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    SERENISSIMA is circumnavigating Sicily in a clockwise direction, and after J-O had seen I was in Palermo, we had a slight change of plan. We would have set off for nearby Cefalu and tendered ashore in the zodiacs, but Noble Caledonia had not really advertised this cruise as one that would use them (compared with some of their islands of the UK and the Norway itineraries.) Plus, as I just mentioned, the first couple of days had been somewhat challenging! So they took us by bus to see Cefalu, and remained berthed in Palermo longer. Then to the Aeolian Islands where I have. Never been before WONDERFUL! And when we departed, that night the captain took a detour so that we would pass the island of Stromboli, which is of course an active volcano! And for the first time in my life I saw a "river" of flowing lava (other than on film or TV.) There was an announcement and folk emerged on deck just like in Norway when an unexpected aurora occurs! And it felt just like that, I mean like something in the sky, because it was so dark one couldn't make out the profile of the mountain. A truly marvellous experience!

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      well, I have split this trip report into several posts for fear of loosing all I typed, but now I have caught up with the city of Catania. And here they have a very local feeling which reminds me of Edinburgh versus Glasgow or the pride and rivalry of various cities in Norway! And the football thing is in this mix too! Anyway, I think I rather side with Catania as my favourite Sicilian big city. but now I will leave you with a (sort of) puzzle or question...and perhaps it is a clue that as I sit here overlooking the square something makes me think of our dear Captain!

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        Some recent stalking and I do know that it is not polite or good to stalk anyone for any reason!







        With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

        Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
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        Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.

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          DELIGHTED with your keeping an eye on me and Serenissima, pakarang! We have now just left after two excellent days in Tunisia, where today we visited Carthage and had a marvellous tour of the classical ruins and some magnificent Roman mosaics. Now comes some changes due to the situation in Algeria, so are now heading for Sardinia.

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            On the rearranged part of the voyage - Sardinia, then two port calls in Spain - –before again continent-hopping to Morocco, there was less time for browsing and writing. This was perhaps not altogether a bad thing as my forays onto CVF had seemed to gobble up my on-board wifi, as did my e-mail! So, already needing to purchase umpteen more megabytes, I mostly continued to enjoy sharing my travels via surprisingly less data-greedy FB. It was fun to choose a few photos as I went along, and now for you all is one I already alluded to as I sat in the square in Catania where something made me think of Jan-Olav.



            Yeapp …he likes elephants, and this one is the symbol of the city of Catania! It is an ancient sculpture later incorporated into a fountain that wouldn’'t look out of place in Thailand. The elephant is said to protect the city from all sorts of misfortune and bring good luck.

            The only totally "at sea day" of the voyage was from Cagliari en route to Cartagena, and was actually rather busy with another delight of a lecture, a piano concert, time spent around the bridge, AND I got on the list for an engine room visit! So marvellous to see the Chief Engineer’'s pride and joy, and that Harald Jarl is in good hands.

            Oh, I mustn't forget that a couple of you have been curious as to whether Serenissima has been fitted with stabilisers. Yes she was, last February.
            Not that those would help in the considerable swell that we were to encounter later that night! I was the first to make it to breakfast which had to be a much reduced choice of things that wouldn't end up on the floor - the toaster was already there, unplugged and lashed down like the chairs out on deck. A few other guests appeared, initially mostly the "shippy" types from the engine room visit and early mornings out on deck, and we feasted on a basketful of absolutely delicious croissants. Oh how I am missing those croissants!


            View from my cabin 424.

            The Port of Cartagena had been closed, but later in the morning we got a pilot and were able to dock and go ashore in the afternoon
            . The second port call in Spain was Motril, from where I took the Alhambra excursion.

            And so on to Morocco. I did happen to wake in the night and, suitably hurtigruten-like, emerged on deck from my strategically-positioned cabin to see from the distant lights on both sides that Serenissima was passing through the straits of Gibraltar.
            It was SO hard leaving the ship in Casablanca!

            Rather a lot to deal with back here in Edinburgh, and I haven't even got all my photos on the computer yet, but first things first (I just noticed it's ombugge's birthday!
            )

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              Goodness, already at this time last week I was returning from Casablanca to London!

              D had not been feeling too great by the time I got back to Edinburgh (seems to have over-eaten 'unsuitable things' while many 'suitable things' I'd left in his freezer were still there on my return!). I wasn't sure if he would get to a meeting down in Surrey this weekend, or even if I should go. Anyway he's fine now, which is more than can be said for his cable network connection. At least I had just about caught up on reading what you'd all been posting while I was abroad and enjoying pakarang's links, between being understandably distracted by the comet landing.

              There have also been power cuts, and Edinburgh’s trams weren't working in the city centre yesterday when I encouragingly accompanied D to the airport ...maybe there's been the 'wrong kind of rain' !

              Hoping to actually begin looking at some of my photos tomorrow!
              Last edited by Seagull; November 18th, 2014, 11:08. Reason: ...typo!

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                ...but as I'm so busy and still intermittently computer and internet challenged, I thought this might keep you all distracted and amused!

