S: The Rim of Ancient Civilizations October 2011 - John and Eleanor Guttenberger
1: Rome, Italy Stromboli Volcano Katakolon, Greece Santorini, Greece Istanbul, Turkey Varna, Bulgaria Odessa, Ukraine Yalta, Ukraine Ephesus, Turkey Athens, Greece Corfu, Greece Dubrovnik, Croatia Split, Croatia Venice, Italy Ravenna, Italy Kotor, Montenegro Crete, Greece Mykonos, Greece Amsterdam, The Netherlands | The Rim of Ancient Civilizations Holland America - Rotterdam October, 2011 John and Eleanor Guttenberger
3: The Rim of Ancient Civilizations was the name of our cruise. On the Rotterdam for twenty-four days - how could we lose? We began the trip in Ancient Rome. The Colosseum, Forum and Roman Emperors' home.
5: We started our journey with a full day at Sea. A highlight was a sail by of the volcano, Stromboli. It looked like a black rock with steam flowing out. But white buildings and green forests showed life was about.
6: In Olympia, Greece, near Katakolon, We walked among buildings from which the Olympics have grown. Nike, Athena and other gods of the Greeks, Inspired the athletes to reach for their peaks.
7: To ascend Santorini, donkeys and stairs could be found. But we chose the funicular to go up to higher ground. Then a bus ride to Oia. we saw wonderous sights. The water and mountains, vineyards and other delights.
8: Our first glimpse of Istanbul was from the Bosphorus Strait. In Asia, the buildings were modern, in Europe ancient and great. The fortresses and bridges were lit beautifully at night, But the real mystery of the city was revealed in broad daylight.
10: We saw an Egyptian obleisk brought by Romans to the Hippodrome, Cisterns that stored water and Christian Hagia Sophia's giant Dome. The Blue Mosque & Topaki Palace reflect a time when Sultans came. The treasures, art and history show Istanbul's long enduring fame.
13: The Spice Market experience gave our senses delight. Our lunch stop was a respite with a flavorful bite. Ozlem our guide, Joyce and Page were comrades in our quest. Our visit to Istanbul will long be remembered; it was the best!
14: In Varna, Bulgaria, the opera and McDonalds we saw And witnessed a baptism, wedding and funeral in awe. The beaches and pools were much to our liking. The mix of old and new in the city was indeed striking.
15: "Paris of the Black Sea", Odessa, Ukraine was its name. The Potemkin steps lead the way up to the city of beauty and fame. Architecture from the 1700's and parks of tranquil peace. Musicians and culture surround the us and surprises never cease.
16: With a van full of friends and Sergei, our guide, We explored Sevastapol where Soviet submarines hide. Our wonderful day in Yalta included so much more - A monastery, hunting lodge and a palace on the shore.
17: Our long day in Ephesus was dampened by rain. But the beauty and splendor of Turkey will always remain. Our driver picked up Doug, Diane, John, Melis and me. Ephesus, Terrace houses, Sirince, & the Virgin's house to see.
20: In Athens,Greece some cruise friends departed. But with a new group of buddies more adventures we started. The Euro crisis paralized Athen's transportaion. But the Hop on Bus was our ticket to the Capital of this nation.
22: Two days in Athens both ancient and new. Around every corner was a spectacular view. The Parthenon, Plaka, Agora, and parks The government buildings and guards on their marks.
24: With the Black Sea behind and the Adriatic Sea ahead, We met some new friends who excursions for us led. Larry and Ellen Eisenberg, Jennifer, Joe and Caleb Hicks Were instrumental in planning some great sight-seeing picks.
25: Corfu came first and though rain came from the sky, Our driver took us to the Achillon Palace up high. Jennifer drove out of the port, since taxis were on strike. But a German Palace on a lovely Greek Isle, what was not to like?
26: The walled city of Dubrovnik was the most beautiful I have seen. We walked above it and saw roofs of red & the sea of blue and green. The weather was glorious with sights that take one's breath away. This city in Croatia is one I'd visit again another day.
28: In Split, Croatia we were to go with Ellen and Larry, our friends. But a mix-up occurred and a Hop on Bus took us around many bends. It turned out great: we saw countryside and the walled Medieval city. The Diocletian Palace is full of buildings that are very pretty.
30: The Rotterdam sailed to Venice as dawn's light first came. Emerging from the darkness we saw the buildings of fame. With Marie Louise, Leo and Jennifer at night I saw La Traviata, the opera, sung by candlelight.
32: St. Marks Cathedral, Doges' Palace, a bridge where prisoner's sighed. Were the next day's destinations on our Vaporetto ride. The canals, gondolas and bridges and cars nowhere around Glass, museums and churches on every corner do abound.
34: In Ravenna, Italy, the mosaics tell stories About Rome's emperor's power and God's great glories. Religion and politics are reflected in glass Our guide led us to Dante's Tomb with our Ravenna pass.
35: John and Page went to the Ferrari museum They couldn't drive the cars but were able to see'm. It was raining again but for them it didn't matter. Our group was soaked in the rain's pitter patter.
36: A sailor found a Virgin Mary image on a rock in a deadly storm. After years and years of pilgrimage a church island they did form. Kotor, Montenegro, a magical landscape of mountains in the sea Is a city with walls on high and quite amazing; you would agree.
38: After a day at sea, we docked in Crete. To explore the Knosses Palace and walk the street. Irakalion was sunny and peaceful on this last Sunday. With a map and a camera, John was on his way.
39: Five windmills perched on rocky hills. Blue sky and water my memory fills. Mykonos, Greece is a welcoming hug. It's warm embrace gives your heart a tug.
40: What a fantastic time we had in Greece, Turkey and Italy where wonders never cease. The Ukraine and Bulgaria were such a surprise. Croatia and Montenegro really opened our eyes. | The Rotterdam with its wonderful crew, the food, music were great and the library too. The friends that we met became like family to us. We ate and traveled together and shared many a bus.
41: In Amsterdam we stopped before going home. The canals and streets were fun to roam. We bought tulip bulbs and had a small bite. Then hopped on the train to catch our last flight.
42: Reliving our journey by writing this book. Gave us great joy and allowed another look. Into our life on the Rim of Ancient Civilizations And to remember the people from all those great nations.