It has been about 10 months since we were sailing in the Med. with friends and family. Seriously, time goes way too quickly!
We have been busy with work and life. James and I bought a small Airstream and tried out camping this past summer. We want to explore more with our dogs. You can follow those adventures on Our Adventure Tails site.
Back to the point of this post. Ever since I saw the ms Koningsdam docked in Civitivecchia, I knew I would do a post just dedicated to her. Why has it taken me so long? Well, there are a couple reasons. First, by doing this final blog post, I am essentially wrapping up our fabulous trip. Actually, that's not true, I haven't finished my trip journal/scrapbook. The second reason I haven't done the post is because of other reviews. I told myself that I wouldn't read other reviews about the ship because it honestly doesn't matter what others think of it. But, I read reviews. Many were not very positive. All the more reason I should do this post. Right?!?
So, here it is. My thoughts on the ms Koningsdam. This has the potential to be a very long post - with a lot of photos.
We were on the first "paid passenger" sailing - there was a short shake down cruise with travel agents etc. to bring the ship from the shipyard around Venice to Rome.
Embarkation was fast and easy. When we came out of the doors from the cruise port and were greeted by the ms Koningsdam, I must admit it was kind of emotional. We had booked this cruise the day that bookings were open to the public, we watched the progress through videos and blog posts and now finally the ship was built and ready for us. First thoughts - she's big, beautiful and really clean!
We entered on A Deck and it was kind of congested because everyone was trying to get on an elevator. It really had that new paint smell. We finally got on an elevator and thought we would head up to deck 11 (forward) to see our suite. The elevator was mid-ship so we had to get off on deck 10 and walked through the Lido pool area to get to our room. Our first sighting of the big movie screen and New York Deli. Wow!!
We made it to our stateroom and excitedly opened the door. With the new system you just tap the card on the card reader. Also new - you have to leave your card in the slot by the door to turn on the lights.
The furnishings in our cabin are beautiful! It is a similar layout to other balcony cabins we have stayed in on other ships. The TV is mounted on the wall across from the bed. We like this as it doesn't take up counter space. If we watch TV while cruising it is usually in the morning or before bed. The finishing are light and airy - obviously finishing are subjective and I really like it. There was enough closet and drawer space for us.
The bathroom was the highlight! The shower especially was beautiful and so spacious. The position/angle of the toilet is a little odd but it didn't bother us. From other posts I've read, it does bother some people. There was good storage for us - similar to what we've had on other ships.
As is tradition, once we checked out our cabin and dropped off our carry-on, we head to the Lido for the embarkation day mayhem. The ship has a music theme and that is evident in many aspects of the ship's decor.
Restaurants and Food
The Koningsdam has some new dining options as well as some favorites.
The Dutch Cafe was my favorite new addition. They serve coffee and and drinks (for a price) and also some Dutch food at no cost. As soon as I discovered the poffertjes, I was sold. And then there were the almond cookies...and grilled ham and cheese sandwich. So good! And the decor is really cute - hits of orange among the blue and white Delft.
We didn't try Sel de Mer nor dinner at the Culinary Arts Centre. In hindsight I wish we would have. We also did not go to the Pinnacle Grill. We've been on other ships and assume it would be similar. We ate most of our dinners in the main dining room. We had an early seating table booked for all of us.
We did try Canaletto (once) and Tamarind (three times). The Tamarind menu has changed a bit but I still love it! The Tamarind restaurant is nice but I do prefer the Eurodam Tamarind for the views. The staff are amazing and gracious as always. In fact we recognized some from the Eurodam.
Canaletto is part of the Lido still but it has more of its own decor. It is really nice and we had a great meal with good service.
I love the Dive In - no matter what ship we sail. The Cannonball burger, Dive-In Dog and Fries (with Dive In sauce) are the best!
Gelato is the new frozen treat area by the mid ship Lido pool. There is a fee (I think it was $2.50 - don't quote me) for the gelato and it is really good. I thought it was worth the treat a couple times during the cruise. There is still free ice cream in the Lido.
We only had pizza from New York Deli a couple times. It was ok, but there are many great eating options so it wasn't at the top of our list.
The Lido had good variety. I really liked the salad bar area but sadly didn't eat as many salads as I likely should have. I've read some complaints about the chairs - yes they are heavy. Staff will help you if needed. And the salad bowls - yes they are big. I like them.
