Around The World In 132 Days

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Naples, Italy

April 13th

Naples, Italy

Well, we woke up to very stormy, rainy, cold weather. Yuk. We had an all day tour booked to go to the Isle of Capri, and it was still on, so we dug out our rain gear and headed out. We boarded a jetfoil for the 1 hr ride to the island. It was packed with people. I guess many people work over there. Either that or they were just crazy tourists like we were. The ride was fairly calm despite the stormy weather. We arrived at a very quaint looking harbor, although it was hard to see through the driving rain and the fog that was blocking most of the Island from view. This was not looking any better. We then boarded a bus to Anacapri, which is located on the top of the Island. This was a very narrow one way road and these Islanders really know how to drive these roads. Not a fender-bender in sight, though we came very close. We arrived at the top and walked around some of the shops. We had a very nice respite from the rain, and enjoyed an Italian lunch with heat and a view…I think. Back out into the rain for some more shopping, or at this point the free limoncello samples that the shops were giving out. Hey, anything to stay warm, right? Well, the weather was just getting worse and the guide was getting a little cranky, so we decided to pack it in an hour early. To give the guide credit, she did take a poll and everyone decided that they had enough, and really did not want to take a tour of the gardens in the mud and rain. So, downhill on the funicular tram and the boat ride back. A hot toddy and shower never looked so good. We have been very fortunate so far with the weather on port days, so this was just a little glitch. This was just a different kind of adventure. A wee bit disappointing, but an adventure none-the-less. I might still get to come back and enjoy this (I am sure) beautiful Island. Maybe the 3rd time might really be the charm since the 1st and 2nd times were bust. My mom, sis, niece, and I were here in Oct. and this tour was cancelled due to weather.

2012-04-13 2012-04-13 Naples Italy - Capri - AnaCapri 009So very wet…..

Messina, (Sicily) Italy

April 12th

Messina, (Sicily) Italy

We docked about 1 hr early (10:00am) this morning which allowed us to walk into the city and explore for a few hours. We had a transfer to the village of Taormina at 1pm. Another warm sunny spring day….I was here in Oct. with my Mom, Sister, and Niece and it was raining so this was a plus. We walked to the downtown square where the astronomical clock is in the bell tower. It is an elaborate timepiece with figures that put on quite a show at noon, which we had to miss due to our tour. We walked for a few hours past churches, fountains and many Sicilians enjoying the weather. And also up and down many steep hills with fantastic views of the sea and harbor. Beautiful. Back to the ship for our transfer to Taormina which is about a 45 minute drive one way. We drove along the coast and up to the cliff-top Monte Tauro on a very curvy narrow road. Apparently this was one of Winston Churchill’s favorite vacation spots. Taormina is an ancient resort with ruins, boutiques, and restaurants located high above the Ionian Sea. The view was to die for. Warm, sunny and so clear we could see for miles. Mt Etna decided to start erupting that morning, so we had quite a sight of the mountain spewing ash high into the air. No lava, though still very impressive. We walked through the village on cobblestone streets, with shops lining both sides, and 4 different squares with fountains. Surprisingly there was hardly anyone there; except for the school children going home….it was marvelous. Of course Bruce and his mustache was the hit of all of the young school girls. I never heard so much giggling. We shopped and stopped for a bite. Bruce wanted to try the sweet cannoli’s, so we stopped for a sweet and some limoncello. Yum….I ordered what I thought was a Chardonnay wine, but it turned out to be Grappa. I did not realize there were different kinds of Grappa…..My first Grappa, yum, but very strong. It was a great way to spend a sunny afternoon overlooking the sea. I could really get used to this afternoon siesta time. Back to the ship for the sail-away at 8pm. It was so nice to enjoy a leisurely day.

