Friday, November 09, 2007



Donica is still in Amsterdam for another week but I'm in Atlanta and actually spent the night with Nicholas last night while Amy is in Chicago. I arrived home Wednesday evening and feel like I'm still on the go. But little by little I will settle down to start giving you some glimpses into our wonderful cruise. And to start catching up on YOUR blogs!

First off, you all know what it's like to receive a gift you didn't expect, and that's exactly what happened as we were on the way to our last port of call, Rome, on our way back to Barcelona. It was a day at sea when we rounded Italy's toe and cruised through the Strait of Messina, only 3.1 km (1.9 miles) between Italy and Sicily.

To the east of us, on the Italy side, was the region/city of Calabria.

To the west of us, on the island of Sicily, was Messina.

And there ahead of us was the strait, looking like no more than a narrow passageway!

On Italy's mainland side was this little red and white lighthouse.

On Sicily's side was this black and white lighthouse.

That was enough to make anyone's day! But wait, there's more!
Within minutes of passing through the strait, we passed by the Stromboli volcano that has been in continuous eruption for the past 2000 years!

I thought the white cloud was exactly that--a white cloud! And what a beautiful cloud it was, I thought.

As we rounded the southwestern point of the island, we could see the little village of 400+ residents who don't care a bit about the volcano being in constant eruption, because it never spews forth its lava on their side of the mountain!

The crater spewing forth its eruptions is on the north side of the island, there on the top left. And that's when I was told by another passenger about the 'cloud' being the volcano's eruption!

And thar she blows as we left her in our wake on the way to Rome. Both coming and going she was a beauty to behold. I'll never forget her.

That's what I mean about Freebies. Never once did I know we'd be gifted with the Strait of Messina, a glimpse of Sicily, or Stromboli's volcano! It wasn't an excursion; it wasn't a port of call. It was just free!


  1. Wow - it's just amazing Ginnie! I've been waiting so long to take my virtual vacation!!! I love all of the photos already so much.

    The blue skies of course make my mouth melt as we sit in rain day after day.

    And an active volcano, the sites of such beautiful rich in color buildings. They are all breathe taking!

    I really hope you can make a book out of this cruise! Sort of like the one that you got a surprise from Amy with... like that.

    :) Now I can get ready for work.

  2. Welcome back, my friend!

    Those volcano photos are AMAZING. I had no idea. Kind of made my hair stand up on end for a minute thinking about it being out there somewhere. And YOU got to see it and show us. Thank you!

    We'll look forward to persuing your other 5,489 pictures when you get a chance. :-)

  3. OHHHHH! Boots! You two must have been mesmerized!! The sky is just incredible behind that white spew. OMG!! EEEEEEEEEEEE! :D

    Are these photos with the new Canon??

    I'm like Expat Traveller, been waitin and waitin. Can't wait to see what you unfold. We're so lucky.

    I left another comment at Synchronizing in response to yours. Are you saying the photos are overlapping?? Because I did NOT intend that. :|

  4. Wow pics! Love the way you unfold the story.

  5. First off welcome back missed ya.
    Now for those photo shots, they are fantastic, and what a surprise you got, i bet you will never forget it. and for it to be so clear that is what so amazing.
    Anyway hope you had a good R & R

  6. Wow Ginnie, that are some nice pictures, cannot wait to see the rest of them, have a nice time with your grandson!! see you soon,
    hartlijke groeten Astrid.

  7. Boots, hehe, would you mind checking Synchronizing again now to see if you can see all pics? Pretty please?

  8. So good to have you back, Ginnie! Wow! What a trip... and that's just the beginning. The picts are awsome!

    Hope you and Donica had a chance to relax :) Looking forwards to more.

    Oh, and btw, thanks for the comments on my blog. I'll check the dates with OX.

  9. Stomboli is exciting - that's a great shot you got of it from afar. You should see it at night, glowing red, sending lava down one side!

  10. ET: The trip really was amazing, even with half of it in rain. But nothing rained on our parade! I'm eager to keep showing glimpses of our time in that fabulous part of the world.

    Christina: The volcano was a total surprise. I had no idea it was there, let alone that we would see it! And you're just about right on the number of pics I took. :)

    Ruth: Yes, all the photos are with the Kiss. I mostly used the 24-105 lens--a good all-purpose lens. It did me proud.

    Molly: Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Now I'm wondering how you found me!

    L&N: It really was amazing, Lilli. I'll never forget it. We're both still tired, though, and need a vacation. :)

    Astrid: You'll see some of the photos on SC. of course. :) And my g'son is the love of my life, next to Donica, of course. :)

    CS: We're relaxing more now than when we were on the ship! We always take advantage of the excursions because of what all we can see, but then we're always so tired by the time we're done. Don't know if that will ever change. Let me know what O-X says. One of these days we all will meet!

    RRD: We could have seen it at night, I'm sure, Stacey, since we went through the strait on our way to Venice, but it must have been in the middle of the night, when we were asleep!

    RK: You are such a sweetheart. Thanks, Rachel.

  11. Hi Ginnie ,
    WOW!!!!!!! Thank yoiu so much for this great ITALY pics, "as if we are there again"

    I am very pleased by your friendship and therefore I want to NOMINATE you with My own designed "THANK YOU" Award, its in my sidebar (the white face "thanYOu" , than copy and paste it inside YOUR side bar, your freindship makes me smile, I am so happy to know you! Thank you, for you kind and sweet friendship!

    (nomination on this blog is maybe possible?)

    Have great weekend and next week:)
    Hugh JoAnn:)

  12. Hi Ginnie, I followed one of your fans over - you're on blogrolls of a few other blogs I enjoy.

  13. Lucky YOU getting to see this fantastic sight. I to thought it looked like a cloud, so was suprised to read it was an erupting volcano. Great pic's as usual Ginnie.

  14. Great photos! I am glad to hear you enjoyed your cruise. Let us know when you both are back in Amsterdam so we can meet up and hear all about your trip. Take care!

  15. Ginnie!! I literally have goosebumps from seeing those a-m-a-z-i-n-g photos!! They are National Geographic quality. I feel blessed just being able to read about and see your photos, i can only imagine how grateful you are to the mighty Stromboli! Thank you for sharing this beauty with us!

  16. JoAnn: You're such a sweetheart. Thank you!

    Molly: What a small world! I think we're all 6 degrees of everyone else. :)

    Lurch: What a great surprise to find you here, Tracy. You've made my day! :)

    James: As I just wrote on your blog, we'll be back in AMS from 11/26 - Dec 14. Let's stay in touch about getting together.

    Mad: You are way too kind! But thank you for your vote of confidence. I have so much to be thankful for and you'll get bits and pieces as the days go by.

  17. :) i can imagine how lucky you would have felt.......i feel lucky being able to see it all through your blogs :)

  18. Great photos! It's neat to be able to see some of the world through your eyes and photos.

  19. I'm looking at these photos and immediately I think of how excited G'ma would've been for you two!

    How incredible!! Glad you're home!

  20. Moi: We're all lucky then! What a gift!

    Tim: Thank you kindly!

    Mrs. M: You're right, Shari. G'ma/Mom would have been so excited! Thanks for your welcome home.