Thursday, October 22, 2009

Images that can hardly do our experiences justice

Sunset as we leave Istanbul. What an amazing and exotic city.

Pizza in Italy. What do you do after a 7 day cruise of the Med? Eat some more.
It was a great night in Venice and the pizza was delish!

The amazing Cathedral in Palma di Mallorca

Camel riding. It looks exciting, imfortunately it was only on the pier in Tunis. Tunis was a bit of a let down but a good look of the Arab world

At Buckinghan Palace. Unfortunately the Queen was not able to receive us.

Diane and Murray atop to Eiffel Tower. A bit chilly but what a view!

Dinner at the Eiffel Tower after an amazing tour of the city of lights as well as a cruise on the Seine

Yes, we did climb the Great Wall of China!

Diane at the Great Wall of China.
Just a glimpse of its magnitude

On the Great Wall of China.
Pictures and words cannot do it justice!
While we were there we were caught up in a sandstorm. Sand that is blown all the way from the Gobi desert.
Ewan, Nancy and Douglas

A beautiful city, unfortunately a bit misty and well dusty with all the construction going on. The story goes that the bird of Shanghai is the crane... and not the bird.

More Pictures at Last

It's hard to believe that we are back home after a most amazing journey. It seems like just yesterday that we all boarded the bus leaving Hamilton and yet it also feels like forever.
Apologies to all for not updating our blog more often, internet connections were not always easy to find and well, we were just having too much fun!
It was an amazing journey. It is hard to explain what we have experienced, what we have seen and done.
We have all marvelled at the different cultures we encountered and the history behind it all.

Here are the pictures you have all been waiting for...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Ahhh, Gay Paris, city of lights and love!!!

We can hardly believe that tomorrow we will be leaving Europe on our way to China.
We feel like we have walked and walked the length and breath of Europe.
Our bus transfer from Venice to Savona for our second cruise went smoothly and was a chance to see the italian country side.
Our first port of call was Barcelona. A beautiful city and one that is easy to visit. Most took taxis' to visit the major sites. The most remarkable is the amazing and ornate Sagrada Familia, still under construction after 100 odd years. You may have seen pictures of this amazing cathedral but seeing it is something inspirational and awe inspiring.
La Rambla, the Spanish equivalent of the Champs Elysse, was great for people watching.
Malta was also a wonderful port with amazing history.
I think we all agree that we could have sailed by Tunis, it was what you imagine an Arab town to be, run down, dirty and noisy. Our guide was pretty average and didn't seem really interested in presenting his city as a wonderful tourist destination.
We all loved Rome, some were believe it or not, lucky enough to arrive at the Vatican just in time to see the pope say Mass and canonize 5 people!
We all enjoyed Italy and sailing with Costa but most were pleased to leave the Italians behind. Lovely people but ever so loud and pushy, and yes fambloyant!

England felt like coming home for almost everyone. We had the most amazing weather, none of the typical English gray skies you hear of, but beautiful blue skies and actually warm! Most explored on their own and discovered the treasures of London. Colleen did very well and went to Greenwich by taking a ferry down the Thames. Definitely something she would recommend to anyone visiting London.
You can't go to London without going to a show. Most went to see the Lion King and Oliver. Both shows were AMAZING!

Paris has been beautiful and last night had to be a highlight. Our tour guide Beatrice was brillant and really gave us a good introduction to this amazing city, and then a cruise on the Seine just before sunset followed by dinner at the Effel Tower. It was a bit cold and windy but the view and the meal were beyond words.

For the first time the weather was as we expected and bit on the colder side with a high of 12, but we had crisp blue skills, not a cloud to be seen. The major sites were explored more indepth. The Louvre, Notre Dame de Paris and the Arch de Triumph and of course one of the most impressive departments stores- Les Gallerie Lafayette.
We were all very well behaved and didn't buy out the store. Although Bryce and Heather had to buy a new bag! (no, not because of the shopping but infortunately their bag was damaged leaving the boat)
By the time we got back to the hotel we were all exhausted so despite the talk of going to see a show at the Moulin Rouge we all had a early night, knowing that tomorrow we are off again.

We will load more pictures as soon as we have a good connection... stay tuned!

Ah, Gay Paris!!!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Turkish Delight
Marion after an exhasting day in Istanbul-Having a beer under the Galata bridge between East and West

In the cistern in Istanbul, from 532 AD- The pillar with the medusa head
and Nancy and Douglas

Photo finish

Sun setting over Istanbul. The Galata Tower, on th Asian side of Istanbul

In front of the spice market in Istanbul.
Barry and Thelma (our party animals- often found dancing to the wee hours of the night)
Tour escort par excellence Ewan, Nancy and Douglas, Stewart,
Marion and Robin
Istanbul Turkey
Can't say enough about this city, its amazing sights, sound and smells. All so exotic.
The gang in front of the Blue Mosque. Words cannot describe the wonder of it all.
Ephesus, Turkey- The best preserved city of antiquity
In front of the library- they wouldn't let us take out any books!
The New Zealand team

Ca you believe we are sailing from Venice?
Just look at all the people who have come to see us off.

Leaving Venice- Ah, young love!
Sailing aay from Venice
How romantic is this!

Together in Ghent. Another beautiful city in Belgium. Just not enough time

How time flies when havig fun!
A cruise on the canal in Brugge.
We all indulge in the beer, fries with mayo and waffles. We didn't get to try all 800 beers- maybe next time