Last time I told you all about the ship so this week we will talk about the reason we actually chose this cruise, it’s itinerary. I have been to Venice a few times now but the sail away never loses it’s excitement for me. When standing on deck I still get goose bumps as this massive ship glides slowly past all the major sights of this charming city. So close you can see into windows and see the faces of the lovers sailing on the romantic Gondola rides. It is unbelievable at how close to the shore you sail.
The next day we arrived in the charming little Italian port of Brandis on Puglia’s Adriatic coast. This port dates back to the 3rd Century when the Romans took it from the Greeks and is famous for the Appian Way a road built by the Romans to move goods and troops from the centre of the Empire to the Eastern Med. I found this a very pretty port with lovely palmed lined streets and beautiful buildings, churches and Roman sites at every turn.
It was a midday arrival into Katakolon so we decided to book a transfer with the ship to Olympia as short on time. This was around 30 euros return and did not include entry. The following picture is of the exact place the Olympic torch is lit before being taken to Athens at the start of all of the Olympic Games .
The port itself is also a lovely place to spend your day with a vast array of the usual tourist shops and bars. Just a short walk from the town is a beautiful arch of beach that runs over 30 kilometers, so something for everyone here.
The next day was a highlight for my friends as we had a full day in Santorini I had been there several times before so this time instead of taking the cable car up to Thira we took a speed boat around the bay to Oia. We did this ourselves as there were lots of locals selling this as we stepped off our tender. Now Santorini is the most typical blue and white Greek Island and I was amazed at just how stunning and picture postcard Oia is. I LOVED IT and would say it is a must as not as busy as Thira but simply breath taking
We took a local bus back and the cable car down to our tender so felt we have seen so much of this island. You can also see the beaches and airport from the mountain road above. This picture shows the Musica in the background it is certainly a wow.
The port of Piraeus Athens followed with another full day. Again we decided to do our own thing and ran the walk out of port, yes being hassled to take trips taxis etc. Once outside a local taxi asked us where we were heading and we agreed a price of 20 euros each to take us
to the Acropolis, Temple of Zeus, the Olympic Stadium and free time to lunch and shop in the Plaka district of Athens finishing with a return to port. He was amazing. Stopped at places of interest en route offered to take photos and gave advise as to where to eat and shop.
On return from the Acropolis he had bottles of water waiting for us and at the Olympic stadium he produced laurel leaf crowns for us all to wear. We felt very safe and he was not pushy at all.
We obviously decided to pay more but when we handed him the money he said all of it ? we thanked him and we all felt a good day was had.
Corfu followed another late arrival which we found gave us time to relax and have a lie in after our 24,0000 steps in Athens. This also is within walking distance of the old town and we took a slow stroll which took about 40 minutes. We had all been to Corfu and were happy to wander the winding streets and people watch. (and a hand made wrap was purchased by me), well I need a light summer one.
Last port of call was my highlight as I have never been to Kotor. I had been told how beautiful it is and that it is worth getting up early to watch the arrival and my oh my it sure was. We docked at 7am and were due to leave at 1300 so 6am rise and shine. The ship docked directly in the Old Town where some have to tender.
The town reminded me of a small Dubrovnik with lots of tiny streets, churches and squares. The mountain views were stunning and all I can say is I will go back, take a look…..
Can you believe this was 23rd April for 7 days, clear blue skies everyday high 20’s temperature , how lucky were we.