egypt

egypt

Friday, August 19, 2016

Lucca, Oh Lucca.....an amazing Italian walled city

If you've done Pisa, Florence, and want a lovely stress free Port day.....Take the train, or hire a cab to take you to Lucca.....a lovely walled city, just a few miles from Pisa....
If fact, it is an easily combined trip...Pisa and Lucca.
The cab cost 100 Euros r/t, shared by 8 of us..... an easily affordable tour. It is about an hour from the port, where you will drive thru some lovely Tuscan countryside! 
The town is easily walkable and the most popular sites can be seen in a few hours....





We entered thru a park that partially surrounds the walls... 


The old moat can still be seen....

There is a small tunnel that leads up to the entrance to the city



at the end of the tunnel, there are stairs to nowhere...( I know....because I just had to climb them!!)


Go around instead, and you will find stairs to the top of the wall...



What a view.....
You can walk around the entire city if you have the time, there are bicycle rentals as well, but as our time was limited, we decided to continue on into the city! 

After all, there are Lattes waiting to be savored, while watching all the tourists stroll by...
In Italy, the lattes come with a little cookie,,,how sweet is that!
( My hips say... thank you...Italy!!)

Our views of this Italian Marble church...As we sat drinking our lattes...

In the lower right hand corner, you can see all the old Italian men gossiping...Just like they have done for hundreds of years....I wonder what they were talking about!

Italians love carousals...this one, was here for a street and art festival here in Lucca this week....We were so lucky to be part of an Italian festival! 

As we strolled around the corner....I said....I know that guy!!!!

We ran into old friends and family.....Harold and Michelle!! Of course we were all loaded with shopping bags...after all...This is Italy!!

No Joel...they are not speaking Italian!!! Just deciding what to eat next!!!

We had a lovely dinner, drank lots of wine and acted like silly tourists....wait...we WERE silly tourists!


A quaint town square, that at one time was a Roman Colosseum...over time the it has morphed into shops,  Apartments, and wonderful cafes!  If you close your eyes...you can almost hear the cheering crowds as the chariots race by....

Old walls...
(If they only could talk!)

Doorknobs....
I couldn't help knocking....Alas...no one was at home... 
(Much to Joel's relief!)

and wonderful doors! 

this city has so much charm.....

You can take your pick of old churches and cathedrals to view.....


We chose this one, and we found an amazing site....

Saint Zita....incorruptible..I snuck a picture when no one was looking...


I confess....This is a view I took from the Internet...
(she's much better looking in person!)



Sadly we had to walk back to the cab pick up area.....but the views were breathtaking....
one tip...
pay the cab driver for the trip..... AFTER he picks you up....Grin....
It was a wonder slow Italian day....full of good food, wine, friends....and Gelato...
now....where did I put that Italian wine I brought home???















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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Rock of Gibraltar......An amazing cruise port

As I've said before....8 days is long time at sea.....so I amused myself with doing a little Etigami painting.....OK..OK....so I'm not the worlds best artist, but hey.....a gal has to keep herself occupied!





At last! land Ho...

the Infamous Rock of Gibraltar.... 



Getting closer...and I'm soooooo ready to get off the ship!


Joel looking wistfully at approaching land.....I think he kissed the ground as we walked away from the ship!




First order of business was to obtain a tour.....No Problem.....the tour guides and their vehicles, are lined up as you exit the pier....
do not take the first offer you see....the further down the line, the cheaper the price gets...
Try to form a group of 8....better negotiating power, and no waiting...
We paid 25 USD pp for a 2.5 hour trip....They take Euros, Pounds, USD, and of course Gibraltar pounds.  Don't worry if  you don't have Gibraltar pounds...it isn't necessary, they take most major currencies everywhere in the City!





At the end of the old ancient world!


My Hercules!




Our first stop was the Moorish Castle
6 centuries old!




we marveled at the rock walls


the old Spanish cannons


made beautiful by the addition of wildflowers!


Our cruise buddy Dave, gazing out over the bay.




The crazy airport where a road crosses the runway! Cars have to stop, when planes have to land. The other side is Spain! 
a very uneasy partnership, i am told!




We climbed the tower via narrow stairs....




And finally emerged to the top of the Castle!

We were rewarded with amazing views of our ship in the distance!

You can see our tour vans awaiting our return!



Again, the straits of Gibraltar



Our next stop on the whirlwind tour, was the top of the Rock!

Of course we had to take the obligatory Selfie!


Another one just for good measure!


This is not a selfie....just an FYI..heehee
He wanted our camera though! You have to watch these pesky little devils, They will take anything that isn't nailed down!



looking down was amazing...and a little creepy!

The little guy was sitting atop the Entrance to St Michael's cave....another stop on our tour!

Our crazy and silly cruise buddy's at the entrance to the cave....

Joel keeping a watchful eye.....wonder what he's thinking!!

The caves are a must see!


I wonder what holds them up???

Pictures of course....

Pictures....and


 crazy pictures! 




It's a long way down.....but oh so cool and crisp....

I was told that they sometimes have concerts here.



Afterwards we were on the hunt for Cornish pasties, and of course a Pint!

The only place we could find them was in a local mega mart named Morrison.... It was very close to the ship... it has a hot food area, bar and cafe.....plus anything else you could possibly want!





The pasties were everything I hoped for...I am shamefully addicted to this British treat!



The walk back to the ship, was full of local sites....no, Joel is not mailing his hand!






Or making a long distance call.....





Eventually we returned to the ship, to get ready for the Every night happy hour gathering, with our Buds, and compare stories of our wonderful day in Gibraltar!
Next Stop.... Malaga Spain! 
I wonder what awaits us there!!!!