Here are some of our more memorable moments that we would like to share:
Finally those with "partners" had the opportunity to have a "girls" night out. Men appear NOT to appreciate shops, in fact, they take the lead and march you down the street on the opposite side.
Five of us eventually had a chance to "SHOP". How wonderful!
For most of us, our interest was in jewellery- good stuff- bargaining and the opinions of others. Bonding of the sisterhood.
We tried to stay together but it was hard, some of us indecisive regarding choice. How did we stay together?
Our mainstay- Colleen, who was tired of shopping decided to have a break while the rest of us continues to flitter among the shops. Eventually, we wondered where Colleen had gotten to. We found her sitting on the side of the street chatting to a lovely Jordanian shopkeeper sipping a cup of tea he had offered her.
We all fell in love with his beautiful jewellery. He trusted Colleen so completely that he left his jewellery cabinets unlocked and wide opened in her care as we oohed at his collection. Perhaps it was a strategic rouse by this shopkeeper in the end. As we had fun and bought some wonderful "investment" pieces and certainly supported their economy.
In Athens,took a cab to the Plaka, only to stop suddenly in the middle of the road among the traffic to be ushered into another cab to continue on my way- no explanation!
My idea of heaven...tasting real Turkish delight again!
Eating dinner at an outdoor restaurant by the sea at Paros. A lovely host and great company.
From Auckland to Perth...
With 40 degrees heat to Singapore with its markets and Phuket's "James Bond Island" Wow is this really happening?
Onto Sri Lanka with its traffic and elephants, to Oman with its desert then it's Jordan-Petra, what an experience!
Through Pirate alley with a military escort into the Suez Canal, quite different.
Onto Egypt with the pyramids. am I really standing beside one?
Onto Cyprus with its quaint villages and lace makers. Then onto Malta with its spectacular entrance.
Next stop Rome and the Vatican and Coliseum. Cruising into Nice and visiting Monaco. How great!
Final port on the Athena before disembarkation at Portsmouth we call into Lisbon, with its vintage horse cart museum and picked up 210 English passengers stranded because of the ash fallout. What an amazing time!
Next leg Amsterdam with Dam square and red light district. Then we board the Costa Luminosa cruising to Denmark where the weather was appalling. Onto Sweden with its beautiful islands and Finland's old town.
St Petersburg with the beautiful Catherine's Palace and Estonia with tree lined streets.
What a wonderful tour... Thank you Ewan and Monique for making it possible.
My first memorable moment was watching the sun rise as we sailed from Phuket. There have been many more since and even a few kodak moments, which has required a tight bond with my camera if you were to capture them. I often laughed at camera toting tourists, and now I have become one.
I have experienced many things on my travels, and the more I see of the world the smaller it seems to become. This was highlighted by a number of familiar faces and voices I recognised in the most obscure places.
My whole trip has been memorable and while we may express ourselves in different ways, we are all the same at heart.
The highlight of our trip has really been seeing Gallippoli and the wonderful treasures in St Petersburg. Each step along the way has given us fresh insight as well.
Jenny and Warren Harding
Turkey was certainly a highlight, the wonderful little shops the amazing variety and the business of it all. The way the young men called me mama and the respect that went with it. The apple tea, so delicious and needless to say the Turkish delight.
The Greek Islands were everything I imagined and more. So clean, I loved the close proximity they live in.
It was difficult to accept that we were on the ocean as all the way it was like a very big lagoon.
Seeing "Swan Lake" in Russia.
The ship was an absolute dream, meeting the different people, from other countries and being able to converse with each other with many jesters and facial expressions.
Getting off the ship, needing a quick loo, spotted a portaloo, opening the door to find a very large room, lovely loo, great handbasin and a heater. What else does one need. I'd like to take a sample home.
Well coming to the end of a fabulous 80days in my life, thanks to Ewan and Monique. It is full of my memories. The greatest were being able to walk the ancient road at Petra in Jordan, celebrating my 70th birthday with new friends in Santorini, following a pamper morning in Ios. Mighty stuff!!
My disappointment that my failing knees meant that I was tail end charlie most of the time, especially on the stone stairs but a rear guard of sorts.
Also a second trip to Cairo doesn't put Egypt in my future travels.
I am thrilled to have seen so many countries blossoming into spring, this was a perfect time for travel, but I am very glad to call NZ home and appreciate that many people like the cruise ship workers may be travelling the world but don't see the foreign countries like the opportunity I have had to make new friends, visit ancient cities and return to family in the greatest little country on earth.
Safe travel, Good health, God bless Colleen
Just some of the memories