Overall I have no real complaints about the food or the restaurants we tried. The Lido area was a bit confusing because you weren't sure where to line up and people would just walk up and be served even when there were others standing around waiting. This was a bit annoying. I did see some of the officers watching the flow of people and service so I assume they were assessing it to put some sort of system in place.
Our dining room wait staff and wine stewart were excellent. We had slow service a couple nights but this is understandable given it is a brand new ship and all the staff were trying to figure out the best flow. The staff take your order on tablet devices.
A lot of the art on the ship follows the music theme. There are some really amazing pieces. We made sure that we went up and down every staircase so we could see it all. Some of it is absolutely amazing when you take a look up close. If you are cruising on the Koningsdam, take time to study the art. James' blog post includes a lot of photos of the art. You can check it out here.
LIFE ON THE SHIP
I love exploring ships when we sail so we tried to check out all the nooks & crannies.
We used the HAL ship app which you can access at no cost on board. That allowed us to have the ship schedule and any dining reservations we made with us on our phones. I really like the concept of this but it could use some more features. Being able to text someone on the ship would be handy.
We did buy some internet time. I don't remember the price but it's never as inexpensive as you think it should be! It was faster than other ships and it was very easy to connect from our stateroom. We only use the ship internet when necessary. We have roaming packages on our phones for when we are in port.
Our group enjoyed getting together for Happy Hour everyday in the Crow's Nest or in Billboard on Board. Drinks are 2 for the price of 1 plus $1. Happy Hour spaces get busy. You can order your drinks and take them anywhere on the ship to sit.
We enjoyed the entertainment. The World Stage is really cool. The use of screens and images are spectacular. Different people preferred different venues for entertainment and music. Some liked BB Kings, some liked the duelling pianos, some enjoyed spending time in the casino. We all thought The Lincoln Centre Stage was outstanding. None of us tried Blend or the Scotch/Whiskey tasting.
The port talks were ok. We had most of our excursions booked privately so a lot of the information wasn't relevant to us.
We purchased the Thermal Suite package and thoroughly enjoyed it. We tried to get there every day. The spa is beautiful and the gym is well equipped. To be honest though, I didn't use the gym. I looked at it. I prefer to walk the promenade deck for exercise. And yes, the promenade deck is obstructed by life boats. I honestly do prefer the promenade on other ships but it's definitely not a deal breaker. You can still get out and walk the deck, it is just narrower and the view is obstructed in some areas. There is a running track off deck 11 which is good. We actually spent quite a bit of time on Deck 11 outside because there was easy access from our stateroom. There is a bar up there and lots of places to lounge in the sun.
The shops were good. We really don't buy a lot on the ship but it's always fun to look. When they hosted sales related to the ports we were in (for example there was a Turkish Bazaar), the area got really congested. My advice, save your money and skip the sales. Or shop for items in port where they are likely cheaper.
I went to one cooking demonstration. The Culinary Arts Centre is really modern. There were a lot of people in the demo but all the live TV screens make it easy to see what's going on. We received some tasters after the session. One member of our group did a paid cooking class and she enjoyed it. Wine is provided when you take a paid class.
We watched a couple movies in the evenings at the Lido pool. It was a lot of fun. Blankets and snacks are provided. The only problem is that after a long day of touring sometimes it's hard to keep your eyes open for the entire movie!
The Captain, Hotel Manager, Cruise Director, front desk staff and all the crew we we encountered were excellent. I'm sure they were constantly dealing with little challenges of the inaugural sailing but it never showed. Maintenance staff were quick to deal with any issues.
We went in with an open mind knowing that this was the inaugural cruise. Were things perfect? No. Is life perfect? No. Did we have an amazing cruise? Absolutely! Would we sail on the ms Koningsdam again? Yes! And we are this April. We are booked for the 13 day Transatlantic so we can spend more time exploring the ship. It will be interesting to see the differences a year makes.
I have been working on a review of the ms Koningsdam for more than a month and I just can't seem to finish it. Part of the reason is that searching for photos on my computer is a pain in the butt. However, yesterday I decided to look through photos from 2016 and put them in a video. I had the day off work with nothing else really pressing to do. Except clean the house. That doesn't count.
We had a fabulous year of travels abroad and closer to home. We spent a lot of time with family this year and there were many photos to poke through. James and I started another site about our new venture in to the world of Airstreaming (is that a verb?) with our two dogs. The site is Our Adventure Tails.
