November 29, 2010
Beirut was a real contrast of experiences – beaches, mixed with war-damaged city being rebuilt, beautifully
Hello and Welcome to a few days of blogs from me (Ann) as I join the ship from our UK office. We are currently shooting a video on board Aegean Odyssey and as part of the project I’ve come out to see how things are progressing – in between my usual daily activities as PR for the UK office.
I boarded the ship (Sunday) after a late afternoon flight from a very cold London the day before. The temperature when we arrived was noticeably warmer than home and this morning started with a little mist and a warm breeze. (more…)
November 21, 2010
What an early start! A 6:15am wakeup call to avoid the heat and the crowds at the world-famous Valley of the Kings. It was short drive out of Luxor to the West Bank of the river, over the Nile Bridge where the business of the day was already taking place.
Just after 8:00am we arrived at the Valley of the Kings, with the temperature already a balmy 25C and the crowds gathering. Due to the heat and the weekend tourists, there were literally hundreds of people there by 8:30am. With so many people visiting, the Egyptian authorities know how to manage the queues, with groups moving efficiently without feeling rushed or uncomfortable.
The Tomb of Rameses III was probably the most impressive of the tombs we entered. Not only is it vast but it is decorated with complex hieroglyphs and images which must have taken many hundreds of man hours to complete.
The highlight for any visitor is without doubt the small chamber of Tutankhamun’s tomb. Although the tomb is somewhat smaller and less impressive than the others, you still get a feeling of how it must have been for Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon when they opened it in 1922. The body of the boy Pharaoh has been returned to the tomb in recent years, but the treasures remain in the Museum in Cairo, which we also include on some of our cruises.
Our next stop was in Deir El Bahari, a short drive from the Valley, where we saw the magnificent Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, one of the most successful Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt. This site often receives less publicity than the Valley of the Kings however the temple is a magnificent example of ancient architecture and construction.
November 20, 2010
The Karnak Temple Complex, Egypt
All the guests travelling on the coach to Luxor were anticipating a tedious three hour coach journey but the drive, although long, was surprisingly interesting with simply stunning scenery en route to the city well known as the capital of Ancient Egypt. (more…)
November 19, 2010
Qaitbay Fortress, Alexandria
Alexandria, Egypt – Tuesday, 16th November
When our guests go on tours, they tend to stay with the same group for each day of the cruise – we find that friendships are soon made and guests seem to like the consistency of being with the same group of people. So it was with a bit of trepidation I joined the very lively Red Group as they boarded the bus to take them on our tour. (more…)
November 15, 2010
Aegean Odyssey at sea
One of the USPs (Unique selling propositions) of Voyages to Antiquity is the daily agenda of tours and lectures giving our guests on Aegean Odyssey a complete immersion into the culture and heritage of the Mediterranean. Most passengers assume that sea days give a chance to relax, but like all the days on a Voyages to Antiquity cruise there is plenty to experience. (more…)
November 12, 2010
Leptis Magna, Libya
For many of our guests on Aegean Odyssey’s first North Africa cruise, Leptis Magna in Libya will have been the highlight. As we approached the site, our guide said that on more than one occasion we would say ‘wow!’
When you sail around Europe visiting so many famous ruins as well as some of the lesser known ones – you tend to get a little blasé. ….whatever we thought! (more…)
November 11, 2010
The Grand Harbour in Valetta is one of the most amazing natural ports in the World. For such a small island, the Grand Harbour really sets the scene for one of the warmest welcomes we have had this year across the Mediterranean.
From the decks we could clearly see the ‘Upper Barrakka Gardens’ right in front of us. Valetta’s public park offers visitors an excellent vantage point to view the whole of the Grand Harbour as well as the towns around it of Senglea and Vittoriosa. (more…)
November 1, 2010
Sailing through the Corinth Canal
Unusually for this time of year the weather in Navplio was blue sky and very sunny. Importantly for a crew member who lives on a ship, it meant a whole day on dry land! We had to find our land legs and it was definitely worth it.
It was a 45 minute drive to Epidaurus, but the scenery was breathtaking on such a clear beautiful clear day. Situated on the cool slopes of a wooded valley, Epidaurus was known throughout the Hellenic world for its unique medical facilities and healing treatments. Most of the ruins in Epidaurus have been reduced to their foundations, with the exception of the astonishing theatre, which is still used for special performances. (more…)