2012-04-12 2012-04-12 Messina, Italy ( & Taormina ) 045Messina harbor

WC12J 2012-04-12 017Mt Etna erupting

Katakolon, (Olympia) Greece

April 11th

Katakolon, (Olympia) Greece

The small port fishing village of Katakolon is located on the west coast of Greece and is the gateway to the ancient site of Olympia, where the first Olympic Games were held. We arrived in the morning to a beautiful spring day. The drive to Olympia was about 25 miles inland and about a 1 hr drive. We drove through farmland, vineyards and olive groves. The people of Athens were correct….the “real Greece” was absolutely breathtaking. Springtime in Greece. Everything was just starting to bloom, flower, and grow. It was so very green. The birds were singing, and the fresh air was marvelous. Today made me realize how very cooped up on a ship we have been. We arrived at Olympia and it looked like a park with ruins all over the place. 2000 yrs ago athletes competed here. We saw the original stadium which held over 40,000 spectators, all standing of course. The ruins of the Temple of Zeus, and The Temple of Hera, where the Olympic flame is, still to this day, first lit and then transported by torch to the place where the games are held every 4 years. We walked all over the area just absorbing the feeling. Huge columns toppled all over the ground, and ruined temples and baths. Places carved out of the stone where gold statues were held in niches. It was fantastic. I think the warm sunny weather was a plus. The Judas trees were blooming, so amongst all of the new green growth, there were bright spots of pink flowering trees everywhere. So very peaceful, except for the occasional gas powered weed whacker that brought you back into the present day world. We were able to walk around there for 2 hrs, and it was worth every minute. Back to the village for some shopping and the real world. What a great day.

2012-04-11 2012-04-11 Katakolon & ( Olympia ) Greece 0132012-04-11 2012-04-11 Katakolon & ( Olympia ) Greece 020

Piraeus, (Athens) Greece

April 9th and 10th

Piraeus (Athens) Greece

Sailing north through the Mediterranean Sea to Greece we left the hot dry weather behind and entered into much cooler springtime weather. After 1 day at sea we docked in the port of Piraeus which is about 10 miles and a 30 minute drive from downtown Athens. We had an excursion booked to see the major highlights of Athens, so we were off the ship early welcoming a sunny cool day. Rain was expected later that afternoon. First stop was the Acropolis which stands 230 ft above the city and has a magnificent views of Athens. The bus takes you up about ¾ of the way and then you have to walk up a winding uneven slippery marble path the rest of the way. Luckily it wasn’t raining, because marble is very slippery when wet. It was bad enough when dry. Interestingly, in Athens, marble is cheaper to build with than wood. All of the mountains around Athens consist of white marble, so everything as far as the eye can see is built with this marble. Very beautiful and bright. We passed through the Propylea, the huge entry gate to the upper terrace. The small Temple of Athena Nike was to the right and the Parthenon to the left. Dedicated to the Goddess Athena, it was built between 470 and 432 BC. It was magnificent. They are still renovating it so there was scaffolding all around the back end of it. It was hard to put your mind in the moment when cement saws and hammering were making quite a racket around you. It was still beautiful and the views of the city were fantastic. And it wasn’t very crowded. Quite a memorable experience. We drove past Hadrian’s Arch, which was the border between the Greek and Roman cities in Ancient times. And the Temple of Olympian Zeus, which took over 700 yrs to build. Only 13 of the 104 columns survive, but they mirror the columns of the Parthenon, which is located above this site. All of these ancient sites were located fairly close to each other. It was kind of strange to see these relics surrounded by modern housing and buildings. Looking out over the city, it was kind of like looking down at green open spaces with crumbling columns surrounded by expanses of white marble. It was very hard to visualize how it could have been back in the day. We then passed the Royal Palace and Constitution Square. We did see some riot patrols, but it was Easter week and I think everyone was preparing for that and not out in the streets protesting. Greek Orthodox celebrate Easter a week later than we do, so everyone was out shopping for decorations and the whole lambs that were hanging in the markets and ready to cook on the backyard spits. We stopped at the Olympic Stadium which was built in 1896, and made completely out of marble. It was a wonderful tour and the rain held off just until we got back to the ship that afternoon. We then went to a Greek dinner and a show. Authentic food and dance. Yum……..lots of wonderful Greek wine, but passed on the Ouzo. Once again the mustache was a hit, but this time, I was included. “Are you Greek?” Bruce was asked over and over. “No” he replied. “Well, no matter, your wife is a very lucky woman” heh,heh……..Geez, will it never end? We had a fantastic day and Bruce had a Birthday he will always remember.

We had a very late night the day before and we saw most of the major sights, so we decided to sleep in and just walk around Piraeus until the ship was scheduled to leave at 4pm. It is a very busy port area with lots of shops, markets and restaurants. It was still raining so we first decided to find a pharmacy….Bruce needed some antibiotics for his ear infection….and you don’t need a prescription. After that we just walked for hours, looking at all of the open meat, fruit, seafood, vegetable markets. They were fantastic with lots of yelling and gesturing. We stopped for pastries and walked some more. We did talk to some local people who hesitantly asked if we were enjoying the city. After we reassured them that we were, they then opened up even more and said that “Athens is not the real Greece, you have to come back and go out to the Islands, go into the countryside… that is the real Greece.” Since all of the rioting and such, the tourism business is down at least 50% and some of the locals are hurting. Athens is huge, beautiful and friendly. I would love to come back and see “The real Greece” I am sure it is just as amazing.