Anyhow, back to the video about our year. The link is below if you are interested. It is long and probably boring to most people (unless you are related to us) but it was our year. Truthfully I had to cut a lot of photos and videos that I wanted to include from our April trip to the Med. Like marble rock sliding down the mountain at the Carrara Quarry. See what I'm sayin'?
My resolution for 2017 - I promise to get a review of Holland America's ms Koningsdam up on this blog. And exercise more. Maybe eat less sugar. Well, for sure I'll get the review up.
All the best of the season and cheers to many adventures in 2017!
It's true. Driving five hours south and west brings us to Canmore and the Canadian Rockies where we spend fun times with Alana, Erin and the muchkins (who are growing up way too quickly). Driving five hours east brings us to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan where many of my relatives live and where we spent the past weekend.
My 92 year old grandma died on April 24 while we were on the cruise. Actually we found out when we were in Crete. Fortunately the family was able to postpone the funeral until we all returned home from Europe. This past weekend we celebrated my grandma's life in Saskatoon.
The drive to Saskatoon is pretty flat and easy. The air was smoky/hazy in areas from the fires still burning in Fort McMurray. It seems as soon as you cross the Alberta/Saskatchewan border the sky changes. The clouds in Saskatchewan are white and fluffy - the sky is really beautiful. It's not just me who thinks this way, on their license plate it says "Land of living Skies". I especially love driving to Saskatchewan later in the summer when the canola is in full bloom - bright yellow fields, deep blue sky and fluffy white clouds. Stunning.
Although we went to Saskatchewan for a funeral we really had a great weekend!
We traveled to my mom's home town, Humboldt, on Saturday for the funeral. Humboldt is a small community that holds many special memories for me. We had what I referred to as a full meal deal funeral. We had a full mass, grave site service, and a lunch with eulogy at the local Legion. Of course there was funeral egg salad sandwiches. I was honoured to speak on behalf of all the grand children (12 of us) and nine great grandchildren to share our memories of our grandma. She was a really special woman and I believe she left us with many lessons which have become her legacy.
It was really great to spend time with family. I come from good peeps! Over the weekend we played with puppies that my cousin is fostering, some of the crew shot tin cans with shotguns on the acreage, we had a big family dinner and then brunch the next morning, we rode horses and we even looked at Airstream trailers. My grandma would have loved every minute of this weekend.
We are back on our hunt for an Airstream. Life passes too quickly and we would like to spend the weekends exploring our beautiful country. Hopefully we can find the right trailer soon and spend time with it this summer. We'll be back in Saskatchewan in July for my cousin's wedding.
So, while I love flying and cruising to distant lands sometimes the best trips are the ones where we hop in the car, drive a few hours and make memories with family.
April 29, 2016
The night before we had decided that we would take a cab to Centraal Station and then catch the train to Delft. Delft is really charming with interesting history especially related to the Dutch monarchy. Not to mention the Delft blue pottery and it's the home town of the Dutch Golden Age painter, Johannes Vermeer. It sounded like the perfect way to end our month long holiday.
Except the weather changed our plans. Through the night I could hear the solid pounding of rain on the skylight in the bathroom. Unfortunately when we all met for breakfast it was still pouring with little chance for the weather to change. Our bone chilling experience to Keukenof was fresh in our minds so the trip to Delft was off. We brought out our ipads and started formulating a plan B.
We ventured out with our raincoats, umbrellas and more layers of clothing than the day before. We decided to do the hop on hop off canal boat because it was covered and warm. The canals in Amsterdam are interesting and the architecture or size of homes varies in the different canals. Thankfully we were protected inside the boat when it started to hail. Yikes! We rode the boat for an entire loop and decided to get off around the Anne Frank House. It had stopped raining and hailing - whew! Most of us have been to the Anne Frank House so we had no intention of visiting. I am always amazed at the length of the line to get in. If you have never visited, I highly recommend a visit but you should purchase your tickets in advance.
