Adriatic Odyssey: Small vs. Large on the Adriatic

KOTOR, Montenegro – David and Goliath come to mind as we sit on our puny 177-foot three-masted yacht overshadowed by a humongous 5000-passenger cruise ship docked beside us in Corfu. Everyone on board our relatively insignificant vessel has something bad to say about the big bully ship and good about ours – especially as we sail toward Kotor, knowing that it will be much easier for our boat to maneuver the incredibly beautiful entrance into the town, …

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Adriatic Odyssey: Achilles Slept Here

CORFU, Greece – There’s an old tradition on this island: To marry a man from Corfu, a woman must spend a year in the house of her future mother-in-law. If she can still smile after this experience, she’ll make a good wife. A challenge, admittedly. But if it meant I could live the rest of my life on Corfu, I just might be able to manage it. What a special island this is. Wandering through the town …

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Adriatic Odyssey: Albania-Sunbathing beside ancient history

SARANDA, Albania –  How often can you put your towel down on a sunbathing beach next to the remains of an ancient Roman portico, circa 2nd Century A.D? We did that today and it was the perfect symbol of a country that boasts the ruins of past civilizations at every turn. Albania is a living museum.  It’s also a country on the verge of becoming a delightful destination for travelers in search of new opportunities for cultural …

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Adriatic Odyssey: When There Is No Doctor In The House

BAR, Montenegro – What do you do when you’re cruising on a small ship without a doctor in the middle of the Adriatic — somewhere between Korcula, Croatia, and Bar, Montenegro — and you wake up with a pain on the left side of your lower back that might be more than just a pulled muscle? Oh yes, and you have 10 more days before you’ll be anywhere near Massachusetts General Hospital and your Boston home? I …

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Adriatic Odyssey: A stop in Korcula

KORCULA, Croatia – “I have bad news and good news,” announced cruise co-ordinator Ninna Durinec after breakfast as we began the first full day of our Adriatic cruise. “The bad news is that we will not be able to make a swim stop this morning because of the rainy weather. The good news is that we are now cruising fully by sail.” The captain had promised that the crew would wake us up to watch the sunrise. …

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Adriatic Odyssey: A day in Dubrovnik, the “Pearl of the Adriatic”

DUBROVNIK, Croatia – There is a mass of tourists here in late June. Surprisingly, however, few of them are Americans. That may be because today — more than two decades after the last bomb dropped in the Croatian War of Independence — there are still no direct flights from the United States to Dubrovnik. It’s hard to get here. (One of the first Americans we met today after boarding our sail cruiser was still looking for her …

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Adriatic Odyssey: preparing to explore the Adriatic aboard AdventureSmith Exploration’s Panorama

I’m going on a mystery cruise next week. It’s not a game, and it’s not a mystery to the captain, but of the seven ports where we’ll stop, I’ve never heard of four of them. Korcula? Budva? Paxos Island? Kotor? Saranda? So why did I agree to hop on the three-masted sail cruiser “Panorama,” and spend eight days exploring these unheard-of cities and islands? Because this is an Adriatic cruise – and AdventureSmith Explorations, which calls the …

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Korcula — What’s a day without sunshine?

KORCULA, Croatia — We had to look this one up on the map, too. It seems like a door knob opening up a portion of the Croatian coast. Or maybe just a quaint medieval lump with lots of stair-step streets . In any case, it’s totally charming to Europeans in months like July or August. But to us it seemed wet, windy and slippery on dates like April the seventeenth. The Aegean Odyssey managed to tie up …

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Sometimes no plan is the best plan on vacation

All my plans for this week have gone awry. The freak snowstorm that struck the Northeast over the weekend knocked out our power in Connecticut and we have no clue when it may be restored. After one cold dark night in the house, we decamped to New York City last night and likely will be hotel hopping the rest of the week (if we can even find a room as the NY Marathon is this coming weekend). But …

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Exploring the historic Adriatic city of Dubrovnik

DAY FIVE:  Dubrovnik, Croatia (via the Wind Surf).  Where is my pedometer when I need it? It’s over 90 degrees and terribly humid and we’re  walking Dubrovnik’s famous 14th Century walls with its view of the red rooftops, the sea, the kayakers and sunbathers and our ship, the 315-passenger Wind Surf. Another plus of sailing on a small ship is that she can anchor just off shore–a five minute tender ride—rather than the larger port 20 minutes …

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