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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

So many places


We have been on a whirlwind tour. So many places, and no time to just kick back and relax. Today is a day at sea as we head for Venice. It's been 12 years since we last saw Venice. I'm excited to walk the winding alleys that are easy to get lost in, and discover new and wonderful corners. The canals and gondolas, the worn stone, all there perhaps the last time I will walk the streets Venice. I'm hoping to take lots of photos and get that one special one. When the cruise ends, we will spend the night and then catch a train for Tuscany. There we should have a slower pace and find time to smell the coffee.

It's hard to remember where we have been, and what we have seen. The days are full from the moment we get up, until we fall into bed at night. It's a nice kind of exhaustion, sunshine, new travels, and laughing with old friends. Still exhausting, but no complaints here.

Corfu was a Greek island we visited that was a place I would love to return to in the future. The Adriatic sea on one side, the Ionian sea on the other. The clearest water, shades of turquoise and blue were begging me to jump in. Sadly I did not. The many olive trees, Cyprus, grapes, and a sprinkling of lemon and orange trees made it an optical feast.


 We visited a monastery  in Corfu. The gardens were pristine, and once again the most magnificent views. We went inside the chapel and lit a candle for a Greek friend's sister who recently died.
Mark views the statue of Achilles pulling the arrow out of his tendon. I really must study Greek mythology when I get home!

The water is the most perfect! 
We visited a palace that belonged to Elizabeth,( Cici )from Vienna, Austria. I have been fascinated with her life since we first started visiting Vienna all those years ago. She was a beautiful Empress, with a tragic life. Many compared her life to Princess Diana of modern times.
After her son's death she visited Corfu and built a palace in his memory. It was beautiful. The grounds exquisite, and the views unbelievable. If only I could have been the only one sitting on her terrace with black and white marble enjoying the views. Sadly this was a very popular tourist stop.
Being on a large bus tour was the only option we had to really see the entire island. Driving through this small village I was thankful for an amazing bus driver who only had inches on each side of the bus. We could see places where less skilled drivers had been before us. Barely room for one care, let alone a large bus, our driver maneuvered in ways I didn't think were possible.
The old town of Corfu was charming. We didn't have much time to spend there. I would have loved to sit at one of the outdoor cafes and just people watch. Next time I tell myself. Mark did pick up a local treat. Kumquat liqueur. Thinking a small glass over ice might be nice some night when we are sitting in Tuscany.

We also visited Olympus the site of the very first Olympic games thousands of years ago. Now ruins, and only our imagination can help us visualize how it must have been. We know that only men could compete, and women were not allowed to watch. Men wore only olive oil on their skin to make them shine in the sunlight Naked as could be, they would compete for the glory of winning. Winners had statues erected in their honor, and they and their families were fed for the rest of their lives. I guess that was an ancient way of endorsements.


It is so amazing, that these were put up 1,000 years before Christ. We went to the original stadium, which is now just dirt, and you can see a small area on the side where the judges would sit. The Olympic torch is still lit from this location every four years as the torch travels around the world getting ready for the next Olympics. 







Yesterday we stopped in Dubrovnik, Croatia. We had visited here back in 2005 with Gary and Susie. All four of us were excited to show Wayne and Patti this charming city. We had such good memories from our time here. The walls were just as we left them, the streets still shining from the thousands of years of wear. The marble steps have curves in them from the wear of millions of feet going up and down them. We met up with friends who are traveling Europe and as luck would have it, they were in Dubrovnik on this day. We met at a restaurant a few blocks outside of the old city. Sitting on the terrace covered by a grape arbor, we enjoyed the gentle breeze, wonderful local white wine, and fresh fish. The leisurely hour and half lunch was just what the doctor ordered. Slowly we worked our way back to the old city, and took a few photos, and then said goodbye to one of our favorite towns as the cab returned us to the ship. We had a couple of hours to relax before dinner and now today we can go about the business of doing nothing. That sounds pretty good!




WiFi is so expensive on the ship. I try to use it sparingly as Mark needs to do some business from time to time. We all put Viber on our phones to be able to call home for free. The problem is the nine hour time difference, and we can't leave it on WiFi  and have missed several calls. By the time we are up and going, people at home are in bed. Hoping once we get to Tuscany, we will have better luck as the home we are staying in has WiFi. Fingers crossed we can connect with loved ones at home. Maybe in Venice we will find some WiFi and the times will match.
Until the next time, hope all the photos aren't too overwhelming.

1 comment:

Gina @ Kleinworth & Co. said...

WOW- I'm so amazed by the sights you are seeing. So sorry to hear about the WiFi. That really stinks. Hope it gets better along your travels.

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