Mediterranean Cruising

Posted: August 18, 2013 in Family, Italy, Vacation
Tags: ,

In early August, Joshua returned from North Woods camp and the family was reassembled… So we packed up and flew off for a Mediterranean adventure!

Our Thursday night departing flight was delayed by almost three hours but we were able to adjust connections in Munich and still managed to land in Venice only a couple of hours late on Friday afternoon. We took a water taxi to the Hotel Olympia and still had time to shower up, do a little exploring, and find a leisurely cafe for dinner.

Saturday morning was a leisurely breakfast at the hotel buffet before we were off to meet the nearby Royal Caribbean’s Splendour of the Seas.  We boarded quickly and without incident and were poolside with an umbrella drink before noon! We’d sail out of Venice just as the afternoon sun began to sink with marvelous views of the island’s southern coast, as well as Giudecca and San Georgio.

Sunday morning we sailed into the port of Dubrovnik, Croatia, past a bridge that reminded us a bit of Boston’s Zakim Bridge.

Not previously on our vacation radar, we found the city beautiful and the people friendly. Though it was hot and crowded, we thoroughly enjoyed walking the ancient city’s walls and exploring the streets and back alleys.

This is Jake on the “Balancing Step” at the front of the Franciscan Monastery.

On Monday we were ar the Greek island of Corfu where we’d enjoy a day trip on The Nautilus. Our captain, Iakis, took us on a wonderful tour of the northeast portion of Corfu allowing us to swim and relax away from the cruise ship’s crowds. Sharing the boat with just one other friendly family, we gawked at the landscape, swam in the clear waters, and enjoyed Iakis’ lunchtime barbecue. Beautiful and relaxing! Well, at least until we were pulling into port just moments before our ship was due to sail. Nothing like boarding just as they’re announcing your names as missing passengers!!!

Iakis was an incredible host. He pointed out the sights, shared the history, shared ouzo and his fathers wine, provided bread and tzatziki sauce, cooked saganaki, chicken, and fish, and took us to all the places we wanted to see!

Tuesday was Athens. We’d arranged a taxi tour to get us around the city as we knew there was a lot to see! Our driver, Dimitrios, was outstanding. He was a non-stop fountain of knowledge! He advised on itinerary, introduced us to all of the sites, pointed out all of the buildings of note, suggested an authentic cafe for our lunch, took pictures, and was generally wonderful to us! We saw everything we could handle!

This is the Temple of Olympian Zeus.

In the Agora, there’s a fantastic museum at the Stoa of Attalos. We loved the artifacts on display here!

Throughout Athens, we were serenaded by the many cicadas!

We really enjoyed watching the changing of the presidential guard, The Evzones, at the Tomb of the unknown soldier.

Next we were up to the Acropolis itself with a stop on Mars Hill where the Apostle Paul preached to the Athenians.

Wednesday, we were at Mykonos. Everything here is white, Heck, they even paint the sidewalks and streets! Most trim is a blue – a few in other colors. All of this gives the island a glow that requires constant use of sunglasses! We strolled the streets, dodged the vehicles, shopped the shops, saw the windmills, and enjoyed a nice Greek lunch at Katarina’s.

On Thursday, we docked at Argostoli on Kefalonia. With afternoon temperatures reaching 103°,  we were glad that we’d arranged an air-conditioned bus tour of the island that took us to the Saint Andreas Monastery (where we could see the Apostle Andrew’s right foot!) and the Cave of the Nymphs at Lake Mellisani. Along the way, we enjoyed many sights, including the fabulous Myrtos Beach.

Friday was a day at sea as we worked our way back up the coast. That meant a leisurely day by the pool with music and whacky pool games, and sun to spare. Saturday we arrived back in Venice with just enough time for a quick final shopping run before heading back to the airport for the long trip home!

Overall, we had a blast! It was great being back together as a family and the adventure was non-stop. There are many more pictures for the curious!

Comments
  1. Suz says:

    That looks like a GREAT trip, John! I am really jealous! It must be almost time for Josh to go off to college? Best of luck to him in his new endeavors…

  2. Virginia Trueman says:

    Looks like a wonderful trip. My excit.ement for the summer is having a new roof put on the house. At the moment, a semi is in my drive with a crane putting pkgs of shingles on top of the roof. I sure hope my driveway will still be in tact when he leaves. Va

  3. Kim says:

    Fantastic pictures – looks like you had a fabulous time!!

  4. Shad O'Hayes says:

    what a great trip you guys just had thank you for taking me along. I enjoyed It very much. In 1980 I gave myself a six month trip through the Mediterranean just to learn about other worlds.I was 35 at the time and it was a perfect time to travel for me. You all look like you had a great time too.Congratulations on creating a superb family experience. I offer you all of my best thoughts, with love, shad.

  5. great stuff, congrats on a wonderful trip….Looks like u had amazing weather….

  6. coco says:

    OH GUYS I AM SO ENVIOUS!!!! What a fabulous trip. Thanks for sharing.
    Love cuz coco.

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