The ship was the Thomson 'Celebration', which was comfortable and spotlessly clean, the service was exemplary, the food good and the entertainment varied. (I have to admit, that the average age of the passengers was probably about 70, but then, I'm not ageist and they were a fun-loving and friendly crowd!)
Here is our first port of call, Istanbul, with the Golden Horn in the foreground. The city was vibrant and exotic, and exactly as I had thought it would be. We visited the Blue Mosque (so called because of the blue tiles inside) and Topkapi Palace, where the caliph had his court in the Middle Ages.
Here are DH and I by the entrance to this stunning monument to Islamic art.
Next was the Hagia Sophia, originally built as a Christian church in 360AD and boasting some fabulous mosaics from that period. In 1453 it became a mosque, and then in 1935 a museum. Here I am on the first floor, where offices and meeting rooms used to be.
The atmosphere in the place was wonderful, serene and peaceful, and not as oppressive as it looks in this photo of the ground floor.
We just had time for a visit to the Grand Bazaar, a rabbit warren of shops and stalls selling practical items and tourist goods. We bought a gorgeous emerald green shawl for DD which she loves (thank goodness!). Dikili, the port for excursions to Pergamon, was an authentic Turkish port: interesting to look round, but not photo worthy.
This was not true of Athens, where the Acropolis was the main attraction. It was very hot, late 20s Centigrade, and I very much needed my hat, even though hats never suit me.
Here are six ladies, five of whom are replicas. Can you spot the real one? Patmos was idyllic, and we really wished we could have stayed there permanently. It was calm and relaxing and very photogenic, and of course, I had forgotten my camera! Never mind, maybe you've been there yourself and seen it. Bodrum was another lovely resort, with a lively port and pleasure harbour. There we looked at more old stones, although these had been part of one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus. It was a huge tomb built by the wife of Mausolus in 353BC, a bit like a pyramid in scale, although it had crumbled away by the 1400s, and the Knights of Saint John used the remaining stones as building material to repair their castle. Can you find me amongst the rubble?
Here is a closer picture of DH. That day was even hotter, at 32C. Too hot for me!
And here is a shot of DH and I on board the ship after the formal dinner. We scrub up pretty well, don't we!