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Scroll Through for Street-scapes of the whole Voyage – it was AMAZING!

Our sincere thanks to Azamara Club Cruises for a truly Amazing Seminar at Sea – for all those who served us with their highest effort

and for the opportunity to grow to serve those who depend on us as travel planners!  

~Rob and Lynn~

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Follow us through the Middle East – by checking back here daily!  Give us your thoughts – we’ll share our Adventure!

I was driving down Mulford Road the other day in Rockford Illinois, where I live, and I was thinking about how “ordinary” it looks…..

Then my mind wandered as it does into the future and I began thinking about our international trip.  In just a few days we will travel to Athens Greece, then to Israel, Cyprus and Turkey.  I can imagine that when I get there the view while driving or walking down the street will be strikingly different from Mulford Road.  Don’t you think??  So I decided that I will keep track…  I will post a new photo that I will take, in each of the places we go.  In attempt to share the Architecture (our biggest reason “WHY?” we LOVE it) and a bit of my crazy thinking!  I will try to also write a paragraph about each location… but please understand I will be posting from my phone, so cut me some slack for a lack of perfection this time!!

I think you will enjoy!  Take the Travel Like an Architect™ Challenge and take a minute every day or so to click through to this post from the email that got you here!  View a Streetscape Picture from each destination and comment below!

Scroll down in the post to find new street-scape views!

Let us know if you think any of the places you see ever become “ORDINARY”?  

(Like when you live there every day……)

Do you think that the people who LIVE there think it looks “ordinary”?

(Do you know anyone who lives there? What is it like from their perspective?  Does it remind you of some place you have been?)

Do you think that you live in Ordinary Town, USA or do our cities still have “unique personalities”?

(How do you feel about your personal opinion?)

Comment Below with what comes to mind!

Just a little thought provoking activity for your enjoyment!

Day 1

Athens Greece

We left Chicago in the late afternoon on Saturday – Arrived in Athens in the late morning on Sunday.

Needless to say we are really tired and going to bed early!  

Cool Stuff tomorrow – don’t miss it!

Day 2

The Acropolis – Athens Greece

Today we visited THE most copied Architecture in the world….  Today as creative professionals we copyright protect our work.  When it is intellectual property, and then once it is put on paper it is OUR design.  It must be unique and it is illegal to copy it.  But the Acropolis has been Copied and Copied and Copied again.  Do you recognize it?

The area including the Propylaia (main entrance), the Erechtheion, the Temple of Athena Nike, and of course the Parthenon dates back to 495 – 429 BC.  All is white marble etched by thousands of years of mother nature.  

And of course the Street Scape!

In the Plaka District  (the Historic area surrounding the Acropolis)

We walked MILES today!

Unfortunately I had to abandon this effort after leaving Athens.  A friend had questioned whether I was being overly optimistic about the Wifi that would be available in our destinations and as it turns out the answer to that truthfully is “NO”.  There was almost always Wifi available during a break from walking at a cafe or bar – – you just had to make a purchase and ask for the password.  The main problem that I had, was that after using my mobile device all day for photos and videos, by the time we sat down to check email, reply to email, post to social media, my iphone 6 was DEAD!  

As promised I am posting a street-scape of the day, now.  Sorry for any disappointment – I hope those of you who were interested were able to pick up a few of our posts on Facebook.  We did manage to post there most days.

Day 3 (Embarkation Day – Day 1 of Cruise)

Piraeus Greece

On the pier in Piraeus Greece (the port city of Athens), just after checking in headed for our Stateroom to ditch the carry on bags!

A beautiful panoramic view Sailing away from Piraeus Greece – I think you can see the Acropolis a high point in the distance.

Day 4 (Sea Day – Day 2 of Cruise)

Headed to Ashdod, Israel

Day 2 was a Sea Day – while we sailed to Ashdod Israel.  Our Captain, Magnus Davidson – had only been the captain of the ship for three weeks.  He is young and good looking and took very good care of us during our 12 Night voyage.  He even had to drop off someone for medical care at an unplanned destination and stop to call the Greek & Turkish Coast Guards for a boat load of Syrian refugees who had lost power in the engine of their inflatable boat headed for Greece.  All without falling behind schedule.  

Bravo and Congratulations to Captain Davidson for a job well done.

Day 5 (Jerusalem Region – Day 3 of Cruise)

The Road to Jericho

Our first day in the Jerusalem area was spent with our private Guide Sam in the surrounding region including Jericho and the Dead Sea.  My street-scape of the day pictured here, is where we stopped for a view of Wadi Qelt gorge, site of the Monastery of St George.

We had a great day with Sam!  If you are interested in finding a Freelance Tour Guide his contact information is:

Name – Sam Eli Salem

Email –

Phone – +972-544-828207

He speaks perfect English and several other languages fluently!

Day 6 (Day 4 of Cruise)

The Old City of Jerusalem

Our second day in Jerusalem we set out on foot – walking from the hotel that Sam has suggested, St. Andrews – The Scots Guesthouse in near proximity to the Old City of Jerusalem.  There had been a shooting in the old city the previous day, which prevented us from accessing the Temple Mount and the Dome of the Rock on this visit, but we refuse to live our lives in fear! We walked ALL day…. I made a conscious effort all day to smile at anyone I could make eye contact with to see if they would smile back.  I can count on one hand the quantity of smiling faces I encountered….  leading me to conclude that the turmoil here is so thick that almost no one is happy.

