20 May, 2010

Counting down already... For the working week to finish!

How sad is that, I am ALREADY counting down the working week! But it has been a long, not to mention tiring, week!

Things are going along well with regards to the sale, I should hopefully engage an agent next week! The Solicitor has started the contract preparations and we are talking to the bank! I had NO idea that there is SO much work that has to be completed in doing this, zip, zilch NONE!

Last night, I also had dinner with BKBS. I missed S's birthday when we were in Egypt, but I did call on the day! I think, from memory, we were heading towards Cairo at the time! S has also grown So much, and looks as though he will be walking real soon...

God-daughter B on the other hand, was her normal 'happy to see you' self, which I simply love about her! We sat, talked, played silly games before a dinner of taco's, which were so YUMM and I had not had them for ages either; thanks B!

Towel Bat, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Work is really getting busy, REAL busy, and will be that way for more than a few months I suspect. There will be some early morning starts, and even some late afternoon finishes as well!

I am also in the lookout for a hobby, I do not know what, but something to keep me occupied. I may even go back to Uni, change my course, maybe to the MBA, I am not sure. But I feel as though I need to do something new, and to keep my mind active!

And finally, I have decided to not go back to having a cleaner, and that I am more than capable of pushing a vacuum around the house now that I am doing a lot more exercises and that my core muscle groups are stable enough to handle it. Sure, I might get them back every once and a while and do a 'top to bottom' clean, but for the most part, I think I will be OK!

Since I came home, footy season is now well under way, both NRL and AFL. This weekend, I will be most likely heading to the SCG to see the Swans play, so I am hoping that it will be a warmish night. Otherwise, I will be wearing my lovely warm leather jacket from Italy. Of which, I have been wearing to work the last two days; it's excellent!!!

Hoo roo for now...

16 May, 2010

It's time to sell, and start to move on... And a birthday thrown in!

After getting home, I have finally come to the conclusion... It is time to sell and (try to) move on! So yesterday, I met with TWO Real Estate agents. It is a very difficult decision to make, and one that is not made easily, but there is SO much involved with it all that I had no idea! Not just the selling of property, but how it intertwines with Estate and Probate etc! But, I think that a price I have in mind is, achievable in the current market and still a very competitive price! SO now, it is just a matter of time until the contracts are prepared and then there will be a 'For Sale' sign on the lawn!

And today, we had a party over at 'C&P' place to celebrate the first birthday of little J! When it came to the cake and presents, he was SO tired and he could barely keep his eyes open! Where as his older brother R, well he was up until 12.30am and wasn't showing ANY signs of wanting a rest!

First Birthday, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Birthday Cake, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
R waiting for J's Happy Song, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
R on J's Birthday, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

There was the usual, way to much food, lots of sweet things and an abundance of presents! Also, I should add that Mr 5 W also had a celebration for his birthday as well, which made the presents look as thought it was Christmas in May!!! Both M & W were having a BALL, and even Miss R and her younger brother J were having a good go at the cakes icing...

M J Birthday, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Birthday boy, Mr 5 W J's Bday, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Miss R J's Bday Cake full, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
J serious look with mum, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

The day was ALSO birthdays for O, S and there was cupcakes for them, as with both M & W... April/May is a busy time for birthdays I think!!!

MWSO Bday Cakes, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

The garden has suffered a bit of a beating whilst I was away, and I lost a couple of plants (Chocolate Sapotae for one), but the Passionfruits are producing like nothing else! This morning, I harvested around 50 of them, and needed quite a large bag so I could take them to the party! Also, they are SO full of flavour, and very YUMMY!

And tomorrow, it is my first day back at work, I dread to think how much work is there, but we will see how we go! I have a GP appointment in the afternoon as well, so it is going to be a full day. I hope that S will be up for the 'usual' 10am coffee!!!


14 May, 2010

Happy Birthday William!!!!

