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Jewel of the Seas Review (LONG) September 15-24, 2019, with travel pre/post cruise

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Posted (edited)

Rhodes continued....

We continue to explore. 

 

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We are looking for the Palace of the Grand Masters, the Street of Knights, and the Archeological Museum.

Again, map reading proves to be a problem; and this is one of my favorite moments, a very friendly shop owner

comes to my aid.  Shirtless and limited English speaking, he helps me out.

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What a dear man!

 

We finally get our bearings!

 

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We are almost alone save for this little cat enjoying the area too.

 

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Coming up next is inside the Palace and the other sites I mentioned, but we have a huge weekend ahead starting now, and I will have to continue this adventure of ours on Monday.  I will answer any replies but my access to pictures will have to wait till then.

Edited by ROWSE

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so we just did Rhodes today and I’m looking forward to hearing what you continued on to do!

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Posted (edited)

Rhodes continued...

After a lovely weekend it is time to continue our adventure, we started with the Palace of the Grand Masters and bought the combo ticket which included the Archeological Museum as well.  The descriptions say the Palace is one of the few examples of Gothic architecture in Greece. 

 

After our previous wanderings, we finally find the entrance...

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We enter into the inner courtyard

 

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It all just takes the breath away!

 

Edited by ROWSE

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Rhodes continued...

We are directed to start up this massive stairway

 

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There was so much to see this is just a few photos

 

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One of the many halls we walk down

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There was a lot of floor mosaics and a wonderful presentation about them

 

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A look out a window

 

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A little of the weaponry and punishment back then

 

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It was time to go now to see if we could find the rest of our places we wanted to see.

 

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Rhodes cont.

We walk out of the Palace of the Grand Masters to look down the Street of Knights.

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This was a view looking back after we walked down

 

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We found the museum and though there were many things inside that we could not take pictures of, this is some of the things we could.

 

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I asked about those small little archway door areas and they were little rooms used for storage during the time period.

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We loved the garden areas. 

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There were a lot of lime trees!

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Rhodes continued...

 

Still at the Archeological museum this area was the last part of our exploration. 

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It had many rooms with this kind of furnishings

 

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Those comfy seats looked quite inviting!  Instead we found our way out and a place for a snack.

 

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Here we enjoyed a hummus/pita snack and in the picture above, last shop on the right, I had a little gelato.

Such a lovely area.

Then we decided to start walking to reach outside the medieval city gates.

 

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Once outside the old city, we were smacked with the hustle and bustle of current day Rhodes.

 

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Wow was it a beach day for many!!! 

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On my trusty map, I could see they had an aquarium out on the point so we walked out to see both.

 

Views from the point...

 

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Rhodes continued..

We realized this was a very tiny aquarium, but heck, we were here and they entrance was 5.50 Euro each, so

we decided to give it a try.   Parts were not to my liking, but the tanks, which were under somewhat of a cave area were very nice.

Picture of back of building..

 

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A few pictures from inside

 

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Sort of a petting area

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Under the cave structure

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Lion Fish

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The best part of the whole things was getting to watch the antics of their octopus.  Fantastic!

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We were tired and hot so decided to head back toward the ship.

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It was a little bit tricky to find the entrance to where to return to the ship and we over shot it and had

to come back.  We were not alone, several people did the same thing.  The sign "to ship" was very

low to the ground.

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Posted (edited)

Once back on the ship after Rhodes, we had a little more to eat and then a nap in the cool dark room of ours.

I really did love our inside cabin!

We dressed and headed to the Diamond Lounge after a lovely nap. 

Snacks in the lounge...

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Our view...

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We met our friends for dinner...

 

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My notes say our service was quite slow tonight and things were just okay.  Dessert was very tasty however.

 

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We had our Loyalty Event tonight as well

 

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Even with a nap, we found ourselves back in the cabin and in bed fairly early as we have a BIG day coming

in Santorini tomorrow!!! 

 

 

Edited by ROWSE

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23 hours ago, singinalot said:

so we just did Rhodes today and I’m looking forward to hearing what you continued on to do!

I am excited to hear what you two did as well! 

 

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September 20, Santorini, Greece

 

I was probably most eager for this port of call, and I was both excited and nervous as our plan today was to hike the trail between Fira and Oia.  I had read many reviews and knew that it was six and a half miles at least, over many different terrains, up and down hills.  Even though we hike, I was nervous that it would be too much for me.

