Monday, November 18, 2013

LIMASSOL, CYPRUS......Lovely combination of contemporary & old!

Limassol, Cyprus is Cyprus's largest coastal town sprawled around Akrotiri Bay.  It's medieval center where you find pedestrianed streets has that wonderful old world feel.  Driving to this area you pass through very contemporary areas that reminded me very much of a coastal area in Florida.  Once in the old area I stumbled upon a medieval castle that was so much fun to explore.

This is the contemporary section of the city that we drove through to get to the Old Town.  Old Town was located a distance from the Ship, but shuttles were provided.

This is an area as you first enter the castle!
Here is an area that has little rooms off this long corridor with the historical information.

This was one of the views from the top of the Castle!
The restaurant where I had of the highlights of each of my Port Days.  This place was located across from a square and the entrance to the Castle.
In the more residential area of the City.
Charming, isn't it?  

Not where I ate, but I thought it was a lovely restaurant.  

These photo show what it is like inside this area of the Old Town.  There were many cafes, shops, music! Cyprus was a wonderful stop with beautiful weather and tons of charm.  I am glad that I continued with my curiosity and adventured out of the central area of town.  Strolling through the residential areas is so much fun as was getting away from the "tourists"!

It took a long time to fix this post.....but now that I am home and with Good and unlimited Internet Service, I can finally actually post this entry!

This was a shot of the port area as the shuttle took us to the old City.  It was a really long walk.  As you can see it is really contemporary and as I said, it almost has a feel of a street in Florida.
This of course is me!!  It was taken at my table in the Main Dining Room of the Ship the night of my visit to Cyprus.  If you are interested, I am eating Frogs Legs!
This was the sign at the entrance to the castle.  Again, I apologize for the lack of order of these photos.....unfortunately I didn't master this blog site as much as I wished.

Another lovely street scene in Cyprus!

Thursday, November 14, 2013


Don't be restricted by not having an available traveling companion.  Don't let your fears get in the way!  Just DO IT!  Now that I have done it, I feel silly for letting MY fears get in the way!  Albeit, a cruise is a great first choice....the whole safe community environment.  But, I learned so much about myself and gained so much confidence that I am ready for an immersion adventure.  Like renting an apartment in Venice....or a Villa in travel aspirations and options are unlimited.  And life is while I am healthy and mobile.....the time is now.  So, beware, there may be more travel Blogs in my future.  
So, while having my last pre-dinner cocktail tonight....I said goodbye to folks who helped this trip more enjoyable.  And I am prepared for my last adventure.....sailing on the Sea Back To's called HOME!

I must say, I thought I would be chomping at the bit to get home around week #3.....but here I am on day 37 and I have just accepted that I have to go home.  

So, 30 degree temps, possible snow, my EBay business, real life.....I'm on my way!!  I'll be there tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Originally this trip was for me to overcome my anxieties about traveling alone and sharing what I have learned and experienced.  I HAVE accomplished that.  But along the way I have gone down another path of thoughts and questions.  My word of the day is VALIDATION!  By writing this Blog was I actually seeking validation?

I suppose it is human nature to want to be validated, to receive approval.  But how do you separate wanting validation from wanting to just share and inform?  Or, do they go hand in hand?  The reason I am asking these questions is:  If the primary goal of this Blog was to share and inform, then why do I now find myself focusing on the number of likes on my Facebook page, the number of page views on my Blog and the number of comments made at both social media sites?

I suspect that this change in focus by me is driven by the current domination of the internet and social media. Before the internet, validation came from friends, family and associates, but now, people seem to need global validation.  They've become addicted to the concept that more is better.  The more "likes" you have, the more "contacts" you have the more validation you have.

I believe there is another group of people who fall between validation from friends and family and the group who seek global validation.  This particular group has probably been around since before internet and social media.  They also embrace the concept that more is better......they seem to need many friends and acquaintances....they belong to numerous organizations and social is like they think being alone is somehow a failure.  Their worth is measured by the number of contacts they have.  Again, more is better.....validation.