Today I spent doing some catch up housework... A bit of everything really, dusting, vacuuming, cleaning the bathrooms and mopping the floor. Mow and whipping the lawns and pressure cleaning the back veranda... But for some reason, last night I was unable to sleep until around 3am and my body clock woke me at just after 6am, so I started with some more washing and internal stuff so as not to make to much noise outside!

But at just after 9am, I was half way through cleaning and I so needed a break! So I thought I will do something different, and in hanging out the washing, I noticed something weird... MACC!!!

Maccs Vege Bed, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

On closer inspection, it wasn't TOO bad, but the damage was done. So I grabbed the shovel and filled it back in! I also had to do the vege patch (thankfully fallow at the moment) and behind the Lemonade tree, where he is trying hard to 'talk' to the new dog next door!

So after the lawns were done, I also weeded the front Rose Garden and with what I could not get out Onion Weed mainly) I mixed up some chemical and sprayed the little buggers! Hopefully, it will kill it off!

I ended my afternoon with a nice hot spa, a drink of Gatorade (I am now drinking my 3lt/day of water or clear fluids) and rested! But then it hit me, (thanks to the wonders of technology) that was my Nephews Birthday! He was turning 5 today, and I had done nothing! I feel so bad right about now... Luckily, we are seeing him on Sunday (for Jamie's birthday) but I will TRY to get over to see him tomorrow! And, in the interim, here are a couple of additional pics of young Will!

William Zachery, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
William Zachery , originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
William Zachery , originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
William Zachery , originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Sam & Will, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

Happy Birthday Mr 5!!

William, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

Day 42: - (+3 as I'm HOME!) Rome and Dubai

Firstly, I am SOOO sorry NOT to have posted whilst in Dubai, but there was a few reasons... Namely, we were flat out busy, and the inability to upload photos because the UAE do not like you uploading photos (or perhaps, don't want UAE locals looking at pictures of the outside world??)! Anyway, NOW that I have uploaded some of the photo's, I will include some in this post and re-cap, the last couple of days of the trip and what I have been doing since I got home!

After the final day of the cruise, we got into the city of Rome. However, I had realised on the way there, I had left my silver chain ON the ship! I managed to get in contact (after MANY phone calls and distressing hours) with the ships handling company, and she said to call back in around 45 mins as she would go to the ship and make enquiries. An hour later, I was in an excellent mood as when I called, they had it (and some other incidental items I could care less about...). It would cost me 100 Euro for a cab to deliver it OR I was on the next available train out to collect for around 20 Euro! Needless to say what I did!

By the time I got back into Rome, it was now well after 6pm and the 'Grey Brigade' had done a lot of walking and site seeing. They had been in the cafe/restaurant opposite the hotel (for coffee) for some time, and mum was very happy to see me. That night, whilst they went to bed (exhausted) I went out for a walk around Rome at night, only to find myself out in the rain without a brolly! Oh well...

The following day, after checking out but leaving bags in the hotels luggage room, we hit Rome for the last time. We caught the Metro out to the Colosseum where, when we arrived, were greeted again by a tour guide spookier! This again, was well worth the money, however, the group was quite a bit larger than the one we did in the Vatican City! So it took us a good 2 hours (maybe 3) to walk around both outside AND then into the Colosseum itself! The tour then, with another guide, took in the Roman Forum next door. This was also another good 2 hours worth of tour!

We then headed back to the hotel to meet our transfer to the airport. This was a very interesting ride as a) it was in the evening peak hour rush, and b) we took a most senic route! At one point, we thought we were being taken into a car wrecking yard, as the laneway we were on, looked like that was the destination! But instead, at the very last second, it took a left turn, and that took us back onto the motorway! Phew!!! As I had already 'checked us in' we cleared immigration in no time at all, and we then just had to wait for the plane. Dinner was Pizza and a drink...

The flight time was to take 5.30 hours, but just after we took off, there was some quite sever turbulence for our ride, an Airbus A330-200. The flight deck told us that initially we would climb to 35,000ft and then to a final altitude of 41,000, but he got up there pretty quickly and being in that airspace, we had a much quicker flight time of just 4.10 hours! NICE!

