Day 38 – At Sea – June 28th 2015

Santorini, Greece to Venice, Italy

After the initial flurry of cloxs we got used to the extra hour of sleep, but until last night we had gone almost 2 weeks without cloxs, so last night’s extra hour of kip was a welcome change. You know, it’s rather tiring not working and having all this fun!! Our biggest challenge currently is a definite lack of heat, if we are in the Mediterranean, this must be the Northern Meddy, because everybody is griping about the cold. The few hardy souls that brave the pool deck almost have to chip the ice off the pool to go for a dip. We noted Vancouver is basking in 30 degrees, while we struggle to hit the 20’s.

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Day 35 – Istanbul, Hippodrome, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace – June 25th 2015

Today’s tour includes visits to carpet weaving, Grand Bazaar, Bosphorus Cruise, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace. This post covers the visits after the cruise, which entailed a 5 hour walking tour of the attractions, which are located in the same general area of Old Istanbul.

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Day 36 – Anzac Cove, Turkey (Scenic cruising) – June 26th 2015

Yet again, another exceptional day of remembrance aboard the Sea Princess, remembering the thousands of Australian, New Zealand and lesser numbers of British troops that landed on the beach as the invasion of Gallipoli. While billed as scenic cruising, Captain Kent has Sea Princess stopped off Anzac Cove before 08:00 and on departure turned the vessel through 360 degrees so all balcony cabins could see the beach.

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Day 35 – Istanbul, Turkey – June 25th 2015

Istanbul, Turkey – 10:00 to 20:00

Our port stop between the two continents of Europe and Asia, as Istanbul has the sole honour of being the only major city in the world to span two continents. The Bosphorus, which connects the Sea of Marmara to the Black Sea is also the Europe and Asia border. Sitting alongside our berth in Istanbul, looking out the port side we looked at Europe, but from the stbd side we looked at Asia. Today was another long, full day tour, so I will do a separate post for the sights of the Bosphorus and Istanbul.

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Day 34 – Kusedasi Tour, Ephasus – June 24th 2015

Today we are in Kusedasi, Turkey and we signed up for a ship’s tour that visits The Virgin Mary’s House, the ancient city of Ephasus and St John’s Divine Church. We had an incredible guide that literally talked and provided information for the entire five hours on tour. Therefore, I have oodles of information for the blog, but unlike Petra, I will split it into a couple of posts. The first of the posts covered the journey through Kusedasi and and first stop at the Virgin Mary’s House, while this post will cover the Ancient City of Ephasus.

If you haven’t heard of Ephasus, but want to join us on our discovery tour, read on!

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Day 32 – At Sea – Jun 22nd 2015

Suez Canal to Piraeus, Greece

Our first sea day in the Mediterranean Sea, which is a pleasant and quiet day, certainly a significant change from the weather and seas we have experienced since departure Sydney. It is almost as if the entire ship has decided to take a holiday, as I definitely noted he energy levels are way down, which is probably everybody catching up from the rigours of Petra and the Suez Canal.

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Day 31 – Suez Canal (Scenic Cruising) – Jun 21st 2015

Suez Canal Transit – 19:00 June 21st to 04:00 June 22nd

Originally scheduled to commence the transit in the early morning of June 21st, so should have seen the entire canal during daylight, but we awoke to find the ship still swinging on the hook, or at anchor. Due to ongoing engineering works in the canal and delays to the southbound convoy, our departure time was repeatedly put back throughout the day, eventually departing the anchorage shortly after 18:30.

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Day 29 – Petra, Jordan – The Ancient City

Petra, Jordan

What is Petra and why does UNESCO describe it as one of the most precious cultural properties in the world, and Smithsonian Magazine as one of the 28 places in the world to see before you die? I had completed many hours of research, but still nothing prepared me for the sights or the punishing heat and effort expended to see as much as possible, in the short time available. Read on for my account and photographs of the ancient city of Petra.

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Day 30 – At Sea – Jun 20th 2015

Aqaba, Jordan to Suez Canal

A nice relaxing sea day is just what the doctor ordered after the punishing day in the heat of Petra yesterday. However, with minimal sea days from now until Southampton, the days are packed solid with port lectures, enrichment lectures and other activities. After the flat calm of the Gulf of Aqaba, I am pleased to advise that the fresh winds we have become accustomed to are back.

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Day 29 – Aqaba, Jordan – Jun 19th 2015

Alongside Aqaba – 07:00 to 23:00

Sitting at the top of the Gulf of Aqaba we are surrounded by four counties in our vicinity – Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. While navigating up the Gulf of Aqaba we had Egypt to Port and Saudi Arabia to Stbd, but at the head of the inlet, Israel has a very small coastline comprising the city of Elat and Jordan has a few miles of coastline with the city of Aqaba, our current port of call. The difference in cleanliness is significant, guess which city is the cleanest.

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