I'll never forget the moment. We're on our very last day in Bali. Desperately trying to soak up every last second of the gorgeous Alila Villas Uluwatu when we started a quest. Our mission, to figure out our trip for 2014. We landed on an incredible 11-night Celebrity Cruise sailing from Istanbul to Rome with stops in Egypt and Israel. When we got home from our China/Bali trip we booked the cruise not too long after.
However shortly after booking the cruise, all cruise lines that we know of, cancelled all Egypt ports indefinitely. Luckily we'd been to Egypt so we braved that storm and were still pumped for the cruise. However in the past couple of weeks there has been a lot of unrest in Israel and several cruise lines have cancelled Israel as a port of call. In fact one German Cruise line was strafed by an Israeli missile on their way to the very cruise port we were planning on visiting.
So we had a decision to make. Should we chance it. Should we go on a cruise that other then Israel provides us a lot of repeat stops? After a lot of research and a lot of praying we came to the very hard decision to go ahead and cancel our cruise.
That decision was reached Sunday evening. Then we've had the long running discussions about what to do. Our flights were booked. We knew we had flights to start in Istanbul and end in Paris. We also had hotel reservations in Istanbul, Rome, and Paris. So really we had around 10 days in the middle of our trip to account for. It's both a terrifying and an exhilarating experience. What a great problem to have, ten days in Europe that we needed to decide what to do with.
So here's the new plan. We're going to keep Istanbul as the start of the trip and add an extra night there so we have enough time to see everything. Then we're taking a ridiculously short flight from Istanbul to the gorgeous Greek Island, Santorini. When we went on the cruise in 2012 with my parents the one stop we said we'd love to stay at was Santorini. Well that's now happening. We're staying a total of six (yes that's right six) nights in the beautiful city of Oia at a cliffside resort.
From there we will be flying to Athens to stay a night there to then catch a flight to Rome the following day. In Rome we're going to stay for five nights and then finish off the trip with four nights in Paris. A total of 3 weeks of pure European bliss.
As I write this post everything is now booked. It's pretty incredible to make such a huge shift only a couple of months before we leave, but we both know it was absolutely for the best. We get to experience Istanbul for the first time, then relax on one of the most beautiful islands in the world, follow that up with the city with by far the best food in the world, and end our trip with the most romantic city in the world. LIFE IS GOOD.