The Canary Islands have been a land of legends for centuries.  The existence of the Canaria can be traced back to famous Greek authors such as Homer, Plato and Plutarch.  It is believed that the first inhabitants, the Guanches, arrived in the 1st or 2nd century B.C. They were a white skinned, blue eyed, blond haired race related to North African’s Cro-Magnon man.

Read more: Gran Canaria, Canary Islands

   

 School teachers often put an X next to an answer that is incorrect. For the millions who received the dreaded ‘x’, it wasn’t an enjoyable experience.  Celebrity Cruises proudly turned that negative image around and presently showcases, huge dark blue X’s on their smoke stacks, which embellish their fleet of worldly ships, In the case of Celebrity, back in 1989, the Chandris family (original owners of the ships), introduced the public to the first Celebrity Cruise ship line, promising potential passengers eXceptional quality and eXcellence when cruising with them. 

Read more: Celebrity Constellation, Why the X ?

   

My father was a Chief Engineer (and an officer in the Merchant Marines), on many, very big ships.  I was too young to understand how important his job was, but today I realize that he was often more important than the captain in many ways. As a very young girl, I often found myself in the bowels of a large assortment of ships.  He  always “dragged” me through the labyrinths, showed me where he worked and I learned to appreciate the machines, seamen, (I know), un-bearable heat, vertical ladders,  noisy diesel decibels and the limited, small sleeping quarters of the men who continually worked in the bowels of the vessels.

Read more: Bowels and Stripes

   

Lanzarote is the easternmost island of the Canary Islands.  It is of a volcanic origin.  It was born through fiery eruptions and has solidified lava steams as well as extravagant rock formations.  The island emerged about 15 million years ago as product of the Canary hotspot.  The greatest recorded eruptions occurred between 1730 and 1736 in the area now designated Timanfaya National Park.

Read more: Lanzarote, Canary Islands

House foundations at the roman Forum  19th Century Building  Street at the Roman Forum

Cartagena, Spain is a historic port city located on the southeast Mediterranean coast of the Iberian Peninsula.  When sailing into port it’s easy to imagine that this is the exact same area where the Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Byzantines, Moors, Barbary Coast pirates, the Spanish Armada and ships form France and Great Britain arrived centuries and millennium ago. Today Cartagena is in the Autonomous Community of the Region of Murcia, one of the seventeen Autonomous Communities that make up Spain. This region produces large quantities of flowers, fruits and vegetables as well as wine and olive oil for domestic consumption and export throughout the European Union.

Read more: Cartagena