Quack Like an Egyptian

Italy, Turkey, Egypt and Cyprus

Along on a honeymoon by Deborah Fite and her husband Sid

August 2005


Now NOT gets to go visit a lot of interesting places.  But it is not often he is asked to come along and join an honeymoon cruise around the Mediterranean.   But that is exactly what happened when J.J.'s co-worker Deborah invited him along on her honeymoon with her and her new husband Sid.

Now sometimes NOT is not the smartest quack in the flock, but he's not stupid. He said SURE!

First stop - Genoa Italy.

Genoa.  Home of Christopher Columbus, trading port of Italy. And home to 'authentic' pizza.

 

To deal with jet lag, NOT quickly went for some local cuisine - wine and pizza. "Wow, just like being at home" he quacked.

 

After dinner it was time for a nap.  The Bristol Palace Hotel was luxurious. Finely appointed luxuries.

 

But NOT found his bed to be a bit hard.

A good hard bed was fine for not, for the next day it was time to get his sea wings going.  It was time to board the Costa Romantica and head down the coast.  Next stop, Pompeii.

Now when NOT thinks of Pompeii, he thinks of Mt. Vesuvius, of ash and people frozen in time. But what he did not know was that it is also home to artisans who carry on a time honored jewelry tradition dating back 4,000 years - cameo making.  No, not the 80's band - word up, but rather the raised jewelry often worn as a brooch (see Wikipedia article).

At the Cellini factory they make cameos by hand using shells.

And apparently like to dabble in a little statuary too.  Just NOT sized.

Then it's off to the ancient city.  Now NOT is beginning to see a pattern here. Every time he goes to Italy, he seems to end up hanging around in some ruined city. "Isn't there anything modern in this country" he wonders. Even NOT knows the story of Pompeii. How the city sat under Mt. Vesuvius and how one day in August of 79, the mountain erupted sending a rain of ash and superheated gas upon the city, burying it and its inhabitants where they stood.  The frozen city stood unknown for almost 1700 years until it was re-discovered in 1743. Because of the ash burial, it is the only city to have not undergone any changes in the subsequent centuries and remains a lab of life in the first century CE.

As a result, the small things in everyday life remain untouched.  The amphitheater where the gladiators fought.

The walls that needed touching up.

And the Whorehouse. Since so many citizens were illiterate, advertisement had to take on a more literal tone. Could this be the origin of the modern directional arrow?

 

"Come down to Octavia's House of Loose Women. Look for us at the sign of the happy phallus"

As one good ruin deserves another, it's off to Egypt and the Great Pyramid of Giza.

Now if NOT felt small and young as he wandered 2000 year old ruins, that was nothing compared to Giza where he found himself hanging around the Great Pyramid, finished in 2580 BCE.  In one boat journey he found himself standing in the presence of the last of the remaining Seven Wonders of the World.

And there were even ones there older and rougher.  They reminded him of the pyramids he saw in Mexico

The funny thing NOT found was how rough they were.  In all the Scooby Doo cartoons the pyramids are smooth like a slide. But the reality is that this smooth covering has disappeared over the centuries exposing the stones just as they were laid down by the aliens - I mean slaves.

Then there was this freaky statue without a nose (damn that Napoleon) who kept asking NOT a riddle.

After seeing how the pharos lived after death, it was time to see how they lived in life.  And since NOT was hungry, it was time to eat. This time on the floating restaurant on the Nile river at Pharaoh's. There NOT could waddle like an Egyptian

But no Coke - Pepsi!

Wait a minute! Put me down. There's no Duck on the menu!

The dancing was good too. NOT even got some private lessons in local dancing.

Up the Nile and back onto the ocean steamed the travelers over to the island of Cyprus.  Gentle wafting Mediterranean breezes, gentle swaying of the olive trees, divided island between Cyprus and occupied Turkish areas.

And sea sponges.

In keeping with the old but beautiful theme that seems so common around the Mediterranean, final stop was Antalya, Turkey, a beautiful seaport founded in the second century BCE by King Atallus II, who in a moment of lack of modesty named the city after himself.

Though it's hard to build sand castles there - instead of sand, the beach is made up of small smooth stones.  Great, he supposes, if you're going to the stoning on Saturday night, but not so good for building.

And  NOT did not want to see what comes out of these eggs.

While they might make a spectacular omelet, it was time to flap home.


Middle East Travel
Africa Travel

Photos courtesy of Deborah Fite

Last Updated December 2005