A Travellerspoint blog

Day 23

Kusadasi, Turkey

sunny 31 °C

Kusadasi today, There were many things to choose to do but we chose to go to Long Beach and relax at one of the many beach clubs all along the beach. Not very exciting at all really but we got to swim in the Agean Sea so that was something different. Maybe we should have gone to Ephesus to see the Seventh Wonder of the Ancient World but the girls have had enough of old ruins for the moment. Maybe we will go to Athens tomorrow to look at old ruins.

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Posted by John McReynolds 12:06 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

Day 22

Istanbul

sunny 31 °C

We arrived in Istanbul not knowing what to expect. Once we had run the gauntlet of taxi drivers, tour operators and map sellers we walked across the Galata Bridge to the Grand Bazaar, a journey we were aprehensive about but which we found quite easy and stimulating.
The Grand Bazaar is reputedly the oldest covered mall in the world (built in 1400s) and it is huge, quite beautiful and full of shops selling everything Turkish e.g. rugs/carpets, lamps, porcelain, jewelry; and a lot of everything else. It was relatively quiet and the shopkeepers, keen for a sale, were very friendly and informative without being pushy. I thought the Bazaar would be a tourist attraction and it was. But apparently, it is mainly for locals who fill the place on weekends when it gets pretty hectic.
The girls both bought some porcelain items, I bought some Turkish Delight and we had a nice coffee and baclava at a traditional cafe including a friendly conversation with the owner. He was very nice, everyone we met was really friendly and polite.
There are many very old and beautiful buildings in Istanbul but the most outstanding and most photographed are the Sophia Museum (formerly a mosque and at times a christian church) and the Sultanahmed Camii (the Blue Mosque).
We finished our visit with lunch at the Seven Hills, a restaurant on the roof of a five story building with great views of Istanbul including the aforementioned buildings. The restuarant had great food, good beer and wine and great service. The staff were very friendly, helpful and determined to give us a great experience, which they did.
A longish walk through a city park followed by a short and exciting taxi ride back to the ship (drivers are crazy here) ended a wonderful day in Istanbul.

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Posted by John McReynolds 06:47 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

Day 21

Mykonos

sunny 30 °C

If anyone is actually reading this, I am sorry for missing my post yesterday. So much to do so little time. On day 21, we went to Mykonos. A uniquely "beautiful" place with its white buildings, its hills and its narrow lanes. It was fun to visit but I wouldn't want to live there. We enjoyed exploring the immediate area and we had a nice lunch in a nice restaurant but all in all, a bit disappointing. Maybe spending a few days and not competing with the cruise ship tourists would be better. There were at least 4 ahips in today.
Tomorrow is Istanbul and despite my reservations, it turned to be really special.

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Posted by John McReynolds 00:43 Archived in Greece Comments (0)

Day 20

Naples to Mykonos

sunny 30 °C

A sea day today, a day for relaxing and recharging. Spent the day reading, eating and in the afternoon, drinking some beer.
The Mediterranean was calm and beautifully blue today and the weather was quite warm. A good day for cruising.
Mykonos in the morning. Looking forward to that.
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Posted by John McReynolds 21:42 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

Day 19

Naples

sunny 33 °C

Naples today. Everyone lacking a little energy so we decided on an easy day exploring Naples. It is a very picturesque city with lots of very interesting architecture, a quite beautiful coastline and surrounded by hills. It was Saturday and we were surprised at the number of locals on the "beaches" which are mainly made of big white rocks, not very comfortable, I think, but very popular apparently. Like all the other coastal Italian cities we have seen, there is also a lot of boats, big and small and the locals were out or going out in them for much of the day. Also everybody seems to be into tanning here with almost no men wearing shirts and all the women in swimsuits basking in the very hot sun.
Naples is famous for its pizza and so we spent a very nice time at a restaurant by the water eating pizza and admiring the views in the marina.
Tomorrow is a sea day as we head to Mykonos so relaxing on the shop will be the order of the day.

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Posted by John McReynolds 23:42 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

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