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Snapshot: News-Sentinel Readers rate their vacations From the islands to Bethlehem, friends see history during cruise

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Posted: Friday, November 30, 2012 7:00 am

Who: Dottie Thomspon of Lodi, Gary and Tina Baker and Cheri Audia of Ogden, Utah, Cary and Terri Hall and Connie Valdovinos of South Pasadena, and Betty Castaneda of Hacienda Heights.

Occupation: Dottie Thompson is a medical transcriber for Lodi Physical Therapy. Cheri Audia works for the IRS in Ogden. Gary and Tina are wedding coordinators in Santa Clara. Cary and Terri Hall, Connie Valdovinos and Betty Casteneda are retired educators.

The trip: We flew to Athens, Greece, where we boarded our ship, the Azamara Journey. We sailed first to Haifa, Israel, where we saw the River Jordan, the Sea of Galilee, the Church of the Annunciation and Cana, where Jesus turned water into wine. We toured Bethlehem and Jerusalem, walking the Stations of the Cross. We sailed to Cyprus and Antalya, Turkey, touring the museums which house artifacts dating back to the Stone Age. We took a walking tour of Marmaris, Turkey. We visited the island of Rhodes, famous as the site of Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Stopping again in Turkey, we walked through Ephesus, the ruins of what was once the second largest city in the Roman Empire. Nearby is the House of the Virgin Mary, where it is believed that Mary lived during the last years of her life. We had another stop on the island of Mykonos, Greece, before returning to Athens, where we toured one of the true wonders of the world, the Acropolis, and the musuem which houses many statues and artifacts.

Would you go again? Certainly, although not to the same areas as there are so many other places to see. However, I would highly recommend sailing on the Azamara Journey, which is a wonderful, small and intimate ship. Spending time with family and friends is always a highlight of such a trip.



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