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An Opera to Remember

Posted on 8/23/2016 12:47:00 PM in Traveler Insights

Slovenia’s natural beauty is certainly stunning, but Mel’s most stirring memory was heard, not seen.

By Mel L., 12-time traveler from Orcutt, CA

In May of 2014, we began our journey with Grand Circle on a trip called Hidden Gems of the Dalmatian Coast. We flew into Athens, Greece and stayed overnight at a hotel before boarding our small ship, the Artemis.

After boarding the ship the next day, we left Athens and were going through the Corinth Canal when a rumor began sweeping through the 46 passengers aboard that there was a New York Metropolitan Opera singer among us. Speculation ran rampant as this new group of strangers tried to guess the identity of the singer. I had my guess, but it turned out to be wrong.

The next day, it came to light who our opera singer was. He was one of our group of 23.

All through the trip, daily, he was kindly asked by people from both groups if he would sing for us. He always very graciously declined, citing a cold, or needing to rest his voice. This continued through the entire trip through Albania, Montenegro, and Croatia. He was always very polite in declining.

At the end of the trip in Zagreb, Croatia, twenty three of our passengers went home. The twenty three in my group had signed up to do the extension to Slovenia. We spent three days in Slovenia at Lake Bled.

The last day there, before going home the next day, we did some tours before going to our farewell dinner that evening. Our Program Director was from Slovenia. She took us to the small village of Radvijice, outside of Bled. As we walked through this village, she directed us to a small Catholic church—St. Peters. The priest was there to greet us and take us inside. This church had special meaning to our Program Director, as she and her husband had their wedding here. The priest told us about this centuries-old church that had been renovated to its current beauty.

After the priest was finished, our Program Director told us that she had a special treat for us. She had our opera singer come up to the head of the church, introduced him, and said that he would like to sing for us. Our opera singer began singing a cappella in this beautiful old church with its astounding acoustic properties. He sang several verses of “Amazing Grace,” and by the time he finished, there were tears running down the cheeks of everyone there. It is one of my most emotional and vivid memories of all of our travels. To this day, I still get emotional when I think of this.

Watch the moving performance for yourself in this video shot by Mel:

Imagine the surprises that could be in store for you on Grand Circle Cruise Line’s Hidden Gems of the Dalmatian Coast & Greece Small Ship Cruise Tour. Glimpse the discoveries that await on our optional extension to Slovenia in this video:

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Articles in this Edition

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August 23, 2016

Elemental Iceland

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The Power of a Red Nose

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An Opera to Remember

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Where in the World?

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A Surprise Sweet Tooth

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Making Mountains into a Movement

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