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    I'd been watching our arrival from the forward deck. But now it was time to collect things from my cabin ready for the re-arranged excursion to nearby Agrigento. (It should have been in the morning, with free time on the ship or in the town after lunch.)

    This photo is taken from the bus. I think practically everyone came on the excursion, perhaps the more sea-sick prone simply glad to be on land.


      There could hardly have been a more soothing place to sit and stroll. The Valley of the Temples is something of a misnomer, as the classical Greek remains are situated on a ridge a few kilometres from the present town. This archaeological park is an idyllic place, surrounded by olive groves and almond trees.

      I think it will be ok to include some photos of each excursion in this thread so as to give the flavour of the kind of cruise itineraries that Serenissima is doing.

      Looking at these temple ruins and into the sun I couldn't help thinking that this was actually the ideal time of day to be here. I was also thinking it really needed Jan-Olav to capture that light in his incomparable way.


        Sicilian landscape

        We saw the sites of houses and streets and of ancient tombs…

        ...and on to the magnificent and best preserved temple, now known as Concordia, that dates from around 440 BC.


          The remains of the Temple of Hercules in the late afternoon sun.

          It is decades since I previously visited Agrigento, in rather different circumstances at an earlier time of year, crowded with tourists. But there is one thing I especially remember. It impressed me then and still does - among the heaps of stones from the totally ruined Temple of Olympian Zeus, a giant atlas figure, one of a number that would have been standing high between the columns, supporting the entablature.

          I also needed to wait to get some people in a picture, for only then can you begin to grasp the scale and start to imagine the gigantic size of the temple itself.


            Returning to the port I have only this one photo from that evening on board Serenissima - out on deck before the drinks with the Captain and the Welcome Gala Dinner.


              Day 3 – Trapani, Sicily

              Serenissima is approaching Trapani on the north west tip of Sicily, and naturally I am out on deck and ready to take a photo of the pilot boat.

              I can’t resist photos of ends of breakwaters either, and this one has a statue.

              Another ‘must-take’ photo in this part of the world – a Siremar ferry! This one is Paolo Veronese.


                There was another one, Simone Martini, but my attention was now focused on the cruise ship Nautica, as well as what was happening on deck as we approached our berth.

                Here we are stepping off the gangway and onto the street, directly in the town. I had already decided I liked Trapani! As we would not be leaving until 11:30 at night, there would be time before dinner to explore, following the full day excursion.


                  Here is a photo I took from the excursion bus. Looking at the landscape you might at first glance expect the building on the left to be a farmhouse, but then you blink and realise that you are seeing a temple! This is Segesta, a temple in the Doric style that dates from around 430 to 420 BC. It is said to have been built by the local population, though Greek colonists may have contributed to the construction. Possibly it was never entirely completed due to attacks on the settlement, for many stones still have protuberances from the building process which would normally be removed on completion.

                  We also visited a theatre with a magnificent view of the surrounding countryside.


                    Lunch at a local restaurant - three courses with drinks and coffee or tea - was included in this full day excursion. (On such days there will still be lunch available on the ship for guests not taking the tour.)

                    After lunch we visited the delightful medieval hill top town of Erice.

                    I mentioned earlier that it was still windy weather, and indeed for this reason the cable car was closed. So we walked up from the bus parking place to the Cathedral and then had free time to explore the narrow cobbled streets. But it is important to remember that Sicily's culture is not only about history and buildings, and despite the excellent lunch I would not have missed visiting a typical cake shop / café-bar. Pictured here is a Cassatelle Siciliane – sweet pastry with a filling made with ricotta. Simply heavenly, and one of those times when the phrase 'melts in your mouth' really is an appropriate description.


                    • yvneac
                      yvneac commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Ha Erice.Its streets,its dolci.....Thank you Cecilia.

                    So it was time to return to the ship, but I was soon heading out again to see something of the town of Trapani. Walking along the harbour front towards where Nautica was berthed, the buildings become grander and there are gardens and a statue of Garibaldi. Here the streets of the Old Town to the right are pleasant for strolling, many being pedestrianised.


                      Here are sea views at the other side of the peninsula. I can feel the invigorating sea air just looking at them!

                      Returning once more to the ship, I took one of my favourite views of Serenissima. I suppose this covering is used for reception of large cruise ships and other events, and it made an unusual frame looking towards the ship and the early evening sun,


                        There is time for some photos out on deck before dinner. This is from the viewing platform on the forward deckhouse.

                        Deck 4


                          That's my cabin window! It is the type that looks like a mirror from the outside, so Sea Troll couldn't be photographed looking out!

                          The end of a perfect day!


                            This is not only awesome, but this is fantastic. It's almost like I'm back on board the Serenissima again. When I see your images, I remember the ship really well again - she comes back to my mind.

                            Thank you so very much for all the so far, fantastic moments shared. Can't wait for the rest! Pity I'm about to go to sea again myself - as the first autumn storm is expected to reach us the day I start working!
                            With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

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                              I'm so happy that you are enjoying this voyage with me Jan-Olav - and that it evokes your own happy memories in that fantastic way. You know, I felt you left a little bit of your soul aboard Serenissima, and I think I have too.

                              I'll keep an eye on your weather coming up these next two weeks - take care and sail safely. I should have more of my voyage for your enjoyment by the time you are next off duty (and you'll have chance to catch up because I will be down in England for a conference for several days just before Christmas!).