2012-04-08 2012-04-09 Piraeus (Athens) Greece- Acropolis 050Athens2012-04-09 2012-04-09 Piraeus (Athens) Greece- Acropolis 026Temple of Zeus

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sharm el-Sheikh, Suez Canal, Egypt

April 6th

Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt

Only a 5 hr. stop-over today, so we went on a caravan camel ride. The Bedouins have tribes all over the Sinai Desert and still follow their traditional lifestyle. They still use camels as a major form of transportation, but times have changed and ATV’s are becoming more popular. The wealth of a tribe is still measured in how many camels and children they have. After driving 45 minutes into the desert and the Bedouin camp, we (I should say I) then very nervously decided to ride a camel. It was optional, and I still was not sure about this whole process, but in the end decided to get on one for the 15 minute ride to the tents. First of all the seats are very hard and there are no stirrups to put your feet into. Once you get yourself on, the camel then gets up with his back-legs first-leaving you holding on for dear life so you don’t go over head first- and then the front legs go up. After a very precarious balancing act, you move forward. Camels are very picky about who they carry. We saw a few spit and have a fit about who got on them. After a very hot, slow, bumpy ride, the camels then go down front legs first…again almost throwing you over their heads…and then back legs down into a laying position. Whew! An experience I will never again repeat, but will always remember. We arrived at the Bedouin tents, had some tea and they showed us their traditional dances. Ok, another mustache story…..One of the local men was very intrigued with Bruce’s mustache and had to take a picture of him with his cell phone. He didn’t speak any English, but we think he said it was very Egyptian. Now, either he was taking a picture to show his friends the white “infidel” or he really did like it. After that he was Bruce’s new BFF. We should have charged him a dollar for a photo.  The desert was surrounded by the Sinai mountains, with Mt. Sinai just a three hr. drive away. They say that the “burning bush” is still there and stays green after fires have devastated the area and there in no water. Sharm el- Sheikh is located on the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula on the Red Sea. It was under Israeli control up until 1982, when The Peninsula was returned to Egypt. Tourists come here for the beautiful waters and beaches. Diving, snorkeling, gambling, and high end resorts and shops are what drive the economy here. We drove through the city and it is very beautiful. Resorts, casino’s, high end shopping, beautiful beaches…I can see why people want to vacation here. Bruce would love to come back here and do some major diving. The resort areas still have major security and fences, since the car bombings a few years ago. Kind of getting used to men standing around with machine guns………

2012-04-05 2012-04-06 Sharm El Sheikh ( Camel Ride ) 017Sinai Mts.2012-04-06 2012-04-06 Sharm El Sheikh ( Camel Ride ) 049Resort



April 7th

Suez Canal Transit

Woke up a little sore this morning….Anyway, started our transit at 6 am. We had to wait at the entrance until a convoy was arranged. Traffic in the canal is only one way so ships travelling northward sometimes must wait until traffic is cleared in the opposite direction. I did not know that….Now I understand why our Captain was so anxious to get there on time. We were scheduled to lead the convoy and he did not want to miss his window, otherwise we would have to wait until the next day. The Canal took 11 yrs. to construct and was completed in 1869. The Universal Company for the Maritime Suez Canal controlled and operated it under a 99 yr. agreement after which Egypt would then be in control. The length is 118 miles with no locks because there is no sea-level difference and no hills to climb. The average number of ships that pass through a day are about 50, with the max being 80. Each ship pays an average of $205,000. Our ship paid $250,000… The average transit time is 15 hrs., but we were through in about 8. It was way too hot to sit outside for long, so we watched from our window and the upper inside decks. Sometimes the canal was very narrow. The whole way through was just sand banks on both sides with the occasional security checkpoints every 10 miles or so….with machine guns at the ready, and about 12 small cities along the way. People do fish in the canal, so every so often the Captain had to blow the horn to warn these very small boats, in a very narrow passage to move out of the way. Sometimes they had to paddle for dear life, and were not very happy about having to move. Their hand gestures were most enlightening. A very interesting experience. Arrived at Port Said, and the Mediterranean about 4 pm.