 

Our friends were also hiking it, but we decided to not do it together as they are much more speedier walkers than my husband and I are and I wanted to take my time.

 

We were up at 5:45 a.m. as we wanted to have breakfast and be one of the first off the ship.  It is best to hike in cooler temperatures and today was going to be a hot one.  It was still dark outside when we ate in the buffet.  Back in the room and hubby is ready for our adventure.

 

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We gathered our stuff and headed down to find where we were to go to tender.  As I got to the lower stairs there was a gate but right at that moment one of the employees opened it for tendering.

We were on the first tender!!!  SCORE!!! 

 

Our view off the tender.

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Once on shore a person has a choice of taking the cable car up, walking, or a donkey ride.

We chose the cable car.  This is 6 Euro each one way.  We were on the first cable cars up too! 

Just a note:  There is a bathroom at the bottom and of course I used it as my motto is "Never Pass a Potty"

and it was free.  Later when we came back down there was a guy wanting 1 Euro.  I think it was just

a guy set up to earn some money, not anyone official or anything. 

 

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We make it to the top!  What a beautiful ride!

 

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I had a copious amount of notes and they said to go left to find the start of the trail by a church.  BUT all my instincts felt we should go right as it was a walk along the caldera and that was what we were seeing looking right.  It was perfect the way we did it,  and I am sure you can get on the trail back by the church, but it was farther back tracking. 

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Santorini continued....

WOW is all I can say!  The beauty of this place takes your breath away!  We walked past and through hotel areas and into shop areas but continued to stay on a walkway on the edge of the caldera. 

 

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The lovely Jewel of the Seas down below

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Sunrise in paradise!

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That rock I am pointing to way out on the trail is Skaros Rock.  There is a trail off the main one to go out to it,

but that adds a great deal of time onto this hike so, though we accidently took that trail at first, we back tracked

and got back on the regular trail.  That would have added too much time to our hike.  This was our one and only mistaken direction on the trail.  Thankfully I had some great notes, and good luck.  Note:  Don't follow any kind of GPS if you are doing this hike.  Our friends did, and it directed them by the main road and not the trail.  They had a back track eventually of a mile I think, but they got back on the trail.

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Santorini continued...

We hike and are getting father along.  Here is a look back at the ship.

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A sign we are glad to see so we know we are on the right trail

 

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A close up of Skaros Rock

 

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Way off in the distance is our destination...Oia

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Whoops, gathered a rock our two in the shoe as well

 

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Santorini continued....


After awhile I am thinking I need a bathroom, but the one that was listed as possible was not open.  I am a "go in the woods" girl, but there really wasn't places to do that.  I happen to see this lovely hotel and a gal cleaning in what I think is a bathroom.  My husband watches, in probable horror, as I trot over a small rock ledge and over to her to ask if I may use the washroom.  She says okay, and I make quick use of it.  My hubby has to go equally as much and after he sees the gal leave the area as I rejoin him,  he decided he is next.  No one was up and about at this hotel yet anyway. 

Thank you to the nice lady that let us go!!! 

 

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That still looks so far away.

 

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We keep on going and see so many lovely sites.

 

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Over this area is a big down hill and then you have to go on the main road for a little while as

cars go whizzing by.  I read they are use to watching out for pedestrians.  We made it alive anyway!

Then there was the BIG up hill and there were actually another person selling donkey rides up

at this point. 

Up we go...

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We make it to the top

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Posted (edited)

Santorini continued....

We hit the top and it is all down hill from here, which was quite tricky on the walking too!

 

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Even though they left later than us and had their off trail tangent, our friends caught up with us on the downhill.  Perfect timing as then we got to experience Oia together!

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Anyone care for the return walk??? NOT!!!

 

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Oia is so cute!

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Edited by ROWSE

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Posted (edited)

Santorini continued...

We continued on into the little town.

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We were all in need of a drink.  We find a place overlooking the water.  Our view.

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My yummy Strawberry Daiquiri 

 

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My hubby thought it was funny how we all searched for wifi

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This was the name of the place we had drinks.

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Edited by ROWSE

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Santorini continued....

It was a little early for restaurants to open, but we were starving and upon looking at this one they decided it

was time to open.

 

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We are ready!

 

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Sardines

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Pasta for me...

 

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and hubby

 

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Moussaka for my friend

 

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Everything was delicious!!! 

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Posted (edited)

Santorini continued...

 

After our amazing lunch we are off to explore some more around Oia.  It is getting so crowded it is hard to get by

on the little walkways.

