Our adventure is winding down as tomorrow morning we will be leaving Crystal Serenity to begin our trip back home. We are due to arrive home late Monday.
Each time we return to the Mediterranean we enjoy it even more than before. Visiting in Autumn or Spring is a perfect time with moderate temperature, very little humidity and less tourists than July and August.
The Mediterranean including the places we visited has lots of natural beauty including the landscape of land and sea, along with small towns, villages, and vibrant cities. We adore the architecture, areas that are conducive to walking including the narrow streets lined with cafes, restaurants, pastry shops, and one-of-a-kind stores. Just smelling the aroma from those bakeries and pastry shops is amazing. We enjoy visiting the churches, synagogues, and other buildings of the past. We love looking at the flower shops and the wonderful produce of fresh fruits and vegetables. We love the museums and the beautiful statues. When we walk the streets we think of all of the history that we learned about in school. We think of all of the advancements that took place over those years. We also think of the challenges including disease. We think of the explorers who arrived and also began journeys from these areas.
We like the culture. We love the people. We prefer the one-of-a-kind restaurants and stores. We are reminded that many immigrated to our own country brought lots with them. They brought many skills that helped to expand our communities such as in woodworking, sculpting, bricklaying, the arts, and many other areas. They brought their passion and all of those wonderful recipes from their own home countries for future generations to enjoy.
Some will ask what is your favorite city, town or country to visit in the Mediterranean? Our answer is the one we are visiting at the time. There is so much to enjoy about each one.
The trip has exceeded our expectations on board Serenity and off the ship.
We enjoyed a relaxing evening on-board Crystal Serenity.
As much as we enjoy dining at Silk Road as we did on the last cruise we decided to have Silk Road dinner in our room. We realize that on a seven day cruise in order to satisfy a visit by all guests desiring dinner at Silk Road this means that the dining venue will be very busy. As such we thought we could enjoy a quieter meal in our room and open up a table for someone else who desired to dine there. As they say a win-win for everyone.
We enjoyed a wonderful meal served at a leisurely pace by Rao. As we have mentioned, we prefer to enjoy our dinner and conversation and not rush through it and that is exactly what we did.
We began with sushi and sashimi (Keith mainly has the sashimi) and this included some Nobu specials. We also had lobster tempura. This was followed with salad. Anne Marie had the Green Salad Nobu style tossed with a special Matsuhisa dressing. Keith had the Mushroom Salad which is prepared in a unique way as it includes warm mushrooms that are sautéed with a spicy lemon dressing.
For our main course Keith had the Hot Soba Noodles served with a delicious broth. Instead of having it with tempura Keith has it with some steamed scallops. As we mentioned yesterday Keith first learned about this entree from the late Walter Pietschnig. Anne Marie had the Nobu Box. We both tried the Nobu Box on our first visit to Silk Road and our first sailing on Crystal Serenity in September, 2005. The Nobu Box is a sampler with three popular Nobu signature dishes of beef, black cod, and rock shrimp. The recipe for the black cod makes this dish the tastiest black cod that we have eaten. When Serenity goes into dry dock Silk Road will be renamed Umi Uma and will feature most of the dishes by Nobu as it does today. A few of the items will be replaced with other items. The Nobu Box is one of them which is why Anne Marie chose this for her final entree before the change to Umi Uma takes place. The good news is that each of the items in the Nobu Box can be ordered at Umi Uma.
First photo looks like a lot of sushi and sashimi. It was but we ate it all. :-)
Next photos from left to right; Nobu Box & Hot Soba Noodles.
Good news! Good news! We set the clocks back one hour last evening.
This was probably the only night/day of the cruise where you knew you were cruising as one could feel the rocking and swaying of the ship due to the sea swells. We are pretty seasoned cruisers so are used to it.
We began our last full day on-board Serenity before we disembark tomorrow as we always do with breakfast in our room. We had cereal with a banana and coffee.
Captain Giske made an announcement from the bridge at 8:30 AM while we were walking inside the ship. He mentioned that guests should be careful as they walk around the ship and hold onto handrails while walking up or down on the steps. He also noted that in addition to the rougher seas we had earlier that the forecast called for high winds later today while we would are docked. As such the crew would be securing outside furniture later today in anticipation of the winds.
For those of you who have followed us over the years when we are waiting for our room to be cleaned on sea days often we sit in the Crystal Cove in one area and some refer to it as our office. With no sea days we haven't needed the "office" but with our mid-morning arrival we made use of the office.
Lisbon (Lisboa) is the largest city in Portugal and also its Capital. The population of the entire city (downtown and outlining areas) is close to three-million residents.
Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in Western Europe and in all the world.
Major attractions/highlights of Lisbon include:
Castelo de Sao Jorge which was used as a royal palace even before it became the capital. While a good portion of the castle was destroyed overtime including in the great earthquake of 1755, portions still exist and other areas were restored in the 20th century.
Alfama which is the oldest district within Lisbon which includes narrow cobblestone streets lined with taverns and street markets.
Praca do Comercio which is a square and its southern end is open and looks not the Tagus River.
Elevador Santa Just which is also referred to as the Carmo Lift takes people between the lower streets of the Baixa District up to the uphill Carmo Square. It was constructed in 1902 and has become a major tourist attraction.
Belem Area Attractions includes the Belem Tower and the Monument to the Discoveries point where many world explorers started their journey.
We arrived to Lisbon at 10:00 AM and visited the downtown area. The weather was nice this morning with sunny skies. Enjoyed the downtown area and later the area near the port. There are always little streets that wind up and down to discover with apartments, small shops, houses of worship and other things to see. Visited on market where locals were shopping.
Two other ships are in port with us; Seabourn Ovation and MSC.
There were lots of tourists out and about as well as locals.
We understand that tomorrow is a Marathon. They day we left Rome to board Serenity there was a Marathon and ironically the day we leave Serenity there is a marathon. Go figure. LOL.
We enjoyed the rest of the day on-board Serenity. A final lunch at the Lido Cafe. A last minute walk. Conversations with guests and crew.
We plan to post again tomorrow.
Anne Marie & Keith