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

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    I liked Catania so much and must apologise and hope you will forgive me for posting far too many pictures. So I'll skip the interiors of churches visited on the walking tour, and any attempt to summarise all I learned about the patron saint of the city.



    But there is always time in Sicily for a café stop and refreshments! So do join me, athough there is no escaping that patron saint, for these scrumptious cakes are called Saint Agatha's breasts!
    Last edited by Seagull; January 18th, 2015, 09:47.

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      some very impressive places there Cecellia.
      must have been a great journey
      best regards Thijs

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      • Seagull
        Seagull commented
        Editing a comment
        It was indeed great Thijs. I could easily have done with doing the trip three times, once to see the places on excursions, another time to explore each place independently, and a third trip just hanging out on the ship and shipspotting at the ports!

      I am so impressed with your photos with beautiful motifs and details from all these places you visit on your travel
      Thank you for your sharing, Seagull
      Best wishes from
      Bengt Domben

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      • Seagull
        Seagull commented
        Editing a comment
        Thank you so much Bengt I wasn't taking the photography at all seriously, more just grabbing the moment and snapping impressions (and that even more so when going around in a group). So I'm delighted that someone like you is enjoying the results so much.
        (Oh, and stay with me because later on, due to change of itinerary with problems in Algeria, Serenissima went to Spain!)

      After that free time, the excursion groups reconvened in the square by the elephant fountain and returned to the ship. I had decided to do this, partly because I didn't want much lunch after my cake stop (I didn't show you the accompanying mocha style coffee drink I also had, which came with copious amounts of thick whipped cream AND an assortment of other delicacies!). So some soup and bread from the lunch buffet on Serenissima was perfect! I then had the afternoon free to walk through the port to the town on foot and independently.



      It was immediately interesting, walking past Silver Spirit and a lot of goods being delivered on the quay.




      A good view of the ro-ro ferry Partenope which does the Catania - Napoli route.




      I really liked being able to walk through the port. The permitted pedestrian route is clearly indicated by the yellow-lined pathway, seen here as I turned to look back at Silver Spirit.

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        Passing some buildings, the route continues beside a small boat harbour, including fishing boats and accompanying nets and other paraphernalia on the quays.




        Now doesn't that look so much more Sicilian than a mere tarpaulin!




        Sailing and pleasure craft clustered around the other side. Through the gap between the port buildings you will maybe recognise the view from #791 that I took earlier from the bus, showing the railway arches. The pedestrian route takes me to and through the pink building on the right.

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          This is La Vecchia Dogana, the old Custom House. It has been recently renovated and has shops, a food court and other facilities.




          I wondered if many of the tourists from the larger cruise ships get much further. If you emerge at the other side, you find yourself on a narrow lane directly next to the viaduct arches. When built, one stretch of the arches further along was actually in the harbour and fishing boats moored where is now reclaimed land. In later decades of last century the homeless found shelter beneath the arches. There is so much history here, social and economic bound up with the fortunes and fashions of urban planning and change, and I hope the Archi della Marina will not be demolished as some factions have suggested.



          Continuing under the arches brought me to the traffic route skirting the port and along it buildings of various ages.



          View in the other direction - the sign in the arch indicates a route to the historical city centre.

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            This area, towards the edge of the planned street layout of the baroque city, has rather more unusual angles and corners...



            ...and then I rejoin more familiar streets and the fascinating Sicilian take on baroque architecture.



            I'd ended my walk at an outside café next to the elephant fountain, and later, when it started to look as if it might actually rain, I headed back to the port.

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              Perfect timing - Silver Spirit was just about to depart.

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                Back aboard Serenissima, the rain shower had passed and I am back out on deck and even tempted to take a few photos!

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                  This view of the activity on the wet quay has almost a hurtigruten voyage look about it!




                  I was enjoying the atmosphere of the port at night, and stayed out on deck 6 until it was time for the daily briefing and dinner.
                  But, if you have recollected my title heading for this Day 8, you will know the day’s experiences are not entirely over!

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                    Serenissima was in fact scheduled to depart in the early evening, and indeed did so. It is only 34 nautical miles to Syracuse, but we would have only a half-day there before our time in Sicily ended and the ship set course for another continent! So it would be convenient to already be in Syracuse so the morning excursion could start earlier than usual.