2012-04-07 2012-04-07 Suez Canal 009Banks along the Suez

Safaga, Egypt

April 4th and 5th

Safaga, Egypt

We made it across the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Aden in record time. 5 days at sea instead of the scheduled 6. We did not see anything unusual, but they were not free with the information either. Some of the passengers swear that they did see some pirates. I am sure that the onboard security crews walking the deck were tired of all the “help” they were getting. I guess scanning the sea for pirates is a good way to pass the time at sea. We had dinner with the First Engineer one night and we did ask him what the risk factor was for any chance of an encounter. He said that a cruise ship is the perfect target. Not for any kidnappings, but if pirates could secure the ship, they would be accessible to all the money and jewelry that the ship had in its safe. And all the passenger loot that they brought with them. Not what I wanted to hear, but I really was not very concerned. It is a good story though. We arrived in the port of Safaga a day early, so we signed up for the overnight excursion into Luxor and the Valley of Kings which is about a 4 hr drive from the port. We left the ship at 5 pm for the drive into Luxor. We had to drive in a convoy, so there were 3 buses and security. The sun was going down, so we really did not get to see much. Much of it was desert and reminded me of Arizona. It took us about 5 hrs due to the many check points. There seemed to be one every 10 miles, and at one point we had to wait 20 minutes for the police escort to show up. We thought it was for security reasons, but it is just a way for police to get money. The government and police are still in charge of districts and bribery is the norm. Our guide did not even think about taking off, since they would chase you down and probably jail time would be in your future. Every checkpoint had at least 10 guards with machine guns and they were not shy to point. We arrived at our hotel at about 10pm, had a very nice dinner sitting outside on the patio, and a show. It was a beautiful hotel right on the Nile River in downtown Luxor. Listed as a 5 star hotel, it was very plush. When the toilet is smarter than I was, I am convinced. A tush wash and blow dry…..just push a button. Same with the shower. Way too many buttons for me, but it was nice to get off the ship for one night. 5am wakeup call in the morning which was not a problem since we were woken up by the call to prayer at 4:15 am. Egypt is 80% Muslim and they pray 5 times a day. There are many Mosques in the city and the minarets are about 5 stories high with loud speakers about the mid-level where they speak from. They are all lit up with colored lights at night. It was kind of haunting and eerie to hear the chanting reverberating all over the city in the dark of the early morning. After a nice breakfast, and dressing for 95 degree weather, it was on to the Valley of Kings-a 45 min. drive from the hotel. Luxor is located on the Nile River, with farming the major source of income in the area. Irrigated by the Nile, most of the crops are alfalfa, wheat, and sugar cane. They were burning the cane fields while we were there, so it was very smoggy and hazy. The Valley of Kings, the city of the dead, is a series of tombs carved into the Theban Hills. It contains at least 63 tombs with the latest one found in 2006. We visited the 3 main tombs of Ramses III, Sethos I, and Amenophis II. We walked through an opening in the hillside and entered a tunnel sloping downward. The ceilings were about 25 ft high and the passage about 15 ft across. Most were about 50ft long ending in a big room where the sarcophagus was kept. The walls are covered in carvings that tell a story and the ceilings are painted. Even after 3000 yrs, the colors are still vivid in some places. It was a goose-pimple kind of amazing. We were not allowed to take any pictures at this place…we could not even take our cameras off the bus. A little disappointing but, they are trying to preserve it…..or just making money on the pictures that they have to sell. It was fantastic just thinking about walking where Pharaoh’s once walked… stop was Temple of Hatshepsut, both a woman and a Pharaoh. She dressed like a man and wore a false beard, due to the bias against ruling females in 1500BC. We then saw the Colossi of Memnon. Two 64 ft statues of Amenhotep III are all that remain of the temple. Back to Luxor and the Karnac Temple, and Luxor Temple which are within the city limits. Both temples are connected by a mile long avenue of human headed sphinxes that the city is just starting to renovate and uncover. The Karnac Temple entrance features 134 immense and richly decorated columns which took over 1000 yrs to build. It includes an enormous statue of Ramses II, obelisks, sanctuaries, and courts. The Luxor Temple was begun by Amenhotep and added to by other Pharaohs, including Ramses II. Every wall and column is covered in symbols and we even saw graffiti carved into some of the columns from the 1800’s. Humans always have to leave something behind, no matter what the century is. This was a terrific, hot, long, inspiring day. The history is overwhelming and interesting. At every stop the hounding venders were exhausting. The bargaining dance was more persistent here than anywhere we have been to so far. With a population of over 85 million, and over half earning just $2 a day, you can’t blame them. They were having a fuel shortage when we were there, so cars and people were lined up for miles at all of the gas stations. They couldn’t tell us why, but they seemed to have enough gas for the tourist buses…. Most of them live from day to day. It was a little different traveling through a mostly Muslim country. The women were covered from head to toe and not out in the streets. The men were everywhere, but mostly not working. According to our guide there are very few jobs, and Egypt is over-populated. The children are put to work at a young age to help feed the family and education is not a priority. Our guide was young and very proud of his heritage. He talked about the corruption in the government and always “The revolution of 25, Jan. 2011.” Very, very interesting. The upcoming elections in Egypt are soon, and I will be thinking about our young Egyptian rebel guide. He is hopeful for the future and gave us the tour of a lifetime in Luxor. More power to the younglings of Egypt. Back to the ship at 8 pm totally exhausted, mentally and physically. Another early day tomorrow.

