Tag-Archive for » ruins «

Cruise: Athens, Greece

GREECE!

We docked in Pireus early in the morning and excitedly jumped on the tour bus to the Acropolis! We were going to see us some Parthenon baby!

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

Fast forward…..

We finally pulled up to the base of the Acropolis after listening to our female Ben Stein tour guide for TWO hours driving aimlessly around downtown Athens (“We are now passing the temple of Zeus from the other side. The columns are examples of… Anyone? Anyone?… Corinthian columns, which were poplar…Anyone? Anyone?… Classical Period? Hellenistic Period? Which, anyone? Marked birth or death? …..Death of Alexander the Great. Bueller? Bueller?”)

Plus… somehow we ended up on the tour that was full of the oldest folks on the cruise ship. I’m not even exaggerating. Walking from the bus to the base of the Acropolis to get our tickets we had to stop every 50 feet to wait for them to catch up. Not that I mind old people…but we just couldn’t take it anymore so as soon as we got our entrance tickets we handed in our tourist headsets and ventured off on our own.  Best decision we made that whole day! (This is why, if we ever go on a cruise again, we will book all our port excursions through private tours like in Turkey, or just venture off on our own. Cruising lesson learned!)

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

I’m surprised the Greek military doesn’t revolt right along with its citizens…

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

The view of the Parthenon every tourist dreams about.

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

Luckily the back side was a little less scaffolded and a bit more photogenic :)

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

C² and TCSE!

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

“Does anyone know what order of columns are in the Erechtheon? Anyone? Anyone? Something n-i-c columns. Ionic columns.”

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

Dirty feet!

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

Awwww!

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

Street performers.

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

After exploring the Acropolis, we wandered around through downtown Athens until we found a cafe that served the most traditional food we could find and had ourselves a veritable Greek feast! Between the four of us we ordered WAY too much food, but who knew when we’d be in Greece again so we just had to try it all! And it was worth it :)

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

Saganaki, spanakopita, dolmadakita, tiganita, souvlaki, gyros, and more!

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

Goodbye Greece, until we meet again!

 

NEXT STOP: Naples, Italy!

 

Cruise: Kusadasi, Turkey

I’m slowly catching up! I’m half-tempted to just post all the photos from Turkey and make you guys guess where they were taken and what was happening. But I guess I’ll be nice tonight and at least tell a story or two :)

Kusadasi was awesome. In fact, Turkey made it’s way onto the list of places we definitely want to come back to along with Israel. That’s the great thing about cruising I decided. You can use it as a sampler of sorts. You only get a day or two in each port, but it’s enough to weed out the places you don’t care to see again and to wet your appetite for places you discover you definitely want to explore in depth. Turkey wasn’t even on our radar before this trip. In our minds it was just an incidental stop on the cruise that took us primarily to Egypt, Israel and Greece. But by the end of our day there we loved it!

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

Sunrise over Kusadasi Port

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

What made a HUGE difference for us in Turkey was the fact that this time, instead of booking our tour through the cruise ship, we booked a private tour with Ekol Travel. Kolie found them after we couldn’t find a cruise tour that had what we wanted for an itinerary. The private tour for the four of us cost only slightly more than an excursion run through the cruise line and we had our own bus with our own tour guide. We could basically tailor the tour to our wants all along the way. It was fantastic! Plus, our tour guide knew the answers to every historical and cultural question we could throw at him, which we had a lot of! If you go to Turkey and need a guide, I would highly recommend these guys!

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

Outside the House of the Virgin Mary, where Mary supposedly lived out the rest of her life after John brought her to Ephesus after Christ’s death.

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

Prayers written on scraps of paper and tied to the fence outside Mary’s house.

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

The main event of our Turkish excursion was a tour through Ephesus. If I had had doubts about picking time travel as my super power before, they vanished as we explored Ephesus. It is only ruins now, but you can tell it was a fantastically GORGEOUS port city in it’s hey day. I mean… the streets were all paved with glittering white marble!! Pompeii was cool and all, but Ephesus was beautiful!

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

Evil Ephesian kitty.

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

The library.

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

After Ephesus, our tour included a private garden lunch of traditional Turkish foods. (Did I mention this tour was awesome?) I wish I kept a better record of what we ate, because it was delicious!

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

We got a lesson in silk production and were taken to a workshop where they still hand-weave traditional Turkish rugs.

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

We were taught all about the production of these rugs from start to finish, as well as the different materials used and different patterns created. In a world of factory-produced knock offs, I couldn’t believe the beauty of these handmade versions! (I’ve used that word a lot this post. Beautiful. It pretty much sums up Turkey in a nutshell!)

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

Trying not to step on these works of art, even though our host kept insisting, “Go ahead! They are rugs and are meant to be walked all over!”

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

Someone seriously wove this BY HAND out of silk made from those silk worm pods earlier in the post! Absolutely mind blowing.

After our tour of the rug workshop, our guide said goodbye and dropped us off outside a Turkish bath at our request. That was on Kolie’s list of must-dos in Turkey so we gave it a shot. Let me tell you… it was an experience and not for the modest or faint of heart! I won’t go into details now (I might give it its own post one of these days) but I can say I don’t think I’ve ever been so scrubbed squeaky clean in my entire life! Definitely one of the many highlights of our time in Turkey.

And now, I will leave you with a Turkish “Evil Eye.” It hangs over almost every doorway we saw in Turkey to ward off bad luck. I hope it brings you as much good luck as it did to us this trip!

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

NEXT STOP: Athens!