Saturday, August 27, 2011

EUROPE TRIP Part 3: Venice and Cruise

These Europe Trip posts are taking their time getting up there...so I'll try to make this one a little bit quicker while entertaining....

After spending time in Rome and Bulgaria the next stop was Venice and then a cruise. So here we are in Venice. Tanner was soooo sweet to always carry my suitcase up the stairs! Isn't he great?!


Venice is a very unique city! I wasn't totally shocked like some people say they are - I guess I've seen enough movies featuring Venice and been to Disneyland quite a few times, so my imagination had conjured up something like this - but I don't want to take away from the wonder of Venice it is very remarkable.

I think the hot sun and the fact that we were going on 8 days of hardcore travel also added to the dulled effect Venice had on me.


We dropped our stuff off at the hotel - see how close the streets are? You can get lost so easily here.


There we went out exploring on the boat (with Rick Steves!) and to St. Mark's Square.


Classic!


St. Mark's Basilica. Very ornate inside and out.
The line was super long so I snuck in the exit and took a quick look!
Phew - the guard was distracted and didn't notice me.
At the top of the bell tower.



We were there on the hour, but unfortunately the bells didn't ring.
They only ring at 6PM. :(


I think old windows can be so romantic.

The whole crew.
Mom cooling off with her rag! I was jealous, although I was only wearing
that sheer top with no undershirt! Only in Europe!

The water rises and falls. Most houses don't use the
 first floor because everything will just decay.

After seeing those sights we took a little rest inside and then Tanner and I headed out again at night for some romantic exploring. We saw some big rats and found a lovely little string trio! That was my favorite part!





The next morning we went to the market and then got on the cruise ship!

Fish...yuck.

Flowers...yum.

So pretty.

The stops on our cruise ship were: Dubrovnik, Croatia; Athens, Greece; and Olympia, Greece.

DUBROVNIK was clean!!! Wow - compared to Italy it was spotless! This particular city is a big touristy spot (the reason I don't always prefer cruises) but was lovely just the same.

The water was so clear and the landscape was beautiful.
oh no!!!
The mountains are Serbia!
Us and our cruise ship.
See the ancient city wall? That's what it's famous for.
We went on a little tour around the area and stopped in this quaint town.
Kids were playing water polo and there were lots of big yachts.

Pretty side streets.
The old wall.

Next stop: ATHENS was busy and crazy! Again it was a really hot day - the HOTTEST day of the trip so that made it all a little bit more crazy. We decided just to dive right in and be the full on tourist that we were and jump on a double decker tour bus! By the end of the day my butt had melted onto the seat it was so hot! (A little piece of me left in Athens...) And all I could think of was getting back on that cool ship.

And there were like 17 other cruise ships there that day so it was crowded and chaotic. We smashed our way up the Acropolis. The Greeks need to think of a more effective way to funnel people up that place. (Something I wouldn't have thought of if Tanner wasn't my husband. Everywhere we went he would think of how they could do their business more effectively and efficiently.)

Despite being miserably hot and crowded, we enjoyed the amazing sites Athens has to offer.

On the bus.
Heading up to the Acropolis - and old ampitheater.
There she is! (No, not the lady on the right...) The Parthenon!

The Parthenon was in great condition until in 1680ish the Turks and Venetian were at
war and the Venetians bombed Parthenon which just happened to be were the Turks were
storing all their ammo. Kaboom!
And now they are working hard to restore it. And doing a very good job.
You can see where there is new white stone, 

And the much less visited Forum of Ancient Greece.
The Forum is the old city center whereas the Acropolis
was a religious site that was visited more infrequently
The Acropolis

Signs of the riots.

I don't have any pictures of our time on the ship. We were on Norwegian Cruise Line and it was great and came at the perfect time as we could use some relaxing midway a 3 week trip. We enjoyed the food, the shows, the sun, and played lots of card games.

The last stop was OLYMPIA and after our incredibly hot day of sight seeing in Athens we opted for a beach over more ancient ruins. (You really can only see so much before they start to blur.) So we rented bikes and rode to this beach where we played water games and more cards. It was an excellent way to finish off the relaxing, fun-filled cruise week!


Next stop: SLOVENIA...


2 comments:

  1. ~ The streets of Dubrovnik look beautiful. I love all the flowers

    ~ And I have always wanted to go to Greece. It is on my bucket list, but for now I will settle for living vicariously through your adventures. :-)

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  2. Beautiful places and beautiful family!!!

    ReplyDelete