It's 1986. Laura is a travel agent, and has gone to all the different world
places she wants to go to, with one final exception: the Mediterranean. She
books the cruise. She packs her bags, ready to go. Then, a ship named the
"Achille Lauro" is hijacked by Palestinian guerillas, who shoot an
American and throw him overboard.
All cruises are cancelled. Laura goes to Fiji instead.
It's 1994. Robert and Laura are married and Laura tells her story. By a curious (?)
coincidence, they happen into a small pile of money. Just enough, it seems, to pay for a
They start out at ancient Athens (although the Parthenon was closed, because of a strike). They move
on to romantic Rome and see such sites as the Colosseum, Trevi fountain, and one of the places
where Michelangelo used to live (which is now a Nike store).
On the way out of Rome, the boat runs into the dock and gets a big gash in the side. The crew
ignores Robert's suggestion ("duct tape!") and the cruise is cancelled.
Do our intrepid travelers give up? Do they realize that the ancient Gods have conspired to keep
them from making this cruise?
Ha! Ha ha! We're not that smart! (Or rather, Robert is WAY more stubborn than the Gods.)
Will we make it all the way across the Mediterranean in an age of SARS, wars, terrorists, and
Starbucks? Stay tuned!
display a little menu along the side that makes it easy for you to navigate
between days. Also, when you click on a picture, a separate window pops up
to display the picture (so you don't lose your place). If you don't see a
window when you click you need to disable any pop-up blockers you may have.
(Once the window is open, though, all the pictures will appear in
In which we travel from Seattle to
Barcelona, where we find tiny taxi trunks, Ikea stores, and Superman
standing on a street corner.
We wander through Barcelona, stopping
at a centuries old cathedral, a years old fast food restaurant, and an
unfinished architectural marvel of a cathedral. Finally, we locate our
boat--which turns out to be fairly simple as it's the size of a small
We lounge about the boat in the
morning, and then cast-off to the faint appaluse of a couple of dock
workers. Robert dons his birthday suit, and we go to a gala dinner!
We hang out in Villefranche for the
morning, touring churches, and then take a tour of lovely Nice (which has
lousy beaches). The afternoon is spent hanging at a cafe where Robert
declares that he is a writing instrument.
We pull into Livorno, Italy and catch
a bus for Florence (or "Firenze," if you want to sound like you're
cultured). We check out a faux David, a real Old Bridge, the Church of the
Holy Cross (topped with Star of David), Galileo's tomb, and the
Leaning Tower of Pisa! Whew!
Naples is on the plate today, and we
devour the isle of Capri, chow down on Sorrento and some wood inlay, and
make a dessert of Pompeii, where we also find out about the erotic
We spend the day at sea, chugging
along towards Greece (home of many old things). We explain how things work
on the boat, and go to a wine tasting, where Robert wonders if bugs are
Athens, Greece where we start by
checking out the Corinth Canal (a very deep and long canal). After sailing
the canal blue, we head to the fabulous (and scorching hot) Parthenon on
the Acropolis, and take a quick tour around Athens, where they are working
hard to spiff up the ruins for the 2004 Olympics.
We visit Kusadasi, for reasons that
are a tad vague, but it's got some pretty cool stuff—like the ruins of
St. John's Basilica and the ruins of Ephesus. We end the day with a
demonstration of actual Turkish carpets.
We arrive at Istanbul—the crossroads
of Europe and Africa (and the Middle East). Very exotic and
mysterious, and our favorite city of the whole dang tour. We visit a
famous mosque and take a shopping trip to the Grand Bazaar. Robert
discovers Turkish pizza and we lounge around a plaza with the locals.
The boat is working very hard lugging
our butts from Turkey to Italy, but we are not working at all. We watch an
ice carving demonstration and eat a lot.
Venice, the Soggy City is our
playground for today. We see all the cool places that always show up in
movies (like St. Mark's Square and the little bitty alleyways). Years of
playing First Person Shooter games give Robert an unerring sense of
direction that steers us through Venice to (naturally) a place where he
can get pizza. Finally, we ride a bus down the watery streets of Venice.
We spend the day as refugees
(although, frankly, very well-off refugees, but technically, "people
without a place to stay"). We go from laid back Italy to bustling England
(via a plane signed by "Donut") and finally sample English cuisine.
The Longest Day. We start off in
England, and visit the Coolest Damn Place in London, fly to America, pass
through American customs and finally collapse on our own bed at last.