Today's guest post is from writer and traveller, Sunny Lockwood, who together with her husband Al, has authored CRUISING PANAMA'S CANAL. This intrepid duo has now written, CRUISING THE MEDITERRANEAN. I'll let Sunny take it from here:
Wanderlust flows through our veins like a river that's sometimes slow and dreamy, and sometimes rushing and insistent.
My husband, Al, and I regularly thumb through travel magazines, read newspaper travel articles aloud and search the Internet, whetting our appetite for unseen places near and far. While we love our home, we're always talking about our next trip. We're either planning it or we're on it, eagerly exploring the wonders of somewhere new.
But there are always surprises that greet us-- each one different from the others.
In 2015, we built a European trip around a 12-day Mediterranean cruise. We added four days in Amsterdam. That's where we tried Airbnb for the first time, choosing a room in a 17th century house not far from Central Station-- and, in the Red Light District!
"Window shopping" in our neighborhood exposed us to edible underwear for him and her as well as sex toys we'd never seen. Nor could we imagine how they would be used. A full breasted bronze statue named "Belle" stood in the courtyard of the Old Church, as a tribute to all sex workers. Despite our vintage moral convictions, we were more amused than offended.
In Athens, our surprise was the Acropolis lift. I'd been to the Acropolis decades earlier and remembered the stairs as steep and difficult. With Al's arthritic knees and our limited energy, I doubted we could climb them. I was thrilled to learn that there is now a lift.
But when we saw the tiny, open-sided cage, we knew it would take more than courage to ride it. Rickety is an understatement. Yet, we climbed aboard and rode it haltingly up the 260-foot cliff. And when we stepped off, we felt totally energized by the fear-fueled adrenaline coursing through our veins.
On the beautiful island of Santorini, we were stunned to learn about the Greek Genocide. We came upon a monument to the millions of Armenian, Assyrian and Greeks killed between 1914 and 1923 by Ottoman Empire elimination programs aimed at Christian minorities.
In Ephesus, we were surprised at the beautiful cats among the ruins. Like sophisticated models, they stretched out purring on marble posts, unimpressed by us humans. We learned they're encouraged to make their home among the picturesque ruins because they keep less appreciated varmints away.
But the sweetest surprise of all was Turkish Delight. This melt-in-the-mouth confection, created centuries ago as a royal delicacy, was served to us during a dinner cruise on Istanbul's Bosphorus Strait. Little squares of jelly infused with fruit and nuts and covered in powdered sugar-- it’s soft, tender and sweet.
Our trip was so wonderful we've written about it: Cruising the Mediterranean. It's available as an ebook and a paperback from Amazon.com. I invite you to check it out here