We did a cruise with with Fun for Less last year and had so much fun. On sea days we had a chance to talk with fellow cruisers about the disappearing emphasis on the family and what can be done about it with our ideas from our book called The Turning which was released last year. It was also a chance to share ideas about family gatherings, family finances as we grow older and how to live Life in Full (our newest released last month) as we age. Since most of the cruisers were between ages 50 and 80, it was a perfect demographic. This year they had asked us to do two additional cruises….to Croatia, Italy and Greece in the Aegean Sea this week and to Australia and New Zealand in January. We were happy to comply!
It was a delight to have Charity and Ian join us, since the starting place was the Venice Airport, only an hour and half flight from London. We left heir flat at 3 a.m. on Friday and drove to Gatwick airport to catch our flight. Ian and Charity worked for the day and caught up with us late that night in Padova.
Our first stop the next morning was Verona, the setting for the world famous Shakespearean story of a tragic love affair. The city was charming, the guides were fun. Our art historian guide pointed out every interesting fact about art history along the way which was just fine with me! What a city!
We started at The Arena, built 40 years before the coliseum in Rome. This place was about to host a concert for 15,000 teenagers and their parents where a teen age idol whose name we didn’t recognize was to perform. Thousands of screaming girls showed their adoration for their “idol” as they caught sight of her when they were lining up to go in, just as we were walking back to the buses. It sounded a lot like a cross between hundreds of high-pitched fans screaming at a football match and a revolution.
The city is incredible (as most ancient cities in Europe are!
Just look at the gorgeous original frescos on the walls of these apartments! Our guide told us that the flat on the right with a balcony had just sold for 5 million euros!
Whilst walking through the streets, Charity found a macaron shop and she thought she had died and gone to heaven!
These ancient striped buildings are built with layers of different materials to create “give” in the buildings in case of an earthquake (which apparently are quite common here).
Here is Juliet’s balcony which, according to our guide, was originally a sarcophagus. Some days it takes an hour just to enter the courtyard because of the crowds. Such an interesting commentary on the power of a made-up story by a genius!
Juliet just happened to be there! (Actually you have to pay quite a lot to walk out on that balcony).
The Skala Family were more or less royalty in Verona and their tombs reflected it.
Dante was born here although according to our guide he was much shorter than this statue depicts and he had a very long nose!
So much history! So little time to digest it all! So fun to be there and soak it in!
Who would have thought fifteen years ago when we were hearing so much about the Bosnian/Croatian War, that Croatia would become one of the most popular destinations for cruise ships and tourists in general? Apparently it is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe although we saw only one tiny corner of it when we visited the astonishing ancient city of Dubrovnik.
It is a walled city with the longest continuous walk in the world, next to the Great Wall. The main street shown with beautiful marble, polished by a million feet that walk there every year.
A beautiful harbor brings ships in from the sea as well as many fishing boats and yachts.
The narrow side streets were full of fun little shops as well as residences..
Our guide pointed out the extreme modesty that the early inhabitants. This creative little panel was constructed along the stairway to be sure that no men saw the women’s ankles as they walked to church.
We couldn’t resist the 1.2 mile walk around the circumference of the city. Even though it was 93 degrees and 60% humidity and had about as many stairs as there are on the Great Wall (JK, not even close, but it seemed like a LOT)., it was a spectacular view!
It is a gorgeous spot as well as a target during the ward because of all the beautiful antiquities that are housed there. Ware is so stupid!
It was Ian and Charity’s favorite spot. My favorite spot is coming next….Ephesus!