Jet legged and sick. Went on a trip with the cold, got well, and on the way back got cold again. This time it's not "Australian cold, but Italian"(same cold different accent..:)). Scott was not doing well at the end of the trip either; but at least he got better. Today he went to work, and I'm sitting here and going through pictures from the trip. Boy, was I "click happy"; took 1001 pictures. Seriously. Lots of it was "walk or drive by, picture taking",since we went to few places in such a short time. We flew to Rome. We were lucky that we went there, cause most of the airports in western Europe got closed due to volcanic activity in Iceland. For that reason ,our ship "skipped" one of the Greek islands (Corfu) and left Civitavecchia (port close to Rome) day later. We waited for people to catch up. Some of them arrived late, and they were lucky to do so. Few hundred, still didn't make it.
Beaders used time at the port to do some beading. Cynthia did it again, and came up with gorgeous piece "Key to my heart". Gorgeous and time consuming. So, I'm not showing pictures yet, cause I'm still working on it.
Ship was HUGE! This was our first time cruising, so we were very curious about everything. Scott checked ship quite well, mostly during my beading time. He got quite friendly with Mark, Cynthia's husband. Those two were walking mischief and trouble..:) We had great group, and lots of fun together.
OK, back to schedule. We spent in Rome two days, and on second day caught up with Cynthia and Mark, and some other friends from States. I finally met in person Maggie Maister; and loved her. She's quite a character! I hope she will come to teach here!
On 19th in the morning we went to Civitavecchia and after some time got on the ship.
Like I said, we left day later, and sailed to Dubrovnik, Croatia. Dubrovnik was great. Another hidden treasure of Europe. So beautiful, and charming. We went to lunch at one of the typical family houses; had lots of fun. People were so hospitable and very happy natured.. We saw some remains after war, but lots of it was already re-builded.
From Dubrovnik, we sailed to Katakalon, first island in Greece. We took a taxi there to ancient Olympia. Had to see where it all started..:) Spring there is beautiful: blooming trees between ruins looked great.
From Katakolon we sailed to Kusadasi, Turkey. Turkey been on my list places to see for long time. We got excursion to Efesus there. Weather was great, and I was surprised how beautiful it was. Green hills, ancient ruins, and lots of cats! Whole cat families living amongst ruins. On the way to Ephesus we stopped at Virgin Mary's house, where she supposedly spent her last days.
When you're in Turkey you can't escape visiting carpet selling place. Turkey is famous for its handmade carpets. But this time it was little bit better, because we got to see old way of weaving. Carpets were gorgeous; some very pricey. We managed to buy only table runner and not spend the fortune there. But I did fall in love with store's lamp; was told immediately that it wasn't for sale. Go figure..
After Turkey we went to Santorini. That was our second trip there, so we knew what to do and where. Convinced some friends to travel on donkeys from port to the town. It's so much fun cause donkey's are unpredictable, and do what they want when they want to. No matter what. The whole company was quite giggly when we reached the top of the cliff. Spent most of the day wandering around Oia; which for us is much more pretty then Thera (two main towns of Santorini).
From Santorini we sailed to Athens. Docked in Pireus, and since our friends had scheduled excursions to Athens and we already been there, we just took metro and tram, and went to Plaka, shopping district of Athens. We wandered around, shopping, taking pictures. Had Saganaki, our favorite fried cheese. Great leisure time.
We were suprised though when we came back to Pireus. Port was full of people and we had to be escorted to our ship. Little bit later we found out that it was the day when protests against financial bail out started in Greece, and port got closed. We were lucky to leave.
Messina in Sicily was our last stop. I dreamt about visiting Sicily since the time I lived in Italy. Finally..We didn't stay in Messina, but left the ship on excursion to town of Taormina. Oh my goodness, what a beautiful place! Scott and I decided that we have to spend our whole vacation sightseeing Sicily. Loved it! Etna was covered in clouds so we saw only glimpses of it, but we saw incredible views of the coast. And not even one glimpse of mafioso...:)))
After we left ship, we were on our own for another two days in Rome. We wandered around, and had nice little suprises, but I won't even mention it here. Typing all of it made me so tired, I might go nap.
And write my polish part little bit later, I think. And I'm going to put here only couple pictures, and attach link to albums with pictures either on FB or other place.