Monday, December 19, 2011

Looks like I will have to finish my travel blogging after is taking more time than I realized!  Christmas is almost here and I must finish off all my shopping, decorating, baking, etc.!!!
I must say, that it has a been a special privilege to visit all those exotic lands and see how others live.............I will always have such warm memories of everywhere we went and of the people and animals that we met. Travel is a great makes us realize how lucky we are to live where we do but also that people everywhere have a lot more in common with us than we would ever think!

 I would like to wish all my wonderful followers the very best of the season and hopes for a much happier New Year for everyone everywhere!!!!


Sunday, December 18, 2011

My Best Holiday Ever     Part Three

The day after we left Turkey, there was a serious earthquake at the opposite end of the country...we luckily did not feel anything.  Our hearts go out to all that were affected.
We left the Mediterranean Sea and reached the Suez Canal:
First view of the Suez Canal
Guards along the Suez Canal
We join the convoy
Fishing boat beneath us
We competed the journey overnight so missed most of the action

My Best Holiday Ever       Part Two

One of many stray cats residing at Ephesus


This is our second trip to Turkey and I must say that it is one of my favorite places!  The people are kind and warm-hearted.  There are many wonderful sites to explore.....................and here is one which is a 'jewel'....Ephesus:

Ephesus is an ancient city with origins back approximately to 14th century BC.  It is reached by driving inland from the port of 'Kusadasi' ancient times it was a large, thriving seaport ..........many earthquakes and the passage of time completely silted in the harbour.

Kusadasi Harbour

Ephesus is located on a hillside and it involves a 2 mile trek along its main road paved in marble!

First glimpse of Ephesus

The original "Nike" which the athletic wear is named after

First glimpse of the 'Celsus Library'

The 'Spa'

Public latrines
There is a story that wealthy citizens while enjoying the 'spa', paid musicians to play so that 'bathroom noises' would be muffled.  How brilliant!

" The 'Octagon' was a vaulted burial chamber placed on a rectangular base with the skeleton of a 15 or 16 year old woman in a marble sarcophagus.  According to an interpretation, the Octagon was a monument to Ptolemy Arsinoe IV, the youngest sister of the famous Cleopatra VII, murdered in Ephesus in 41 BC."
'Celsus Library' 

Side view of 'Celsus Library'  

Guess who?
My dear Doug
Further excavation in the works

Well, that is but a small taste of Ephesus.....if you should care to know more, these sites are quite informative:    and

I will close off on this post because I am having a heck of a time with the 'blogger' software and I keep losing everything that I've entered.  Unfortunately, that means more posts, so stay tuned!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

My Best Holiday Ever    Part One

Sorry for the delay in sending pictures of our trip.  We needed several weeks to get back to normal and then I had to go through about 2,000 pictures to pick out the best of each area.  The above has to be one of my favorite postcards of all time!  It also has started a love affair with camels!!!

Our first full day in Rome was spent catching up on our sleep and exploring where we were staying.  We picked a bed and breakfast that was 3 long blocks from Termini was pretty quiet and in a lovely neighbourhood with several good restaurants.  This is the view from our room:

The weather was unexpectedly quite hot (in the 80's) while we were there so it took a toll on our exploring. This is our third time to Rome, so we tried to see some of the sites that we missed on previous visits plus revisited some sites as well.

The Coliseum

The Forum

The area where Julius Caesar was assassinated

We said farewell to Rome, sadly, but at the same time were very excited to start our cruise!

Our ship, the Ocean Princess

It is such a pleasure to not have to worry about where to eat (the only problem is saying no to all the perfect offerings) or where to sleep (room is cleaned every day and chocolates left)!  We were very pleased with our accommodations on this was a smaller ship (only about 650 passengers and 350 staff) so that it could manoeuver the Suez Canal.  We ate dinner at the same table every night and were so lucky to have such lovely people at our table!!!  We looked forward to our dinner every night as much as we looked forward to each day's excursions!  On with the tour.......


Doug went to Sorrento while I stayed on the ship suntanning (funnily, this was the only day that I suntanned as the rest of the trip was either too busy with excursions or too hot for average of 33C degrees to 38C degrees for the most part of the trip)

Sorrento is lovely and one of many beautiful spots along the Amalfi Coast......nearby is Pompeii, Naples, Capri:

Harbor of Sorrento

Beautiful villas 

Central Sorrento

Our second night at sea, we had quite rough seas.....I was swallowing motion sickness pills like mints and I am usually  not bothered by this.  It lasted all night and the following  morning.....all elevators were stopped so if you wanted to eat, you had to take the stairs.  Luckly, we were only a floor away from the main dining room!  That was the only night that we had any problem and from then on , everyday was sunny and very warm to hot!!


We arrived in Athens the day before they had a GENERAL STRIKE!!  We were very lucky to miss that.

View from our ship in Piraeus Harbour*
 (* denotes photos shot by one of our tablemates)

We started out early and missed the large crowds going to the Acropolis.  We had heard that there was a lift for disabled people but could not use it going up unless you had a wheelchair, which I did not  (you'll see it later). I decided to walk up anyway.  It is actually a very gradual climb.......about 88 steps made out of stone:

Some of the many stray dogs living here

 But it is worth the climb!!!

The Parthenon

No matter how many times that you see a photo of this, it still takes your breath away when you are actually there!
Temple of Erecthion
The porch of the maidens or Caryotids
We were told that the Acropolis site is only about 20% excavated.........there is evidence everywhere of
 many other structures:

The views are amazing as well:

It is amazing to see how often ancient ruins are in the middle of a modern day neighbourhood.

Upon leaving the Acropolis, we decided to check out the disabled lift.  Here it is:

.........and yes, we did take it down but it was still one third from the bottom, so we climbed down the rest.

There is a beautiful new museum that has just opened in 2009.  It is located at the bottom of the Acropolis and is constructed right over a large area of ruins.  The ruins, themselves, are visible with glass walls covering the base where the ruins are.   It is absolutely amazing...............see info on it :

Well, that's it for today.............I will continue tomorrow