So where does someone like me who prefers a small circle of good friends, limited social media, and entertaining as desired, fit in?  What I learned on this trip is that I DON'T CARE!  I learned that there is such a thing as self validation, aka, "Love Thy Self"!  That is the foundation for happiness.  NOT how many friends you have, NOT how many organizations you belong to, NOT how many likes you have on Facebook, NOT how many page views your Blog has, NOT how many contacts you have on your Smartphone.  It is just one simple you love yourself?  If the answer is YES, then you are never alone!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

CELLESTIAL NIRVANA......The Sight of Stars While in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on a Clear Night is beyond description!

Tonight was one of the most incredible nights.....sitting outside on my Verandah, balmy 75 degree temperature.....and a view that is beyond description.  I passed on the Black & White Officers Ball.....and just soaked up the star studded sky and I am not disappointed.  Somehow it gives your life a whole different perspective.  We are just another DOT in the sky.  I think there are very few places where you can see so many stars so clearly, and if you look long enough, you see a shooting star and it just makes you look in  awe!  I just needed to share this night.  Sometimes life is not about parties and people but maybe, just sharing the universe! 
Sorry, no pictures.....I just need you to rely on your imagination!!!!!


Ponta Delgada on Sao Miguel Island, the largest of Portugal's Islands in the Azores is absolutely WONDERFUL!  This port was a pleasant change from some of the other ports I have been in.  The Azores form an Archipelago of nine beautiful mountainous islands located well out in the Atlantic Ocean.  Discovered in the 15th Century by Flemish and Portuguese sailors.  The City Population is 45,000 with 20,000 residing in the countryside.  Known for Spectacular scenery as a result of volcanic activity.  I was not on a tour to see the crater rims that looked down into the blue green lakes, but some day I might like to do that.
This was what I saw when I ventured out on Deck to check the weather & see the town from the ship.  I took it as an omen for a wonderful day.  Waking up this morning it had been raining, but after breakfast....this was the view.  What was amazing was that this rainbow continued to be viewable for well over an hour once I was in the City.
Sorry, I had to add was just so awesome!
Once off the ship it was a short walk to this main road that led to the City Gates!
And here is the gate.  This square was paved in white stone & black lava rock mosaics!  The architecture was such a contrast to all the ancient walled cities I have been visiting this entire journey!  As you will see in the pictures, most of the buildings are white with black volcanic rock trim. 
A clock tower at the City Gates.
Once inside the City Central the views were incredible.  It was such a nice change and for this reason it will always stand out in my mind.  I do not recall seeing such a unique collection of streets & buildings.
I had no map in this before, I just walked and explored.  I did run into Caroline & Marley, they sit at a table next to me in the Dining Room on Board.  They were in the City earlier, so she gave me some tips on shopping!
Okay, I admit it.....I am a FOODIE!  I just love seeing the displays of fruits, vegetables, meats....these open fruit & vegetable markets are everywhere in the Cities of Europe....always reminds me of Farmer's Markets at home!
After walking up a VERY steep street....I would guess at least a 1/2 mile....I found a park....a large park with incredible flowers, trees, statuary and even a Casa....which I think may have been a get away for someone important....more to come on that! 
While walking through the park....this appeared to be a garden house of some sort.  It was roped off and there were what appeared to be servants working on the property!
This was the sign on the main "Casa" and again it was roped off from the public....I believe it was called "Casa de Jardin".
This was the front entrance to the Casa.
Then, thankfully, walking down hill....I strolled through a more contemporary section of the City.  This building appeared to be either condos or apartments.  It was a relatively new building and there were signs that translated to "vacancy".
Still on my way down from the park....I turned a corner and saw this!
Of course, by now you know me, my adventure in town always includes a search for a Restaurant for lunch.  This time I decided to go into a little place in a residential area.  "O Corisco" Restaurant.  As it says on their card "Ambiente de agradavel convivio"....and Ambient it was.  This was my table!
This was my meal.....It was grilled fish (I believe the waiter said Silverfish), with steamed vegetables & potatoes.  I had a quick learning experience in fileting the fish....there were a lot of bones, but MAN, once you got the flesh is was Super!
This picture is out of order, but it was in the area of the Restaurant.  Actually, it is a dentist's office.  This street had this building as well as a realtor & a lawyers office.
This is another view of the O Corisco Restaurant.
 And, this is HAPPY was such a great meal.....and....being indoors, it had super fast WIFI!  Tip to writers out there.....if you want internet service much faster and don't mind giving up some of the views I have had in other is best to eat indoors.  Fortunately, this Restaurant did not have outdoor space.  And what I loved so much about eating was local.  Everyone, patrons included, just spoke Portuguese!  It so reminded me of Brazil....and believe it or not, some of my Portuguese came back to me!

