From Jordan to Venice, full steam ahead!
After entering the Red Sea, we docked in Aqaba, Jordan. We did the excursion to Petra, an ancient stone carved city. 2.5 kms through a narrow stone passage leads you to the magnificent Treasury carved in the mountain. This stunning site was followed by a visit to the amphitheater, Royal tombs, library and jail, all carved into the mountains. It was extremely hot there. We skipped the horse carriage ride and donkey ride, as the animals are not very well cared for and we could not support this. Back to the ship, then, to sail away to the Suez Canal.
We joined the convoy at a little town, Suez, our ship being second in the convoy. Each ship has a tug to guide it through the middle of the canal, with one nautical mile between each ship. This trip of 11 hours was spent on our balcony watching pilots boarding the ship. On either side of the canal is Egypt; you can see the boundary fence on the one side between Egypt and Israel – we noted the army soldiers and army vehicles. We exited the canal at Port Said.
The following day was sailing, and we docked in Katakolon, Greece. Katakolon is beautiful, so green and well known for its olives. At the Ancient Olympic city we saw where the Olympic torch is lit for every Olympic Games. A Folklore show was a chance for us to dance and break plates, enjoying the local food and wine in between.
The next stop was the following day in Kotor, Montenegro, the entrance to which is via an extremely beautiful Fjord with snow on the Alps Mountains. We explored Kotor, Budva and the millionaires Isle of Saint Stephen.
From Kotor we sailed to Split, Croatia: a morning excursion of the old town, lunch on the promenade, local shopping and a walk back to the ship.
Our final stop was Venice, where we spent four days. On disembarking, we caught a water taxi from the harbour to Hotel Scandinavia situated at Santa Maria Formosa Square – very central. Venice’s narrow alleyways are actually their pathways, and some are so narrow that they are a mere arm stretch wide. We visited the Saint Marco Square, the palace and the Bridge of Sighs. On our gondolier ride our oarsmen sang and told us about some of the palaces we went passed. We visited the glass-blowing factory on Manuro Island, and many beautiful churches. We met lovely people. Delicious fresh cherries from a seller in the Santa Maria Formosa Square was often our lunch – Venice is rather expensive.
When we took a water taxi from our hotel to the airport, we paid 120 EURO – way too much as the hotel said it would be 105 EURO.
For the next installment of this exciting trip, you land in Munich. Click here to buckle up.