Saturday, December 05, 2009

The 206th good thing about Lagos: Living here gives us the opportunity to have another great trip with our son!

As I've written before, living here gives us an opportunity to travel to an extent that we wouldn't be able to manage if we were living and working in the States. The company pays for our college-age son, who is our dependent, to meet us twice a year. He will graduate from college next spring, so he is relishing this benefit which will end before long. From the choices we gave him, top on his list was a Mediterranean cruise this Thanksgiving. He is taking a class in art history and was looking forward to seeing some of the art he's been studying. We all met in Barcelona -- Jordan travelled from Salt Lake City, Brent from London, where he had been on business, and I came from Lagos. I was so relieved when we all met up there without any problems! We had a day and a half in Barcelona to explore the city. We enjoyed seeing the walking down Las Ramblas, going to the market with beautiful fruit, and appreciating the artistic heritage of Gaudi.

Gaudi's enormous cathedral, La Sagrada Familia, which is still under construction, was really great to see. It was begun in 1882 and is not expected to be complete till at least 2026. It is supposed to be open for worship next year, and they are working hard on it. I had last seen it in 1978 -- so they had made a lot of progress on it since then, but there's still lots left to do.

The stained glass was beautiful from the inside.

Another Gaudi creation was Park Guell, with some fantastic organic constructions.

We really loved seeing the sights of Barcelona -- a night show of fountains orchestrated to music, the Picasso museum, seeing some great architecture. I would love to have had more time there. But Saturday we boarded the Century for a 7 night cruise.

This cruise was port-heavy, with a different stop every day except the last day, which was at sea on the way back to Barcelona. Our first day, Sunday, we stopped at Cannes, France. We took a quick tour of that city and then took the train to Nice, where we took a quick look at this charming city on the French Riviera. It kind of got chilly there and threatened rain, but we missed it and had really great weather for the rest of the trip.

On Monday we toured Genoa, where we saw sights such as this home of Christopher Columbus. On our Thanksgiving trip two years ago, we were in Madeira and on Thanksgiving Day we took a boat to the smaller island of Porto Santo and visited another home of Christopher Columbus there, so we felt like following Columbus was becoming a Thanksgiving tradition.

There are some beautiful churches in Genoa. In this beautiful Baroque church, Brent moved closer to look at the altar painting after I told him that it was a Rubens painting of the Circumcision of Christ -- kind of an interesting subject for the main altar.

I loved the facade on this Church.

Look at this detail of the inlay decoration -- I can't imagine the work involved in creating this decorated facade!

On Tuesday was a trip to Florence -- one of my very favorite European cities. We saw the famous Baptistry doors, the "Gates of Paradise," beside the enormous Duomo.

We saw the original Michaelangelo "David." We couldn't take a picture of the real one in the Academy, but this contemporary copy in a main piazza could be photographed.

Florence is a city that I could spend a month in and still not be satisfied. A day was a nice taste, but left me wanting a lot more.

The next day was Rome. Brent and I had seen quite a bit two years ago, so we got Jordan off with a small group doing a fast paced whirlwind tour. We took our time and saw some things that we missed last time -- the Pantheon was never open when we were by it last time, so this trip we made sure to get inside.

But I did take time to take one more look in the fabulous St. Peter's cathedral in Vatican City. We were close by and there were no lines, so I walked through it once again. It is so awe-inspiring.

On Thanksgiving Day we were in Naples and we took the train to Pompeii -- which was a new site to all of us. It was amazing to us how huge it was! It was a perfect day and there weren't many visitors there. What a great way to spend Thanksgiving!

Here I uttered the words I never thought I would say to my young-adult son: "Oh, here's the brothel -- let's go on in."

We had busy days of sightseeing and then came back each evening to a wonderful dinner. Thanksgiving was a beautiful 7-course meal that I didn't need to cook or clean up after. I could get used to this life.

I also really enjoyed the entertainment on board the ship in the evening -- especially this acapella group! I'm currently still in a state of cruise withdrawal!

1 comment:

Lindsay, Steve, Spencer and Austin said...

What a fun trip!! I'm so glad you guys could go. I can't wait to come to Houston and see more pictures-- they're so great!