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ex HARALD JARL ::: ex ANDREA ::: SERENISSIMA :::

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    The Norman Cathedral was built by both Sicilian and Byzantine craftsmen which resulted in a fascinating mix of western and eastern influences.




    Shadows form patterns in the Neoclassical portico which was added in the 18th century.

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      Magnificent golden mosaics cover the walls with the figure of "Christ Ruler of All" high in the apse.




      From among the Old Testament stories depicted in the nave I seem, perhaps appropriately, to have selected those depicting sea!


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        The cloisters of the Benedictine monastery, which dates from the 12th century.


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          View over the fertile valley of the Conca d'Oro.

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            Well, i did enjoy that walk along the upper decks, although in this area my favourite places from the Harald Jarl years disappeared: the panorama salon at the Boat Deck (now deck 6) and the round walk with the small terace on the Bridge Deck (now deck7). Now the ship has 9 top attractive cabins in these areas, so i have to accept that. Therefore MS Lofoten will remain my favourite ship!
            Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11

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            • Seagull
              Seagull commented
              Editing a comment
              Yes Ralf, I remember that sitting place on the Bridge Deck was the first thing you missed when Jan-Olav described the changes that had been made!.

            • Sigve
              Sigve commented
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              I agree with Ralf; it's a pity the panorama salon (originally the 1. class lounge) is gone.That would have been a terrific place to spend some time when sailing!

            • Seagull
              Seagull commented
              Editing a comment
              I didn't actually miss that upper lounge, Sigve, but then that might be because I preferred Nordstjernen to Lofoten




            Back onboard the ship, I went into the forward lounge on Deck 5 - The Harald Jarl Lounge - to take a few photos. This is where the reproductions of Kaare Espolin Johnson's pictures are in place, the originals now aboard Trollfjord. By the entrances to the lounge there are small framed information sheets giving details of the artist and his paintings It is so nice to see this respect for the history of the ship.

            Last edited by Seagull; December 8th, 2014, 19:39.

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              Ah, I see I am some paintings missing, probably because some people were sitting in front of them, but I know I took many more photos of this lounge later in the cruise!
              Last edited by Seagull; December 8th, 2014, 19:41.

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              • Clipper
                Clipper commented
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                This is where I spent most of my time on board. I even slept here! But where are the beautiful red(?) plastic seats? As Harold Jarl, the hold cover would obscure much of the forward view but it was only raised a couple of times while I was on board. In most ports it stayed shut.





              I'd headed to my cabin via the dining room. Here is a view of part of the Venice Restaurant looking aft and through to the Andrea Lounge, the former cafeteria.




              The bar, and over to the right there is complimentary tea, coffee and biscuits available.

              You already saw the remaining photos I took that day - they were the framed deck plans next to the stairs!
              Last edited by Seagull; December 8th, 2014, 19:43.

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                How I envy you! And how I enjoy your trip! I hope you can supply us with more photos from the bridge. Looks like they have added much new equipment that I have never seen before on her sister Lofoten. The #688/3 picture looks very exciting.
                Regards; Sigve.
                ---
                IF I WIN IN LOTTO, I COULD GO EVERYWHERE. WITH FRAM....

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                • Seagull
                  Seagull commented
                  Editing a comment
                  There should be a few more to come Sigve, though I have a feeling I might not have taken all I should of the more modern equipment. Anyway, certainly more photos of the bridge later - I am continuing to post things in the day order, otherwise I shall get hopelessly confused!

                Day 5 – Excursion to Cefalů

                The plan had been for Serenissima to depart from Palermo at breakfast time, and we would enjoy a morning at sea before arriving at the picturesque small town of Cefalů where we would spend the afternoon ashore. However the weather was still playing up, and the tender landing would have been challenging. So the Captain arranged to stay in Palermo until the evening, and the Tour Director organised buses to drive to Cefalů - a journey of around an hour - returning to the ship for a late lunch.



                I had taken that route before on a coach tour of Sicily way back in the late70’s, but apart from a visit to the cathedral, recollect only a quick photo stop of this familiar view of the old houses beside the beach. Now I would see much more of the old town.



                I walked around and up onto the old walls. The previous photo showed the pleasant hills surrounding the town, but now from my vantage point I could get a better impression of the rocky headland which protected the town and gave it the name Cefalů, which means ‘head’.

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                  Next, we visited a medieval wash-house.




                  Because it was a Sunday and the cathedral was holding Mass throughout the morning, the guides gave us information outside, and our time was then free, with the opportunity to return to visit the impressive Norman Romanesque cathedral's interior independently at a suitable time between services.

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                    I delightedly explored the streets of the town.

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                      Being fewer tourists at this time of year, but many local people around, there was a very pleasant Sunday morning ambience. In the cathedral square our guide’s explanations had been briefly interrupted by a passing town band, and now I caught up with them again along another street where folk had stopped to listen, others emerging from surrounding houses and cafes.




                      But of course, when I saw the decoration on the drum, I felt the performance was especially for me!

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                        Later I returned to the cathedral and went inside. It is in many ways like a smaller version of the cathedral at Monreale, at least in the part decorated in mosaic. I was equally fascinated by the modern stained glass windows, abstract images of the creation story and other biblical references.
                        .

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                          Emerging into the sunlit square the cafes suddenly seemed overwhelmingly inviting!…



                          …and the Sicilian Cassata was irresistible!

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