When you’ve been travelling, the one question everyone asks first is: What was your favourite place? As if I could answer that in one sentence.
Over a period of 115 days we travelled across more than 10 oceans and seas and visited 19 countries. Each of them has their own scenery, historic monuments and buildings, fabulous foods and individual style, and I certainly couldn’t choose one favourite amongst them. Neither can I compare them, but when pushed I chose three highlights from this trip.
Seeing the Taj Mahal at dawn in temperatures around the mid 40s.
Sailing up the fiord to the ancient walled city of Kotor in Montenegro.
Watching the glaciers ‘calving’ in stunning Alaska.
Having said that, there were other special moments too.
I love Venice (even though it was heaving with people), had a fabulous day in Taormina, Sicily, Winchester, England and Quebec, Canada, and it snowed in the Rocky Mountains. But that’s just a tiny example from among the 29 sea ports and 15 land places we visited.
The next top question was: What was the best meal you ate?
I can’t remember how many times I ate in 115 days but a lot! Best? Favourite? Hmm. Let me think…
The food on cruise ships is superb, surpassed only by the best of Greek, Italian, Spanish and Portugese food for freshness and flavour. I love Italian food, but the outstanding meals – as in being something different – were in Cephalonia, Greek Islands and the Alfarma District in Lisbon. Fried zucchini, pan tossed sardines, baked fish…
And baked feta in Corfu. Mouth-watering and delicious – and easy. You should try it
Then there are the questions about cruising in general.
I love cruising. It’s as much about the journey as it is about the destination. Of course, where you visit is important in making that first decision as to which itinerary to take, but getting there is a lifestyle that becomes additive.
I think short cruises are about the destinations, relaxing, eating, drinking and having lots of fun. The entertainment on board from nightclubs to games shows, and musical song and dance production shows to soloists is designed to suit every taste. It’s up to you how much you participate.
Long cruises are more about the journey and the community. It’s like living in a small town. There’s just as much food and entertainment available and you can be as busy and active as you choose to be, but there are usually longer periods at sea travelling between ports than on shorter cruises. You join groups, (whether they be craft, music or sports), you have time to yourself for reading, long conversations, listening to lectures, and learning about the places you are going to visit. You can eat ‘out’ with different people but you have to balance your eating and drinking with exercise. Walk the promenade and take the stairs, or get really serious and use the pool and the gym.
We travelled with friends this time whom we met on our previous long cruise, who had other friends they’d met previously and suddenly our group was larger than ever. We had a lot of fun.
Now all I have to do to sort my photos so I can create some coffee table books when people say show me your photos! I have over 3000 and no one wants to look at that many photos.