Photographer's Note

Between 10-28 April I gave lectures on the Seabourn Odyssey. The Odyssey and its sister ships, the Quest and the Sojourn, each with passenger capacities of 450, represent the class of the small ship cruise market. On 10 April we had sailed out of Dubai, visiting the ports of Salalah, Oman; then up the Red Sea, making stops in Safaga, Sharm-el-Sheik, Sohkna (all in Egypt), Ashdod (Israel) and finally setting sail for Italy.

On April 27, we were docket in the immense Bay of Naples, a caldera left from the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius several hundred thousand years ago. A far better known eruption took place in AD 79 that buried the towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum near Naples. Pompeii, of course, became a veritable time capsule. Completely buried by lava and ash, it was rediscovered in the 18th century that, displaying wealthy houses and villas lining the paved streets. Shops belonging to artisans, factories belonging to the wealthy, as well as taverns, cafes, brothels and bathhouses were all there for archaeologists to uncover, and tourists to see how our distant ancestors lived. That evening the Odyssey sailed out for disembarkation in Civitavecchia, the port serving Rome.

In order to properly frame Mt. Vesuvius I used a life ring hanging on a hand rail of the Odyssey. Two thousand years ago, it was a ring of fire that framed the dreaded volcanic mountain. In a photo I posted from the actual slopes, one can see "Slopes of Vesuvius" with Naples lying far below. The photo "Slopes of Vesuvius" shows Naples lying far below. The view is resplendent, but the foul smell of sulfur emanating from the crater is a reminder that even a dormant volcano can spell trouble.

I have been an absentee member of Trekearth lately because of and inordinately busy schedule. I apologize to my friends, if I appeared to neglect visiting their photographic art. Actually, I have been touring their works, without writing critiques... an omission that I will soon rectify.

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Additional Photos by Bulent Atalay (batalay) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6809 W: 476 N: 12169] (41257)
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