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  • Day47

    Venice - last day

    October 24 in Italy ⋅ ☁️ 66 °F

    After breakfast we rode the local bus #5 to the Grand Canal bus station, Venice. We hiked over to the water taxi stand and caught a beautiful wooden boat to San Marco’s Plaza along the Grande Canal all the way past gorgeous Venetian sites. Once we were let off we were strolling along the malecon along the seaside until we turned the corner in front of the Ducal Palace and then the Basilica Cathedral with the edifices enclosing the Square-it was truly awe inspiring. We stopped to enjoy the magnificence. Then we started hearing some excellent music coming from a sidewalk cafe right on the square. We walked over , we’re seated by tuxedo-clad waiters and had a wonderful relaxing lunch in the midst of this out of the world beauty.
    After dining , we wandered all over the area for several hours, amazed at the incredible sights. We, of course, also enjoyed the unique shopping, particularly the Murano hand blown glass that was for sale everywhere. After satisfying our Jones for shopping, having a couple of pistachio pastries we returned to the wharves and found a water taxi back to the bus terminal.
    Back at the hotel at the airport we finished repacking and redistributing the weight to 50 pounds each( including a new additional wheeled duffle bag we bought yesterday). That made 5 large suitcases and 2 large carry-ons to be checked.
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  • Day45

    Off cruise ship- to Venice for 3 days

    October 22 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 64 °F

    Got off our cruise ship on time(8:00 am) got 2 porters for our 8 pieces of luggage ( half are Xmas presents) was unloaded in the parking lot with rain threatening and waiting under a small tent for our private driver. He arrived 15-20 minutes late ( it is Italy😀) with a small hatchback. After squeezing everything into every possible space in the car we set off -kind of a taciturn driver who stayed watching or talking on his phone almost the entire time, we arrived st our airport hotel safely and unloaded. All good! We put 5 of our bags immediately into storage and waited for our room to be ready before heading into Venice to meet a great Canadian couple , Dan & Sophia, that came off the cruise ship with us and are spending one night in Venice before flying home tomorrow. We got a gondola for the 4 of us and had an hour long ride on the Grand Canal (Venice’s Main Street) and down several very narrow side canals. It was all great, but we all liked the quiet, tiny canals the best because it was so ethereal drifting quietly down these tiny alleys of water.Read more

  • Day44

    Slovenia coast,villages & market from Tr

    October 21 in Italy ⋅ ☁️ 70 °F

    An afternoon and evening adventure to Slovenia-the tiny country just South of Trieste. We bussed to Parrdi a beautiful resort town with great waterfront appeal, a great church that we hiked up to, and a fascinating Salt Shop that sold salt products made from the salt pans around the town. This used to be valued as much as gold as the only way to preserve food before refrigeration. After grabbing a quick ice cream cone (Gelato) we returned to our bus and headed to a tiny mountain village,called Pardi, that was having a “ farmers market” for our 2 bus loads of tourists. We got some “free samples” and paid a pittance for a couple of extra truffle samples and then bought some to go home. It was full nighttime when we got back, but our supper was still available and we are our last supper on board-delicious as usual. We gave out our tips to our stewards and waiters and shot a few photos of the town lit up at night. Finally we finished packing for departure tomorrow morning at 8:00 am and got to bed-19,000 steps again today😀Read more

  • Day43

    Kotor, Montenegro

    October 20, Adriatic Sea ⋅ ☀️ 66 °F

    We had to get up at 5:50 am this am to take off on our next to last excursion at 7:15. We were in Kotor, Montenegro , one of 5 countries that used to be part of Yugoslavia. This is a gorgeous, very mountainous country on the Adriatic Sea that has history dating back to the Ilurian times, 2000 BC. Lots of beautiful churches, palaces and friendly people. We also took a boat ride to a spectacular island in the bay with , wait for it……a beautiful church with lots of history! I detect a theme in our European Adventure-it’s a good thing we are headed home after 1 last excursion tomorrow, We get off the ship Saturday morning and spend our last 3 days in Europe in Venice at a hotel near the airport.Read more

  • Day42

    Corfu

    October 19 in Greece ⋅ ☀️ 61 °F

    Slept in to 9:00 am, got up and we ate breakfast on Lido deck? Then got ready and headed out. We walked over to the Hop on bus tour stop and got going around noonish. We did one entire loop around Corfu and Kanoni, and then started our second loop with the open top bus. We got out at stop .#3 and walked over to the overlook of the Monastery and Mouse island. Maryanne, one of the Hop on guides told us that these were the best stops in Corfu ,so we slowly made our way down 100 steps to the seashore of the Ionian Sea. Together, as always, we walked over to the tiny monastery and enjoyed seeing the ancient chapel and paintings. After we said some prayers and lit a candle each, we then found great finds in the monk’s gift shop-all proceeds go to fund the Monastery. We found some beautiful gifts, and then caught the tiny ferry boat over to Mouse ( named for the shape of the island, not for an infestation) and climbed a bunch more steps to reach its’ chapel at the summit. This tiny chapel was very similar to the Monastery’s. Lit more candles, and then caught the ferry back to the seashore where we found a great little cafe where we had real Greek salads with creamy feta cheese dressing-yummy. Since our knees were now whining, we caught a cab to the Old Town, and surprise, surprise-we wert shopping!😀! After another bag of “Necessaries” we walked to the huge old fortress. Having paid our senior entry fee, we then ( guess what, you guessed it…) climbed a bunch more steps to see this huge edifice and took a couple of more pictures!
    As our time was getting short to return to the ship before it sailed away, we caught the next Red Hop on bus and then walked back thru port security with our new bag of goodies in time to shower before our 5:30 supper in the dining room.
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  • Day41