We decided to stop and have something warm to drink and a bite to eat. By the time we were finished, the rain stopped. It wasn't warm but at least we weren't getting wet! We walked to Dam square and there was a fair going on complete with haunted house, ferris wheel and Drop of Doom. Instead of mini doughnuts there were pofferjtes so we had to indulge (again). We walked through De Bijenkorf, the large luxury department store off Dam square. We just looked, no shopping - we have no room in our suitcases! We wandered over to Centraal Station and through the red light district before getting back on our Hop On Hop Off Canal boat for more touring. I should mention that most of us are sick with a cold and our energy is pretty low and we are tired out from our vacation. We had tickets to the Van Gogh museum for 5pm. It was really busy and hard to get a good look at most of the paintings. I've been to the museum before so I was searching for my favorite piece - Bedroom in Arles - but it is on loan to another museum. Drat!
We decided to get some salads at the grocery store and eat them in our room (the big room) back at the hotel. After dinner James and I went for a walk in Vondelpark before calling it a night. If the weather would have cooperated it would have been great to rent bikes to ride through the park. Next time...
Amsterdam -April 28, 2016
Tulips are my favourite flower so when I learned about Keukenhof Gardens in the Netherlands many years ago I knew some day I had to visit. Keukenhof is 32 hectares of spring flowers - primarily tulips - and it is only open from the end of March until mid May. 7 million bulbs and 800 varieties of tulips. Surely I must be in heaven - except I envisioned heaven a little warmer.
We bought our tickets online which included bus transportation and entrance to the garden for €29. We caught the bus from Museumplein right by our hotel and took it to the airport. From there we had to stand in a long line by a large tulip to get the bus to Keukenhof. It took us a couple hours from the time we left the hotel.
The gardens are a spring time utopia. Everywhere you look is an explosion of flowers in various colours and heights. It is stunning! The theme of the garden this year is The Golden Age - the time when the Netherlands were successfully trading worldwide. There were indoor exhibits celebrating the theme and one indoor exhibit was all orchids. Many of them were combined with fashion pieces. Amazing! The garden is so beautiful and well done. Even though there were a lot of people, it's so big it doesn't feel crowded - except when you are in the gift store. If you love tulips, I highly recommend a visit!
The weather gods were not on our side today. It was really chilly and rained on and off. Mom, Penny and I bought matching gloves because our hands were so cold. We found some hot drinks and almond cookies to help keep warm...and then a waffle with whipped cream.
On our way home we stopped at a grocery store by our hotel. I hate grocery shopping at home but I love looking at grocery stores in other countries. We got some snacks and made our own happy hour in our large hotel room.
The rain stopped so we went out walking for a bit in the evening and called it a day. About half of us (me included) are fighting a cold.
We had breakfast in the dining room and said our goodbyes to everyone before disembarking the beautiful Koningsdam. I guess by now there are new people in stateroom 11030. I hope they enjoy it as much as we did. Especially the shower - I wish I could take it home with me! It is always sad to swipe my keycard one final time before leaving the ship. It was a fantastic cruise - interesting ports, wonderful staff and of course we sailed with a great group of people.
The crew at the Dutch cafe this morning were all wearing orange crowns for King's Day. They warned us about the party that will be going on in Amsterdam.
Rome Cabs was waiting as we disembarked to take us to the airport. We were early for the flight so we looked around a bit. Unfortunately for my wallet I spotted a Fabriano shop. I love Fabriano paper/stationery supplies and it is so much cheaper here than at home. I showed restraint though and only bought one notebook. Lime green of course to go with my trip photo challenge. And a fountain pen. And some cartridges. That's all.
Our hotel (Parkview Hotel) in Amsterdam is close to Musemplein and overlooks Vondelpark. It's really nice and out of the craziness of King's Day. We ventured out to check out the celebrations. It was 6 pm by the time we got settled in the hotel so many of the family activities and concerts were over. But, we saw a lot of drunk young people in the streets and on boats in the canals. Looks fun if you are 20! There are street food vendors set up and we indulged in some poffertjes and fries before we found a place to eat.
It is quite chilly so we needed some hot beverages to warm up. We got used to the warm sun in the Mediterranean. After dinner James and I walked around Vondelpark. It's beautiful and huge! Apparently the same designer as Keukenhof Garden which we are visiting tomorrow. Lots of birds, flowers and dogs out for walks. We ventured in to the surrounding neighbourhoods. The buildings are stunning - wonderful architecture and very posh looking.
I love Amsterdam - it's so easy to explore by foot! And the bikes...
April 26, 2016
I have been looking forward to exploring the Amalfi coast for a long time and it did not disappoint. In fact I think I'll buy a villa there when I win the lottery.
We got in to Naples around 8 am and met our guide Patty (with the Italian/Scottish accent) from Mondo Guide.
