I recently shared a wonderful story from one of our Irish Program Directors, Barbara Long, where she recounted a fun day exploring the Irish naval fleet with her group. Allan D. had a similar experience on his recent Ireland in Depth trip. Here, he shares his story.
In a recent Harriet's Corner, I found the story about Cork, Ireland, very interesting. I had a similar experience that took place during a May 2009 Grand Circle trip to Ireland. Being retired from the U.S. Navy and traveling with navy friends (with whom we served some 48 years ago), we decided to take a walking tour of the waterfront in Waterford. In so doing, we noticed a smart looking Irish naval vessel tied up nearby. After a few Guinness and Smithwicks the next day, my friend (also a retired U.S. Navy officer) and I decided we would attempt to board the ship, L.E. Aoife (also mentioned in your article). We showed our retiree ID cards hoping that we might be allowed to come aboard. It worked! We were given a tour of the ship and “talked navy” with some of the crew. Although it dates us, it was most interesting to learn that the commanding officer was a female. The discovery made our day.
15-time traveler & Vacation Ambassador
Asheville, North Carolina
Egypt is a land full of grandeur—from the majestic Great Pyramids, to the mighty Sphinx, to the bustling city of Cairo—and there’s always an ancient treasure waiting to be discovered. I’m constantly reminded of the country’s spectacular sites when I open my inbox and find your photos from your journeys to Egypt. Here, Bruce & Ginny B. and John L. share their favorite captured images from their Ancient Egypt & the Nile River Cruise vacations.
We are first-time travelers with Grand Circle, and have to report that we had a fantastic trip with you to Egypt. This photo shows us enjoying the historical sites near the Pyramids of Giza.
Bruce & Ginny B.
This photo won the “Award for Adventure” at the 2009 New Hampshire Conference on Aging. It was taken in Gaza, Egypt, the site of the Great Pyramids, on April 10, 2007, while we were on a tour of Israel, Egypt, and Jordan. It shows my wife, June, and the joy she felt riding a camel. She was two months shy of 88 at the time. She rode the camel for about ten minutes, led by the native driver. However, for about a minute or two, I took the rope and drove the camel. I believe it shows joy and adventure can occur to anybody at any age.
3-time traveler & Vacation Ambassador
Newport, New Hampshire
What a great example of the fun—and adventure—you can experience on our River Cruises! Thank you for sharing your wonderful snapshots, John, Bruce, and Ginny.
Sometimes, though, our favorite memories can’t be captured with cameras; rather, they are intimate and emotional encounters that remain imprinted in our minds. Such was the case for Irene H. and Diane M., who both immersed themselves in the culture of Egypt.
I enjoyed reading your journal entry about Petra, Jordan. I, too, found it magical. I had the experience of riding a donkey up and down the 900 steps to the monastery, received a camel bone necklace as a gift from my donkey master, and rode a horse back to the hotel. A 4-wheel vehicle drive across the Arabian Desert to Wadi Rum with its spectacular sandstone and granite formations to a Bedouin tent was breathtaking. Here, our guide, Jafar, dressed me as a Bedouin woman (I wore a veil, with only my eyes showing), making me feel like a different woman. I also took part in a brief ceremony holding hands with a Bedouin man. I hope it wasn't a wedding—as I may now have a Bedouin husband!
Saddle River, New Jersey
When we traveled with Grand Circle to Egypt a couple of years ago, I had read that one of our stops would be a clinic that cared for abused and neglected animals. I researched before the trip and discovered that most of the animals were horses, donkeys, dogs, and cats. I found a list of items needed by the clinic, went to my veterinarian, and asked for supplies. I also bought some bridles, leads, etc., that would fit small horses. Everything went into an old suitcase—and my efforts were greatly appreciated!
The clinic is trying to teach Egyptians that an animal will work harder and live longer if treated well. It was wonderful to see what the clinic was achieving and to know that a few dollars spent in the U.S. could do so much good elsewhere. We always appreciate how our eyes are opened on Grand Circle trips to different cultures, different behaviors, and the needs of others.
9-time traveler & Vacation Ambassador