2012-04-04 2012-04-05 Safaga,Egypt-Valley of the kings #2 007Nile River, Luxor2012-04-05 Safaga, Egypt- Valley of the Kings, Luxor Temple 131Karnac

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Mumbai, India

March 28th and 29th

Mumbai, India

After sleeping 24 hours and coming out of my medicated haze, I felt 100% better. Yippee….2 days in Mumbai. Wait a minute, that haze I see out the window is not my foggy brain is it? Nope, good old fashioned smog. The stuff is so thick that my eyes are watering and my already compromised lungs are screaming for air. It leaves a fine film of dust on everything. Oh well, it is so hot (95) maybe I will sweat this crap out of my system yet. Until 1995, Mumbai was formerly known as Bombay. It is the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra and has a population of more than 18 million living in 237 sq. miles. It is the largest port in western India, handling over half of the country’s passenger traffic. Mumbai is also India’s business center and one of the most commercial hubs between Singapore and Europe. It generates more than a third of India’s gross national product, and half of the country’s foreign trade moves through this port. On the other hand, it also has crippling pollution and poverty. Right next door to mansions and high-rises are depressed areas of makeshift shacks and begging children. My first impression of India….people, people everywhere, the smell, the garbage, the children, the traffic, the noise. My senses were bombarded. Just the dynamics between rich and poor were mind boggling. The men dressed in pants and white shirts, and every woman wearing a sari. Some were very beautiful, and depending on what part of the country they came from-wrapped different ways. We are docked right next to the Navel Base, so security is very strict. I have never seen so many guards with machine guns. They check everyone’s ID coming and going. Taking photos is prohibited in the area. But from the top deck of our ship we have a pretty good view of the whole area…wink,wink. Our first stop was the Gateway of India arch. It was constructed in 1911 to commemorate the visit of King George and Queen Mary, and was the site of ceremonies held for British dignitaries and others who arrived by sea. Since 50 people were killed here in 2003 by 2 car bombs, security is strict and there is a fence around it. Armed guards are patrolling pretty much everywhere you go. The beautiful, plush Taj Mahal Hotel is just across the street. After getting mobbed by the hawkers, including small crying children plucking at your pockets, (their mother pinches them for the effect) we were off to Elephanta Island for the day. The hour long boat ride was an adventure. A rickety wooden boat that spewed exhaust like crazy. At least it was covered. The workers were even trying to sell things on board. Elephanta Island is a UNESCO heritage site. About a thousand years ago, Hindu craftsmen carved columns and sculptures out of solid rock in a series of caves. We had to climb a long stairway to the top of the hill where these were located. At least there were stalls along the way to shop at. The main cave was immense and awe inspiring. Several panels depicted the Shiva in various forms. The most outstanding one was the bust of Trimurti-the three faced Shiva representing the Hindu trinity. It was pretty amazing and interesting. The other attraction on the Island are the wild monkeys- they are everywhere and they are not shy. We were warned not to bring any food or eat in front of them. Or feed them. They will attack for food. Very cool to watch though, as they scampered through the woods. Back to the ship on our little wooden boat. Too bad it was so hard to see very far because of the smog. It was a great day. My stamina was at its limit, so we decided not to go out on our own that night. Big day tomorrow.