We ended up getting the hotels limousine service to the hotel, which was money well spent... Upon check in, I quickly discovered that this hotel was something special! It was SOOO Divine! Here is a pic from our room!

Dubai Atlantis Room View, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

We had a 'special' afternoon adventure, that the Grey Brigade knew nothing about. It was a 4wd Dunes Adventure that was just fantastic! Mum, well she doesn't like drives along cliff edges and has an aversion to heights (so SHE took a window seat, good one mum) and as soo as we hit the dunes, she turned green and the language was, well, 'colourful' shall we say! BUT, at the end of it all, she had a great time. The night continued with a traditional 'Bedouin Feast' and a Belly Dancer! A great night was had by all!

Dubai Dunes Safari 11, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Dubai Dunes Safari 12, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

By the time we got back to the hotel, the 'Greys' were tired and packed for the early morning departure and hit the sack quickly. ME on the other hand, didn't want any jetlag when I got home, so I stayed up until around 2am and organised the airport transfer and stuff. 5am was our wake-up call, 5.25 was the baggage collection time and 5.30am was our departure time. All went according to plan! We arrived at the airport in almost no time at all and dropped our bags, cleared immigration and headed into the shopping mall. Hang on, its NOT a shopping mall, but an airport, with shops! It has been reported to do around $1,000,000USD a day in sales! We quickly found a coffee shop (with seats for us all) and had breakfast. Boarding commenced and dang it, we had a bus trip to a VERY remote stand! The flights home were pretty cool, with the second leg only about 1/2 full, which allowed us to spread out and get some sleep (for me, as I was tired as per the plan) and I got a row of 4 seats to sleep.

Since getting home, I have one ALL of the washing from the trip, got my tyre fixed as it was going flat before I left, and done some shopping. Answered some emails and made some URGENT calls (mainly to my energy supplier as the day after I left a bill arrived and whilst I was away, a reminder and a disconnection notice. But it was all sorted, and I still have power! I also emptied, cleaned and refilled the spa. So I have been somewhat BUSY!!!

I will TOMORROW, do a couple of 'photo posts' that will be of the places we went to, where I was unable to upload the photos... I promise!!


06 May, 2010

Day 34: - At Sea and behind the scenes...

Today was a day at sea...

So what did I do? Well, after breakfast, we packed whilst Michael and Julie saw the presentation on Rome. After this, we met up with them in the Grand Promenade Cafe where I was on the Internet. We then went for lunch... After lunch, whilst Michael and Julie packed, I went on a behind the scenes tour of the stage area and Metropolis Theatre. WOW! It had been some years since I was actually on stage (10 years in a production was enough...) and it felt great to be back in front of the lights, and behind the curtain! The theatre seats around 1300 people, and the fly tower covers from deck 2 where the stage is, right up to deck 6! After starting on the 'Prompt' side, into the wings, behind the rear fly (which is an LED encrusted fly at 4" centres that they can actually put an image on! Behind here is the Wardrobe and dressing rooms (which were actually 'cubicles' where costumes were hanging, so you were in REAL trouble if you had Modesty Issues! Then onto the 'Off Prompt' side to see where the actual stage sets roll in and out from the computers!

There is also no cue run sheet either, as it is all run from a series of 8 networked computers! All of the 9 band members are listening to a 'clicker' which sets the speed of the show. It all (lights, audio, SFX and even the cast and choreography) run at a speed of 32 frames/minute. Thank GOD, I am not part of this show!!! And it all runs like this for an HOUR!!!

Anyway, after the tour, we had to calculate the 'Gratuities'... This is a very strange concept for us, being Australians' where 'tipping' is not a common thing at all and in fact, can be seen as a bribe or something! So we worked it out based on the USD and headed to the ATM to withdraw some cash. Trouble was, the machine (after a WHOPPING $6 fee) only dispensed Euro! So it would have meant a further fee to exchange it into USD! So I got out my phone (love my phone apps...) and got the exchange rates for the day, and made sure we did it for the same amount! We also put in a personal note to all of the staff (Waiter, Assist Waiter and the State Room Attendant) thanking them for the service and apologies for the Euro and not USD!

