Let me introduce myself. I recently retired after 35 years of teaching middle school math. My husband retired a few years ago, and had been anxiously awaiting my retirement so that we could travel. We especially were looking forward to the ability to travel off-season, since it is so much more economical. Our first adventure was planned as a retirement celebration: a 28-day Mediterranean and Transatlantic cruise. We were unsure whether or not we would go stark raving mad after 28 days on a cruise ship, but were willing to give it a try!
Our cruise departed from Venice, and so we decided to go a few days early to explore the city. We chose to fly on Icelandair to get to Europe. They allow you up to a one week layover in Reykjavik at no additional cost, and we had been wanting to see Iceland. I especially wanted to see the Northern Lights; that is an item that is near the top of my bucket list. So, we tacked on a couple of days in Reykjavik at the start of our trip. From there, we flew in to Paris, and took an Air France flight to Venice.
I wanted to chronical our adventures, therefore the blog. Please keep in mind that my recollections are imperfect! There are several reasons for this:
- My hearing isn’t great, and there was almost always background noise, so what was said by the tour guides and what I heard may be two entirely different matters!
- The tour guides all spoke heavily accented English. In Iceland, my husband asked me what Mugawumps were. He said the tour guide kept referring to them. The word was magma. . .I was unsure what rape-ids were. He informed me she was saying rapids. You get the point!
- I tried to take notes whenever possible, but these were written either in a moving vehicle or while walking. My handwriting is pretty bad under the best of conditions; these were not the best of conditions.
So, if you read a fact and say to yourself, “What is she thinking! I know that this is not true!”, please refer to points 1-3 above.
Links to my trip report for each city we visited are below:
Pre-Trip visit to Iceland: Iceland
Travel Day to Venice (adventuresome!): Flight to Venice
Pre-Cruise stay in Venice: Venice
We’ve got Spirit!: Embarkation Day!
Athens: It’s all Greek to me!
Ephesus: A walk through ancient history
Istanbul: A city in two continents
Mykonos: Pretty white buildings on a hill
Naples: Taking one’ s life in the driver’s hands!
Rome: Arrivederci, Roma (but we’ll be back)
Pisa and Florence: Artwork and wine
Toulon: Viva la France
Barcelona: City of Gaudi
Funchal: Hills, Views and Poncha!
Transatlantic Crossing and the Caribbean: And, all the rest!
And, in conclusion: Lessons Learned