A Travellerspoint blog

Historical Kaleidoscope on Marina Lisbon-Athens

Lisbon, Portimao Portugal, Cadiz Spain, Seville Spain, Casablanca Morocco, Gibraltar, Cartagena Spain, Barcelona Spain, Malta Valletta

Historical Kaleidoscope 22 Days on Oceania Marina, Oct 11-Nov 1. Kaleidoscope was a perfect name for all the ports we would see through the eye of the traveler. Each port was colorful and unique its own way. This trip was first booked in March 2020 for Oct 21. We delayed it a year due to Covid outbreaks. We left for Chicago on Sunday, Oct 9th for the park, fly sleep option at Raddison in Schamberg. They would keep the car for 23 days. We took a shuttle to the airport terminal 1, Lithuania 4 pm flight. Ate at Chilis at the airport. Flew Prieumum Economy seats, which gave you more room and footrests. Flew to Frankfurt Germany. Had to take a bus out to the plane. Left at 0915 and got to Lisbon at 1115. The line for taxis was extremely long. When we thought we were at end of the line, it then snaked around and around and around. 45 min later we on our way to the hotel. $30 for the ride. We stayed at Holiday Inn Express in Lisbon on Ave Liberade, just off Avenida da Liberdade near the Old town. Too early to check in so went to corner Pastelaria. Jim had Pizza slice and pop, I had a apricot Pastry and cafe Americano, all for 8 Euro.

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We loved the location of the hotel close to walking to everything. After checking in we walked to Old Town Almafa. The Avainade da Laiberade was a beautiful wide walk area with colored tiles covered with large trees for shade. The sidewalk on this street is described as Portuguese pavement.

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After the city's great Lisbon earthquake, the city was reconstructed so the work was fast and cheap

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The Gloria funicular connects downtown with Bairro Alto garden in 1885

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Other things on our walk

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For supper, I had made reservations at a little restaurant that had good reviews just around the corner from the hotel. It started to rain so we borrowed an umbrella from the hotel. Paralelo 45 did not disappoint and we started the trip off with a great meal with paired wine. I had the best Salmon I have ever had with polenta and Jim had Octopus with sweet potatoes. Jim had lava cake for dessert.

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The next morning we had a great breakfast included at the hotel and went for another walk before catching a taxi to the port.

The Oceania would be our home for the next 22 days.

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Embarking was quick and efficient. We dropped our suitcase off in room 7095.

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Lunch was up to wave poolside restaurant they take your order at the counter and bring your food to the table. I had a steak and lobster sandwich without the bread and Jim had the works a hamb and fixings.

We went back and unpacked and enjoyed the balcony. One thing Oceania has changed is they give you your own metal water bottle and have supplied water filtration systems throughout the ship. A nice way to help with stopping some of the plastic waste on board. We had specialty dining scheduled in Polo for a shared table.

Had foie gras steak and mushrooms and shared dessert.

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Went out and walked on deck, and Slept well till 700.

Wed October 12, Portimao Portugal

Portimao Portugal was our only tender port. They use lifeboats as transport. The port had been a large fishing village and fish processing industry. In the 80's hit by the recession and now depends largely on tourism.

We enjoy going to the main dining room for breakfast when we have time. So much quieter and nice to be pampered instead of the buffet. I had lovely avocado toast with fresh fruit. Jim was glad to have the blueberry bowl he has liked in the past.

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We took a tender at 0930, and walked into town. It was a nice sunny day

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We stopped for light lunch down by the water. Warm goat cheese with honey and arugula. Jim had a prawn sandwich

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We met Michael and Leonie from Australia in Horizons for a drink It was Captain's night> Cindy and Jim from California would be going on a couple tours with us. We had reservations in Tuscany for 630. Had a great table for 4. Great couple from Georgia. I had Mushroom Risotto, and Jim had his all-time favorite black fish from Portimao, in a white wine sauce. Jim almost always orders fish and was raving about it when the waiter brought out the chef to our table. We shared the five small desserts.

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Thursday, October 13th Cadiz Spain

It is a charming old town by the sea. It is an island so all streets lead to the sea. The cobbled medieval streets spill out into the Spanish Plazas. The ship was located right on the shore. We would climb up to one of the white villages.

We met outside of the ship and Sandra, tour by locals was our guide for the next two days. We Started with a walking tour of the city

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Next, we had reservations for noon. The Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art Foundation. in Jerez de la Frontera, is famous all over the world for its show called, How the Andalusian Horses Dance.

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i had steak tatare
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Friday, Oct 14th Seville Spain

Met on the ship at 0815 and walked the short distance to the train statio,20 dollars apiece

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The Alcázar of Seville is one of the most representative monumental compounds in the city, the country, and the Mediterranean culture as a whole. The historical evolution of the city in the last millennium is held within its walls and gardens, amalgamating influences starting from the Arabic period, late Middle Ages Mudéjar right through to the Renaissance, Baroque, and the XIX century. The declaration of a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987 acknowledged the survival of cultures and civilizations as a harmonic whole where all of the elements are balanced. The visitor will get to know these unique surroundings either through the legendary al-Mutamid, the XI-century monarch and poet from Seville, or through some of the characters that illuminated modern-day Spain around 1812. Several scenes of Game of Thrones were filmed here,

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Seville Cathedral with the Giralda Tower

The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See (Spanish: Catedral de Santa María de la Sede), better known as Seville Cathedral, is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Seville, Andalusia, Spain. It is the fourth-largest church in the world (its size remains a matter of debate) as well as the largest Gothic church.

Christopher Columbus and his son Diego are also buried in the cathedral.

