Athens,busy and bustling, despite the financial crisis

The view from our breakfast table on the top floor of the Hotel Grand Bretagne is spectacular – with the acropolis outlined against the morning sky. It is nice to take time and enjoy a leisurely breakfast.  While we have enjoyed all of the excursions on our cruise, it was a busy ten days, with something new to see or visit every day.  Today we are on our own schedule, though the things we intend to tour …

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Disembarkation and an excursion to the Acropolis

ABOARD THE MV AEGEAN ODYSSEY-One of the best advantages to sailing on a small ship is that disembarkation is so much less hassle.  We enjoyed our last breakfast on the back deck, picked up our small bags and walked off the ship and into the cruise terminal.  Our bags had been picked up the night before and were waiting for us. I have sat in lounges on big ships for ages, waiting to disembark.  This was quick …

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“I have kissed the lips of a King.”

ABOARD THE MV AEGEAN ODYSSEY– This morning, the view from our balcony was of the warm golden stones of the Bourtzi, a Venetian castle that stands on an islet in the middle of the harbor at Nauplia. After breakfast we boarded the tenders to meet buses and drove through the countryside – down roads lined with orange and lemon and olive groves – to Mycenae. “I have kissed the lips of a King.” That was the claim …

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A culinary tour of the Aegean Odyssey

ABOARD THE MV AEGEAN ODYSSEY–We were on board the Aegean Odyssey for ten days. When you are dining in the same venue for ten days, the quality of the food is an important issue.  I am happy to report that I did not have a bad meal on this voyage, and enjoyed many superior ones. The chef is the person who, on such a small ship, exercises a great deal of influence and control.  I sat down …

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Exploring the birthplace of Zeus: Rethymnon, Crete

ABOARD THE MV AEGEAN ODYSSEY– When I opened the curtains in our stateroom this morning, the view was incredible –a stone seawall, the blue water of an ancient Venetian harbor flanked by shops and cafes, and overlooked by a massive fortification, and beyond that, the mountains. Our morning excursion took us to the Palace of Knossos.  The ruins of this ancient palace are fantastic and they are 1200 years older than the Acropolis in Athens.  The site …

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The white cliffs and blue domes of Santorini

ABOARD THE MV AEGEAN ODYSSEY– Santorini is an island I have dreamed of for years, and today I get to visit. It’s another bright sunny day and as we sail up to the island, there in front of us are the spectacular cliffs of Santorini, rising from the great half moon caldera. It is more gorgeous than I imagined. There’s an early morning start at 8:15, and I’m one of the first ones on the bus.  We …

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Two islands, two different experiences: the classical antiquities of Delos and the decadent charms of Mykonos

ABOARD THE MV AEGEAN ODYSSEY–I feel some guilt about the fact that I have not made it to any of the fitness classes with Inga.  She does yoga and pilates on the top deck at 6:45 and other guests have told me they are terrific, but I can’t seem to get myself to bed early enough – too many people to talk to, too much music to listen to.  We do some walking on the tours, though, …

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The lecture series: A value-added layer for the thoughtful traveler

ABOARD THE MV AEGEAN ODYSSEY —I am convinced that this is the future of travel, particularly of cruising, but also of any kind of travel.  The addition of a cultural, artistic or archeological enrichment is very attractive for the modern traveler.  Their  everyday lives are complex and challenging, and I believe because of that, they will have expectations for a more intellectually demanding tourism experience.  They want to do more than look; they want to learn and …

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The Aegean Odyssey visits Pergamon and Asclepion, and I am impressed by my cruisemates

ABOARD THE MV AEGEAN ODYSSEY — Today’s start wasn’t so early, with buses  leaving at the respectable hour of nine, which meant we could have a long breakfast on the back deck, enjoy the morning sunshine, and talk with some of our fellow passengers. Many of the passengers are older than us by quite a bit.  The average age is 65, but there are some young people, notably two young British girls in their twenties, and some …

Read moreThe Aegean Odyssey visits Pergamon and Asclepion, and I am impressed by my cruisemates

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