With all of this done, I hit the spa (for 90 mins) before our last dinner with our lovely dinner companions... We exchanged email addresses at the end of dinner and got a photo of us all as when the ships photographer got it at the table, Michael and I were 'Isolated'! Oh, by the way, we got a letter saying that we will be compensated for the time confined for the next RC Cruise we take!!! I am already looking!

Tonight's performance show was great, from a recap of the performances, to a snippet of the Cruise in Review DVD (bore) to a Cirque de Solie performance from two performers which was first class, especially the very last drop!!

So its off to bed now, and then into Rome tomorrow where I will upload ALL of the remaining photos to Flickr that is not in FB, and I will either do a Mosaic for all of the posts missing photos, or an overall slideshow of them all...

Hoo Roo!


05 May, 2010

Day 33: Mt Etna!

Ok, after yesterdays 'dummy spit' I have calmed down a lot... So lets talk about Mt Etna!

We arrived in Messina Sicily at a little after 1.15pm, and after 'clearing' through security, we were on the bus to Etna, Mt Etna. Etna is Europe's largest MOST active volcano! On the drive up, which took around an hour, well, lets just say it was 'interesting'... With all of the bends, hairpin bends and sheer drop-offs, mum was a little 'green'! But she made it out of the bus ok for a taste of Italy, a Canoli and a local Orange Juice (we left the Almond Wine AND the Etna Fire ALONE!).

The craters were fantastic, and at over 7000 feet, it was a little cool and there was snow! But it was a fantastic feeling being atop of an active volcano!

On the return trip, we stop at Giardini Naxos and had a great view across to Tourmina. Tourmina is a coastal town, built on the hills and cliffs and is fantastic! But, as we did not get across to Tourmina, we did not see the infamous, 'Black Madonna'! We arrived back to the port and ALL of the buses arrived at the same time which was a bit of chaos! We ended up leaving around 45 mins late due to the congestion of people coming back onboard and only ONE person checking the passes! Oh well...

We are now back at sea, and tomorrow, we arrive back in Rome!



Day 32 at sea and in a shitty mood!

What a shitty couple of days... Literally!

Going back a couple of days... On the day at sea, well, not to gross you out with the details, but Michael and I came down with 'Stomach Flu'... Or GI as the ship are calling it! At first, I thought I was the only one, as I had the fish for lunch on the Nile a couple of days before. No one else from our group did, so I thought it was just me. But during the day, I was told that Michael was also not well, and it all came together. We tried to think what we had that mum and Julie hadn't, and the ONLY thing we could think of, was the fish from the dinning room. So we took ourselves down to the medical room and we were both given a 'complimentary' consultation with the doctor, even though we just asked for something to 'block us both up'!

Now the process was great, fill out around 4 or 5 forms, they asked what we had eaten the day the symptoms started, the day before, 2 days before and even 3 days before... I only filled out the day before as that was ALL I could remember! Vitals were taken and I was in to see the doctor. Left with some Imodium (can ONLY be prescribed by the doctor, yet at home, I can buy it over the counter...) and a special diet. Additional paperwork saying that we are isolated to the room, the minibar is now free (YAY!) as with movies on the pay to view! So far so good...

I quickly fell asleep just after mum and Julie went to the last Formal Dinner and briefly woke up to get changed (10pm ish?) and the next thing I knew, it was 7.30am the next day! So far so good...

