A cruise, is that not a somewhat sedate form of holiday for the retirees? Or is that idea outdated? As a traveler who normally prefers the more adventurous kinds of travel I got a chance to go on a cruise through the Mediterranean with the Holland America Line for a Dutch travel website. The cruise, that had as theme ‘Ancient Mysteries’, took me from Istanbul, via the Greek Islands of Mykonos and Rhodos and the Turkish ports of Kusadasi (for Efese), Bodrun and Antalia in Turkey to Nafplion and Crete in Greeece.
As adventure can be seen as exploring something unknown, exploring the world of cruising was kind of an adventure for me. I am not a big fan of Casino’s, musicals, dancing competitions and hotel bars so beforehand I was wondering a bit how to 'survive' this adventure. It turned out the ship is not really like a big floating hotel as someone told me but more like a small floating neighborhood, with restaurants, entertainment and shopping streets. And, as in real streets, there are things you like and things you don’t. The ship had many different auditoriums, bars, lounges and little getaways, the latter something characteristic of the Holland America Line I was told. And I really liked some of the entertainment, some lounges, the places the ship docked and off course enjoying the sun in a deck-chair. All of that, combined with the good food and the comfort of the whole stay, made that I actually quite enjoyed this little adventure. You get to see different places, can enjoy good food and don’t have to pack your suitcase for the duration of your trip. Not the kind of trip I am going to do every year but something worthwhile to experience at least once. Or even more often.
A wonderful city. I should have extended my stay there. As it turned out, my time was a bit limited. But the Aya Sofia is still one of my favorite buildings and a walk through part of this town is always interesting.
The archetypical Greece from the postcards. A nice city centre with white plastered houses, little churches, windmills and fine street views.
A former centre of power with much more grandeur than Mykomos. Castles, palaces and other traces of knighthood.
Kusadasi is the port of call for a visit tot the ancient town of Efese. Efese is described as the New York City of ancient times. Metropolis, Harbor, center if trade. The size of the excavations is impressive.
A harbour town full of traditional looking wooden ships for small charters. And a crusaders castle with interesting exhibitions of old ships and huge amounts of glass that was taken by boats to be recycled.
A surprise. This small town has been Greek, Turkish, owned by the crusaders and by the Venetians. And all that is visible in the enormous fortifications and the atmospheric streets.
Home of the palace of the legendary king Minos and the even more legendary Minotaur. You can see what is supposed to be King Midas Throne. There is no sign of the Minotaur however.