                (Roman mosaics in Tunisia)

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                • Sigve
                  Sigve commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Welcome home, Cecilia! However, I can assure you that we will neither distract nor amuse ourselves until we have read your Serenissima report! So we are staying tuned!

                Trip report now appearing in Serenissima’s own thread as it will be photos of the ship and from the ship - plus just a few of places visited on the excursions to give an impression of the itinerary.

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                  Seagull is on the move again, so relax ...you have a whole week to catch up in the SERENISSIMA thread! I'm on the train heading south to the north of England! The conference-before-Christmas is back! Yeapp, after not being able to make it for the last two years, I've been enticed back ...so much for retirement!!!!! Venue this year is Leeds University.

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                  • Ralf__
                    Ralf__ commented
                    Editing a comment
                    This sentence (moving south to the north of England) reminds me to an Asterix at the Goths comment: "the west Goths are in the East - from our point of view."

                  • Seagull
                    Seagull commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Love your cultural/linguistic/geographic comment Ralf!!!!

                  Arrived back in Edinburgh, but now have to switch my mind from fossils to organising things food and festive! ...so your virtual cruise is scheduled to re-start on the 25th sometime between eating the traditional lunch and watching the Queen's broadcast and the Dr Who Christmas Special

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                    Always seems a bit of a time warp to return to this thread and see what's the last thing I posted!
                    Well, just in case anyone stumbles across this thread without having seen the one about the ship Serenissima (ex Andrea ex Harald Jarl in the Hurtigruten section), I'd better mention the almost unprecedented state of my having COMPLETED a very long report of the voyage - starting here.

                    What’s next for the roving Seagull?

                    Well, there have been a few hints here and there, but I think I'm now ok to give you a 'heads up' or whatever the phrase is about further Seagull voyages

                    Fram! I couldn'’t mention it earlier as it's entirely a chumming D trip, and there had been uncertainty about whether he'd be able to go.
                    Fram departs Bergen a week tomorrow, the evening of Tuesday 12th May.
                    The programme for these days seems to be somewhat flexible in an explorer cruise kind of way, but we do have the Flåm train excursion booked for the 15th.

                    And Fram will be celebrating the National Day on the 17th in Olden!

                    After another day in Norway (at Atløy and Værlandet), Fram heads for Shetland, Orkney, and the Faroe Islands, arriving in Reykjavik, Iceland, on the 23rd May. We have a few days there before flying back to Edinburgh.

                    Truly sorry I can't smuggle you in my suitcase Sigve - I feel really guilty about another trip on Fram every time I see your signature thingy, and this will be my fifth.

                    And speaking of guilty feelings, I'd better also be realistic about the likelihood of much of a subsequent 'trip report' - still got to complete the last trip I took with D in Spring 2013!

                    Looking ahead to Seagull-own voyages, most of you are aware that Funchal's cruises have been cancelled following the demise of Portuscale Cruises, and the ship is laid up in Lisbon. But I will be back in the Norwegian fjords on a 7-night CMV cruise aboard Azores - departs from Hull on 17th July. Includes Flåm on the 20th and Olden on the 21st

                    Serenissima lovers - stay tuned…

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                      Originally posted by Seagull View Post

                      Truly sorry I can't smuggle you in my suitcase Sigve - I feel really guilty about another trip on Fram every time I see your signature thingy, and this will be my fifth.
                      I would have loved to be smuggled in your suitcase. But I can’t, and I’ll try to bear your pleasure with dignity. Bon voyage!
                      Regards; Sigve.
                      ---
                      IF I WIN IN LOTTO, I COULD GO EVERYWHERE. WITH FRAM....

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                      • Seagull
                        Seagull commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Awww thank you Sigve.
                        Currently wondering if there will even be room in my suitcase for any of my clothes ! Now I have a stressful five days to attempt to dissuade 'cabin mate' from packing unbelievable quantities of computing, electronics and radio stuff and turning the cabin into a smaller version of his home habitat (which the holiday is supposed to be a refreshing and healthy change from!).

                      How surprising! I was so busy while "midgeting" around your hometown Manchester, so i wasn't able to follow all these hidden hints. HAVE FUN! I am not jealous as i will follow very soon. Such a lot of coming trip reports....
                      Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11

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                        Manchester isn't exactly my hometown, Ralf, as my Dad had moved to the Lancashire coast - where he met my Mum as recounted in the My Ships thread - long before eventually having a baby Seagull!

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                        • Ralf__
                          Ralf__ commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Madrid, Milano, somewhere in Italy however...

                        And now Serenissima lovers alert! (are you there Clipper?)
                        Just got the confirmation in the post :-

                        Not to be confused with being aboard the Azores in July, in April 2016 I will be going to the Azores - the islands that is - aboard Serenissima. Even got 'my' cabin 424
                        But also before that, in September 2015, an offer deal plus repeat guest discount I couldn't resist (despite being an inside cabin, although it is a double released for single use) :- Istanbul to Venice.

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