Friday, October 30, 2009

14 days + 10 flights + 10 countries = the trip of a lifetime (part one)

Hey everyone! I am back from my vacation and am finally getting a blog together about it for you all. I have been quite tired and jetlagged and have been trying to decide just how to present this blog. I took 560 pictures and I think Susan took that many also – so it’s hard to pick just a few to post here. I decided to break up the trip into several posts to make it easier on your eyes and my fingers typing. I promise that I will post many more pictures on facebook for you all to see. If you would like to be my friend on FB, just look for me! Ok soooo to the trip!

Country One – Denmark

I started out traveling to Copenhagen, Denmark to meet my friend Susan. If you all did not know, Susan is my best friend and travel buddy. We do our best to get together at least twice a year if at all possible. We decided to spend a day in Copenhagen as the first leg of our trip – I was so thankful because it was the perfect solution to my jetlag before the cruise. One highlight of the day was riding the Wheel of Copenhagen!


Country Two and Three – Germany and Spain

The next morning we got up and caught a plane to Barcelona, Spain via Munich, Germany. I know it was just a stop but it counts as another country that we were in to me! Barcelona is where we were to catch the ship and everything went very smoothly. We had no problems with flights, transfers or boarding the ship. We sailed on the Norwegian Gem, and I would highly recommend their freestyle cruising. Our first two nights and full day on the ship were at sea so we just took time to sleep in, figure out all the nooks and crannies of the ship, eat, and see shows. One of our very favorite activities was enjoying the piano stylings of Stacy McAdams. He played in the Crystal Atrium and we tried to catch him every night!



Country Four – Malta

Early Tuesday morning we pulled into the port at Valletta, Malta. This was a beautiful little country and we had such a wonderful time enjoying the glorious weather and seeing the sites. This small country speaks Maltese and seems to love life.

These are boats painted in the traditional way in Malta. They paint a pair of eyes on the front to protect them from evil spirits; they call them eyes of Osiris.

The Blue Grotto, a breath taking view!

After the tour Susan and I enjoyed sitting in the sun and taking in the beauty of the Maltese water.
Our ship!

Country Five – Italy

Our next three days took place in the glorious country of Italy! We were greeted with a blast of cold air as soon as we got off the ship and were pretty much cold all day in Naples. Our tour today took us to Pompeii. I had studied Pompeii in Latin for many years and was very excited to actually see it in person. It is pretty much amazing and I really had no clue how huge it is. We learned so much history and information about the residents and city. I was in awe of the progress the people who had lived there had made in building houses and living. It was also eerily quiet even though there were thousands of people visiting.

Our guide was able to talk to us through ear radios
a young boy clutching his nose
The main square in Pompeii with Mt Vesuvius looming in the background. This volcano is still active today and they think they will be able to know two weeks out before the next eruption. Scary!

Even before we stepped off of the ship we were told, “if you are going to eat pizza in Italy, Naples is the place to do it!” So we found a little pizza place and ordered some lunch. The pizza was different, but oh so good! We were also delighted to find Coca Cola!

After lunch we started to look around Naples and walk through the streets. We soon figured out that the two maps that we had were terrible and did not even name the streets correctly! UGH! We ditched the maps and decided to wonder around on our own, seeing as how we could always find the ship in the harbor. In our wonderings we just happened to stumble upon our favorite part of the day. The Church of Santa Chiara! We walked in to find not only an amazing fresco lined courtyard, but a ton of Naples history. Come to find out the Church of Santa Chiara is a monastery with tombs and an archeological museum. It was burned during World War I and was rebuilt soon after.
Fearless explorers

Ok so this wraps up my first leg of the trip of a lifetime, are your eyes bleeding yet? Tune in soon for the next part. I would love for you to comment and please feel free to ask any questions about the places we visited!


Mickey said...

WOW! Sounds like you guys had a great time! I love the comments and the pictures! Can't wait for the next segment.

Stine said...

Sounds awesome!!
I'm so jealous of you getting to visit Pompeii.
Also, love the name of your ship :P

Anonymous said...

I have a feeling I know what's coming in part 2.. haha..
I had the best time with you and I miss you <3 Reading this makes me feel like we're still there - it makes me happy =D

PrincessSedai said...

Oh sis - how wonderful. Wylee has a bad cough and we are curled up on the couch reading your blog in the middle of the night. She says "I like your pictures!" I can't wait for part 2. I love churches and church art, I can't wait to see those pictures especially up close.

Molly said...

Yay!! So glad to start seeing pics and hearing details of your trip. Love that blue grotto pic. Looking forward to future installments!

BlaqStarr said...

I expect to see some more pics this weekend!

zachsmom said...

Hi Karen. I just read your blog. Can't wait for the next Installment. Looking forward to seeing more pics. How was the new B&N?

Marissa said...

Looks like you two had a blast!! :)