Well, now, except for fixing the Cyprus Post.....all the many ports I visited are now in this Blog.  I have been working on my future posts which will deal with my personal experiences, people I met, my observations.  My next post will be called "Reflections on Being Alone".  Stay tuned and thanks for following me on this journey!

Friday, November 8, 2013

CADIZ, SPAIN.....Last Port in Spain and the very beginning of the crossing with only one more stop in the Azores before the 7 day crossing voyage begins.

I was in Cadiz before during my last Trans Atlantic Crossing.  It is the next to the last port before 7 days at Sea into Florida.  It wasn't that long ago, but silly me confused it with another Port in Spain, when I got there I was looking to see things I saw in Cadiz....needless to say I was totally disoriented.  My brother refreshed my memory and it turned out that when we were in Cadiz, we walked totally around the island on the shore rim.  We did not venture into the town itself.  Well this trip I explored ONLY the city....and was very impressed.
This is an impressive statue that was at the entrance to the City.  It sat in a wonderful park and is a great landmark to find your way back to the ship!
An open square that leads to an impressive building....sorry, I am not sure what it was, I would guess a government building.
Of course, I have to visit Super Mercados...this one was so much fun!  AND I purchased a bottle of local wine for $3.95 Euros....and I might say pretty good!
Like in many of the other ports I visited, there was a surprise around every corner!  I really enjoyed walking around this City....and my search was on to find a Restaurant for lunch!
Just meandering through the City.
And, Voila.....I found this square with four sides of incredible architecture.....AND...
A restaurant....smack in the middle. 
This is one of the views from my table.  I can't emphasize how much I have enjoyed lunching in these amazing ports.  Of course, many of the people on board the ship hate giving up a "free" lunch on board, but to me, one of the ways to really feel a city, the culture and the food is to immerse yourself in it.  And immerse, I did!
The Restaurant had a Tapas menu, however, after trying for awhile to order a few items, the waiter just kept saying No I let him pick for me....he ended up bringing me two half portions on the main menu....he assured me, I believe, with the language issues, that it was like ordering Tapas!  My first dish was Prawns in a Garlic sauce (of course there was bread for dipping) and I must say I enjoyed it tremendously.
My next course was stuffed red peppers.....there was a nice rice and veal stuffing and the sauce was really, the Garcon was correct and I was pleased!
After I left the Restaurant.....I was in search of the Central Mercado....instead I just came across this spectacular building.  It is hard to appreciate this architecture through Blog Photos....but you get an idea I am sure!  So, I never did find the Central Mercado! 
Taking another route back to the ship, I got a different view of the Cadiz Monument!
And finally, before finally re-boarding the ship.....I had one last look at this incredible City.  Would I go back, probably not, unless I do another crossing.  Do I regret having a chance to experiencing the City....ABSOLUTELY NOT!  It was fantastic.
My next post and last one on the Cities I visited (except for Cyprus....which for the life of me I can't fix....I may delete it and start from scratch!)  will be Ponta Delgada, Azores, Portugal....AND finally you will see some architecture different from what has been posted so far.
Stay tuned......and I hope I am sparking some interest in SOLO is fabulous!!!!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

MALAGA, SPAIN........Absolutely Beautiful Port City....So Much Different from 40 years ago when I was there!