                    I happened to be near the window at dinner that evening and was aware that it had started raining again. I could even make out the occasional rumble of thunder above the buzz of conversation. After dinner and coffee I returned to my cabin, and was reading about the excursion plans for the following day when the now familiar sounds and movement of the ship alerted me to our arrival in Syracuse.



                    It was damp out on deck but not raining, and I took a couple of photos. At the corner of the quay there was the tug Punta Magnesi.





                    From the starboard side of aft deck 5, I managed to include both some ship and the surroundings - actually this is a 2-photo panorama.





                    Then down and forward to see more of the buildings at that side, further along the canal.

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                      I returned to my cabin, and although it was getting late and I was feeling pleasantly tired, I just couldn't help keep getting out of bed and gazing out at the view from my cabin window. My room view faced further to the right of what you have seen in the panorama photo, and looked out round the corner of the canal, over a car parking area, more boats, and a promenade stretching away into the distance Yes I did take a photo from directly outside the cabin before going inside, but there's no need to show you. It was about to be totally superceded!

                      The whole area was brightly and warmly illuminated, against which the sky now seemed totally dark even though it had been fairly clear earlier - you may even have noticed the hazy moon in the photo of the tug boat.

                      I'd left the dainty curtains open, and suddenly a flash of lightening illuminated the cabin. It seemed ages before the thunder. Then more lightening, and then again,,,

                      I've never ever photographed or even attempted to photograph lightening, and in Edinburgh it is a rather rare occurrence anyway, compared to Cambridge where I used to live. I suppose I've read about using a tripod, manual focus, long shutter speed and countless other considerations. But not about kneeling on a chair with elbows scarcely propped on a narrow ledge and holding the camera right against the one-way-window. I don't even remember thinking about anything else, but just repeatedly pressed to take, spontaneously, as the frequency of the flashes increased and the thunder became louder and less delayed.

                      And so I caught an image that utterly delights me. It isn't even primarily about the lightning, but about the way the lightening illuminates the approaching mass of cloud that was otherwise completely invisible in that dark sky. And it's about the cloud's relationship to the town. The scene looks like an old master painting, and there is such a theatricality about it - a word that always seems to surface when talking about Sicily. The whole thing could even be a dramatic stage set at the opera.





                      (...and if you really insist on knowing - and I only looked it up just now - it's 1/15 s, f3.5, ISO3200, and not even a Nikon camera!!!!)

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                      • Sigve
                        Sigve commented
                        Editing a comment
                        When Seagull posted this picture on Facebook during her voyage, I gave this comment:
                        "Serenissima brought her own Rembrandt, a scottish photographer named Taylor (Seagull among friends)".
                        This comment still applies.

                      • yvneac
                        yvneac commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I didn't post a lot but I stay tuned.Wonderful report Cecilia.
                        And this last one....wow.Magic.

                      • janihudi
                        janihudi commented
                        Editing a comment
                        an image we ALL WANT to make.awesome

                      WAOW... so many great new additional photos !

                      And that last one! That is a WAAAOWWWW--shot!!! Fantastic!
                      With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

                      Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
                      Main page: http://www.captainsvoyage.com
                      Old forum: http://captainsvoyage.7.forumer.com/
                      Join us: Save the "Kong Olav" on facebook

                      Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.

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                      • Ralf__
                        Ralf__ commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Oh, how i enjoyed that harbour walk with you! And the evening mood before the departure. And this thunderstorm picture...you can really be proud of this!
                        I bet this would not have been possible with "professional" equipment. You had to improvise and that was worth a try! Indeed.

                      I'm so sorry to barge in like this, but I hope it's OK to share some images of SERENISSIMA when she came to Trondheim last summer?

                      Arrival:







                      With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

                      Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
                      Main page: http://www.captainsvoyage.com
                      Old forum: http://captainsvoyage.7.forumer.com/
                      Join us: Save the "Kong Olav" on facebook

                      Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.

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                        Departure later in the afternoon:

                        With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

                        Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
                        Main page: http://www.captainsvoyage.com
                        Old forum: http://captainsvoyage.7.forumer.com/
                        Join us: Save the "Kong Olav" on facebook

                        Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.

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