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Cruising the Mediterranean, Day 7: Which Sea Is This, Anyway?

October 16th, 2019 · No Comments · tourism, Travel

We have entitled this travelogue of our 10-day outing “Cruising the Mediterranean”. But weren’t we in some other seas entirely, to get where we are now, headed south for Malta?

It can be argued that the Adriatic and Ionian seas are the only watery areas the Celebrity Constellation has passed over, in the past week.

But we have chosen to think of the bigger picture.

We are defining “the Mediterannean” in what is nearly its most generous of applications.

To wit: Every bit of sea water from the Strait of Gilbraltar to the Bosphorus is the Mediterranean Sea.

The Med is the overarching home of all straits, gulfs and seas between the two choke points named, in the previous paragraph.

Local residents like to get specific. Thus, all these other seas we have been mentioning, and particularly the Adriatic, which we luxuriated in for five days, are building blocks of one big sea. The Med.

That includes the Ionian Sea, which in theory we entered after leaving the Adriatic, once past the Strait of Otranto as we approached Corfu.

Other subset bodies of waters include the seas known as the Aegean, the Alboren, the Balearic, the Ligurian, the Tyrhennian, the Sicilian, the Levantine, the Lybian, the Cretan, the Thracian and the Marmara; the gulfs of Lion, Sidra and Antalya; and the straits of Messina and the previously named Otranto and Gibraltar.

That long and wide stretch of sea is often compartmentalized by residents along both north and south shores to try to recognize their part of the bigger picture.

But they share in common one attribute: The all are part of the Mediterranean Sea. The Med. Mare Nostrum.

One bit we are leaving out is the Black Sea, which is so odd and distinctive and out there on the fringe of things.

True, the Black Sea’s only outlet to the ocean is through the Bosphorus — and ultimately to the Med. Which could make it (and the sea of Azov) parts of the Med … but they do not share the same weather and and culture that we normally refer to as “Mediterranean”.

So. Enough. I feel like Sheldon Cooper of The Big Bang Theory has taken control of this blog post. I am going to stop now, before I start having fun with flags.


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