Author: Beth Daigle

Publisher: W.L.Marker

ISBN: 978-1-947966-079

                         An Enchanting Travelogue

If you like traveling en famille and have an interest in Mediterranean countries, then this intimate and riveting travelogue is for you.

The author, Beth Daigle went on a cruise during the summer of 2012 on the Mediterranean, visiting Italy, Greece and Turkey during the trip. She was accompanied by Tony, her husband, and daughters, Julia 11 and Ally, 9. The Daigle family was also accompanied by Beth’s parents, her father being Greek born and her mother, Italian. In addition, her sister Karla, Karla’s husband Bob Kittler and their children Katherine,13 and Alex 15  made up the party. So it was a company of ten who were to go on the cruise together.

For Beth, the journey started with a lot of trepidation, because she had a tremendous fear of flying..It was not an aversion of traveling that deterred her, for she felt quite comfortable in a  car, a train or a boat. So when the other members of the group, were going all out planning for the trip, Beth was unable to join in and participate as she would otherwise have done.

While talking about her aerophobia, Beth gives us a glimpse into her Greco Italian background. In addition, she furnishes the reader with details of the other members of her extended family and antecedents. This is her way of introducing the reader to all members of the group before they went on the trip.

The flight to Rome was uneventful, apart from the presence of a little girl on the seat behind Beth and who kicked and pushed all the time, preventing her from sleeping.

Their itinerary started with a sightseeing trip in Rome, followed by a day in the Vatican City. What follows is a beautifully personalized description of the Eternal City as seen by the author of this book.  The impressions of the streets, the people, the tour guides, the smells, the food, even the heat, all come together to make this a great read and make the reader long to visit Rome as well, to see it from the author’s perspective. By then “Any travel jitters leftover from the flight melted away with anticipation of what was to follow”.

The next phase of the trip was the ship that was to be their home for the rest of their itinerary. The first stop for the boat was Messina in Sicily during which they visited a town called Taormina. The next stop was followed by the holy place of Ephesus in Turkey. After that, the boat took them to the Greek islands of Rhodos, Santorini and Mykonos, rounding up the cruise with a day each at Naples and Sorrento.

Mentioning the route taken by the boat and the specific sites visited does not do justice to this travelogue. The author describes their sojourn on the boat  as well. She describes the cabins, the food that was served, the service, the swimming pools and the gym among others. She mentions interesting incidents related to the trip that are not always complimentary of herself. She mentions her fatigue after a full day’s sightseeing and taking time for herself. She mentions the guides they had hired and how they went out of their way to give them the best possible experience of their country. She also describes the oppressive heat at times and other not so pleasurable aspects of the trip. But as Katherine put it, at the end of the trip,  

Every day I’ve thought that this was the best day and then the next day happens and it’s even better.”

The author herself sums up the trip as follows:

My fear of flying is not gone, but  if this trip taught me nothing else, it’s that the beauty of the places I might visit is more powerful  than my fear of getting there.”

Truly, a warm, intimate and insightful read.

Warmly recommended.