Marvelous Monte Carlo

I have to say that my only regret of our entire Mediterranean Cruise has to do with Monte Carlo. Reading about the ultra-wealthy city, it did not seem like a place with much to see or explore. As a result, we did not get off of the ship until 9am , despite anchoring at 6. In hindsight, I wish we would have disembarked earlier.  We ended up falling in love with the beauty and tranquility of this tiny treasure…

Amazing Ephesus

The wake up call at 6 am was a little tough to take this morning. However, the excitement of our journey to Ephesus eased the pain a bit. The Ruby Princess pulled in to port at 6:57 am, right on schedule, and we promptly disembarked to greet our tour guide from Hello Ephesus. We immediately took a liking to Bulent, aka Bill, as he was funny, knowledgeable, and looked remarkably like John Locke. (A character from my favorite TV show of all time, LOST…

Athens and the Acropolis

After 2 days at sea, we docked in the port of Piraeus at 8:55 this morning. We disembarked shortly thereafter and met up with our tour mates in the port arrival hall. We located our driver outside, and were a wee bit concerned as he was not too personable. However, shortly thereafter, our guide, Voula, arrived and kicked things into gear. She was a small woman, with a huge passion for her country and it’s history. The whole drive in to Athens she narrated the history of Greece in general, and Athens in particular. It was like a…

Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s Square

Today we set out for our last adventure in Venice….a visit to St. Mark’s Square and Doge’s Palace. We wandered the back streets for about 45 minutes, again oohing and ahhing over the window displays we passed. Then, as we turned a corner, we knew we were in St. Mark’s Square by the mass of people we encountered. Talk about a sea of humanity…

An Evening in Venice

After a brief nap this afternoon, we set out on foot again to see what adventures awaited. We started out on a different path than we took earlier in the day, happy to wander and absorb whatever awaited us down the road.As we walked amidst the wonderful smells and sounds of the city (no cars!!), we decided that we definitely needed to take a gondola ride…

A Few Hours in Venice

I must start my post about Venice with a confession. Italy has never been held in high regard in my mind. Why not? Well, when I was 13, I went to Europe with a marching band.  We spent 17 days on a whirlwind tour of 8 different countries. When it came to Italy, I only remembered some rude men looking me up and down, saying “Ah, American”.  Apparently that made a strong impression on me, as it overshadowed all other memories of that country. Now, today, 23 years later, I have finally changed my mind…