Aruba 

We had been to Aruba before, so decided to make it one last beach day. We walked to beach, and found a nice place to sit and have our picnic lunch.  

  
 

loved this boat with the pelican on top.

 
  
 

walking along the beach

 
    

the gang

 

After swimming for awhile we started to walk back toward the ship 

like the saying on this sign

We walked by this sign  couldn’t resist taking a picture.  
 

We found some internet and catch up on emails, before heading back to the ship. 

On the way back to the ship, Tim and I bought new hats. What do you think? 

  

  
We have 2 days at sea then back to Ft Lauderdale…..

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Bonaire

We have not been to Bonaire before so wasn’t sure what to expect. We heard that the beaches were some of the most beautiful around.  

great view

Walked off the ship and visited the tourists info booth. We decided to go Sorobom beach, which was supposed to be the best beach you can reach by taxi. 

getting info

The beach was good, but I wouldn’t say it was the best I had been to. Stayed there most of the afternoon. The beach was small. The water was only 3 feet deep for a long ways out. It was windy and a great place to windsurf, since it was so shallow you could just step onto the board. Had fun watching the windsurfers. Tim, Ron, and Patty swam for awhile. 

 

the beach

  

windsurfing

  

the place we rented chairs from

  

loved the colorful sign out front

 

Saw this guy walking by the chairs

 

cute?

  
We returned to the ship area a little early, so we walked around the town some. 

lighthouse in town

Time to go aboard. 

Next stop Aruba…….

Dominica 

Our next port was the island of Dominica. We had been here before so after some research Tim found one of the best sight was a hot springs by the beach called Bubble Beach.
We hired a cab who really didn’t want to go there and tried to discourage us by saying we wouldn’t really like it. We soon discovered why he tried to discourage us, the hills were very steep and the cab had a hard time making some of them. 

entrance to the beach

 

rock at the entrance of the beach

 
The beach was awesome. The hot springs were right at the edge of the water. They stacked up rocks right off the shore to help keep the hot water in. Bubble Beach was a quite beach with just us and a couple of locals. There was a “bar” changing room and a “spa”.  
  

Bubble Beach Bar

“Bubble Beach Spa “

“changing rooms”

not sure where this went.

 
  

 

the gang in the hot springs

  
   
 

Tim and I

 
 

the hot springs

 
There was a church they were working on.  

From Bubble Beach we went went a little farther to Scotts Head. This was at the end of the peninsula. 

  
There was a hill with an old fort on top. We had our picnic lunch then payed a $2 “entrance fee”, since it was a persevere and went swimming at a really nice beach. Tim and Ron rented snorkels. They saw lots of fish and a sea turtle. 

  


   
Where we were was neat in that you had the Caribbean ocean on one side and the Atlantic on the other. 

 

On left is the cribbean , the right alantic

 
Time to go back to the ship and try to make hills again. Got back no problem. 

That night on board we had a great tribute band playing in the atrium. Had a great time dancing to Beatles songs. The bands name was Beatlemaniacs. We had heard them before on another cruise and they are really good.

   
 
Next stop Grenada ………

Bologna day 3 / Florence 

We decided to go to Florence for the day. It took 1 3/4 hours on a high speed train. 

We have been to Florence before, but never been in to see the real David, so we decided to do that this time. 
Once we were in Florence we had some time before we were able to go in so we found this museum near the train station. 

It was the Santa Maria Novella.
     
   

   
 

The architect was awesome. There were some old relics inside also. 
Then we headed toward the center of town. 

 
     
     Basilica of Saint Mary of the Flowers               

We found a new place to have lunch called Eatily. It was an interesting place. It was a cross between Whole Foods and a restaurant. We had a great lunch. 
  
After lunch it was time to head in to see “the” David. Tim and I have seen the copy at Piazza Della Signoria  but never the original. 

When you first walk in there were a lot of old musical instruments 
   
 

We didn’t have much time so after a quick look we went to find the David.  

  
This is your first glimpse of the statue. On the way in there were some statues that weren’t finished. I found it fascinating to see the process. 

   
   

Then on to the main attraction 😄

  
It was great to see the statue from all sides. The detail was so amazing.

