I'm back from my 32-day Grand Adventure. The dust hasn't yet settled from being away for so long, but I've compiled my TOP TEN list (with the assistance of my husband/travelling companion). Actually, we compiled four TOP TEN lists. These are in no particular order and for the most part we were in agreement with our choices. The first 24 days of our trip we were on board Holland America's Nieuw Amsterdam, and the last seven days we were in Barcelona travelling on our own. Here goes.
TOP 10 SHIP FAVORITES
1 Impeccable service
2 The food (groan)
3 Laying in the sun on the Lido deck
4 Tamarind (the on board Asian restaurant) food and staff
5 Basketball court (from Howard)
7 Movies in bed at night
8 Variety of entertainment
10 Much-needed leisure time: reading, lounging, napping
TOP 10 FAVORITE TRAVEL SPOTS* (not including Barcelona)
1 City wall of Dubrovnik
2 Spice Market of Istanbul
3 Turkey (as a country and more specifically the call to prayer)
4 White houses of Oia on Santorini, Greece
5 Ruins of Ephesus
6 Greco-Roman theatre on Taormina in Sicily, Italy
7 Catacombs of Rome
8 Mykonos, Greece
9 Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice
10 Seeing Trevi Foundtain again
*Howard and I compiled these lists together, so the Capuchin Crypt aka the Church of the Bones in Rome, did not make our mutual list. But it would be in my top ten.
TOP 10 FAVORITES OF BARCELONA
1 Poble Nou Cemetery (The Kiss of Death in particular)
2 Inside Gaudi's La Sagrada Familia
3 Antoni Tapies Museum
4 Frederic Mares Museum
5 Walk on the Poble Nou La Rambla (a lesser, quieter La Rambla)
6 La Pedrena (Casa Mila)
7 Catalynya Museum
8 Barri Gotic wanderings
9 Modern architecture
10 Beaches of city
Honorable Mention: Montserrat
1 Smoking. Everyone smoked, everywhere in Europe. Except for us.
2 Travelling with old people. They are often rude and disrespectful.
3 Piano Bar on the ship. Murdered good music.
4 While in the Greek Islands (six times!), hearing people on the ship say: It's Greek to me.
5 Stench of Barcelona. Sewer odors quite prevalent.
6 Disregard for courtesy. Acceptable to bump into you, cut in front.
7 Lack of inventive, creative healthy vegetarian food in Europe.
8 Feral cats in Greece; stray dogs in Athens.
9 Getting sick when the ship encountered 17-foot swells.
10 Couldn't think of a tenth thing!