Art aboard AMALegro – Day 6

ABOARD THE AMALEGRO – Our “Art Illumination” cruise ends tomorrow morning, and those of us whose egos survived the painting classes intact have produced three “masterpieces” . . . at least that’s what Sebastian Lowry, the cruise director, calls them. He’s a very kind man. We call them “primitive art,” giving ourselves the benefit of the doubt. Truthfully, however, most of them are “bad art” and should not see the light of day off this ship. They …

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Art aboard AMALegro-Day 5

ABOARD THE AMALEGRO –L’escargots and frogs’ legs in cream sauce for lunch? Could a menu on this ship get any fancier? Well, perhaps. Last night we had dinner at the Chef’s Table, the smaller and more exclusive of the AMALegro’s two dining rooms, with floor-to-ceiling windows and beautiful views out the stern of the boat, where Chef George Sakadanov works his magic behind a glass wall for us to watch. The Chef’s Table is limited to 24 …

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Art aboard AMALegro – Day 4

ABOARD THE AMALEGRO-When my husband and I were biking in Dresden five years ago we saw riverboats passing by on the Elbe River. “Thank goodness we’re not on one of those,” we thought, “we’d much rather be biking.” When we were biking from Vienna to Prague two years ago, we saw riverboats passing by on the Danube River. “Thank goodness we’re not on one of those,” we thought, “we’d much rather be biking.” Yesterday, while floating down …

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Art Aboard AMALegro – Day 3

ABOARD THE AMALEGRO, On the Seine — The dentist from Atlanta picked up his brush, filled it with a large dollop of red acrylic, and began to paint for the first time in his life. Dr. Jerry Richman had never painted before, but he and his wife love art and collect it for both their home and his dental office. He had signed onto this AMALegro riverboat cruise because he wanted to see the famous gardens in …

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Art aboard AMALegro-Day 2 Giverny

ABOARD THE AMALEGRO, Normandy – Monet painted them 500 times. We’re going to paint them only once and today we saw them with our own eyes: Claude Monet’s famous water lilies. On the second day of our “Art Illumination” cruise we traveled to Giverny, site of the extraordinary gardens that Monet, one of France’s most illustrious painters, created around his home. That home and those gardens – both of which fell into sad disrepair in the years …

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Art aboard AMALegro: Day 1

ABOARD THE AMALEGRO, Paris – – They call this an “Art Illumination” cruise — and as soon as we walked up the gangplank of this majestic riverboat we could see why: copies of famous Impressionist art are hung on the walls of every corridor. When the trip is over in seven days, the 79 passengers will have channeled their inner art talent in an attempt to replicate the masterpieces of Monet, Van Gogh, Renoir and the other …

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Art Illumination Cruise-Art aboard AmaLegro

The last time we were in Paris, we painted the town; now it’s time to paint the city. And the country. And surrounding cities. So on August 13 we’re hopping on the AmaWaterways 400-foot “AmaLegro” docked right in Paris for its special “Art Illumination” cruise up the Seine River and into Normandy. We’ll head to Monet’s home and gardens in Giverny; stop in Honfleur, a town painted by many famous artists; stroll through historic Rouen; visit Saint-Pierre …

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Adriatic Odyssey: Small vs. Large on the Adriatic

KOTOR, Montenegro – David and Goliath come to mind as we sit on our puny 177-foot three-masted yacht overshadowed by a humongous 5000-passenger cruise ship docked beside us in Corfu. Everyone on board our relatively insignificant vessel has something bad to say about the big bully ship and good about ours – especially as we sail toward Kotor, knowing that it will be much easier for our boat to maneuver the incredibly beautiful entrance into the town, …

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Adriatic Odyssey: Achilles Slept Here

CORFU, Greece – There’s an old tradition on this island: To marry a man from Corfu, a woman must spend a year in the house of her future mother-in-law. If she can still smile after this experience, she’ll make a good wife. A challenge, admittedly. But if it meant I could live the rest of my life on Corfu, I just might be able to manage it. What a special island this is. Wandering through the town …

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Adriatic Odyssey: Albania-Sunbathing beside ancient history

SARANDA, Albania –  How often can you put your towel down on a sunbathing beach next to the remains of an ancient Roman portico, circa 2nd Century A.D? We did that today and it was the perfect symbol of a country that boasts the ruins of past civilizations at every turn. Albania is a living museum.  It’s also a country on the verge of becoming a delightful destination for travelers in search of new opportunities for cultural …

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