A few weeks ago we received a lovely letter from David Morton asking if we would like to see his blog and photos from his cruise from Istanbul to Venice in September 2012. We always study our passenger comment cards after each cruise and really welcome an extended diary like the one below from David. We do hope that you like his diary from the cruise and would welcome similar pieces from our guests.
“I was a cruise virgin, prior to embarkation in Istanbul, with no idea what to expect over the next twelve days.
What did happen was a blissful and relaxing break from the English climate, with good food and a comfortable cabin. To be able to unpack properly, and only once, proved an advantage over hotel-based holidays.
I found the cruising experience delightful. In particular, it was exciting to wake up just before sunrise, to see mysterious islands loom out of the morning mist, and all from the comfort of my own balcony. I would have liked to have known exactly where we were, to be able to put names to the places I saw. There was a navigation summary on the cabin TV but I longed for the greater detail some airlines provide on their ‘flight path’ screen.
At 68, I found myself just a year older than the passenger average. It was a shame that so many of us were much the same age, though a fair number of Australians and Americans did lend some variety to our group. I missed the presence of younger people on board, though.
I had come to ‘Voyages to Antiquity’ by chance. My interest in this sort of trip was aroused by an advert in The Times for a cruise to the Cape Verde Islands, and then the links led first to the MV Aegean Odyssey and eventually to this particular cruise, which was at a convenient time of year for me, if not in quite the same geographical region.
I cannot claim an abiding interest in the Byzantine period. As a mathematician of sorts – a former high-school teacher of the subject – I would have preferred Classical Greece, but the dates didn’t work out. Icons and mosaics belong, for me, in the category ‘seen one, seen them all’. However, the itinerary was well put together, and the shore excursions were outstanding, with expert local guides, and made even better by the ‘Quiet Vox’ system; I was sceptical about this, but it really works. In fact, everything was done to a high level of efficiency, on all our trips ashore.
I particularly enjoyed the architecture of the various destinations. The wonderful mosques of Istanbul; the spectacular monasteries at Meteora, and the coach-ride across the Plain of Thessaly to get there; the walled towns of Monemvasia and Dubrovnik….these would be the highlights of the cruise, along with a perfect swim from the beach at Skala on the lovely little island of Patmos.
Or these were the highlights until we arrived in Venice. Why hadn’t I taken the stop-over option? I shall return to this wonderful city.
Apart from the sun, and the relaxation, and the chance to visit places previously unknown to me, I was also able to indulge my hobby of photography. Working backwards from Venice, I have uploaded many photos to my online gallery on Flickr.
There is a ‘favourites’ set of just 27 images, covering the whole trip: http://www.flickr.com/photos/forwarddefensive/sets/72157631917497357/.
Otherwise all my images, good and bad, can be seen, and are freely available for download, at www.flickr.com/photos/forwarddefensive/sets, where you will find them clearly labelled by port of call.
I lost some files by jumping into the ship’s saltwater pool with an SD card still in my pocket, but the photos that remain still form a reasonably complete personal account of my time on board the Aegean Odyssey. You may wonder if you were on the same trip!”
Dave Morton, Manchester, England.
If you would like to travel in the Mediterranean this year, take a look at some of the lovely offers we have in Spring »
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