This is the final blog about my cruise! It has been a lot of fun to blog, and it reminds me of the warm sunny days on the Mediterranean and Adriatic coastline. It’s hard to believe it is only a little over a week since I returned – today we had freezing fog here in Central Oregon, and it is expected to snow by Friday.
Ravenna Italy is famous for its Byzantine era mosaics. It is a charming city with brick palaces and cobblestone streets. We visited the Basilica which was covered with spectacular mosaics from 6th century AD, and Galla Placidia’s mausoleum with 5th century AD mosaics. She was related to emperors, and her mausoleum is lovely – the interior dome is covered with midnight blue sky lit with stars and crucifixes. Unfortunately I left my camera on board the ship that day; so I cannot share any Ravenna photos (I didn't take any! no camera), other than this photo of the only souvenir that I purchased, a silk scarf with a mosaic pattern from Galla Placidia, which gives only a small taste of the lovely mosaics.
And here is a link to google images of the mosaics.
(hmmm... not able to get the link function to work. Sorry!)
We also visited the National Museum of Antiquities, they have an amazing collection of artifacts from the Roman empire, early Christianity, and the Byzantine empire. Most were excavated from areas near Ravenna. The museum is housed in a former Benedictine Monastery. We roamed from room to room; when we were ready to leave, the museum guards politely but firmly escorted us to any rooms that we had failed to visit! (We tried to escape without visiting the arms and armory section; they realized we did not speak Italian and wanted to make sure we didn’t miss any treasures)
The sea approach to Dubrovnik, Croatia was very beautiful.
View of Dubrovnik from the ship
I really did not know what to expect in Croatia. The setting was spectacular, and the old walled city was fascinating. Croatia uses their own money, but luckily they accepted our credit cards. We entered the old city through the Pile Gate, and climbed the steep steps to walk the walls surrounding the old city.
Walking toward walled city
There are 750 steps on the city wall walk (Spunky LB asked). We both felt as though we had been doing step aerobics! The views of the sea and the city from the walls were so charming. It was a delightful final destination on our cruise.
City street from wall. No cars can enter the walled city.
Me on the wall (parts of the wall were quite narrow; this section was wider. I could imagine the guards meeting together here)
View from wall lookout
After we descended from the wall. This is a photo of the old city
Sailing away from Dubrovnik
We had two relaxing days at sea, with lots of time to work out. The flight home was long and tiring. SpunkyLB set of the airport alarms because she was wearing a money belt -- even though she had no metal, it showed up on the x-rays.
I would definitely love to return again to these lovely cities!