Day 7 (Day 5 of Cruise)


Another City in Israel with yet another religious headquarters – this one beautiful, clean and inspiring – At its heart stands the golden-domed Shrine of the Báb, which is the resting place of the Prophet-Herald of the Bahá’í Faith….  People here were from all walks of life and many were Jewish families visiting during  their festival of Sukkot.  People of all religious faiths are welcomed here – in striking comparison to the Old City of Jerusalem that is segregated by faith.

Day 8 (Day 6 of Cruise)

The Island of Cyprus (a country)

An Ancient Street-scape or two on this day pictured above is the Temple of Apollo near Kourion Cyprus Europe, below a walk through the town of Limassol.  Watch for more details and fascinating ancient mosaics in a post of it’s own about this day!

Day 9 (Day 7 of Cruise)

Kas (Turquoise Coast) Turkey

On this day we arrived to this beautiful place…  Rob being the genius that he is had arranged for a boat tour that included a scenic drive, authentic lunch, a view of an underwater city, swimming at several places and even a climb up to a medieval castle!  It was a great day and Rob is an Awesome Travel Planner!

Day 10 (Day 8 of Cruise)

Rhodes Greece

Just a few steps on the board walk and we found ourselves inside the Old City of Rhodes Greece!  We could have spent days in there….. and Rob had three cards of sights to see in addition to it! We are adding Rhodes to our list of places to return to some day – meanwhile we will be sharing some great photos – so don’t miss it!

Day 11 (Day 9 of Cruise)

Patmos Greece

The streets of Chora the village atop the mountain overlooking Patmos Greece really look like this.  The village itself wraps around a Greek Orthodox Monastery founded in 1088 now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Yes – they ride scooters on these narrow pathways, and even drive small cars…  We too rented a scooter that day for a GRAND Adventure!

This is why a quick reference to the UNESCO World Heritage Directory before you travel is a must!  You wouldn’t want to miss something like this – just think we could have gone to the beach instead….. imagine how disappointing it would have been to find out we missed this!

Travel Like an Architect™ do your research before you GO!

Day 12 (Day 10 of Cruise)

Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey

This street-scape of the Marble Road – the road through Ephesus, and ancient Greek city now part of Turkey.  The street is lined by the ruins from two earthquakes one in the second century and another in the 10th or 11th century.   You can see the Library of Celsus who’s facade was re-assembled by archaeologists in the 1970’s.  The city was famed for the Temple of Artemis (completed around 550 BC), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.  

We were awed by the size of it – walking through for several hours!

Day 13 (Day 11 of Cruise)

Dikili, Turkey

We decided to take it easy this day in Dikili – so found a taxi to take us out to a Turkish Bath.  This pic was shot somewhere along the bumpy road.  For a while we wondered if we were headed to the place we requested..  But then we arrived to a very humble hot spring bath complex out in the middle of nowhere..  I guess that’s where the spring is.  We just relaxed in a hot spring mineral bath for a while…. while our driver Mustafa waited.  People really do take good care of you if you let them.

Day 14 (Day 12 of Cruise)

Istanbul, Turkey

We had arrived at the last destination on our 14 day Journey. The ship was navigating the harbor piloting up to the dock.  A new friend took this pic for us.  In under an hour we were on the streets of Istanbul!  We did the “MUST DO Iconic Landmarks” Hagia Sophia (Ayah Sophia, in Turkish), the Blue Mosque, the Cisterns, then headed for the Turkish Grand Baazar!  We got around very easily using public transportation – the hardest part was buying a token.  The price of a tram token was only 4 Turkish Lira, and we tried using a paper 5TL in a machine that refused it because it was tattered.  Our advice is to use (4) 1TL Coins!

Thank you for your interest – we hope you enjoyed the photos of typical street-scapes of the Architecture all along our Journey.  It has been our intent to portray how Architecture is integral to our society where ever we are.  Many times people say to us that they are jealous.  It breaks my heart to hear that when our true intent is to inspire.  We all need time away – but more importantly we need time together.  Time to explore to let our hearts guide us, time to ignore the news and the clock….  Time to open our minds to experience other lands with people who have different priorities, customs and surroundings, to experience their cultures, their food, to share their air, their life force for the purpose of deeper understanding and tolerance so that we can live together in peace….  Our voyage through the Holy Land and the Middle East was enlightening – and we are looking forward to sharing stories in the coming days…  Stay tuned!

Day 15 (Day 13 of Cruise)

Istanbul, Turkey

We flew home from Istanbul on day 15.  We would have preferred to sail home but our time to be away was up – at least for now…..  

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Rob and Lynn Belles are seasoned travelers and Cruises Inc. Travel Agents

Gathering up the best experiences on Earth to share with you

for the purpose of inspiring you to go into the world with peace and kindness and learn all about the rest of humanity………..

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