Our flight home was via Amsterdam departing at 6:20 AM. That meant leaving our hotel at 2:30 AM. And that meant a very short night!!! Everyone finished repacking their luggage and jumped into bed for a couple hours of much needed sleep. But even with the middle of the night wakeup call and only a bit of sleep, our group was up and ready to go at the designated time...what a great bunch of travellers! A bag breakfast was given to us by the hotel and we loaded the bus for the last time and we were off!!
We had a relatively easy check-in and none of our luggage was overweight...even with all the shopping we had done in three countries. We said our final farewells to Carol and then headed to the gate to wait for our flight. I think most of group was asleep before takeoff!!
We arrived in Amsterdam and everyone was looking a bit more refreshed. Many of us headed to the restaurant for breakfast, a few people bought some cheese and other souvenirs and finally we headed to the gate to wait for our final boarding call. There was lots of chatter about favourite countries, things people liked or didn't like, and the retelling of some of the more memorable experiences.
Here are a few of our favourite things: donkey rides, food on the cruise ship, being at Pergamon without the crowds, Istanbul Spice Market, shopping, ice cream in all three countries, olives (well, some of us really liked them), cats, apple tea and dancing on the street in Kusadasi
Some of our not so favourite things: the disco music from 1:00 AM to 5:30 AM just outside our hotel in Istanbul, small cabins on the cruise ship, even smaller cabins on the overnight ferry, food that we didn't know or didn't like, wine tasting at the carpet factory (not a favourite with most of our group) crowds and rude people always cutting in, and hole in the floor toilets
The funniest things that happened: the vendors in the Spice Market looking for Shelley and the ice cream man in Kusadasi.
And things we may never forget: Loghan and Doug as models, seeing all the Georges and the lambs they were roasting for their party, Carol giving us Greek names, lighting candles and the fireworks on Patmos for Easter and people fainting at the Vatican.
We finally boarded the airplane and about 8 hours later we landed in Calgary and were greeted by friends and family. We had a amazing trip with a fabulous group of people. Everyone was always polite, punctual and enthusiastic, even when they were not feeling well or running short of sleep! Thanks for helping us make such wonderful memories in Turkey, Greece and Italy!!