Saturday, May 20, 2017

All aboard for Agropoli. . . . . . .and a visit to Paestum

May 3-4, 2017 - The first afternoon and evening on a new ship is always exciting. 
Some of us had already had brief exchanges with other passengers (who later
 became friends on board) at the meet up at Gatwick airport. We all flew to Naples
 together on British Airways and were then taken by coach to the port where the
MS Island Sky awaited in brilliant sunshine.
After meeting up with the remainder of our group of eleven friends with hugs and
 quick catch ups - a brief look around the awesome and spacious cabin where the bags
 have been delivered quickly for later unpacking, and meeting our delightful attendant
 Ana Lisa who was truly a gem the entire trip. . . .afternoon tea was served. This was a
 British ship so no holds barred at teatime, or any other meal actually!
This was followed by the mandatory safety drill for all guests in the lounge, on a ship
 this size you actually get to see just about everyone before you sail. . . . . . . the
 happy 114 passengers, and the fabulous crew of 80 smiling faces who, in no
 time flat, seem to know you as Ms. Mary, Mr. Bob etc. and always address you 
by name.
A Welcome Aboard Briefing introduced us to our fantastic Cruise Director Brenda,
 and her Assistant Reba, both of whom we came to know well and had such fun with
over the upcoming ten days.
At 6 PM we were ready for the sail away, followed by a quick unpack. Wonderful to
 have a huge closet with tons of hangers, room to move about, these are the things
 that count on a ship. A freshen up, and then off to dinner and a restful night at sea.

The small port of Agropoli was the convenient location for the first morning
 excursion to Paestum - go here for more details.
Founded by the Greeks in 600BC and dedicated to Poseidon,
the god of the sea, this ancient site, and the famous paintings in the adjoining
 museum, are the only examples of Greek architecture in Italy and are considered 
better preserved than the Parthenon in Athens. Walking through the amazing ruins
 enables one to see the best example of Greek culture outside Greece.

We were taken ashore by local tender boat and the quayside was bustling as
 the fishermen prepared their nets and small boats for the day ahead. . . . . . . on 
the bluest water and in warm sunshine.

The museum at Paestum contained some wonderful art. . . . . . . . it would require
an entire day to view all and read the story behind every piece found at the
ancient site.
Amphora ~ 510 BC

Returning to the ship, the blue water was calm and we enjoyed lunch on the deck,
 followed by a restful afternoon at sea after walking the ruins in hot sunshine.
 Heading across the Strait of Messina - 152 nautical miles to Messina, our first 
port in Sicily. Later the Captain's Cocktail Reception and Welcome Dinner 
was enjoyed by all - we were definitely a lively group!


  1. Just gorgeous Mary. I don't know that I'd want to ever leave.

    1. Yes Donna, another little corner of this big world where I might be able to settle - never seen such swathes of brilliant wildflowers covering the hillsides such as Sicily puts on this time of year! It was a beautiful place - and I've lots more to share.
      Mary -

  2. Replies
    1. Sicily certainly astounded in more ways than one!
      Mary -

  3. Your travels always astound me. I can't imagine all the beauty and culture that you experience!

    1. Hi Melanie - it certainly was another beautiful place - something about the air, sky, and that incredible blue Mediterranean sea! Oh, the history was awesome of course and I'll be sharing more!
      Mary -

  4. Oh, the sunshine and blue sea and sky - they are wonderful! Greece is another place on my long list of "want-to-see-places." All the history! Your ship sounds like it was really great!

    1. You know me by know dear Lorrie - always enjoy a good ship, and this one was just about perfect!
      It was a great time and I don't think any traveler would be disappointed with all Sicily has to offer. . . . . . .even the world's politicians are headed there next week!!!!!
      Mary -

  5. Mary, I have been away for awhile.... it is so good to log in and find you are sharing one of your fabulous trips. The colors are amazing!

    1. Thanks Bonnie, I replied on your blog - where I'm happy to see you back!
      I'll have many more posts on this trip - it was a great time.
      Mary -

  6. I am struck by all the wonderful shades of Blue ! This sounds just wonderful and I hope every day is sunny and bright for you ... I look forward to more photos every day :)

  7. Mary, how did you get the water to look like that in the photo of the fisherman .. what camera are you using ? :)

    1. Candice, I'm glad you like that one, I do too! As we jumped off the tender boat we were surrounded by the local fishermen working on their nets - and was a truly glorious morning, already warm and so clear.
      My current camera is still the Sony I purchased last December - it's the SONY DSC-HX400V - not a DSLR which I can no longer manage due to weight size etc. I LOVE this camera and usually just set on Auto and just shoot away!
      Thanks - Mary

  8. What a beautiful looking place! I enjoy going on these adventures with you, if only through your blog.

  9. How wodnerful to see old freinds, like your fellow ex-pat, Paula, again. I think that woudl be so fabulous to have a friend like that with a common xp in terms of upbringing and adult life.

    All of this looks fabulous. What I don't get though, is how can you sail all night when surely the distances traveled aren't that far once you arrived?

  10. Good question. Probably computer-timed Michael so that we don't reach the next port too early - like before the port employees show up for work to secure the ship and set up the security systems etc. Travel is not like the old days - everything is so dramatic, but for the best I'm sure. The distances, though short around the island, on this particular trip were quite rough on a few nights - that beautiful blue Mediterranean Sea can get choppy!
    Mary -


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