Monthly Archives: August 2014

Rethymnon, Crete, Greece

The final day of our 14 day cruise and it ended the way it began, with good weather and good times. We contracted a taxi driver to take us on a guided tour for a short time. We visited a traditional Greek village in the mountains. I enjoyed wandering the narrow cobble streets watching the locals go about their daily activities while Tony kept the driver company in the car. We also visited a beautiful small monastery run by nuns only. The gardens were superb. When back in town I walked to the Fortress while Tony had a massage. Tony is totally over fortresses. We met for lunch at a lovely restaurant.  (Trip Advisor is proving very useful in our travels for locating some great hotels, restaurants, tour, etc.) Once again, Hawthorn was playing so locating a good restaurant with WIFI was critical to the success of the day. Fortunately  Hawthorn defeated Collingwood comfortably so Tony had a good day.

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Gythion, Greece

35 degrees and sunny left us with the logical decision of spending time on the beach. We were excited to be told it was a sandy beach as we haven’t seen a sandy beach since being in Europe. Needless to say, the European version of sand is very different to our version. It was certainly not the typical large rocks we have experienced but was shale, not a dollop of sand in sight. Nothing compares to the Aussie beaches. I felt very out of place in my one piece bathers as everyone wears bikinis regardless of age and size. I later took Tony on another climb to reach the back of the town and take in the lovely view. Tony felt the climb gave justification to avoiding his daily gym visit.
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Sami, Cephalonia, Greece

This was another fairly untouched Greek island town. We wandered the back streets of the town which were colorful, yet mostly unloved. Lunch at a beach side cafe was followed by a return to the ship and time by the pool and spa. Naturally, time at the pool goes hand in hand with more cocktails!
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Corfu, Greece

Corfu would be one of the busiest of the islands we have visited. We took an excursion to visit the Achilles Palace, early in the day before the crowds arrived. Even Tony enjoyed this excursion. THe palace was stunning and the European gardens magnificent. Back in Corfu Town I had a ‘Fish Spa’ where tiny fish eat the dead skin away. Very tickly. Lunch was delightful, at a local family run restaurant in a back street. There was another fortress in Corfu so we had our exercise for the day in climbing it to the lighthouse point. The evening was superb as temperatures are consistently in the high 20’s low 30’s and dining outdoors is ideal. It was the ‘Rock The Boat’ evening where music, food and drinks flowed.
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Kotor, Montenegro

This is one of the most beautiful destinations. The Old Town is one of many on the UNESCO list and tourists arrive in hoards to experience the historic town. We were advised that the cruise into and out of Kotor is one of the loveliest to be seen. It is reputed as the most southern of the European fjords. Surprisingly I was up at 6.00am for the views from deck 9 which was quite an achievement considering the late night had prior! Needless to say, Tony sensibly slept on. We visited the maritime museum which Tony always enjoys. I took myself on the walk to the top of the fortress almost vertically above the town, 4.5 kms and 1350 steps. It was frightening as in many parts there were no walls at all. This is possibly the most challenging walk I have done and I am unlikely to repeat it! Tony enjoyed his massage while I climbed.
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Sibenik, Croatia

Another beautiful yet fairly unspoilt Croatian destination. I have been dragging Tony around the many steep, narrow pathways in the historical centers in all of our ports of call. We found a magnificent new outdoor theatre at the very top of the old fortress and also roamed the gardens of the old monastery complete with every herb imaginable. Our lunch was at a recommended restaurant in the courtyard of the four wells. One of our best local dining experiences to date.DSC04877 (800x600)

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Venice, Italy Sat 23rd Aug

One of my greatest enjoyments is exploring the back streets of Venice on my own and my enthusiasm was not dampened by the inclement weather. Fortunately, there was a Hawthorn match being played at the time so Tony was happily positioned in a coffee shop glued to his phone while I wandered.The bonus of the persistent rain was it kept many of the tourists away.

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Ravenna, Italy

Our day in Ravenna was relaxed while we explored the town of narrow, cobble streets where only bikes and pedestrians are allowed. I had grand ideas of spending time in the lovely boutiques. The Italian fashions are lovely and the Italian ladies wear them with so much elegance and class. I was inspired to shop but decided to do this after meeting Tony’s urgent need to eat. I forgot about ‘siesta’ where all shops close for 3 hours. So frustrating but at least the bank account wasn’t dented. In place of shopping I visited a couple of the Bassilicas with their mosaics that Ravenna is renowned for. Back on board ship we enjoyed the nightly entertainment followed by holding up the bar until the early hours. .Lots of fun.

Hvar, Crotia

Tony was very grumpy prior to leaving for a sea kayaking, swimming and snorkeling tour around the islands. An 8.00am departure does not fit into Tony’s idea of holiday relaxation. However he admitted to enjoying the tour and is now happily back on the ship digging into lunch. I remained in Hvar to visit the fortress and explore the streets of the old town. So lovely and far less populated with tourists than Dubrovnik was yesterday.

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