Grand Journey – Our Day at Sea

With 483 nautical miles between Palma and our next stop in Trapani (Sicily), we spent the fourth day of our cruise on the high seas.

While I wouldn’t want too many sea days on a cruise, they do provide a chance to explore the ship and rest. The shore excursions can be grueling and a day on the ship means setting your own pace.

We slept in a little and woke to see gray skies. Later, there were low clouds with an odd yellowy tinge. Soon we were sailing in the middle of a rain storm. Mr. McB and I stood out on the veranda and watched it for quite some time. It was very interesting and we’re easily entertained. As the rain slowed a bit, we spotted the rainbow that appeared just outside.

sea_rainbowI will admit to boosting the color in Photoshop but this is pretty close to what we saw with the naked eye.

We spent the morning hanging out in the lounge chairs by the pool. It was a little cool to be in the pool but lounging around and reading was definitely in order.

sea_pooldeckBy lunch, the sun was shining so we found a spot on the Terrace Cafe’s outdoor dining area on the stern of the ship and enjoyed the view of the sparkling blue Mediterranean.

We took afternoon tea at 4 p.m. Sadly, I had the zoom lens on my camera so there are no shots of the white-glove service or the delicious praline cakes. There will be some high tea shots from later in the trip just not from this particular day. The whole experience was lovely and very civilized. A string quartet plays as you relax with tea and enjoy countless treats. We had scones with clotted cream and felt very proper.

oceania tea service at seaThis server is taking away some of the many used tea pots and plates. You can’t see it but he has just descended a spiral staircase carrying all that china. I admire his poise and balance.

sea_mjmMr. McB is enjoying the sunset and waiting to snap a few shots.

As you’ll see, the clouds and rain did lead to a gorgeous sunset.

sun set on the med

sea_sunset2

sea_sunset3After watching the sunset, we enjoyed dinner in the Grand Dining Room. Mr. McB had Jacques Pepin’s steak frites (steak and fries) and thought it was delicious. He finished his meal with the Canyon Ranch creme brulee and decreed that it was very tasty despite the fact that it was a diet version of the classic dessert. I had escargot; it was so delicious, someone could have easily lost a finger had they tried to sneak one of my snails. I also had the eggplant rolls and a gorgeous fruit tart with shortbread crust. The meal was lovely and I’m sorry that there are no photos to share. My taste buds are sorry I can’t easily whip up something like this right now.

I leave you with this sneak peek of Trapani. My post about the stop is going to be delayed but you can read Mr. McB’s recap of our excursion to Erice and time in Trapani.

sea_sneak

 

More Furman photos

This isn’t the first time I’ve shared photos from a trip to Furman. This really is one of the loveliest campuses that I have ever visited. I’m thankful that it is just a short drive away.

These photos were taken on various visits during the summer.

 

Soft purple grains dot these tufts of long green grasssoftpurple

 

“I have never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude.”
― Henry David Thoreau, Walden
This cabin is a replica of the one Thoreau lived in while writing Walden. Seeing this helps put his work into perspective. It also explains why he spent so much time in nature as staying inside this tiny cabin would drive me mad. Perhaps he paid so much attention to those ants to avoid going home.

replica of the walden cabin
Shi Center for Sustainabilityshi center for sustainability

Turtles fighting for bits of breadfood fight

The ducks are out for a swim before darkness falls.lake at furman

In the summer, the Japanese garden is a gorgeous, lush  green.pathbylake
Sun sets on the rose garden

furman rose garden

This former Buddhist temple became part of Furman’s campus in 2008.retreat

Good night…

sunset