Cruising The Greek Islands


Ever since I saw a photo of Greek Cycladic architecture with those white buildings and bright blue painted accents, I knew I wanted to visit. The Greek islands held a fascination for me that represented carefree beach days, winding pathways, delicious mediterranean food, and balmy sunset nights. I got to experience all that and more on my twenty days cruising the Greek islands.

I began my adventure in Athens for a few nights, took in the Acropolis and tried to recover from the jet lag of a 10 hour time differential. Then I boarded The World and we set sail for Mykonos. The World is a cruise ship unlike any others, in that the residents own their cabins, and most cabins are like small homes complete with kitchens, livings rooms, multiple bedrooms, balconies, etc. Despite the kitchens in the cabins, there are still five restaurants on board and plenty of amenities such as a spa, gym, theatre, pool, tennis court, billiard room, and multiple lounges for cocktails and live entertainment. I was in Heaven!

dsc00110

Breakfast onboard The World

dsc00124

As we cruised through the various Greek islands, large and small, I was surprised at the diversity in the landscape. There are 20 botanical regions in Greece! While Mykonos was lush with vegetation and charming window boxes, Santorini was volcanic and dry, and resembled a cross between a lunar plain and a barren desert. A friend told me that Mykonos is the “party island” and that gay life here is fabulous. How right she was. If I wasn’t bogged down with complete jet-lag, I would have danced the night away! We rented a lunar vehicle, I mean a scooter, on Santorini, and drove through the hot, dry, desert landscape to a black sand beach. Think “instant sunburn” and you have the picture. We did however make it up from the port (600 stairs or a cable car…guess which one I did,) from one end of the island all the way to the other end, to the town of Oia, in time to see the sunset on the blue dome.

dsc00543

Oia on Santorini at Sunset

dsc00179

Mykonos

dsc00159

Father in Mykonos

dsc00245

dsc00251

Mykonos

dsc00232

Dinner in Mykonos

 

 

DSC00250.JPG

Mykonos blues

Hydra was vehicle free and donkey abundant, while Patmos was a sanctuary with over 300 churches, including the Cave of the Apocalypse where it is believed that John had his revelation which would become the last book of the bible. When I entered it, I had a revelation that it was very old and dusty and my allergies would go crazy if I didn’t leave ASAP.

img_5596

Port of Hydra

img_5602

Walking in Hydra

img_5606

Hydra Tavernas

Tiny Folegandros was just 20 square miles, with one large mountain in the shape of a pyramid, and white houses covered in bougainvillea and geraniums. Crete, however, showed signs of it’s Turkish rule back in 1645. The buildings were of Byzantine, Turkish, and Venetian architectural styles. We visited a lake in Chania which was barren and windy with cool breezes blowing through the nearby gorges and waterfalls.

dsc00491

Folegandros

dsc00573

Folegandros, Greece

dsc00575

Folegandros sunset

dsc00577

Cliffs of Folegandros

dsc00581

Folegandros bougainvillea

dsc00661

Chania, Crete

In Karpathos, we spent our day on an old ship, called a caique, traveling to Mount Olympos, a village that is like a living museum, where the architecture, ethnology, linguistics, customs, and clothing date back hundreds of years. It’s the supposed birthplace of Prometheus.

 

dsc00761dsc00772dsc00777dsc00778dsc00788

dsc00789

Karpathos, Greece

img_5710

dsc00800

Karpathos, Greece

dsc00801dsc00819

One of my favorite stops photographically was Symi. Neoclassical mansions, built during Symi’s heyday as a shipbuilding and sponge diving center, line the hillsides above the port. The colors seemed to explode as pastel houses there hugged the azure harbor.

dsc00852

Symi, Greece

img_5707

Symi Harbor, Greece with view of Panormitis Monastery 

Rhodes was a large island and quite metropolitan in most areas. Despite that, I was able to wander the charming paths in Lindos and view the Acropolis, considered among the top ten of Greece’s important archaeological sites. The Old Town, an UNESCO World Heritage Site, was a bit disappointing, in that the walls and cobblestone walkways were beautifully preserved, but t-shirt shops and junky souvenir vendors lined every street.

dsc00939

Cobblestones on Rhodes

dsc00962

Rhodes cobblestones

dsc00971

Captain’s home in Lindos, Rhodes

img_4387

Acropolis of Lindos, built in the 2nd century BC

img_4389

Acropolis of Lindos, built in the 2nd century BC

DSC00950.JPG

Game of Thrones souvenir, anyone? 

Our final stop was actually in Cyprus, not Greece. I went on a culinary adventure day and toured a goat farm (delicious fresh cheese that was made to last only 3 hours), an olive orchard that produced olive oil, and an alfresco greek feast. Now that’s my kind of day!

dsc00991

Goat farm in Cyprus

dsc01000

Goat cheeses in Cyprus, white plate is the 3 hour cheese 

dsc01003

Olive orchard

dsc00894

Photos I just had to take:

dsc00025

img_5559

Athens

img_5626

Mykonos

 

 

dsc00322

Folangandros

img_5634

Male or Female?

 

dsc00403

Mykonos

dsc00453

Aboard the World

dsc00556

Santorini

img_5654

Hot cable car in Santorini

dsc00674dsc00716

dsc00884

Symi tourist

dsc00920

Aboard the World

dsc00891

Symi

dsc00902

The Evil Eye (Mati) is 6th century BC. If you wear it, you will ward off evil spirits. 

dsc00948

Gelato creatures

img_5732

Scott playing cricket onboard the World

 

 

 

 

Categories: beach, cruise, vacationTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 comment

  1. Fantastic account of our travels. Thanks for capturing the many moments. Love you.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: