Friday, August 19, 2011

A place to start

I've been planning to post all about our Disney Mediterranean Cruise since we got back.  But where to start?  Chronological order?  On board events vs cruise stops?  Favorite stops first?  As they come to mind (as I've done so far)?  Today I just decided to pull up all my photos, randomly scroll down, and mouse over a photo.  The winning post subject.....PALERMO!

Palermo was our 2nd stop on the cruise and if I remember correctly it was a replacement stop for Tunisia which was cancelled earlier in the year due to unrest.  We weren't real sure what to do in Palermo so we decided to do one of the hop on-hop off bus tours.  That took care of transportation, some "guided" information, and major highlights easily visited.  As it turned out there was not alot to do in Palermo so this was a perfect way to spend the day.

We lucked into arriving early enough to catch the direct shuttle to Monreale - about 45 minutes outside the city.  There we got to see the Monreale Cathedral which was built in the late 1100s and is famous for its extensive mosaics, surpassed only by the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. 

Mosaic - Monreale Cathedral

Mosaic - Hagia Sophia in Istanbul
(from our trip in April)

Wowa especially loved this cathedral and counts it as her favorite spot on the whole cruise and that says alot considering all the stops we had.  She especially loved the mosaic border, thinking it would make a great quilt pattern.  It's always about the quilting!

We were able to climb to the top of the church for a great view of Palermo.  Monreale is up on a hill so you could see quite a distance.

After catching the bus back into Palermo we went looking for a market.  That was a real bust.  It turned out to be a shady looking street with some junk, er.... antique stores.  We gave up on markets.  While there were several on the bus map none seemed to pan out as anything worth visiting.  Next, food.  Another tough find - how could that be?  But, eventually we found a little restaurant and had some really tasty pizza.  And it was way off the tourist path so really cheap!

After a long walk to get back to the bus route we made a quick stop at the Palermo Cathedral.  Not as impressive as Monreale but still something cool to see.

We called it a day and headed back to the ship but not before finding my favorite thing - a little grocery store.  I just love to peruse foreign stores for interesting food items.  I got some candies and some pasta herb mixes and was happy with our Palermo stop!

The Disney Magic docked in Palermo

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