The port of Naples is crazy - very busy and lots of traffic. It took us about 30 minutes just to get out of the port. From there we headed south up and around the Bay of Naples. The views are breathtaking and the roads are very narrow. Patty told us they weren't made for buses and cars and there isn't a vehicle in the area without a bump, dent or scratch - I believe her! You definitely want to have a driver familiar with coast when you are driving through here. Although I did see a driver in Naples two hand texting while driving. That leaves no hands (or eyes) for driving.
The Amalfi Coast is a protected UNESCO site which means modern structures can't be built. Only one of the 13 municipalities isn't protected under UNESCO. I can't remember the name of it but it suffered a flood and had to be rebuilt so it is more modern and resort looking. The Amalfi Coast is 40 km long, however to drive it from beginning to end takes 2.5 hours because of the hairpin turns, narrow roads and steep cliffs that plunge to the sea. I'm not sure what happens when there is an accident - everything must get very backed up.
We stopped in Positano, Amalfi and Ravello. Positano seemed like the largest of the three but we didn't have much time to explore and it was very busy. They have a lot of beautiful clothes made locally out of linen. We tried to touch the water at the beach but a wave caught us so we actually dipped our toes in - through our shoes. We also visited the church and saw the black faced Madonna and the native scene. As you drive through the coast there are lots of tunnels - one was eight minutes long - and every so often there are miniature villages with nativity scenes built in to the rock face. I'm not sure how anyone safely built them on the side of the road!
As we drove toward Amalfi we saw some donkeys that are still used to bring supplies up the side of the cliffs. I guess donkeys are the only animal that will do stairs. As we arrived in Amalfi it started clouding over but it didn't rain. My umbrella was in my bag so I knew we would be safe. When we arrived Patty showed us a bit of the town including the turtles before setting us loose. Amalfi has a beautiful church in the square with 62 stairs to the entrance. We didn't go in - not because of the stairs, James and I have been climbing many stairs to get to our stateroom on the ship - but we had limited time and we've seen a lot of churches already. We are kind of churched and museumed out. I managed to have some delicious Margherita pizza and James had calamari in a paper cone. I also found a stationery store with beautiful paper before we had to meet the group.
We drove up to the top of the mountain to visit the peaceful town of Ravello. On the drive we passed the area where there is the cliff diving competition Fiordo di Furore. Ravello is known as the music city - they have a large concert every year and the area around here is so lush. I am really amazed that people decided to climb up cliffs and build homes and communities. I'm glad they did, the Amalfi Coast is absolutely stunning. I would love to come back and spend a lot more time in the area.
We had our last dinner in the dining room and met for one last happy hour in the Crows nest this evening. Then we had the sad chore of packing. Its been a wonderful cruise and the ms Koningsdam has been our home for 19 days. I hate to leave the ship and go back to the real world where I have to work, clean and cook for myself. And there Will be no towel animals on my bed. Although I do miss the two little mutts that take up residence on our bed at home. I'll bring them with me to live in the villa on the Amalfi Coast.
April 24, 2016
Crete is the largest Greek island and has a population of 600,000 people. However the olive trees (45 million) and the sheep (1 million) far out number the human population. Crete is mountainous and we could see a bit of snow on Mount Ida.
Everywhere we go has the best olive oil and the oldest ruins. Today was no exception. Crete has the oldest ruins and artifacts that we have seen so far. I didn't try the olive oil so I can't comment on it. I'm sure it's good.
We drove to Knossos which is an ancient palace built as a labyrinth 4000 years ago. The palace was built to keep the Minotaur (half man, half bull) hidden. There is a complicated intertwining of reality and Greek mythology, that I didn't quite grasp but I do know the the Minoans were an ancient civilization. Formed by King Minos, the son of Zeus and Europa. It is pretty amazing to see the architecture and engineering and how advanced they were. The palace had running water with clay pipes. There were frescoes on the walls and floors, mosaics and large clay pots. The small thrones seem to indicate female rulers - a matriarchal society. The next civilization, the Mycenaeans, changed that.
After touring the ruins we went to Heraklion to see the relics in the Archeological museum. The artifacts are incredible - so much detail and they are 4000 years old. We saw exquisite jewelry, games, frescoes, mosaics, jars, double axes, bulls and sarcophagus.
We had some free time after the museum to look around. It was pretty busy in the shopping area because next weekend is the orthodox Easter. It seems odd to see Easter bunny decorations out.