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The Retablo Mayor (Great Altarpiece) is an amazing altarpiece like no other. This massive and intricately-carved wooden structure covered with gold is 66 ft high and 60 ft wide and is part of the altar inside the Capilla Mayor (Main Chapel).

The construction of this altarpiece started in 1482 by Pieter Dancart, a sculptor from present-day Belgium, and was continued by several skilled sculptors before the completion of the first phase in 1528.

As you can see from the image, the Retablo Mayor is a recessed structure held by tall pillars on either side. The front-facing portion is a grid of compartments, each housing a narrative relief carved in wood and coated with a copious amount of gold.

The structure above the base consists of seven columns and five rows of compartments. Not all the compartments are of equal size. The compartments are separated vertically by pilasters, which are ornate with carvings of historical figures from the Bible or Church. Each compartment contains a narrative sculptural relief mostly depicting the scenes from the life of Jesus Christ.

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The Gothic style includes its tall structures, flying buttresses, and stained glass windows.

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We then walked to the Guadalquivir River
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Evelyne took a group picture before we took the van back to Cadiz

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supper tonight was in a specialty restaurant

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Dinner tonight was in Jacques we had a great table and were the last to leave. I had Lobster Thermador and Jim had shrimp

Casablanca, Morocco, Sat October 15

Casablanca is located on the Atlantic coast of Morocco

Our guide was Abderrahim he said to call him Abdul

The first stop was a very foggy morning and when we first arrived at Great Hassan II Mosque it was enveloped in fog. We got our entry tickets and went inside. The mosque stands right at the edge of the water. and its meter-tall minaret is one of the city's major landmarks. t shows the talent and craft of Moroccan artisans. It features pristine marble flooring, hand-carved stone and wood, cedar ceilings covered with gold leaves, and stunning multicolored tiles. This mosque is the biggest in Africa and 3rd largest in the world
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We drove an hour to Rabat

The Royal Palace

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Hassan Tower is the minaret of an incomplete mosque in Rabat

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We then went to Kasbah if the Udayus

is located on the hill at the mouth of the Bou Regreg river

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Tonight we did two loads of laundry it is nice they have three machines and dryers on each floor. No cost to use.

We ate in the Terrace for the first time I had Moroccan couscous and key lime pie.

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Sunday, October 16th. Gibraltar

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it was foggy and overcast again. On this trip, I joined Bernadine and Bob, Vicky and Rick. This was a port that was a bit of a surprise. We ended up loving our morning, It was so much more than just a rock. Quite a few interesting things, Pillars of Hercules, Straight of Gibraltar, Michaels caves with a light show, seige tunnels, Supper big cannon, an airstrip with a road right in the middle that has to close with road that goes right through the middle,

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Unique airport with a road in the middle runway. Rated 5th most dangerous in the world.

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St Michael's cave is a great cave located within the upper Rock Nature Reserve of Gibraltar. It is an underground cavern with impressive stalactites and stalagmites. It has a light show and film to watch in the area they can have concerts.

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Monkeys of Gibraltar British forces brought monkeys during World War ll. The Barbary Macaques originated in Morocco. They are maintained by the Gibraltar Veterinary clinic. They are given fresh water, vegetables, fruit, and seeds as supplements to natural food resources.

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Skywalk glass overlook

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Old fort was a great spot to watch airplanes land.

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RANDOM SHOTS

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Tonight was dinner at Red Ginger I had soup, fish and Jim had Lobster Pad Thai

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Monday October 17th, Cartagena Spain,

The walled city has always been a major naval port. The hilltop view from Conception Castle Enjoy the Panoramic lift to the top

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Had steak tartare, veal Marsala

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Barcelona October 18th

We have been to Barcelona this is one of our favorite ports. We have got to see and experience a lot here. One place we have not been that I have seen lit up is Castell de Montjuic. The sail into the harbor is colorful in the morning. It was a hot day and Jim had checked out how to get to Castell. It would involve a bus, funicular, and cable car to the top. We decided to forgo the bus and walk the first portion. We walked, and walked and walked! My ankles start talking to me after a couple of miles we had surpassed this and were climbing up. I said I think we missed the gondola lift and looking up don't think I can make it to the top. Finally found someone to ask and they pointed over and up. We started climbing up and up. Took many steps and whay la found a cable car. No wonder we did not find a gondola it was hidden by the metro,

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Coming down was much easier and then we took the Metro to the Gothic area. This is a place I just love to walk and wonder. We enjoyed our time and stopped at the tapa bar for beer and tapa.

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Tonight we stopped at Martini bar for Pisco Sour we then headed up to Horizons to dance to House band. Michael from Australia was quite the accomplished drummer. They let him play a couple of songs.

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We had one of our favorites in the main dining room

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October 19th first Sea Day

We needed this day to just catch up. Jim went up and got my coffee Americano from Paulo in Barista. We were pampered in dining room for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We did a couple of loads of laundry early. We relaxed on the balcony and enjoyed the sun.

October 20th Our 43-year anniversary. Malta Valletta

Up early to watch coming into Malta. Another of my favorite ports. We had been here once 4 years ago. We still enjoyed it and saw some new things as well. We were back with two Australian couples. Micheal and Leonie, Jeff and Evelyne. Our guide Alfred was excellent. First of all the cruise into Malta is breathtaking. The island of Malta is right in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. It is south of Sicily and North of Africa.

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We stopped for pastry and coffee

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Medina is an ancient walled and in its mix of medieval and baroque architecture. It sits high on top of one of the tallest hills in Malta.

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Fontanella tea garden is renowned across all of Malta. It has significant views across the Maltese countryside.

The fishing village of Malta is Marsalokk is colorful traditional fishing boats make the village unique,

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Sea day October 21
Please go to part 2

Posted by Cindygad 20:07

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