What a beautiful Island! I flew into Rhodes in the afternoon. I was collected at the airport and taken to the hotel that HAL (Holland America Line) had booked for me. A lovely hotel right on the beach front. Within minutes of arriving in my room, I had changed into short skirt, strappy top and ship ship, all ready to go explore in the sunshine. It felt rebellious, being able to dress as I like for the weather after living in Cairo all these years where I have to be careful that my top is not too low, my skirt is not too short and that is before you even start with length of sleeve!
I then walked for about 3 hours around Rhodes. Photographing the sea, the boats in the harbour, the beautiful old city walls, and the sunset. Everything just felt so relaxed. I felt relaxed. It’s been a while….I felt my apprehension grow every time a man was about to walk by, or a group of kids were standing where I would have to pass. All the fear was for nothing. No-one said a word. It was as it should be, and such a huge relief!
Belly Dancer Lorna Gow sailed on Noordam as part of the line’s On Location enrichment program. She blogged about her experience and shared it with us. Here’s her first entry. Thanks, Lorna!
So, my ‘normal’ job is that of a bellydancer on the Nile, Cairo. Granted there are perhaps few that would call this ‘normal’ but there you go. That’s what I do.
My UK agent, Taste of Cairo, contacted me 4 weeks ago and asked if I would like a wee holiday away from my normal Cairo job. The contract was to be bellydancer on a cruise ship, the MS Noordam, part of the Holland America line for 12 days. Sailing Rhodes, Egypt, Crete, Athens, Santorini, Katakolon and ending my contact in Venice. All I had to do was teach an Arabic lesson, 7 bellydance lessons and perform 4 times total over the 12 days. A busman’s holiday (ok- so more like a boatwoman’s holiday!)
Thanks to Noordam‘s Human Resources Clerk Roi Napitupulu for sending in these photos of the Bacardi Cruise Competition winner.
Melecio Mirandilla, 2nd patissier onboard Nieuw Amsterdam, recently won the dessert category for the Baccardi Cruise Competition with his “Chocolate Oakheart Rum Pot.” Hotel Director Marco Van Belleghem, Manager of Culinary Ops Darren Lewis and Executive Chef Petr Nozicka presented Melecio with his certificate and prizes. CONGRATULATIONS Melecio!
Mykonos, known for its windmills, has a typical white and blue theme to it. Lots of small, narrow streets beckon the tourist with colors and zillions of small shops. The people in town are quite friendly and helpful but it’s the winding streets that always draw me in. I wasn’t able to catch the sunset this year but the fact that the ship stays until 10:30pm allows our guests to enjoy the experience.
We arrived in Istanbul via the world (it seemed) on May 16, boarded the Noordam on the 17 and finally got to see a little of the city the next day. The ship docked just down from the Galata Tower, a structure built in 528 A.D. It sits atop one of the hills of the city and has a wonderful view of the city and the Bosphorus. The entrance fee is 13 lira or about $60 and of course there is a line to reach the top but it moves quite quickly. If you enjoy views and/or photography take some time to visit.