Istanbul to Fort Lauderdale 2013
Note: Click name of city to get to page for that day. Except, for Istanbul, click the day of the week.
We had fabulous sunny Fall weather in Turkey. The people we met were very classy and the food was fantastic. The picture above was taken at the restaurant at Topkapi Palace with our new Turkish friend Alex. Istanbul was a great place to go if you like history, with lots of museums and palaces. We started by taking some guided tours to get an overview and then took off on our own to visit (or revisit) some places that really interested us. After boarding our ship, we stopped at ports on the Aegean coast. The archeological dig at Ephesus dates from Roman times. In Bodrum, we visited a castle from the Crusader era. Finally, in Marmaris, we toured the countryside and visited a traditional mountain village.
In Greece, the weather continued to be perfect for Fall touring. Just a few miles from Marmaris is the island of Rhodes. Here, we visited a pottery artist and the village of Lindos, which dates from ancient times. Returning to Santorini, we visited the archeological dig at Ankoriti, a winery, and the village of Oia, so everything was new to us. In Athens, we spent the rainy morning in the New Acropolis Museum which was not there on our last trip. In the afternoon, the weather turned perfect for our Segway tour of "Modern Athens" -- still over a hundred years old. On the island of Mykonos, we just took it easy and strolled the streets along the waterfront and enjoyed time in a sidewalk café.
The cold, rainy weather finally caught up with us in Italy. Since we had visited all three ports in 2004, we did something different in each port. In Naples, we spent the rainy morning in the Archeological Museum, which has the mosaics from Pompeii. Instead of going to Rome, we spent the day in the countryside, visiting a lovely lakeside village and a fabulous winery (see charming winery owner in picture above). Rather than going to Florence (where everything that we wanted to visit was closed), we did some Tuscan Countryside -- a medieval walled village, and a superb winery lunch.
Cartagena was a pleasantl surprise. The excavation of the ancient forum is outstanding. You enter a small museum through a simple doorway, transit a few escalators and a tunnel for a few blocks and then (through the dark arched door in the picture above), you are in the Roman forum. Until a few decades ago, the area was covered by debris etc. to the top of the hill. The light building (with three openings on the lower level) on the right was a wonderful bar/restaurant just after the exit.
On the Atlantic coast of Africa, south of Casablance, Agadir has been rebuilt since its earthquake a few decades ago. This area is Berber, rather than Arabic. The highlight was a tourist park, rather like Medieval Times --- but with Berbers on horseback.
We visited the Canary Islands on our cruise last year, but this year we went to Lanzarote which was a fantastic island. The influence of the Artist/Architect Manrique was everywhere, especially the two highlights of the island: Mirador del Rio and Jameos del Agua. Gran Canaria had a lovely Botanic Garden.
After a week of sea days, we ended in Fort Lauderdale. On the way to the airport, we took a side trip to The Everglades.
Tour of The Ship -- TBA
Tour of The Ship -- TBA
It is a great ship, we just don't have a lot of pictures of it. Verbiage to follow ....