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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A Trip Down Memory Lane in Olympia (Summer Sailing 2018)

I found Olympia to be an interesting stop. It was an area so deeply rooted in history that it felt like we were going back in time the second we stepped onto land. For this one, we chose to go with a tour because it was a bit of drive to Olympia itself from the port that we were docked at (Katakolon). The one good thing that I find about joining a group tour is that anytime you’re on the bus, especially at the beginning, the tour guide will launch into this long spiel about the local culture, the history, and more background of the places that they will take you. It’s a great pre-cursor to all the sights that you’re going to be see. When we got to Olympia, our guide led us around the area, pointing out sights and giving us the history behind it all. We saw…

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A Stroll in Saranda (Summer Sailing 2018)

To be quite honest, I never expected myself to end up paying a visit to Albania. In my mind, it was always one of those European countries that I’d never end up sticking a pin in on my travel map. But there we were. In Saranda. The night before the ship had docked, the cruise director made an announcement saying not to expect Saranda to be like the ports of call we had already docked at thus far. After seeing the grand old towns of Split and Dubrovnik and the stunning views, it was important that we didn’t expect to see the exact same things in Saranda. It wasn’t a popular port of call for many cruise lines, which is what made it unique, but also not as developed by tourism as other regions may be. We had chosen a tour that would take us all the way to the…

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Pearl of the Adriatic (Summer Sailing 2018)

They call it the Pearl of the Adriatic for a reason and now, I finally know why. Dubrovnik is one of those ports that stays with you long after you leave it. Even now, I close my eyes and I can picture the deep blue colour of the sea and the orange roofs seen from the top of the city walls. I can feel the sun on my skin and imagine the same breeze that I felt standing on the top of the fort. The beauty of the place was astounding. Even that word doesn’t sum it up properly. The city is incredibly photogenic; no matter where you turn, there’s a good photo just waiting to be taken. Each and every view looks as if it was pulled straight out of a picture book, and the colours look as if the saturation was turned all the way up on Photoshop.…

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