Handmade Beaded Jewelry

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Athens June 3, 2009

Athens is a very large and crowded city. I have nothing against old buildings, but these were 20th century old dirty buildings. With absolutely no charm. All we got to see was from the port to the metro station and from the metro to the Acropolis. We had a hard time trying to read the signs and finding the metro so we could get to the Parthenon. We got there eventually after we asked about a dozen different people, including the police. I should have done more research but I had assumed that Princess Cruises would give us more information on how to get around. I learned my lesson.. Cruise ships are only interested in selling their over priced tours. They really aren't into helping the independent traveler. We finally get to the Parthenon which was mobbed with tourists. So, what else is new?

It was a little disappointing. It's hard to get a sense of the history of a place when there is scaffolding all over the place. But I realize that it was necessary for the restoration of the buildings.The weather was very hot. I would recommend going earlier then June or in October, when the weather should be more comfortable.

And now for the most exciting part of our visit to Athens. As we were getting on the train going back to the port 3 young men surrounded my husband Tom, who was the last of us to get on the train. One guy was behind him and the other 2 were on each side hemming him in so he could not go forward. Since he is a retired cop he knew right away what was going on. As the one guy grab his wallet, he grabbed him and off the train they go. I go after him and jump in because I didn't want the guy getting away from Tom. Gail and Larry are behind me. Tom’s yelling “give me my wallet” The guys is trying to get away and I’m hanging on to his shirt. He's dragging me and I ripped his shirt. Larry had the second guy, yelling into to his camera Police Police. They think it’s a phone. The guy Tom had freaked and dropped the wallet. Tom kicked him in the a-s and we got their bags……I don’t think they expected us to fight. They saw what they thought was easy pickings. A couple of gray haired tourists with their wives, but we’re NYC breed and you just don’t mess with us…LOL…..All in all no one got hurt and that's the most important part of this experience.

I had posted this report on Trip Adviser and had gotten some interesting comments. Would I go back? I would like to. There are many fans of Athens and so I would have to believe that there is a lot more to see and do. And of course nicer sections of the city that I missed. I certainly would not judge a city by this one incident.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Captain's Night on the Crown Princess

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Corfu & Katakolon, Greece

Corfu, June 1, 2009

Today we are in Corfu…Again we are tendered into the port. Except, everything was much faster, when compared to our trip into Dubrovnik. We walked into town (1 mile). Wandered through downtown and then finally found the Old Town which was very nice. We ate at a local restaurant (gyros – very good). The guys had the local beer (Mythos) which they enjoyed. The day was overcast. Temp. 73f.and humid. It rained for about 1 1/2 hr while we were in the restaurant. That was the only rain we had for the entire trip. We walked around some more. Looked at all the beautiful jewelry, and let me tell you, there were some really gorgeous gold jewelry. I didn’t buy any, but I did get a pair of sneakers. I had forgotten to bring mine. Oh and what a relief it was to put my poor achy footsie into my new sneakers. Ladies let me tell you “ Fashion stops at the ankles”. When on vacation nobody is going to notice what kind of shoes you're wearing, and if they do who cares. You'll never see them again…LOL

Then it was back to the ship at 4:15..

Tonight we had a lovely dinner in the DaVinci Restaurant. Enjoyed one of the bottles of red wine that Gail had arranged to get for us. None of us are real drinkers so the one bottle was enough. Jim had his usual beer.

After the dinner we went to the theater and saw "The Reader". Starring Kate Winslet. Excellent movie. I can see why she won the Oscar.

