The Other Tip of Sicily (Summer Sailing 2018)

Another sunny, scorching day in Sicily! This time, we were docked on the other tip of the Sicilian triangle. After Messina, I had a really great impression of Sicily in general, and I was looking forward to what we would get to see. One of the main things I’ve noticed? The climate is insanely humid and dry. After just half an hour or so of walking and standing underneath the beating sun, I can feel the sweat start to form. That’s when I really wonder to myself how people manage to live and thrive in this climate year-round. For today’s port, we were booked on a tour that would take us around Palermo AND Monreale, which was another historic hill-town in the Metropolitan City of Palermo. It overlooks a very fertile valley, and was most known for its stunning cathedral which we were going to be paying a visit to.…

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Taking a Dive in Gozo (Summer Sailing 2018)

We went to bed in Valletta and by the time we opened our eyes, we were in Mgarr, a town on the island of Gozo, which is part of the Maltese archipelago.             This was supposed to be our “kick back and relax” port of call. We were booked on a Sail and Swim excursion and so, our day was looking to consist of just those two things: sailing and swimming. We put on our swimsuits, grabbed our towels, and practically ran off the boat, excited for the day ahead.  This whole trip so far has been so much sightseeing, walking, and planning. For once, we could abandon that for a day and just suntan on a sail boat and swim with the fishes in the Mediterranean Sea.             Our tour guide/sailors led us onto the boat and after a brief introduction, our ship headed off to the Blue Lagoon.…

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Malta’s Capitals Old and New (Summer Sailing 2018)

I was excited to be in Malta! I had previously heard so many people express how beautiful the country was, and especially how stunning Valletta was. This was also a completely new destination for us – a new pin on the world map when we would get home. We knew that there was a lot of ground to cover in Valletta, so we chose to book a tour with the ship. Sometimes, in a foreign city that has as many sights to see as this one, it can be easier to be ‘on a leash’, getting dragged to the good places by the expert locals. So we picked the tour, Malta’s Capitals Old and New. Once again, we were going to be whooshed back in time, and then shot forward to the present. We started the morning off by driving to Mdina, which had an extensive history dating back to…

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An Unexpected Visit to Messina (Summer Sailing 2018)

So this post is starting off with a twist, as promised. While we were still docked at Souda, the captain came on the loudspeaker and announced that because of high winds and strong waves, the Oosterdam was not going to be arriving in Mykonos. Safety is always the priority, and he did not want to play games with Mother Nature. So instead, he managed to secure us a berth at Messina in Sicily. In the original itinerary, we were scheduled to visit Palermo, so this would mean we’d be exploring Sicily twice. To be honest, I was a little disappointed when I first heard the news. Even though we’d already been to Mykonos before, I was excited to go again and explore the fun aspects of Greece, instead of sightseeing. We had purchased a transfer to go to Elia Beach, which was one of Mykonos’s nicest beaches. I was already…

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Summer in Souda (Summer Sailing 2018)

Greece, in my opinion, is painted in social media and in blogs to be such an ideal getaway country.  The sky is always blue, the sea is even bluer, and you’re eating good food. The nightlife is good, the weather is nice and hot, and the shades of blue and white of the buildings make every photo you snap to be picture perfect. It’s a vacation country and its islands always make it on every ‘Where you Should Travel Next’ list. On our last cruise in the Mediterranean, we had stopped at Mykonos (which was on the original itinerary for this trip, too) and Athens. This time, our ship was going to be rolling into the port of Souda, which was on Crete Island. The town of Chania, which was only a few miles away from where the ship was docked, was where everybody was heading. Because everything was within…

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