2012 1st Half

Athens, Greece

At 9:30 AM on April 11, 2012 we made our way into the port of Piraeus, Greece the gateway to Athens. We spent 2 days here and both days we took the Metro into Athens about a 25 minute ride. On the first day we went to the New Acropolis Museum, which is built of the site of some ancient ruins. Here we spent about an hour looking at this impressive collection while having marvelous views of the Acropolis above. After our visit we decided to go down Ermou Street and do some exploring in the Plaka, the main shopping area. We then had lunch before returning to the ship. On day 2, we decided to go...

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Odessa, Ukraine

On April 9,2012, we arrived in Odessa in the Ukraine. It was a very cold & windy 41º F when we left for our tour the “Best of Odessa”. We left the pier which is situated right below the town and at the foot of the Potemkin Stairs by bus and proceeded to the area called “The Duke”. Here we left the bus. The Duke is situated at the top of the Potemkin Stairs and has the Monument to Duc de Richelieu as its focal point. We started to walk along Primorsky Blvd. Passing street entertainers as we proceeded to the Town Hall, Archaeological Museum and ending up at the...

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Constanta, Romania

On April 8, 2012, we docked in Constanta. It was a very cloudy morning as we set out on our tour. Our first stop was the “Casino” built in 1910, a once grand building in Art Nouveau Architecture.  It was in need of repair as it was abandoned by the Russians when they left Romania, taking anything of value with them. The next stop was the Archaeology Museum with its’ collection of  Grecian and Roman Art. Leaving the museum we then went to the Popular Art Museum which had various costumes and art on display. This museum prepared us for our lunch stop which was a folkloric...

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Bosporus Strait Asia Side, Turkey

At 5:30 PM on April 7, 2012 we left Istanbul and started our trip into the Black Sea via the Bosporus Strait. This was our 5th time we sailed the Bosporus, but this was the first time we were able to view the Asian side in the daylight. Although not as populated as the European side there were a few interesting sites along the 1 hour journey through the strait. Of particular note where the Kuleli Military School, built in 1845, the Anatolian Fortress, built between 1393 and 1394 and the Yoros Castle, a Byzantine Castle built in the 13th Century. (Note: If you want to see the European side of...

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Istanbul, Turkey

On April 5, 2012 we started to enter the Bosporus, at 10:30 AM, from the Sea of Marmara and had our first glimpse of Istanbul. The weather was hazy and over cast but the shoreline soon became visible and the views of The Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia & Topkapi Palace were magnificent. We sailed past them on our way to a three day stay. Our first afternoon we went to the New District in Istanbul, which lies above the port. To get there we took a tram called “Tünel” to the top and the main pedestrian street call Istiklal Street. We proceeded to Taksim Square at the end of the...

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Mgarr, Gozo, Malta

April 1st  left Valletta at 7:00 AM and proceeded to Gozo the second largest island in Malta. We arrived outside Mgarr, a tender port, at 9:00 AM. Today we toured the island on a ship’s tour. After tendering into the port we boarded a coach and proceeded to Dwejra seashore and the Azure Window. On our way we passed a Palm Sunday processional in the town of  San Lawrenz. The sea coast had large cliffs and various outcroppings which were very impressive. The jewel of the coast is the Azure Window a large arch cut out by the sea. From there  we drove to Gozo’s capital, Victoria....

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