   
 
 
 It is really amazing what Michelangelo could do before he was even 30.

After seeing the David we headed into a long room with examples of plaster models of statutes that were used to show what the statue was to look like once it was carved out. These were works of art themselves,
   
 

After seeing a few paintings it was time to meet Ron and Patty at the Piazza Della Signoria. 

This piazza is interesting in that there is so many statues there. It’s a great place to hang out. 

   
 

   
  

  From there we walked around a bit then headed back to the train and the hotel.

  
(A beautiful restaurant we pasted)
Next stop Modena and Parma

Bologna Day 2 – Ravenna

On our second day we decided to take the train to Ravenna. It was about an hour train ride. 

  
  
  

I wish you could smell these flowers. They were so heavenly.

  
Most everyone must ride bikes here.  Look at all the bikes parked here. 

  
Once we were there we found a store and bought some things for lunch, then it was time to find a place to have lunch. We headed toward a church we wanted to go into, but there was no where to sit near by, so we started walking looking for a place. We finally found a bench and laid out our lunch. 
  
After lunch we headed to the Basilica of San Vitale. It is a beautiful church with many mosaic inside.

  
  
  
  
  
  
In back of the church was the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia. It is described as “the earliest and best preserved of all mosaic monuments, and at the same time one of the most artistically perfect”. It was very pretty. The legend is that these tiles even glow at night without any lights on. 

  
   
   

We found one other place to look into called the Archbishop Chapel.

   
   
After looking in this chapel it was time to head back to Bologna and have dinner 
Next Florence, Italy for the day 

Linda 

Bologna, Italy/ day 1

We are spending a week in Bologna. Since we are here for awhile and we had done a lot the week before we decided to take it a little easy our first day here. 
We had a nice leisurely morning and then headed out. Our first stop was the Tim store. Tim is the name of one of the cellular services here in Italy. (Makes it easy to remember lol). We usually get a data plan so we can keep in touch, use the mapping program, look things up, etc.

Bologna is known for a few things, they have the oldest university in the world there (founded in 1088), also these huge twin towers. 

 
  

We walked around a bit then headed to the main square for our picnic lunch.

 We had lunch in front of the church. After lunch we went into the church and walked around. Then Tim and I went to a spa and had a nice relaxing time. 

  
We meet back up with Ron and Patty and headed out to dinner. We went to our favorite place in Bologna, named Ostera Dell’Orso (the bear) This restaurant is different in that they have long tables that fit up to 6 people. So you are usually set next to someone you don’t know. This is fun in that you get to meet people from all over. 
This night we were set next to a couple. (Andrea and Ricky) We got to talking to them and he is Italian and she is from Argentina. They were in Bologna on business. We were telling them about our trip so far. We mentioned that we didn’t have anything planned for 3 days of out trip. Andrea starting asking when we have been, etc and suggested we could come to their area. She said they have a boat that held 6 people and we could go out it. Tim asked if we had to row and we had a good laugh about it.

  
Andrea showing us how to get somewhere. 

  

Looking each other up on Facebook 

  
Our notes lol 

We may head in that direction, so who knows we may see them again. It was a good day .

More later,

Linda. 

  

Next stop Bermuda?

After leaving Ft Lauderdale we were suppose to have 2 days at sea then be at Bermuda. Well our second day out we had a announcement that the weather at Bermuda was really bad (winds up to 30 mph) and that we would not be stopping there. So now we have 5 days total at sea and are stopping at Ponta Delgado, Azores. 

We were happy about that because we have stopped there our last 2 crossings and really like it there. 

This time we decided we wanted to see Fire Lake. Not sure why it was called that but it was a very beautiful lake. 
  

 

It was foggy on the way up to the lake. We stopped at an outlook and couldn’t see anything. Then we headed down toward the lake and the fog cleared in a matter of minutes. 

  

  

  

From there we went to the hot springs we were at last year. They had done a lot of remodeling since the last time we were there. It was very nice. 

    


We then went into the small town of Furnace and had a nice lunch and used the Internet.   

Then we headed back toward the ship. The Azores are known for their cows. They make really good cheese there.

  

Two more days at sea then on to Cork, Ireland 


Linda