Owl Coin charm



Trip to Greece and Ephesus, March 2012      Site summaries: A | B | C | D | E | F       Begin slide show C

On Day 4 of our vacation in Greece we temporarily said goodbye to Athens and were bussed to the port of Piraeus to board the Cristal and begin the island-hopping portion of our adventure.

Catiya says that the word "pirate" is derived from the name of this port on the Mediterranean Sea.

The trip through Athens took about 20 minutes and it was interesting to see the suburbs of the city of Athens along the way.

The Cristal was a very nice cruise liner, well-tended, with a pleasant crew.

I was pleased when entering our cabin to find a magazine greeting me with a smiling photo of Athony Quinn as Zorba, the Greek. Seeing that movie , one of my favourites, had caused me to want to visit Greece. It was nice to find him welcoming me to the tour of Greek islands, even though he died in 2001 and was Mexican and not Greek. He played Zorba wonderfully, however!

A. Quinn as Zorba

Island-hopping is fun. Our first stop was at sunset on our first evening aboard the Cristal...

There, and at all our ports-of-call, we were the first tourist boat arriving in the new season. All along the way we were made welcome and catered to.

I was particularly impressed with our stop at Kusadasi, Turkey, which is in Asia, not Europe. I never dreamed I'd visit Asia!

We arrived in very early morning of Day #5. We were bussed inland, and our first stop was at a site high in the hills where it is believed by Catholic scholars that Mary, the mother of Christ, spent her final days. A wishing-wall there was unusual. The spot was lovely, and sacred to believers.

I was particularly impressed with the ruins of the ancient city of Ephesus. Our guide told us Ephesus had once been a port city, but the port silted in. Large ships could no longer reach the city, therefore the city waned and died. Only 1/3 of the ruins have been unearthed thus far, but the site is HUGE! The rocks, stones and marble enveloped me and overwhelmed me with the miracle of their magnitude.

The amphitheatre at Ephesus was SO LARGE as to be mind-boggling. We were reminded that St. Paul had preached to the Ephesians at this spot. I was impressed!

Greek Islands and Turkey have many independent cats. I took photos of many cats on this leg of our adventures.


Day 4 (Monday): All Aboard cruise liner, The Cristal

Sports arena as we leave AthensAthens hillsideWaiting to board the CristalCheryl and I shared this cabinView across our cabinLeaving the port of PiraeusGathering for safety drill, first thingOur anchorHow to don a life vestInto the channelView through our wonderful cabin windowFine dining. I never ate here.Swimming deck dining. I ate here several times.Top deckMike, Kathy and Cheryl, happy family, fellow travelersCarol emulates Buster as The NavigatorTour group gals enjoy beautiful topside weatherNavigation geerTop deck loungchairsTop deck loungechairs BFloation deviceCutting the waters of the MediterraneanStir-fry cooks whip up lunch while we wait in line for fresh foodFirst lunch aboard. Yum.A couple enjoy the cruise and each otherNavigation devices BOur wakeHelicopter swooped in, then left quickly alsoOur wake BTheatre-loungeBlue MediterraneanMediterranean BWatching the sun lowerOur wake COur wake DHot tub, aftFrom deck just outside our cabin windowGreek rock islandGreek rock island BLadder aboardCaptain's stationMore quiet view of our anchorPersonnel onlySlippery when wet warningSixth floor deck

Day 4 (Monday): First stop: Sunset at Mykonos
Early view of MykonosDocking at MykonosPebbled walkway, MykonosHilltop, MykonosThe Cristal, docked at MykonosThe Cristal docked BTown on MykonosWalking toward retail area after disembarking from our bus tripCarol on MykonosCarol presents Mykonos IslandWashburn group enjoying our walkRetail area of Mykonos, as sun setsRocks and harbor, MykonosMykonos rocksSun setting at MykonosWater's edge, MykonosA water channel, MykonosSmall vessel tied up at MykonosWater's edge, MykonosSun continues to set, MykonosGlenda dips a foot into the MediterraneanGlenda at One with the Mediterranean SeaGlenda straps her sandal back onSunset at MykonosSunset at MykonosWater's edge, with sand

Day 4 (Monday): Shopping, exploring, eating and drinking at Mykonos
Narrow Mykonos street in twilightShopping at twilightPublic square, MykonosCobblestone street, MykonosChurch, MykonosResident's door, MykonosBack to the water's edge, MykonosLast sunlight, MykonosOur travel group gathers for food and drinkMike lights up a big, fat cigarLearning I LOVE feta cheese drizzled in olive oil and Ouzo as beverageNieghborhood cat, first spottedBeds aboard turned back when we return

Day 5 (Tuesday): Our one stop in Asia—Kusadasi, Turkey
Awakening to Turkish shorelineEntering port at Kusadasi, TurkeyPort at Kusdasi, TurkeyRoy climbs aboard our tour bus, early morningOfficially in AsiaAnchor displayed ashoreCity is partly walledShoreside thoroughfareFairly newly-built hotelTurkish countrysideTurkish countryside BTurkish countryside CTurkish countryside D

Day 5 (Tuesday): House of the Virgin Mary

Well, House of the VirginWishing Wall, House of the VirginReconstructed House of the VirginFront entrance, House of the VirginHouseside garden areaOne of many catsHouse window, a reconstructionOur group awaits their turns at entering House of the VirginLighting candlesLit candlesAbout this sacred spotVirginal logoAnother catNancy with her bookmarks and rosary

Day 5 (Tuesday): Ephesus

Beginning our walk at EphesusIndependent cat at Ephesus Ruins of a very small amitheatre at one end of the city of EphesusBeginning of our walk through the ruinsTourists among the ruinsHillside near ruinsFig treeFirst figs I've ever seen in the process of growingRuins BFluted columnRuins CImpressive fluted columnsColumns, ruins, climbersRocks and marbleStone archCorinthian columnsLonger view, Corinthian columnsCapital detailingSquare archCaves, etc.Caves and marbleI touched this fluted column. Wow.LandscapeCarving detailA look over what was once a harbor, now slited inRuins BRuins COur tour guide lectures about this ancient cityTurkish guys sit and talkAlong the path downward to the libraryMarble detailingOur walkwayBeautiful marble carvingOur group, with the library in the center distanceCorinthian capitalsLibrary's two-story facadeRuins EVarious tired columnsIndependent catStonework buildingSerious ruinsRound columnExcavation siteEphesus is only one-third excavatedAnother catProud Ephesian catBeautiful round columnBeautiful circularly fluted columnBeautiful stone archesRuins FRuins GKeystone has a face, marble archArch and carvingBeautiful stonework detailingStorage siteAncient textThese were retail shopsPublic bathPublic toliets for menMarble toilet seatsRuins GColumns and foundationsWe near the libraryOur guide explains this sarcophagus contains the remains of the sister of CleopatraCat, etc.SeatingStone archwaysHeavy stone arch beside the libraryLibrary facadeA view through a hugh archOur group on the library stepsInside what is left of the libraryLibrary facade BSide view of library facadeFlat ground level we are about to walkHuge crane aids in the restoration of a HUGE amphitheatreWalkwayDandilions and flowersDandilions and poppies (this IS Turkey)Ruins HCat attentionGround-level view of the huge amphitheatreLonger view, ground-level, of amphitheatreHappy catMale cat, obviouslyDistant view of the huge amphitheatreInteresting rock constructionInteresting rock construction BTourist respiteTurkish lady helpsIndependent dogs, Ephesus

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