I called room service and mentioned what I wanted OFF the special diet we were on... I also asked for a banana (ON the menu) but was told there was none. This is where it all started to fall down... When mum came back from breakfast, I told her what I had and that no banana's were left. Yet she had one for breakfast! Anyways, I had another nap through the morning, and as it was getting close to the 12 noon 'clearance call' from the medical room, I took a shower. 12 came and went, so I called them and got a VERY rude, ignorant and pathetic nurse, who had the compassion of an absolute twat! She had me repeat what I was asking 4 times, before I was handed over to a nurse who could understand English! And this nurse was the same nurse we saw the day before! I was told that, it needed to be 24 hours since my last, well, you know... before we will be released! I reminded her that she said she will ring me at 12 and if all was ok, I can be released and be ready for the day excursion to Sicily. She sternly repeated she will NOT release me until at LEAST 2pm which is when we were to be boarding the bus, and reminded me that the Seapass is blocked and would NOT be allowed off the ship! I reminded her that I WILL be leaving and I WILL be coming down to see the doctor if SHE wants, but I was told to (FIRMLY) stay in my room!

So, I called for Room Service, 2 soft eggs and toast please, a Banana as well and was promised it will be here within 30 mins. 45 Mins later, they arrived and when I cracked my eggs, I cracked it!! They were HARD as a rock, green instead of yellow, and I had had enough! I called Guest Services to complain (by the way, due to there being NO banana's I was given 2 jellies) about the food, I was directed to the Medical room! To add salt to a very raw wound, Michael had been released!!! Anyways, I hung up on her (I eventually had to ask the nurse after another 4 times of repeating myself to her, if she actually UNDERSTOOD English!) and called Guest Relations again! Getting nowhere with this call, I was well and truly ANGRY by this stage, I picked up my tray of green eggs, and headed down to deck 5.

When I got there, there was a line of people there, so I bypassed them all and asked for the Manager immediately. I was assisted by the assistant Manager, and she could 'understand' my frustrations... Yeah right! By this stage, the line of people had grown, and were looking and listening to my conversation. I should mention, that the Captain had put out a flyer the night before saying that an outbreak HAD occurred. He also mentioned it in his normal noon address over the speakers. Anyway, I put it all out there, and reminded the Assistant Manager that my last motion was very firm, and that the medical staff were so rude to me, and how could they possibly know what my condition was, as they had not taken any stool samples or conducted any blood tests to determine what, if any, illness I had! I also said to her, that the companies Standard Operating Procedures (SOP's) needed addressing as clearly they were making decisions as they occurred in this instance as they couldn't give the same answer twice to the same person! In the end, she called the chef who came out to have a look at my eggs (proudly on display for all to see and smell) who apologised profusely! She also called the medical room, who finally said they will release me as of 2pm and I could eat as normal from the FULL Room Service menu. With it now being 30 mins until the tour left, and with the two head chefs standing beside me, I was PROMISED 2 cheese and tomato sandwich's will be delivered to my room in 8 mins. He even called his kitchen to get it done!

2pm came (yes, thats 30 mins now) so I left without my sandwiches, and I met the rest of the tour in the Ixtapa Lounge just as our number was called. By the time we walked down from deck 5 to deck 1 to 'check out' the Head Chef was at the machines and was HORRIFIED to learn I was not a happy caper as no lunch had arrived. And to top it all off, both Michael's and my card were rejected due to being ISOLATED by the Medical Team! A quick phone call by the security had that cleared up in no time at all, and we were on our way to Mt Etna!

I will blog tomorrow morning on how the day went, but I will be putting photo's up on FB...

Hoo Roo!!


03 May, 2010

Day 31: - A Panorama of Alexandria

An interesting day aound Alexrandria...

The day started with an almost element of confusion... Let me explain! When we first started booking our shore trips, for Alexandria, there were TWO identicaly worded trips... One though, was 3 hours longer and almost double the price! By the time we decieded that we will simply do the cheaper one, (yes, we are cheapskates!) but the Attractions desk was closed and the booking facility via the TV said bookings had closed. So I searched out the Manager and asked what the difference was and can we get on a trip! He mentioned that the cheap one had sold out, and to see him that evening (this was as we were departing for the Cairo adventure). When we got back some 13 hours later, he was nowhere to be seen, and I left a message with 'Guest Relations'.

