Saturday Sept 13, 2014

Yeehaa! It’s happening again! We’re heading off with fun-loving, like-minded Kiwis on another journey through the Mediterranean … dropping in on several of the world’s great historic civilisations … poking our noses into a rich mix of fascinating cultures … sampling a make-your-mouth-water range of ethnic foods and wines … exploring exciting capitals, Riviera resorts, revered archaeological sites, charming coastal villages, whitewashed Greek Isles … enjoying sights and sounds and treasures that most people only dream of.

Come Tuesday (just three more sleeps to go!) we’ll be departing Auckland International Airport for a 24-day European adventure – sailing for 12 of those days onboard the 5-star Nieuw Amsterdam … with wall-to-wall meals, shows, entertainment and sightseeing.

‘MIDLIFE MADNESS ON THE MEDITERRANEAN’ is what we’re going to have. And our packed-full itinerary includes stopovers like these …

  • beautiful, vibrant Barcelona (Spain), home of Gaudi’s architecture and the Montserrat monastery
  • elegant Marseille (France), famous for its magnificent forts, palaces, fountains and gardens
  • Nice (France) & glamorous Cannes (film festival location) on the scenic French Riviera
  • Monte Carlo (Monaco), holiday resort for Europe’s jet-setters, royals and the Grand Prix crowd
  • Livorno (Italy), gateway to the vineyards, olive groves and dusty, sun-baked hills of Tuscany
  • the tower-filled fortress of San Gimignano, and medieval Siena with its narrow lanes and piazzas
  • the grandeur of ancient Rome (Italy): the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, the Forum, St Peters Basilica
  • Naples at the foot of looming Mt Vesuvius, and its famous 2000-year-old buried city: Pompeii
  • picture-postcard Sorrento, perched high on rugged cliffs along Italy’s spectacular Amalfi Coast
  • medieval Taormina (Sicily) — a traveller’s sight-for-sore-eyes, clinging to the edge of a mountain
  • the idyllic Greek Island of Corfu (Kerkira), with its imposing fortifications and Old Town
  • the stunningly-restored walled city of Dubrovnik (Croatia), a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • picturesque Kotor (Montenegro), the gem of the Adriatic, nestled deep in a gorgeous fjord
  • alluring, magical Venice (Italy) with its music, romance, canals, bridges and gondolas
  • Istanbul (Turkey) with its soaring domes, pencil-thin minarets, opulent palaces and Grand Bazaar
  • the haunting World War 1 memorial sites and cemeteries at Gallipoli, Anzac Cove & Lone Pine
  • recently-excavated Troy (Turkey) – legendary city (from 1200BC) of Helen and the Wooden Horse

Stay tuned, won’t you. Once we’re actually underway, Robyn and I will be adding fresh new entries and award-winning pix every day or two. And, with the help of emails, the Internet, and our son Mike back in Auckland, you’ll be able to share a little of our Mad Midlife adventure in Europe.

For now, it’s goodnight from her – and it’s goodnight from me!

Yours bloggedly – JOHN