Katakolon June 2, 2009

I had originally thought we would take the train to Olympia. But that didn’t work out. There aren’t that many trains running from the port. 2 in the morning and 3 in the afternoon. We just didn’t want to take a chance on missing our ship. I can just see us at the port waving good bye to our ship….no, no, no. Not a good idea. So we just walked around for a couple hours and then went back to the ship for lunch and a little relaxation. I went to a computer talk on photoshop element 6. Most of it I already new but I did get a couple of tips. Tonight is Captains night. There were 2 really dress up nights on a cruise and this was the first one. So everyone gets gussyed up. And at 7:30 went midship for champagne & photos. They take a hold bunch of posed shots and you hope they come out half way decent. This is the first time I bought one of the pictures. Usually they are so awful and want to cry. "Do I really look that bad" If so where's the oven I want to stick my head inside...LOL So I was happy to finally get a picture that wasn't half bad. A nice group picture to remember our time together.

After dinner we changed and went to see another movie "Taken" with Liam Neeson. Instead of the theater it was under the stars. Predicable but a fun action movie. They give you blankets and popcorn, what more can you ask for.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Dubrovnik Croatia May 31, 2009

These are just a couple of the photos that we took

Today we are in Dubrovnik, Croatia…A beautifully town on the Dalmatian coast. We were supposed to dock at the pier. Unfortunately that didn’t happen. Four other large cruise ships got there first. And so we had to be tendered in. . We had to wait at least a 1 ½ hr. before we could finally get on the tender to get to shore. And then it was a 30 minute ride in. There were many unhappy people on the ship. Not so much because we had to take the tender in, but because of the lack of communication. Letting us know what was going on. After finally getting to shore we walked around, took lots of pictures and had ice cream for lunch. Well, 5 of us had ice cream. Jim had a beer…In order to buy the ice cream we had to get their money which was kunas. Well, here we are with leftover kunas which we had to spend before we went back to the ship. They are useless anywhere else. None of use could fine anything we wanted to buy so I suggested that we all sit down at a nice cafĂ© and drink it. Everyone agreed it was a perfect solution.

After we got back to the ship Gail gave a call to who ever was in charge with getting us to shore. And very nicely (she’s a retired school teacher)said that we weren’t pleased with the lack of communication and that we hoped to be compensated for being inconvenience. He said he’d see what he could do for us. 10 minutes later came a knock on our door. It was the cabin Steward with a bottle of wine and 2 glasses. That’s a bottle for each couple. Very nice. I would have preferred free internet, but hey, wine is good.


Friday, June 5, 2009

Venice May 26 - 30, 2009

May 26, 2009 – Today we left for our Greek Island Cruise. Our fellow travelers are my Sister-in-Law Fran & My Brother-in-Law Jim and long time Friends Gail & Larry.

This is the 2nd trip together. The last one was 2 years ago to Italy.

This year we are taking a Princess cruise from Venice to Dubrovnik, Corfu, Greece, Katakolon(Olympia)Greece, Athens, Mykonos, Kusadasi (Ephesus)Turkey, Rhodes, Santorini, at sea, Naples Italy, and then in Rome to disembark……I need to get my Italian fix. Hence the Venice to Rome's portion of the trip.

We arrived in Venice on the 27th and took the alilaguna to Fte. Nove and made our way to Ca’D’ Oro hotel. A lovely place in the Cannareggio section of Venice. Very charming and friendly place in a less touristy area. The last time Tom and I were here was a year and a half ago for 3 weeks. What amazes me is how my husband remembers how to get around. I think he looked at the map maybe twice. He found the Hotel in no time at all. And of course took us all around.

We had 3 wonderful days in Venice. We ate at several nice restaurants. One of the restaurants’ that we had dinner at was Trattoria da Gianni. We liked it so much that we ate there twice. Had lunch at a couple of others but sorry I can’t remember the names. Just want to say that there were no complaints.

However, now I’m going to jump ahead. Today is Saturday May 30. First I have to say, I’ve been on a few cruises before, and all the port leavings, although nice, does not compare to the sailing from Venice. You have to picture this. The sun is shining and it’s a beautiful clear day. The music is playing Andrea Bocelli & Sarah Brightman singing “Time to say Goodbye, and Venice slowly slipping away. I wish I could express this overwhelming feeling. Tears just kept coming. It was so sad but still so beautiful.

Pictures to follow when I have better wifi service.......