JOE and Kellie Marsters from Shepparton were about to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary and they were looking for something special, perhaps Italy, Greece or Paris. They decided on all three, settling on a cruise.
Their first stop was Rome and it was wonderful. They toured all the major sights including The Colosseum, Parthenon, Roman Forum and the Vatican City, followed by a visit to the Trevi Fountain, where they tossed in a coin to celebrate their anniversary.
Then they moved on to the port city of Civitavecchia to board their ship, the MSC Fantasia. Joe could only describe the ship as opulent. With four and a half thousand passengers, the Fantasia is big, as is the food. It was excellent and so was the on-board entertainment.
Their ports of call included Genoa with its ancient Piazza De Ferrari. Joe and Kellie just loved the history as they explored the streets of ancient buildings.
Then they sailed to Greece. Their first stop was Katakolon and nearby Olympia, the site of the ancient Olympic Games. Again they loved the history with the many ancient buildings, where contestants would ready themselves for their sport and the original running track where many of the Olympic events were held.
The next stop was Athens with the Acropolis standing proud overlooking the city below. Joe says it’s a great place to visit and the new museum displays many great works from classical Greece. Joe and Kellie found the visit very interesting. After all this was the birthplace of Western civilisation and democracy.
From Athens to Rhodes, a medieval town with narrow streets including the Street of Knights and the Palace of The Grand Master. The original palace was destroyed in an explosion but later rebuilt in 1912, during the Italian occupation of Rhodes.
Now, a complete change of pace saw the pair sail to Jerusalem. Joe had always wanted to visit Israel and it seemed many of his fellow passengers felt the same.
Many of the cruise ships had taken Israel off their ports of call but now it was back on. Joe and Kellie found it fascinating. They visited the Western or Wailing Wall. Joe says he even had to don that small cap to be allowed in.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was special and so was the ancient city of Masada, and of course no visit to Israeli would be complete without seeing the Mount of Olives.
Their cruise ship, the Fantasia, now set sail on the return leg to Rome giving the couple a chance to see more of the eternal city.
Next they flew to Paris. All along the way Joe had been aware of a strong police/security presence but in Paris it really stood out. The recent Isis killings have taken their toll on the feeling of freedom in Paris but people seemed determined not to let the terrorists win.
Joe and Kellie felt the same and soon found themselves swept up by the sights. They visited the Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysees, The Louvre and its incredible works of art including the Mona Lisa and of course Notre Dame.
All too soon it was time to fly home, but they certainly had celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary in style and had seen so much of a very special part of the world.
Joe’s only concern is with the huge amount of refugees flooding into Europe. Will it remain the same? That’s why they decided to see what they could now.
For Joe and Kellie the highlight was Israel and the many holy places of Jerusalem and they both would like to thank Bek Smith and Helloworld Travel in Shepparton for doing a great job in organising everything.
Until next time,