We had to be back on the ship quite early so we enjoyed this sunshine and watched sail away. We were blessed with another sunny day. Later in the evening though the wind picked up and the water is no longer as calm as it has been.
On a sad note, we received the news that my grandma passed away early this morning. She was an amazing, strong woman with a beautiful spirit. I have so many fond memories of her and the times we spent together over the past 45 years. She was our matriarch and all of us will miss her. I know she will be watching over us.
Rhodes, Greece April 23, 2016
Yesterday (April 22) we had another fabulous sunny day at sea to celebrate James birthday. Happy birthday also to my sister, Alana, and uncle Daryl!
I forgot to mention in the previous post that we learned if Holland America decided not to take us to Turkey we would have called on Cairo and Israel. Interesting choices. I'm glad we stopped in Turkey - I really enjoyed Kusadasi/Ephesus and Istanbul.
We had a great day in Rhodes. We did a walking tour of the port area, the old city walls including the moat and the palace. The ship docks very close to the old town so you can easily get to the old town. Again, lots of history that goes back to 408 BC. Our tour was ok but this is definitely a port to do on your own. No need for a guide unless you are really interested the Knights of St. John and super fortified city walls. The guide we had was very nice and funny - just too much information.
The old city is filled with shops in spectacular old buildings. Before heading back to the ship the team had large beer out of glass boots. Overpriced but fun!
We had a jam packed day touring around the fascinating sites of Istanbul. Istanbul is definitely a city that warrants a lot longer visit!
We met our guide Arzu first thing this morning and took the tram to explore. There was only the 12 of us on the tour And it was a walking tour which is the perfect way to explore this piece of Istanbul. Istanbul is a huge sprawling city that spans two continents with at least 18 million people. There are probably more that aren't registered. Their largest border is with Syria and Turkey has taken in 2.5 million refugees so far and will take more. It is definitely a challenging time for the country.
We visited the Blue Mosque, the hippodrome, Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sofia, and the grand bazar with a stop for lunch. We also discussed the January 16 bombing where it happened by one of the obelisks. Arzu was very close by when it happened guiding another group.
There was barely a line up for the blue mosque and aside from school children, none of the sites we visited were very busy. This was great for us but not so great for the tourist industry. Arzu told us that hotels are operating at 20%. She has a small child so she doesn't mind spending the extra time with him this year but hopes the tourist drought doesn't last long.
The blue mosque is grand and Arzu explained some of the practices of the faith. She relayed stories about her grandfather who prayed five times per day. I especially liked the explanation of the two angels that sit on our shoulders recording all that we do to decide how much time we spend in hell before we are allowed into heaven. There are specific calculations for things like drinking wine, missing prayer or having a bacon sandwich. Arzu is not a practicing Muslim and is concerned with how religious and conservative Turkey is becoming. She does not agree with many of the Muslim teachings related to women. She feels Turkey is becoming a poorer country and she is considering leaving. Her sister lives in Canada.
All of the sites are stunning and the history of the city from Constantinople to Istanbul (in 1453) with the Ottoman rule and then the exhale of the royal family and the beginning of the republic in 1923. And the change from Christianity to Muslim. My favourite site today was the Hagia Sofia. It was built in the sixth century and it's huge! It was an Orthodox Church then mosque with the Ottoman rule and now it's a museum.
Our lunch was really good. Most who tried the Turkish coffee didn't like it. I don't drink coffee but I can say the tea was very good.
There are stray dogs on the street. They are spayed or neutered, vaccinated, tagged and then left to live free. The colour of the tag on their indicates what area they are from. None of them looked underfed.
The grand bazar has4500 shops and about 20,000 people work in the bazaar. We only had 30 minutes so we only saw a snippet.
Oh I also learned why St. Paul was driven out of Ephesus. The goddess Artemis was the mac daddy of the goddesses in Ephesus so lots of little statues were sold depicting her. St. Paul started preaching about one God and that pagan worshipping do many gods and goddesses was wrong. This made the Artemis trinket sellers mad so that's why the scuffle broke out and St. Paul was put in to protection.
That was our day in a nut shell. We are getting ready to set sail back towards Greece. Tomorrow we are at sea and our next stop will be Rhodes.
I'm on our deck frantically typing before we leave and I hear the call to prayer in the background.
I'll post more photos when I have better internet.