A Day in the life of Mumbai….that is the name of our tour today. Sounds intriguing doesn’t it? Started off at the gate again. I swear the hawkers knew Bruce from his mustache from the day before and zeroed in on him. Now they were telling the other people in our group that “he bought from me yesterday at this price so I give it to you too.” Nothing like a little giggle in the morning. It was fascinating driving through the throng of cars and people. Our next stop was the Churchgate Railway Station. Unique to Bombay culture, we watched the dabba-wallas, members of the Mumbai Tiffin Box Suppliers Association get ready to deliver their clients lunches to them. Every day 4,000 of them deliver lunch boxes that they have picked up from about 175,000 office workers before they get on the train. The meals are then carried by bicycles, shoulder poles and handcarts to the recipients. Lunches are rarely, if ever lost. It’s like Domino’s but you don’t have to make the pizza. The reason for this is the trains are so tightly packed by passengers in the morning, that there is just no room to move, let alone room to carry a lunch. Our guide likened it to a “can of sardines”. Millions of people ride the trains every day. The dabba-wallas wait until mid-day to get on the trains with their loot, and less passengers and then deliver them at noon. Fascinating. We then got to board one of the trains to take us to Dhobi Ghat. Now these trains are not subway trains….they are train- trains. Open doors, open windows, open everything. There is no waiting to get off or on. The getting off part was the problem. Now some in our group were, let’s say rather slow and tend to dawdle. I was not ready to get stuck on a train in who knows where, so, I was very firm when it came to getting off. No, isn’t she just a sweetheart here…. Even the guide was rather blunt.” Get off when I say or get pushed off.” It was either that or wait till I come and fetch you at the next stop…..not what I wanted to do. We have taken many tours on this cruise and my level of irritation is coming to a max. Some of these people should not be on these tours…..but that is another very long story. On to Dhobi Ghat. It is located on the banks of the local river and tons of laundry is washed here every day. Each morning, laundry from all over Mumbai is brought here to be washed. The next day, after being air dried, it is pressed, folded, wrapped and delivered to the owners. At about 5 cents apiece. And on another note….most of the workers are men. Thousands of pieces of laundry just flying in the smog. And the sheets were as white as can be…amazing. Again, Bruce amused the local children with his mustache, or maybe it was the necklaces he was wearing around his neck that we just bought. Anyway, to all the Tsunami drummers reading this…your thoughtful contribution is being passed around the world. We stopped at the Mani Bhawan Gandhi museum where Gandhi lived between 1917 and 1934. We drove along Marine drive which is a very nice beach area, but once again nobody swims there. The locals go there for snacks and walking along the shore. And at night it is all lit up and called “The Queens Necklace”. The drive back to the ship was rather long due to traffic, but it was fascinating. We were told by the ship tour director that we would either hate India or love it. I don’t think that I can say whether I do or don’t since I really did not spend much time here. I know I did not love it, but all the people were wonderful. I did not hate it either…just the living conditions. It is a very fascinating place, but….not somewhere I will return to. We arrived at the ship and saw a new decoration…… coiled razor wire. Yep… was hanging all around the outer lower promenade deck, right above our deck 2 room window. This was the first time anyone has ever seen this on a cruise ship. We are going to cross the Arabian Sea, close to southern Pakistan and into the Gulf of Aden close to Somalia, so I guess it’s better to be prepared. Either that or they have much more Intel than they are telling us. I choose the former. The Captain already informed us that there will be convoys in the area to escort the smaller, slower ships. May the fair winds be at our back. On to Egypt where we will be going on a one night overland. We will be arriving in Egypt early, so this option was offered to the Valley of Kings in Luxor. Can’t wait.

Shipboard Meanderings……

Everywhere I have visited as a tourist, I have been very respectful of each countries customs. Whether it be taking off my shoes in a religious institution or covering my shoulders and knees during the day no matter how hot it is outside. The ship tour director has been very informative about what to do and wear in each country, and at every port gives us the currency exchange rates and basic language formalities. That being said, most on this ship are clueless. They still act like they are in the US, with everything it has to offer, even though we are miles away, and in a different country. The complaining is mind boggling and even though we are sailing around the world, the world is revolving around them. With the… I can do anything I want to and to heck with everyone else attitude… I just don’t get it. I know this is complicated, but I am beginning to understand much more about why some of the world really dislikes us so much. I do to, at times.

2012-03-28 2012-03-29 Mumbai,India ( A day in the Life) 152Dhobi Ghat2012-03-27 2012-03-28 Mumbai, India (Bombay) 170Elephanta Caves