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Lauren & Georgia’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Location: Europe

MapI am writing this entry on Tuesday 17 May 2011 so I will try to summarise the past few days as best as I can. So where do I start?

Day 1 of the cruise: Venice - We flew out of Paris on Saturday morning. We had to wake up at 2.00am to get to the airport for an early flight. I must say I was impressed with EasyJet. I was a little bit sceptical but they were very efficient and friendly. We had arranged for a taxi to pick us up from the airport and drop us off at the Port of Venice. The plan was to spend a few hours looking around Venice but fortunately we were able to check in for our cruise once we arrived. The boat is amazing. It is only one year old so it is a bit of an improvement from the P&O Pacific Sun I went on two years ago. It was beautiful cruising through the Grand Canal as we left Venice. So far we have enjoyed dressing up and going to the restaurant for dinner each night.

Day 2: Bari, Italy – First night of the cruise had gone well and it was an early one since we had been up since 2.00am. Mum had organised a private tour to Alberobello for a few hours. The drive through Bari out to Alberobello was enjoyable. Bari definitely looks like a pretty little town and I hope to come back one day. Alberobello was about a one hour drive from Bari. Our tour guide, Katia, spoke very good English and knew a lot about her town. The main attraction are the Trullos. Trullos are small cottages with conic roofs. They are very old and the village is now heritage listed. We had lunch at a restaurant from the Michelin Guide. Words can’t explain how good the food was. So fresh and tasty! It was a bit of a panic on the way back as we were running out of time and had to be back on the ship by 2.30pm. Our driver drove around 130km the whole way back, we had ten minutes to spare!

Day 3: Katakolon, Greece – Another beautiful day. We have had nothing but sunshine with average temperatures of around 25 degrees. Our stopover in Katakolon was uneventful. There isn’t much to see here unless you do a shore excursion to Olympia. Luckily we hadn’t organised anything as Georgia and I were very hung over and had just over four hours sleep the night before. We explored the many souvenir shops along the street, caught a 30 minute tourist train around the place then got back on the boat. Spent the rest of the day relaxing in the sun. My tan is coming along very nicely!

Day 4: Izmir, Turkey – Another early start today. Let me say that I am in love with Turkey. This place is absolutely amazing, I will definitely be back! Today we decided to do a shore excursion through the cruise company. We were in the English speaking group and there were about 30 or so of us. First stop – Mary’s House. The bus ride took approximately one hour to get out there. Mary’s House is said to be where Mary lived for several years before passing away. It is a holy site and you can even drink holy water from the well. Second stop – Ephesus. Ephesus is an archaeological site that dates back many thousands of years ago. Our tour guide was very informative and very passionate about his job. We spent a few hours looking at the ruins while he guided us around. I especially enjoyed looking at the outdoor stadium that seats 24,000 people! This site was used for animal fights, etc.

Well time to get ready – casino and dinner are on the cards tonight, also off to book my massage for tomorrow after our stop in Istanbul. I will try to post another entry soon but the internet is very expensive on the cruise.

Lauren x