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Diary of Round the World Cruise on Oriana - page 7 / 7

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Sunday, 13th March – Landed in Mumbai, (Bombay) in India.    (Temp. 88F.)   Took trip to Buddhist Trail in National Park in hills around Mumbai.   2-hour coach ride through slums of Mumbai.    Squalor and stench unbelievable.   Mountain Nature Park and caves carved out of basalt rocks very impressive.   Climbed considerable way over very treacherous paths.   Mumbai total culture shock, abject poverty and dirt everywhere outside city, primitive shantytowns, though some lovely buildings and hotels in inner city area.   Masses of people everywhere, sleeping in city streets and children begging, barefoot in areas which  looked like bombsites but which were peoples dwelling places.    We found the begging and poverty unbelievable in this day and age.    – Children and babies unclothed and dirty – on the other side, riches beyond reason?     

Monday, 14th March – Friday 18th March   At Sea.   Captains Luncheon for Round the World Travellers, lots of drink.  Slept in afternoon, Land on both sides as we entered the Red Sea from Gulf of Aden.

Saturday, 19th March – (Temp. 77F.)   Landed in Sharm-el-Sheikh.    Lovely day, weather perfect.   Took taxi to Naa’ma Bay.   Took trip on Glass Bottom Boat.    Amazing fish and Coral Reef.   Drink in beachside bar, looked around shops and people gazed.   An excellent day had by the four of us, very hot.

Sunday 20th March   - Transit through Suez Canal.   Weather very cold first thing but then hot all day but quite cool by evening.   Lots to see during transit.  Desert on one side and soldiers guarding the whole length of canal on other.   Passing forts and ferries, Ismail Riviera, and President’s Palace.    Only one bridge over but several car ferries, with long queues of lorries and petrol carriers.    Reached Port Said at 6pm.    After a long delay, because of tours to Cairo’s late return, we left eventually 3-1/2 hours late.

Monday 21st March  - (Temp. 81F.)   Last day of hot and sunny weather.

Tuesday, 22nd March – Landed in Piraeus, Greece.   Tour to Athens and visit to Acropolis and Museum and Temples.   Weather dull and cold.   Loads of people.     Must be even busier in summer.   Visited department store and Olympic Stadium and toured around Athens.   After lunch, went out into Piraeus.    Margaret and Geoff took trains and underground to Acropolis.    Found it an excellent way of getting about and very cheap. But very tiring.    An excellent day all round.   Tom O’Connor on in theatre at 8.30pm.   Very entertaining.

Wednesday 23rd – Thursday 24th March    - Cold wind but sunny.   Bridge again.   Went to pictures to see “Taxi – fast action comedy – unbelievable but funny, Ian loved it.    Tom O’Connor had very funny interview performance in morning.   Tom O’Connor was absolutely marvellous and no one wanted to stop his flow of  hilarious stories  (and no smut says Margaret).   Good shows in evenings.   Classical Connections sang songs from shows, and cabaret singer in Pacific Lounge sang Tom Jones/Shirley Bassey numbers - very good.

Friday 25th March – Landed in Barcelona, Spain.    Great but tiring day.   Took City Tourist Bus all around city.   Saw many Gaudi buildings and Royal Palace, now a museum.   Visited Spanish village and Sagrada Familia.   Weather cold and windy, no sun.    Streets filled with visitors as it was Good Friday, also many street living statues and street entertainers.    Must visit Barcelona again.   Plenty of churches for Margaret and Geoff to visit but they were very disappointed as everywhere was closed.

Saturday, 26th – Monday 28th March – last three days at sea.   Ian went to talks and cinema.

Brenda read and played bridge.   Did some packing.   Went in Jacuzzi.    Too cold to sunbathe.

Last formal dinner.    Brenda is quite looking forward to going home.    Singapore was the hottest placed at 91’F.   In 80 days, 50 were hot and sunny and 30 were indifferent or wet and cold.   Margaret dreads going home to washing, gardening, cooking and getting back to normal as we have led a pampered life aboard “Oriana”.

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