Black Sea/Mediterranean 2007:
Day 10 - Limassol, Cyprus


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Black Sea/Mediterranean 2007: [Day 1 - Athens] [Day 2 - At Sea] [Day 3 - Istanbul] [Day 4 - Varna] [Day 5 - Odessa] [Day 6 - Sevastopol] [Day 7 - At Sea] [Day 8 - Kusadasi] [Day 9 - Rhodes] [Day 10 - Limassol] [Day 11 - Cairo] [Day 12 - At Sea] [Day 13 - Athens]

Friday, May 11: Things weren't looking good when we awoke this morning. We were scheduled to be in port in Limassol, Cyprus at 10:00 AM.
The televised ship cam showed that we weren't close to port and that there were whitecaps on the sea.
For the first time on our trip, the sea conditions were reported to be rough. We found the various Holland America channels on our cabin TV to be endlessly amusing.
Due to the bad weather, a ship slipped from its mooring in port, so all harbor personnel were busy helping with that emergency. As a result, we had to stay offshore until a harbor pilot was available to guide us in.
That gave us plenty of time to speculate about this seemingly abandoned Maersk ship anchored offshore. We did see a crew member or two, but the ship had no cargo and appeared derelict. It was also named the Maersk Napier, which is also the name of a ship that was alive and well and in another part of the world, according to the Maersk website. Please contact us if you have an answer to this apparent mystery.
Speaking of Maersk, when we got to the pier, we found ourselves in a Maersk-rich environment.
This was going to be our shortest day in port, and with the 1 1/2 hour delay getting in, it was very crowded in the Queen's Lounge where everyone gathers for their shore excursions.
Finally, we were off. The weather was extremely dreary but we really didn't have too much rain.
We drove through the city of Limassol, headed for the capital city of Nicosia, in the middle of the island. We'll now show you some of the homes and buildings in town.
As we drove, Debbie recalled a student from her Macalester College days who was from Cyprus. Later on, we saw a billboard for his family's shipping company, but we didn't get a shot in time.
Here are more homes on the outskirts of town.
We're pretty sure this was an archaeological site that we zoomed by on the freeway.
Once we arrived in Nicosia, we found a very modern city with many British and American stores, such as Claire's, the Body Shop, ...
... and Bijoux Terner, which we encountered in nearly every port we visited. In the US, Bijoux Terner advertises all items for $10 US, and we found it quite funny to see what the price was in each of the countries we visited. In one location, the local price translated into approximately $18 US per item.
It's the Aeroflot headquarters!
We arrived at our first stop, the Archaeological Museum. We weren't allowed to take photos inside, so this is all we can show you. We aren't fans of museums, but we wanted to see the divided capital of Nicosia, and this is the only tour that offered it.
Now comes the highlight of our tour: "Stop at the Green Line checkpoint at Ledra Street, from where you will have the chance to view the occupied half of Nicosia and the northern territory of Cyprus." We saw this street, with barbed wire along one side ...
... then we drove down this street with more fences and wire, and then it was over. At most, it took 45 seconds of driving, and there was no stopping and no view. Yes, we're a little bitter about this.
We drove through the old town of Nicosia ...
... and stopped to go shopping in the old town area.
We had 40 minutes of free time, so we hit an ATM, ...
... wolfed down some kebabs ...
... and snapped up some souvenirs (sesame-covered peanuts, candy, and prayer beads for Tom).
Here's the view back into the square.
Here's a nice building right behind the street where we waited for our bus to pick us up.
Our next stop was St. John's Cathedral, dating to the 1600s.
We were getting pretty bored with cathedrals at this point, but we loved this giant statue.
The cathedral is the short building on the right. We weren't allowed to take photos inside this building either. It was small, dark, and crammed full of gilt-edged paintings.
There was another cool statue right outside.
Views of the old town walls ...
... and this monument were down the street where the buses were waiting. We had a 90-minute drive back to Limassol; the entire tour took about five hours. Even though the tour was highly disappointing, we're sure that visiting Cyprus on a sunny day with more time to actually see this beautiful island would be nice.
Back at the dock, we looked up to see our cabin neighbors out on their balconies. Our balcony is the empty one in the center. When we got back to our cabin, the captain announced that there had been wind storms in Alexandria, Egypt, where we were due to dock the next day. The port in Alexandria was closed, but we were going to sail there anyway in the hope that it would be open by the next morning.
The captain also explained that the thin layer of red dirt all over the ship was from the Sahara desert, hundreds of miles south. We had seen red-tinted clouds to the south on our tour and didn't know what they were. If only we had photographed those and if only this photo had been in focus on Tom's finger instead of the dock below!
That evening, the dining room featured the March of the Baked Alaskas. No matter how many cruises we go on, we always enjoy this because sparklers are fun and baked Alaska is delicious!
Here are our terrific dining attendants: waiter Suarnata and assistant waiter Made.
We missed sunset but this photo captures the dreary weather (with a hope of clearing) perfectly.

Towel cobra? That's our best guess.

Day 11 >


Black Sea/Mediterranean 2007: [Day 1 - Athens] [Day 2 - At Sea] [Day 3 - Istanbul] [Day 4 - Varna] [Day 5 - Odessa] [Day 6 - Sevastopol] [Day 7 - At Sea] [Day 8 - Kusadasi] [Day 9 - Rhodes] [Day 10 - Limassol] [Day 11 - Cairo] [Day 12 - At Sea] [Day 13 - Athens]

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