The following morning, as I still had heard nothing, I went into the theatre where he was already dspatching groups. Luckily, we were accomodated on the longer (more expensive) trip which included the Roman Ampitheatre and the Museum! So our trip booked, we were now on our way!!

Our first stop was a Museum of local history dating back nearly 5000 years. It had some fascinating artifacts that covered the three eras of rule (Ancient Roman, Ancient Greek and finally Ancient Egyptian).

We then headed to the ancient Roman Amphitheatre. These were found when a building was to be built, but when piling for the foundations discovered the site, it all stopped! There was so much to see here, but the greatest thing was the amphitheatre! At a particular spot, a circular disc in the ground, and facing to the centre of the arcing grandstand, you can hear all of the people clearly that were in the grandstand AND you can actually hear the echo of yourself! However, the really cool part was, that no-one in the amphitheatre apart from you, could hear the echo! FREAKY!!!

Then it was off to the two Palaces and the Palace Gardens. The Gardens had over 20,000 species of plants (when I asked the guide, it was more of 20,000 plants in the collection, rather than 20,000 individual species or taxa!). Over all, these Gardens looked like the rest of Alexandria, rundown, with the distinct exception of the larger Palace; that of the Presidential Palace, which is used more so for visiting dignitaries!

To get up to the Palaces and Gardens, we had to take the road that went along the beach/coastline. In order to stop or slow down erosion, they are doing a lot of remedial works by laying concrete blocks within the breakwater. Also, there were three classes of beaches; Private, Public and a fee paying beach! There was already a ot of people out swimming and enjoying the sun. Apparently, in the busy peak period, one can barely move as it is a paradise for Egyptians!

We also headed for a rather grand restaurant (with a big history in Alexandria. Apparently, many important politicians and documents and treaties have been signed here), the Santa Cruz! We had the Beef in Mushroom Sauce and Jasmine Rice... YUMM!

After lunch, we headed for the ancient Catacombs. This was an old Ancient Roman burial tomb, that was discovered when a donkey fell into it from a 'sinkhole'! It was a circular 'well' that the deceased were lowered into, and a circular staircase (on the outside of the well) for the family of the deceased to walk down. Once at the bottom, the deceased then was carried to the final burial spot via a tunnel from the well. After the body was placed into the coffin of stone hand dug, the family then went into the 'reception room' (remember, we are three floors BELOW the ground) were they told stories of the family member, and then to avoid the bad spirit coming out of the tomb, they smashed all of the plates etc against the inner wall of the tomb and carry it all out and leave it on the ground above...

There is SO much more to report on the day, so I will keep the remaining parts for another day...

We are now back on board, and have a sail day tomorrow before arriving in Sicily.



02 May, 2010

Day 30: - Pyramids and the Nile!

A 'Day trip' to see the Pyramids AND a trip up the Nile...

Today was a day, that I think I had been quietly looking forward to! It was a day to visit the Pyramids of the Giza Plateau, The Sphinx, then onto the Nile for a buffet lunch whilst cruising up the infamous river. After lunch, we then headed to Egypt's largest Mosq which was amazing.

But first, the bus ride through Alexandria under armed guard. This was interesting as it was, in some ways, an eye-opener to say the least! Ok, I had seen it all before in Doha, but for some reason, it seemed a little worse! Others on the bus were really quite taken back by the almost sheer filth about the place. Not to mention the amount of properties that were incomplete as well! Now I am fairly open to seeing new experiences when visiting other countries and cultures, and trued to explain to these people that this is WHAT the locals only know. I wished that there was a bucket of money that would get people out of the poverty they are in...

When we were nearing Giza, suddenly through the breaks in sudden hotels everywhere, we spotted TWO Pyramids; one with the very top missing whilst the other still had the polished limestone on the top! These were truly a grand site to see and the closer we got to them, the great the 'awe' I was in... Once we got off the bus, it was GREAT to feel the warmth from the sun, something we had been missing since leaving home! It was also dusty and the air was dry. We headed for the nearest vantage point to get some photos, before heading around the front of the Great Pyramid. And NO, we did NOT go in as time was not on our side, nor was the entrance hole!

