from our balcony on the ship!


Next on the list was the port of Liverno which is near Florence and Pisa.  Since we were only there for the day, we opted to do the shorter tour to Pisa instead of the full day to Florence.  Florence is a city that I felt required more than a few hours so hopefully that will be another trip for another time.:) So off to Pisa we went to see the Leaning Tower.  As you can see, it was definitely leaning!  The leaning or sinking of the tower was caused by a weak and unstable subsoil when construction first began in 1173.  After completing three stories of the bell tower, construction was halted for almost a century due to ongoing battles in and around Italy.  This actually gave the soil time to settle and construction began once again.  In an effort to accommodate the leaning, the added floors were built with one side taller than the other so the tower is actually curved....look very closely and you can see...


Leaning Tower of Pisa



Leaning Tower of Pisa


As a popular photo opp, tourists like to stand in front of the tower and pretend to hold it up but no...we chose to just go with it...leaning in the same direction.  I figured if it hasn't toppled over in almost 700 years, it didn't need our support.:) 

Leaning Tower of Pisa
Leaning with the Leaning Tower of Pisa:)

No this is not San Diego where the same 25-foot monument of the sailor kissing the nurse stood for the last several years. However, I just read an article that the "Unconditional Surrender" monument in San Diego was taken down to be reconstructed.  A permanent statue is due to replace it by the end of this year.  There are a series of these sculptures resembling the photograph taken in Times Square the day World War II ended in 1945.  And it was interesting to see this one in another country.  I have tried to find out exactly why it is there...maybe I should study up on World War II.:)  

If anyone knows why this one is in Italy, I would love to know!  Please send me a  comment!

Anyway...the last stop on our agenda was this port town of Civitavecchia in Italy.  The major tour at this port was Rome which was an hour and a half one way by train.  Because we had previously been to Rome and felt this is another city that requires way more than a few hours, we decided to stay and check out Civitavecchia which means "ancient town".

Unconditional Surrender Monument
"Unconditional Surrender" Monument

After a full day of sailing, we docked back in Barcelona and our journey was coming to an end...or maybe not.  Having a little extra time, we were not in a real hurry to get back to reality.:)  So we decided to stay in Barcelona one more day. After touring the city before our cruise on the Red Line Tour, there was still much to see so we hopped on the Blue Line Tour this time.  One of the most interesting stops on this tour, was the beautifully famous church, La Sagrada Familia Basilica which believe it or not is still under construction and not due for completion for another 30 to 80 years. Originally planned as a Gothic Revival Church, construction began in 1882.  In 1883,  Gaudi took over and changed the design completely which is why the front and the back have two different styles of architecture. 

La Sagrada Familia Basilica
Passion Facade to the West


La Sagrada Familia Basilica
Nativity Facade to the East


La Sagrada Familia Basilica
La Sagrada Familia Basilica

I've always loved learning the history behind places I visit especially those with such interesting history as these.  If you ever get a chance to take a Mediterranean cruise, jump on it!  Also, if possible, a balcony is must.  Nothing like waking up in a different port each day to a beautiful city on the Mediterranean. Bon Voyage!


1 comment:

Cruising Solutions said...

Cannes is a true world wonder! No doubt about that! And to visit it via cruising? Absolutely perfect!