Today's post will be short--because jet lag is still sapping my brain, calling me to bed at Texas dusk and waking me up . . . at the time of Cairo's call to morning prayer. The laundry's done, the suitcases (over limit, causing us to schlep two bags from terminal to terminal, terminally) stowed, and the 400 digital photos uploaded to the computer. And after 4 days (and regular hikes around the neighborhood), my knees, back and neck are finally forgetting the 18 hour flight back from Athens . . . grueling, but SO worth it for a 12-day cruise adventure that dreams are made of, and included:
1) A hike up to the Acropolis in Athens to see the Parthenon
2) Touring Haiga Sofia (first Christian church) AND the Blue Mosque in Instanbul--drinking Turkish coffee in the Grand Bazaar
3)Cruising through the Dardanelles toward the Black Sea
4) Tasting local wines in Varna, Bulgaria
5) Drinking vodka, eating caviar before the symphony in Odessa, Ukraine--and a first introduction to "non-Western" plumbing (gad! What do you do in heels and a long skirt?)
6) Military monuments, bullet-riddled churches in Sevastopol, Ukraine
7) Castles from the Crusades in Kusadasi Turkey, the ruins (2500 BC) in Ephesus
8) Blue, blue sea in Rhodes, Greece
9) The feral cats of Cyprus--originally imported by Constantine's wife to rid the island of snakes
10) Egypt, Egypt, Egypt: a cruise down the Nile, a *camel ride*, and the goosebumpy first glimpse of the pyramids.
Amazing fodder for storytelling. Memories to last a lifetime.
Me and the Sphinx--who'd have thunk it?
What's your dream trip? Have you taken it?
* I climbed aboard the camel--in the shadow of the pyramids--in honor of my mother, Betty Lou, a woman with an insatiable sense of adventure, a killer wit, and the bluest eyes you've ever seen. She died (after a long struggle with Alzheimers) the day before we were scheduled to fly to Europe. She'd have been furious if I cancelled. I did my best to see it all through her eyes.
Bon Voyage and Godspeed, Mom*