After about 45 mins, we re-boarded the bus to the top 'lookout' where we can get some shots with the city of Cairo in the background. It was almost utter chaos up here as there were many people trying to get unobstructed photos of loved ones with the Pyramids in the background (me included). In the end I gave up, and every time someone walked through my shot, I simply started to say "Thank You"! It soon got the desired reaction!

After 20 mins, it was back onto the bus and down the hill to the Sphinx. Again, an awesome sight with so many people here! We had a ticket to go in and walk around the giant creature, but when we got to the stairs to go up, it was so busy and we would have gotten up only to come down due to time! Yes, time was not on our side today as we had so much to fit into the 12.5 hours we were out! But I think I got some good shots!

Now we were heading to the Nile for the lunch as we cruised up, down and back. We had a belly dancer, some great food from the buffet, and even a guy in a skirt who spun around... Check out the pics, he was amazing! I went to get some pictures from the front whilst we were turning for home, when I was invited to the 'bridge' for a photo of ME at the controls! I think I did OK as no-one even knew I was out there until I showed them the photos to prove it!! Oh, and whilst I was out there, Michael saw a Crocodile!!! EKK!

Then it was off to the Mosq, where upon arrival, we had to put our shoes into the plastic bags provided at the start of the journey. It was dark inside, with many lights, but it was such an amazing building!

From here, we headed for the shopping spot and demonstration of the paper making from Paparyus. The paper making was good to see, but I had to pick up my Katoosh (sp) that I had ordered! It spells out in Hieroglyphics:

  • L: Controlling and Bossy
  • O: Funny and adventurous
  • U: Stubborn
  • Symbol of Lotus for 'Love'
  • Symbol of the Protector

Then on the opposite side it says:

  • B: Travelling everywhere
  • E: Fair and Just
  • R: Talk to Much
  • N: Flexible
  • Symbol of the Scarab Beetle for 'Long Life'

So, in essence it will read as Lou, my love will be protecting me for a long life...

So we FINALLY got back to the ship at 9pm, just had dinner and it is now nearly 11pm... Good Night!


01 May, 2010

Day 28 & 29: - Kusadasi and at sea

Yesterday, I was so tired, I could barely keep my eyes open... In fact, at the show after dinner, both Michael and Julie fell asleep and I am the one on medication that makes ME drowsey!!

Yesterday, we were on a tour to Turkish Villages and Towns, Sirence and Tire. It was an interesting drive from Kusadasi, through some very narrow streets and then out into the farming areas. In the fields, mainly Olives and Peach's, there was also wild red poppies as well.

Our first stop was the little village of Sirence, where a little Primary school was brightly coloured. A couple of the girls ducked down to the local shop to pick up some things for 'little lunch'! There was also some fantastic little markets here, with local handmade customs for sale, linen tablecloths that had silk embroidery and so on.

We then headed for Tire, a larger village/small town. Here we were taken firstly to a museum of ancient Roman artifacts and some old headstones. There was even some traditional Turkish costumes and silver here as well! After this, we headed for a local Mosc, before heading for some local felting, saddle making and more handcrafts.

A short trip on the bus found us at a Garden Restaurant for lunch. The sounds of running water under the shade of the tree was perfect!

After lunch, and back onto the bus, we headed back towards Kusadasi but stopped at a local weaving factory/showroom. We were taken into the first weaving room where the ladies were making double knotted rugs, both cotton on cotton and silk on cotten. After a round of drinks (tasted Raki, eww) and presentation of the rugs various styles, Michael and Julie started discussions on a silk rug, whilst I had my eyes on a runner. More on that in another post, but for now, lets say it was an interesting experience!

Today, we have been at sea heading for Egypt. So I will talk some more about that tomorrow!