25 images for the travel article FROM THE BLACK SEA TO EGYPT

Text and photos By Robert W. Bone

Click the index pictures to bring up large, publishable high-resolution versions.

 Robert W. Bone

 Scroll to see all 25 images and captions.

01-atriumclock 02-parthenon 03-istanbulrotterdam 04-bazaar 05-varnapriests
01-atriumclock.jpg 02-parthenon.jpg 03-istanbulrotterdam.jpg 04-bazaar.jpg 05-varnapriests.jpg
06-varnaship 07-potemkinsteps 08-russiansubbase 09-valleyofdeath 10-ukranianbeauty
06-varnaship.jpg 07-potemkinsteps.jpg 08-russiansubbase.jpg 09-valleyofdeath.jpg 10-ukranianbeauty.jpg
11-honorguard 12-ukranianposers 13-bosphorus 14-bluemosque 15-crew
11-honorguard.jpg 12-ukranianposers.jpg 13-bosphorus.jpg 14-bluemosque.jpg 15-crew.jpg
16-rugweaver 17-ephesus 18-rhodes 19-aphroditesbeach 20-sphinx
16-rugweaver.jpg 17-ephesus.jpg 18-rhodes.jpg 19-aphroditesbeach.jpg 20-sphinx.jpg
21-pyramids 22-dancer 23-pigeontowers 24-youngsailor 25-rotterdam
21-pyramids.jpg 22-dancer.jpg 23-pigeontowers.jpg 24-youngsailor.jpg 25-rotterdam.jpg


01-atriumclock.jpg: A working reproduction of a 17th-century Flemish astrolabe and clock dominates the three-deck atrium of the MS Rotterdam.

02-parthenon.jpg: The Acropolis and its Parthenon seen from a terrace at the Athens Intercontinental Hotel. Athens, with its seaport Pireaus, was both the beginning and the end of the cruise.

03-istanbulrotterdam.jpg: The MS Rotterdam docked in Istanbul. This relatively new highway on reclaimed land skirts the base of the hill supporting the Topkapi Palace and Museum.

04-bazaar.jpg: Inside Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, one of the world’s largest and most well-known indoor markets. The bazaar dates from the 15th Century. but was reconstructed in the 19th, after an earthquake.

05-varnapriests.jpg: Priests sing liturgical music for travelers visiting the 1886 Assumption Cathedral in Varna, Bulgaria. Cruises also visited the ruins of the Roman thermal baths at Varna.

06-varnaship.jpg: Local hand-stitched embroidery for sale is hung on the fence next to the dock in Varna, Bulgaria.

07-potemkinsteps.jpg: Odessa, Ukraine, is often noted for the Potemkin Steps, scene of a massacre in 1905, and the subject of the silent film called the Battleship Potemkin in 1925. When seen from the top, as here, an optical illusion hides the steps themselves revealing only the several wide landings. The MS Rotterdam is docked in the background.

08-russiansubbase.jpg: The formerly super-secret Soviet submarine repair base at Balaklava, near Sevastopol. The facility was built inside a mountain and was designed to survive an atomic bomb blast. Tours are conducted through the entire complex.

09-valleyofdeath.jpg: The “Valley of Death,” as described by Tennyson, near Sevastopol, is now a peaceful land of vineyards, and farms. This view is approximately the same as that of Lord Raglan, the commander of the British forces, and whose misunderstood orders in 1854 resulted in the sudden death of hundreds of his soldiers in the "Charge of the Light Brigade."

10-ukranianbeauty.jpg: A young Ukranian poses fetchingly from a playground train near the cathedral in Sevastopol.

11-honorguard.jpg: Teenagers take part in an honor guard during a ceremony honoring World War II resistance fighters at a memorial near Nakhimova Square in Sevastopol.

12-ukranianposers.jpg: Told that this officer was the “captain” of the Rotterdam (he wasn’t), these young Ukranians asked to pose near the ship’s tender at Sevastopol.

13-bosphorus.jpg: Many cruisers found themselves on deck to enjoy the afternoon transit through the narrow Bosporus separating Europe from Asia. In some places the strait is less than 800 yards wide.

14-bluemosque.jpg: One of Istanbul’s architectural treasures, the Sultan Ahmet Mosque, known more familiarly as the Blue Mosque, dominates a view which can only be seen from a ship passing through the Bosporus. Cruisers could recognize many other major landmarks, including the Topkapi Palace and the Hagia Sophia Museum.  

15-crew.jpg: Three crewmembers of the Rotterdam take a break to relax informally under the massive bow while the ship is berthed at Kusadasi, Turkey.

16-rugweaver.jpg: A rug weaver demonstrates her craft inside one of many carpet shops at Kusadasi, Turkey.

17-ephesus.jpg: The ruins of the Roman colonial city of Ephesus, a short drive from Kusadasi, Turkey. At one time it was the second largest city in the empire.

18-rhodes.jpg: A passenger on the Rotterdam contemplates the walled city at Rhodes from a table on the Lido Deck.

19-aphroditesbeach.jpg: The Greek goddess Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, was said to have been born as an adult in the ocean foam along this beach near the village of Pathos on the island of Cyprus.

20-sphinx.jpg: A view of the head of the Great Sphinx is backgrounded by the Pyramid of Khafre, photographed on an excursion to Giza from Alexandria. Scientists believe that the Sphinx also represents Khafre, the pharaoh who ruled Egypt from about 2520 to 2465 B.C.

21-pyramids.jpg: Passengers from the ship who chose the Giza shore excursion were rewarded with some classic views of the Pyramids.

22-dancer.jpg: A dancer entertained cruisers who chose the “Giza Pyramids and the Nile in Style” shore excursion. The lunch and entertainment took place on a floating restaurant which traversed the Nile River for a few miles between Cairo and Giza.

23-pigeontowers.jpg: A frequent feature on the road between Alexandria and Cairo are pigeon towers like these. The complexes are usually made of mud from the Nile Delta. Pigeons are raised commercially and are served in many restaurants in Egypt.

24-youngsailor.jpg: One cruiser on the Rotterdam was Grey Bailey, 3, who took his own blow-up Rotterdam into heavier seas in one of the hot tubs on the Lido Deck. Grey is the son of Randy and Liesl Bailey of Rochester, Minnesota.

25-rotterdam.jpg: A portrait of the MS Rotterdam docked at Alexandria, Egypt. Unlike other all-white cruise ships, Holland-America vessels are often recognized by their black hulls.