We spent the whole day on Safari in Africa’s we saw so many but feel blessed to have seen a Leopard and a male lion protecting his bride. We also ventured to the river and saw sooo many hippos resting. In late afternoon we visited a Maasai village and learned about tribal customs and the place of the Maasai in today’s Africa. We enjoyed a colourful Maasai dance and cultural performance.
DAY 2. – Tuesday, Apr. 12 – Spring has sprung In Budapest. We walked from the ship to the Great Market Hall and shopped for paprika; sweet, hot or smoked. Lots of fun treasures here! We then visited Budapest’s Historical Sites including Buda Castle, the Fisherman’s Bastion, St. Stephen’s Basilica and Heros’ Square. Back to the ship for lunch, a few free hours to explore Budapest on our own then back to this ship for some dancing entertainment. We set of for Bratislava in the late afternoon and have a wonderful view from the top deck of the Budapest skyline. As night time settles in we pass the largest Roman Catholic Church in Hungary all lit up at night. Then one of our crazy gals went for a night time swim while cruising the Danube River.
We arrived at Crete for a few days and have already completed a couple of tours. Now time to relax by the pool at our hotel.
Crete appears to have been inhabited during the Neolithic period-that is from the 6th millennium B.C. The Neolithic was followed by the Bronze Age civilization which English archaeologist Arthur Evans, who excavated the palace of Knossos, called “Minoan” after Minos, the legendary king of Crete. The Minoan civilization lasted over 1500 years from 2600-1100 B.C. Today we explored Knossos Palace. This is definitely one of the great archaeological sites of the world. After a tour of the ruins of palace we then visited the Archaeologic Museum that held all the incredible artifacts including frescos, gold, jewellery, pottery, coffins.
We were told this would be a highlight of the trip and we just loved it. Our cruise today took us to Kusadasi, Patmos where we toured Ancient Ephesus. This is were history truly comes to life. We were guided through this archaeological site and toured Agora, the Odeon, the Library of Celsus, the marbled-paved main street of Kouretes, the Baths of Scholastica, Trajan’s Fountain, the Public Latrines. You could just imagine the wheels of the chariots as you could see the rutts in the road. We saw architectural masterpieces such as the Great Amphitheater where St. Paul preached. This Great Theatre was built in the 4th century B.C., could accommodate 24, 000 spectators and it is famous even nowadays for its acoustics.
We’ve arrived safely to Athens, Greece. We settled in nicely and took an afternoon tour to Cape Sounion and saw the Temple of Poseidon. We had an incredible seafood dinner at Akrogiali Restaurant. The dinner included calamari, smelts, baby shrimp and the main course seabream. Delicious! The weather is perfect and we look forward to our tours tomorrow which include the Acropolis!
ROME – VATICAN CITY
We started off our day with an early visit to the Vatican, taking the fascinating 3 hour Vatican Museum Tour, us and thousands of others. Even though we had a special tour which enabled us to skip the long line to get in, it was still terribly crowded and hot. In spite of that, we all felt it was very impressive.
We had free time after to wander in the Vatican City at our leisure. Some of the ladies chose to remain for longer while others were anxious to get in some last minute ‘retail therapy’ as our wonderful trip comes to an end.
We had our final dinner together this evening, where has the time gone? Tomorrow morning we fly back to Canada after a fantastic trip with wonderful new friendships having formed, looking forward to future adventures together.
We started the hot and sunny day with a 3 hour ‘Discovering Rome Walking Tour’ which covered many of the not to be missed highlights, after which we had free time to enjoy the city.
Vino, our beaver mascot, almost fell in the Trevi fountain, which is being restored, as she was so excited to be throwing in a coin to make a wish to travel more!
We had lunch at one of the outdoor cafes which line the streets before some of us hopped on the ‘hop on hop off’ bus for a tour of the city while the 3 ladies who had yet to receive their luggage took a cab to the airport to search for them – great excitement as they were finally found – the incompetence of Air Canada astounds us.
As a result we enjoyed a celebratory dinner and everyone is in great spirits.