 

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This is the very tip of Oia before the water

 

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We celebrate we made the hike, are in this beautiful place, and are BEST friends!

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Edited by ROWSE

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Santorini concludes....

 

After having enough of the crowds, we find our way to the bus stop.  We line up in a line facing where the bus is coming to pick up.  A store owner makes us move sideways as he thinks we are blocking his shop.   We are only about

8 back from the front of the line, BUT the bus pulls up parallel to the now moved line and the door in the front and back open and people get out.

 

Once they were out, the front is blocked so we can't get in and everyone entered suddenly from the back door and the back of the line jump on.  The first ones in line are told NO MORE ROOM from the driver.  UGH!!  We were hot and tired and really upset that people did this.  After a lot of grumbles the driver says 10 more can get on which was us.  We had been one of the first to line up and now we had to stand the whole way back.  Oh well, we were on the bus. 

 

Very unorganized chaos that is for sure!

 

After arriving at the bus station in Fira, our friends decide they are going to look for some fast internet, but we are

tired and ready to be out of the crowds and head up to find the cable car line.

 

In my research I had read about how long the line can get and wanted to be back early.  In my imagination I thought there was at least an organized line.  NO, it is a mass of people trying to figure out where the heck the line is, winding among all the little walkways and stores.

 

We find it and are with a jolly group of people.  Jolly till someone tries to just jet past and right to the front and then

wow were they told what for.  The guy had a voucher for tickets that you get from being on the tours, but those people have to stand in line to exchange their voucher for tickets just the same as everyone else and it was really hard to get the guy to understand that.  Finally we were on the cable car and had beautiful views on the way down.

 

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Note:  Our friends came back way closer to all aboard time to the cable car and they had no line or no wait at all.

 

Once back on the ship, and after hubby's nap, we had drinks in the Diamond Lounge and met our friends for dinner. 

 

This was some appetizers hubby had in the Diamond Lounge.

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Yummy Indian meal at dinner

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Love those souffles!

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We have another big day tomorrow in Athens, so we called it a night and had this little guy to come back to.  Our day in Santorini was magnificent, and I was proud of myself for doing the hike with no problem at all! 

 

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Beautiful photos and congratulations on completing the hike!

 

I wonder what would happen if someone wanted to put up an umbrella in a color other than white? I've never seen so many white umbrellas. :classic_biggrin::classic_biggrin:

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36 minutes ago, Coralc said:

Beautiful photos and congratulations on completing the hike!

 

I wonder what would happen if someone wanted to put up an umbrella in a color other than white? I've never seen so many white umbrellas. :classic_biggrin::classic_biggrin:

That's for sure!  Freedom of color choice looks like it is not possible in most of Greece😄

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I agree about the bus - what a chaotic mess!  So glad we opted for a taxi on the way back.  It was bliss - cool, quiet and fast!  I definitely won't do a bus like that again.  

So impressed you guys did the walk to Oia!  

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Posted (edited)

September 21, 2019-Athens, Greece

 

We awake early as we meet our private tour outside the terminal at 7:30.  We have breakfast in the buffet in the dark again.  This is daylight starting to break in the port of Athens.

 

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 We joined a few of our fellow Cruise Critic people on this tour today, and it was fantastic. 

 

After meeting our group, and wondering if we should go get better jackets, as it was quite cool this morning, we were off to the Acropolis.  It got very hot later so those that went without were fine.  Our guide had a lovely long name, but she let us call her Val for short.  She spoke quickly and said they had nicknamed her machine gun mouth.  I will attest, they are right.  She gave us so much amazing information it was hard to take it all in.

 

We stopped at the overlook before climbing the Acropolis  the views over this 10 million population city were breathtaking. 

 

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A look back at the sun rising over the Acropolis

 

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As we started our walk up we saw the guards coming down.  There had been a changing of the guards.

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On up we saw the The Odeon of Herodes Atticus which is the theater.

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Walking to the top it is quite crowded.  Forgot to mention our friends joined us on this tour.

 

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Edited by ROWSE

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12 minutes ago, DrivesLikeMario said:

I agree about the bus - what a chaotic mess!  So glad we opted for a taxi on the way back.  It was bliss - cool, quiet and fast!  I definitely won't do a bus like that again.  

So impressed you guys did the walk to Oia!  

Glad you are still reading along.  I am just coming to our Athens tour with you!  You were smart to get the taxi.  If there would have been one, we would have taken it, but there were no taxi's and a line of people waiting for one. 

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