We flew to Rome just barely making it to the airport. We went down to catch the train to the airport and don’t you know they changed the track. The train always goes into the city on the same track and that day they changed it. To get to the other track it is a long walk to get around the station and to a spot you can cross the tracks to get to the other platform. Well we didn’t have enough time before the train left to get to the other track. So we called a taxi which was supposed to pick us up in 10 min, that actually took 50 min. We made it and the flight was fine. We went directly from the airport to the Princess Ship.
Monte Carlo, Monaco
We wandered around Monaco on our own first starting with Old Monaco which is up a crazy steep hill with a billion stairs. Once we got up there we walked to the church were Princess Grace married and is buried. We then headed to the royal palace which was pretty neat. We made our way across town on their bus system which was really good and found the casino. We ate at Cafe Paris and then went to the casino. I have to say the toilets at the casino was very cool. When you flushed this electronic hand came out and picked up the toilet seat, rotated the seat around to clean it off and then put it back where it was originally. Really neat. We both took 10 Euros and gambled. I won 100 on a flush in blackjack and Nithin won about 30 Euro, so we both made out.
Florence is my most favorite place on the trip. First off we went to the Ufitzi. Even pre-booking tickets we had to wait in line about an hour to get in. Then we headed off to lunch and then to buy some jewelry. I bought myself a new wedding ring and earrings. We spent the little time we had left walking around Florence and shopping. We actually found a nice little yarn shop the Beatrice Galli Yarn Shop.
We got to Naples on Sunday so most things are closed. We took a morning tour of Pompeii which was very amazing. I think this is the first ruins I have been too. It was huge and pretty well restored, very interesting to see how advanced folks were so long ago in the way they lived. We then spent the afternoon walking around a closed Naples.
Santorini we decided to take it easy, but the city was so hilly with small walking only streets that it was a lot of exercise walking. We went through the streets shopping, went to the large church in the middle of town, and the archeological museum.
In Turkey we went shopping through the bazaar. It was amazing how pushy the shop owners were, we bought some really great pottery there.
In Mykonos we went to the island of Delos which is the island that is the birthplace of Zeus. There was a smaller (than Pompeii) city there and a large temple to Zeus. Other than the ruins there really wasn’t anything on the islands. It was interesting because the archeologists actually had little homes that matched the ruins right on the island. Other than that no one lives on the island anymore. We then spent the afternoon walking around the streets of Mykonos and had lunch by the harbor. Mykonos is a very cute little town and much more easy to get around than Santorini, but kinda similar because they had the tiny little walking streets for part of the town.
We headed directly for the Acropolis to hopefully avoid the crowds. Well that was wrong. The President of the country was there for a ceremony that morning remembering the day that the Greek flag returned to represent the country after World War II. So there was tour groups and then all the people from the ceremony there, a madhouse we got around though and saw all the sites. After the Acropolis we had lunch at this restaurant at the base of the Acropolis which had an awesome view of the site. We headed off after lunch to another temple of Zeus, every city has one I swear. Then we walked around the Plaka which is the old part of the city which has cool architecture and shopping.
Katakolon (Olympia), Greece
In Katakolon the port was very small and had the same stuff that all the other places. We did take a tour of the original Olympic site in Olympia which was really amazing. Did you know gymnasium means naked running? In that time the Olympics were every 4 years and at that time all fighting would stop and peace would be declared. The free, Greek, men would come to Olympia to compete for a week. And yes there was another temple to Zeus there. The site was very interesting. They also light the Olympic flame there and bring it to the modern Olympic stadium in Athens to then have it travel to the current Olympic site.
Corfu was a beautiful little island that had a well preserved fort and a very European feeling downtown. It was occupied by the French and British at points which explain the influence.
It was really amazing to me overall that Greece was ruled by Italy or Turkey until fairly recently, I think in the 1800’s it changed.
We ended in Venice and got off the boat to actually stay in a hotel which was nice to not be moving. We spent our first day going to the museums around Saint Marks Square. We had dinner at Londra Palace which was the hotel we stayed in for our honeymoon. The food was great but it was sad the hotel had modernized and lost its Venice feel. On our second day we went to the art museum and then spent lunch and the afternoon hanging around the Rialto area going to their open food market (what mushrooms) shopping and walking around the bridge area. We left Venice at 5am in the morning, were stuck at the Rome airport for 8 hours we layovers and flight delays. We made it home at 11pm to NY. Glad to be home and see our kitties.