The Best of All Possible Trips (Candide Would Have Loved It)

July 10, 2012

Can't say enough good things about the trip. Jack G, Socratese and Antonio were fantastic guides. they went out of their way to make our experience the best it could possibly have been. Jack and i even did a rendition of Ernie Ford's 16 tons, though if truth be told we may have enjoyed it even more than our audience. Patti and I had a wonderful time. Didnt come for the food but it was outstanding. the Snorkeling was out of sight. My wife Patti has never been comfortable snorkeling but she found her groove in the galapagos. i'd do a Zegrahm expedition again without hesitation.

Trip: Ultimate Galapagos
First Name: tim
Last Name: malloy
City: burr ridge
State: ill

Sicilian Tiramisu

July 5, 2012

During our 2011 visit to Sicily’s picturesque town of Monreale, travelers and leaders alike returned raving about the tiramisu that was served for dessert at a local restaurant. Expedition staff member, Susan Langley, told us, “I had always regarded tiramisu as over-rated because I never had a version that was what I expected, or was led to believe it could be, and this one was sublime.” We managed to track down the recipe from the restaurant and wanted to whet your appetite for this expedition. Enjoy!

Ingredients

28 Savoiardi (crisp Italian ladyfingers, 9 oz)

2 ¼ cup mascarpone cheese

¾ cup, plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided

3 whole eggs

2 egg yolks

2 cups strong coffee (with a little sugar)

4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Beat the eggs and the egg yolks with 7 tablespoons of sugar. Mash the mascarpone cheese and beat it with remaining 7 tablespoons of sugar. Mix the eggs with the mascarpone until soft and creamy. Place half of the ladyfingers into a serving dish; lightly soak them with the coffee and cover with half of the mascarpone mixture. Place the rest of the ladyfinger cookies upon the first layer, soak them with coffee and top with the rest of the mascarpone. Sprinkle with cocoa powder and place into the fridge for at least 6 hours before serving.

 

Bon appetit!

Greetings from Galapagos!

June 25, 2012

Written by Jack Grove.

 

Greetings from Galapagos - the adventure has begun. All is well aboard the Isabela II, and we are all looking forward to the coming ten days in these enchanted islands. I hope to post photos and encourage guests to have their families open up the blog as well.

 

FAIR WINDS.

Puffins & Vikings Up Close in Ireland

June 21, 2012

Best moments - Coming face-to-face with a puffin while resting on a bench at an ancient Irish island monastery; closely studying Razor Bills displaying on their nests - no binoculars needed; exploring a Viking Cave with Colleen Batey.

Trip: Ireland & the British Isles
First Name: Jean
Last Name: Mielczarek
City: Fairfax,
State: Va

A Day in Selinunte

June 18, 2012

Stately Greek temples. Intricate Roman mosaics. Hot sulfurous lava. Cold Italian ices. A verdant green countryside dotted with yellow blossoms bursting from acacia trees. Spring in Sicily is the perfect time to sail its coastline and savor everything about it that delights the senses. Our Zegrahm voyage in 2011 gave us ten perfect days to explore this historic island.

On one of those spectacular, clear, blue-sky days, with cool breezes over the water and warm temperatures on land, we ventured out to Selinunte – the westernmost of the ancient Greek cities in Sicily. The Greeks arrived in Sicily more than two millennia ago, establishing Selinunte after crossing the Adriatic to the mainland of what is now southern Italy, and from there across Italy and the Strait of Messina to Sicily. The Greeks dominated the eastern part of Sicily but had only two major presences in the western portion – at Selinunte and at Agrigento.

The city of Selinunte occupied a stunning site on the coastal high ground with a commanding view of the sea. Originally, seven or eight Greek temples dominated the skyline. One temple has been partially restored from the remnants found there and it now stands in full height on a hill as it did in antiquity, with its resplendent Doric columns. Other temples have been left as they were found a few centuries ago, in large piles of fallen columns and stones, appearing as huge 3-dimensional puzzles awaiting the hand of a giant to reassemble them.

As we walked through the ruins of Selinunte we could see the layout of the main streets of the city, with perimeters of the houses laid out in stone. In the corner of one house rested a near-perfect terracotta bathtub; in another house, a simple mosaic of Phoenician origin still decorated the floor. There were shards of terracotta pottery everywhere under foot – remnants of pots and roof tiles. Selinunte is not as heavily visited by tourists as is Agrigento, and so it is less manicured. With enough money, time and expertise, the site could be studied and reconstructed from what remains. Surely it’s an archeologist's dream.

After scrambling among the ruins all morning, we were delighted to see a vendor at the base of the hill selling granita – Sicilian lemon ice – from his bicycle cart. It’s no surprise that granita originated in Sicily – lemon and citrus trees grow everywhere on the island. It was the most delicious lemon ice I've tasted in more than half a century – a refreshing treat in a fluted, white paper cup exactly like the lemon ice that my Uncle Sonny used to make and sell at his lemon ice stand in Jersey City – cold, tart and with the consistency of smooth, dense snow.

Other days brought us to equally fascinating sites – the quaint seaside village of Cefalù; the Hellenic temple at Segesta (with its unusual smooth columns); the temple complex at Agrigento; the Piazza Armerina with its fabulous Roman mosaic floors; the Stromboli and Etna volcanoes. My husband Irwin found Sicily to be one of the most interesting and varied places he’s photographed. And every day of our voyage not only brought new sights for him to capture with his camera but also revealed to us new insights into the history and culture – past and present – of this lovely island.

Trip: Circumnavigation of Sicily
First Name: Leigh
Last Name: Segel
City: Davis
State: California