    Kefalonia-2d visit, Argostolia port

    October 18 in Greece ⋅ ☀️ 70 °F

    We had been diverted away from our planned stop at Mykonos due to severe weather and came here previously and had a excellent tour ( Best of Cephalonia) last time. So we decided to do our own thing this time and it worked out great! We got a good night sleep- woke up as we got into port at 10:00am. We had showers, got dressed and went to the Lido deck for lunch at 11:30.We left the ship approximately noon, walked out onto the pier with the expectation of having to walk 15 minutes to town. Fortunately, at the end of our pier we met a taxi driver, Christopher, and we negotiated to take us to a lighthouse, beautiful beaches, a classic long pedestrian bridge, one of 2 castles, and a variety of century-old churches. Additionally, I wanted to see some ancient Olive trees and olive harvesting, if possible. Negotiated price was 45 euros($50)
    We wound up doing everything requested plus seeing some sea turtles, picked up some street wine and circled the island. We gave him 90 euros and thought it a bargain for a 3 hour tour. And we didn’t have to walk to or return from town!😀

    We really love getting out on our own and discovering the locals way of life. We are finishing up these 2 months traveling feeling very safe and confidant that we can handle the majority of our tours by ourselves, unless they are long distance, or require special approvals or pre-planned tickets😀

    Of note, This stop in Kefalonia / Argostolia and Nafpilon on the Peloponnesus peninsula of Greece are both ideal places to return and spend a week or two each. They are clean, safe, friendly towns with lots to offer at reasonable prices and very mellow lifestyles!
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  • Day40

    Napflion, Peloponnesus port Eastside

    October 17 in Greece ⋅ ☀️ 70 °F

    We slept in this morning and had a nice breakfast. Then we caught the tender over to the harbor and spent a great couple of hours walking through the old town and shopping. Paula found a shop with great gifts for grandkids and niece kids. Then I had some delicious Bavarian cherry homemade ice cream and Paula had a Coke as we finished walking along the harbor admiring the old forts and buildings next to these beautifully manicured shopping alleys. We are loving our last week on this this adventure, but we are also looking forward to being back home

    We loved this great little town, with its mellow vibe, clean streets and very friendly people!
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  • Day39

    Athens, Greece & its port, Piraeus

    October 16 in Greece ⋅ 🌙 61 °F

    Pulling into our dock at 0658 after a tumultuous departure from port last night in Iraklion, Crete. It’s a beautiful day in Athens so we got on our tour to Lycobettus Hill, the top of the city, reached by a ground funicular ( a Cable car that runs along the ground with a car at each end connected by a steel cable). We rode to the top of the hill, after we climbed over a hundred steps to get to the lower funicular station😅 Once at the top we were looking across the city at the Acropolis with its magnificent ruins and had a 360 degree view of Athens in its entirety! Also at the summit of Lycobettus hill is a beautiful old Greek Orthodox Church that we photographed.

    After a delicious cup of Greek coffee and the funicular descent, we got back in our overstuffed van ( with barely any room to breathe) and drove around the city seeing other significant ruins and remarkable buildings. We then returned to the ship for a bite to eat and to get ready for our “Night in Athens”, This was a huge venue with a family of four Greek folkloric dancers that performed a long show of their dances-it was extremely interesting and fun as they got lots of our crowd of approximately 200 attendees from our cruise ship out on the dance floor with them. We ate a wide variety of delicious Greek food prepared on site and admired the panorama of Athens nightlights in between food courses and dance performances. Then our 3d uses had to race back to the ship so that we could recover our mooring lines and head for another Greek destination tomorrow-Nafplion-a coastal city on the Greek mainland ( Peloponnesus peninsula).
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    Hope the waters stay calm for the rest of your trip. [Debbie Cooper]

    10/16/22Reply
     
  • Day38

    Iraklion, Crete

    October 15 in Greece ⋅ ☁️ 64 °F

    We got our phone wake up call as scheduled at 0615. Looking outside at the rain and checking the forecast for 100% rain chance for the rest of the day, we made the tough call to go back to bed😀

    Paula woke me up at 0930 to show me a “waterspout” that was plainly visible from our balcony. After photographing it with my good camera ( not on my phone) I tried to go back to sleep, but was quickly re-awakened by a ship wide practice alert for the crew, but with full piercing whistles throughout the ship. So, we went to breakfast.

    We then had a luxurious day in bed together as the storm raged outside- no photos available😀
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    Love it, you love birds! No photos needed. [Debbie Cooper]

    10/16/22Reply
     
  • Day37

    Ephesus, Turkey & Virgin Mary’s house

    October 14 in Turkey ⋅ ⛅ 63 °F

    Not taking a formal tour today. We picked up a cab near the port for a trip to the Virgin Mary’s house, and we got some sightseeing done along the way

    The "Wish Wall" was full of wishes. [Debbie Cooper]

    10/16/22Reply
     

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