Incredible, is about the only word I can think of that even begins to convey just how awesome the experience was to me. Primarily since I have had a fondness for cameras and photography since I was 11 years old, it made this trip so very rewarding. I captured close to 4000 images and during the course of the adventure I posted about 250 of them on www.thephotographyexperience.com web site.
So many of my FaceBook peeps were along on the journey living it vicariously through my lens and vision of the lands I visited. I really didn’t want to come home when the last port of call, Athens, Greece came about. Luckily I had the whole day and overnight in Athens at the King George Palace hotel to de-brief and get my mind to accept the fact that I had to go back home to America. But that wasnt quite so easy since I could see the Acropolis from my hotel and of course I ventured on a walkabout and found myself strolling the grounds of the ever-famous structures there.
From the time I got into a cab the next morning in Athens, it would be some 30 hours before I pulled into the driveway of my house in Gatlinburg. This included a hour or so at Athens airport, a 10 hour flight to Philadelphia, then a 3 hour layover before flying an hour and a half to Raleigh, North Carolina where my car was stashed in a long term parking lot. But the drive home also required a 4 hour nap at a rest stop because after going back in time 7 hours to the time zone of home, I was wiped out. But eventually made it to Tennessee where my kitties were eagerly waiting… not for me, but to fill up their food bowl for breakfast.
When asked “what was my favorite stop?” of course it was Santorini, Greece, but it’s hard to really pinpoint one specific day. Especially in the course of 9 of those days I had climbed to the top of the Leaning tower of Pisa and walked the grounds of the Acropolis. And that doesnt make 5 days in the French Riviera any less exciting since the Gran Prix of Monaco and the Cannes Film Festival were happening at that time. And all those colorful Italian ports like Portofino… Oh My Gosh, just absolutely mind blowing beautiful.
Yet when i though it couldn’t get any better, there was the 17 mile journey into the Fiord thats winds up in Kotor, Montenegro. Apparently one city that the serbians (or whomever bombed most of Yugoslavia) seemed to bypass Kotor. And to top it off, we had a return visit the following week into Kotor at sunset and stayed overnight to sail out at sunrise. I had very enjoyable evening in Kotor having drinks with some of the staff and crew of the Windstar. Many of whom have become like family to me after living with them for a month and getting to know them and hang out with them.
Of course if you were following me all last month then you already know how I feel about our American Gluttoneous Ways from a blog previously I wrote during the adventure. I never really even once felt unsafe in any of the cities, even in athens where the news media has made it out to be unstable and chaotic. Actually the people of Greece told me to go back and make sure i let people know that the country was not as out of control as the media portrays it to be.
Yesterday after getting home I slept in th afternoon just as it would have been evening to me normally, and then made myself sleep overnight as well to wake up at 6:30 this morning hoping I had quickly forced myself back into this time zone and schedule. I have worked the gallery today and actually havent felt sleepy or tired, so it might just be that I have successfully de-jetlagged myself in a day.
Now to get down to printing and mounting some of the new works I have created and get them in the gallery here. I am so very pleased with my latest photography experience and feel it is some of my best work ever. Of course over the next few weeks I will add a few more images here and there to thephotographyexperience web site.
There is just so much visual that I took in, so much emotion I expelled on the daily walks, parties with other passengers, and the infamous times I went to the crew bar to party with the crew. I recommend you contact me and we have a milkshake or something to talk about the journey and to see the works for yourself. I can’t even begin to decompress so much that I took in, here in this brief amount of space for a blog. I would enjoy reliving every moment of that month by telling you pieces of it.