40 Years ago when I was in in Malaga, Spain, it was a sleepy little fishing village with a few scattered resort of which I stayed at.  The Bull Ring, which is now State of the Art, was just a small, rather rough Ring....sort of like comparing Yankee Stadium to a local Little League field.  BUT, it was still beautiful and venturing into the old part of the City was awesome....blending the old charm with the contemporary additions.  When I was there I do not recall any high rise buildings, but now they are dotted all along the coast.

 I believe on my last visit....which was back when you booked a "charter" tour with an airline.  The 2 week trip included London, Paris & the Costa del Sol.  Malaga was the last stop on this trip.  I don't recall doing much "city" touring, so this, in a way was all new.  Back then I stayed at a resort and took a tour of the bullring (not an experience for the faint at heart), and also took a high speed hydro to I didn't really explore the city.  This trip I did and I loved it.  This was a wonderful view I saw while walking along a park esplanade!
 Although a shuttle was provided, I opted to walk into town....actually it was a pleasant walk along the water and eventually coming to a beach.
 Voila, the beach.  As much as I just wanted to grab a lounge chair there, I wanted to see the city more!
 Also on the way to the city.....within the port there was gym equipment all along the walkway....AND free.....if you are wondering, NO I did not make use of it....with all the walking I have been doing, I am quite fit....and may actually have lost weight.
 This was an ancient theatro I came across....sorry, no history on this place.
 Some other wonderful sights.
 A square I just happened on....and I actually ended up eating here.
 Just a fantastic door that would have fit in perfectly with the Poster I made on a previous trip to part of the Mediterranean....called "Doors of the Mediterranean" which now hangs at our Lake House.
 Again, in the area near where I ended up having lunch.
AND here is La Taverna del outdoor cafĂ© in the middle of a square with views on all sides.  This is a view from my table!
 Looking in another direction from my table!
 You know, it is so hard to explain the feeling of having a glass of wine, eating a local meal in the middle of these views.  The only word I come up with is exhilarating!  Totally Exhilarating!!!
 Not the best picture, but I do look a little like I am in another world.....UH, I guess I am!
 The name of the square was Obispo!
 AND here is my lunch....Fried Calamari...aka... Squid!  It was quite good and although my Spanish is horrible, the waiter appreciated me trying.  I have found that to be true throughout my travels.
 I always visit the Toilet before leaving a I get to see the inside...and weird me, I have been photographing inside Toilets in Europe....OH...maybe that can be a blog in itself or a Poster!  LOL!!!!
 So here you are.....a Toilet in Taverna del Obispo.....Hmmm....not sure if those are beer kegs or what, but I must admit....I had to smile....not something you would find in the States....but ya know, it's things like this that just add to the adventure!
 A lot of the Mediterranean is "exercise" friendly.....this is a bike trail that went all around the city....Hmm....I wonder if they got advice from Mayor Bloomberg, NYC!
And finally an impressive Town Hall I encountered while walking back to the ship. impressions of Malaga.....yes, it is a place I would be happy to return to and spend some time.  From what I could see there were tons of resorts, beautiful beaches, a fantastic city with a multitude of restaurants, cafes, greenery, flowers and parks.  I felt very peaceful there and at Malaga is definitely a must see.

BELIEVE IT OR ETA to Florida is just 9 days from this post.  I still have to tweak Cyprus, and do Cadiz, Spain Posts.  Tomorrow I will be in Ponta Delgada, Portugal in the Azores, and after that, Florida.....after 7 days at Sea.  I have been working on my people, experiences, encounters, reflections.....of this whole trip.  My goal is to work on those during the Atlantic Crossing!  So, Please stay tuned!  If I am lucky the satellite Internet will cooperate!