Friday, October 5, 2007

Travel Profile

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*


Mark Combes said...


Sounds like you had a splendid time! And your mother was right there beside you the whole time.

Mark Terry said...

Damn, that's cool.

Question. I've always thought the sphinx was huge, but I was reading something recently (don't remember what) that it's usually photographed so it looks big, but really isn't. Your photo makes it look pretty big.

Is it?

Or is it just small compared to the pyramids?

Candy Calvert said...

Thanks, Mark C--Mom was most certainly there.

And, IMO, Mark T., the Sphinx was HUGE. I think they said it's ear was 8 meters in itself. It's smaller than the biggest pyramids (especially Keopps), but seemed gigantic to me. And damned cool.

Candy Calvert said...

If you click on the picture, so that it enlarges, you can see more size perspective, I think.

Bill Cameron said...


I wanna go!

Candy Calvert said...

Amen, Bill--I felt that way forever. We saw all sorts of amazing things . . . some of them (perhaps appealingly?!) dark--like the fact that in Egypt we were accompanied by men toting automatic weapons, everywhere we went. They were standing on the rooftops of buildings when we docked in Alexandria, boarded our buses, even rode in a small boat beside us as we lunched on a Nile riverboat. I'm glad I'd forgotten (until afterward) about the tourists who were gunned down by terroists at the pyramids a few years back!

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

Candy, my condolences on your mother's passing.

I am so glad you continued with your journey. It was the best way to celebrate your mother's life and to add to yours.

Candy Calvert said...

Thank you, Sue Ann. Mom hiked Kilamanjaro when she was 70. I have a lot to live up to. :-)

Felicia Donovan said...


You're mom was with you on your journey and will continue to be with you. Mom's never leave our side. I'm so glad you got to experience all that.


Candy Calvert said...

Thank you, Felicia. I count my blessings for sure. :-)

Keith Raffel said...


A nose job (for either of you) and the resemblance would be harder to miss.


P.S. Sorry about your mother.

Candy Calvert said...

Thank you, Keith--about Mom.
And as for the nose: I've finally found "someone" who's got less of one than I do. Except maybe for Petunia Pig.

We take our small victories where we can. ;-)

G.M. Malliet said...

we're just back from cruising up the East Coast of the U.S to Quebec. It tied with Provence for best vacation ever.

And, Candy, you made the right choice: Your mom was definitely with you.