I’ve been sitting here staring at a blank screen, trying to work out why I am feeling so uninspired to finish writing about my recent trip. It is not that I didn’t have a fabulous time, because I did. I think it has more to do with the fact that you really only get to see places on a cruise, as opposed to truly experience the culture.

Kotor, Montenegro

Kotor, Montenegro

Sure, I was able to absorb some of the sights and history, but I felt like I was doing a location reckie of the places I might want to come back to explore in more depth on some future trip.

Mount Etna

Mount Etna

This also makes it next to impossible to make these places come alive vividly on the page for you. I can only describe the sights like a somewhat lame travel brochure  – not what it actually feels like to be there, because I wasn’t there long enough. I have no vivid memories of how the food tasted, what the streets smelled like, how welcoming (or not) the local people made me feel, or the sounds of the night as I lay awake under the stars. It was all just a magnificent blur of tourist sights that left my senses muddled.

Messina, Sicily

Messina, Sicily

My memories are fond simply because it was an adventure I got share with my entire immediate family (which I’m sure is of much less interest to you). A way for all the generations to come together harmoniously, while still being able to branch off during the day to pursue more generation specific interests. An amalgamation of big birthday celebrations, beautiful sites, and a sense of family intertwined that will linger in our hearts and minds forever. I do feel extremely lucky to have made these memories together, I’m just not sure how to make them interesting for you to read?

Positano, Italy

Positano, Italy

All I can really do is share the photos and the limited impressions I have with you. Have a look at the sights of the remaining cruise stops, click comment below, and let me know if there are any you want to visit, or perhaps you have visited some of them, and have more distinct recollections? Montenegro’s dramatic cliffs, lush greenery, and crystal blue waters are breathtaking – Tatjana immediately started making plans to bring Aaron back here, and I intend to spend much more time in Sicily!

 

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  • August 13, 2013
    4:08 pm

    This is why I have always been hesitant to take a cruise.Plus I heard all you do is eat on cruises and I don’t need to gain any more weight! I don’t want to feel like herded cattle or that I saw but didn’t really experience the place(s). Your photos do make me want to travel and go there though. Were there any fab meals on the cruise itself you enjoyed? Positano and Messina look amazing. My dream is to see Lake Como someday. I dream of Italian vineyards with an outside banquet and wine tasting…ahh someday…

  • August 14, 2013
    4:50 pm

    Thrilled that part of your cruise included Sicily! My family is from there and I still have close family that live there. I see that you were able to visit Mt. Etna and Messina, did you visit Taormina too? Other than the city where my family is from, Taormina is my favorite place in all of Italy, so gorgeous. I have memories of writing postcards from the Greek amphitheatre there with Mt. Etna smoking in the distance! I hope you were able to make it there!

    I also remember traveling the Straits of Messina by ferry to get over to the mainland -they will actually load entire trains onto the ferry to get them to the other side because there is no bridge! I’ve always been told they can’t build a bridge because of the depth of the water and the currents being too strong. Considering the Straits were the location of the mythical seamonsters Scylla and Charibdis in the Odyssey, perhaps there is some truth to that!

  • August 15, 2013
    9:11 am

    Your pictures are beautiful. I have never been to Italy and totally have this on my bucket list. I often thought a cruise would be the way to see a lot of it in one short time frame, but I can see that perhaps you can’t fully appreciate the culture because you are always on the go.

    On a side note, the way you appreciate and speak about your family is inspiring to me. We should all have such respectful, loving relationships.

  • August 15, 2013
    4:45 pm

    My Aunt & I travelled together to Budapest Hungary and Prague Czech Republic in March 2012. We had such an amazing time that we are now making arrangements to travel to Lisbon Portugal this October. Now, I don’t know where ‘her’ wanderlust stems from but mine… Was partly created by watching Duran in beautiful exotic locales & longing to see as many countries as my dreams & wallet will carry me to

  • August 29, 2013
    2:23 am

    Absolutely stunning photos and utterly breathtaking!