Venice Anyone? (part 3)
Date: 8/15/2007Our next stop was Athens, the capital of Greece. You can take a cab into the city from the pier in Piraeus (about 7 miles), take one of the pre-arranged shore excursions, or do as we did and arrange your own private tour. A must see is the Acropolis, home to the Parthenon.
Visit it early in the morning to avoid the heat of the day and the throngs of tourists, and be advised that it is not wheel chair accessible. If you get a chance, go to the top of Mt. Lycabettus, the highest hill in Athens. You'll get an amazing panoramic view of the city! Stop at the Plaka on the north slope of the Acropolis. The Plaka is the oldest section of Athens and most of the streets have been closed off to car traffic. Wander it's shop and taverna filled neighborhood.
Next day Katakolon, a small fishing village and the gateway to Ancient Olympia, which is a 40 minute ride and the site where the Olympic torch begins its journey. Visit the ruins and archeological museum which contains the famous Niki "Winged Victory". Or if you prefer a relaxing day, the village of Katakolon is quite charming with outdoor tavernas lining the waterfront.
On to Corfu, one of the greenest Greek islands, filled with the scent of lemon and orange trees, figs, cypresses and three million olive trees. It is also home to some the best beaches (some sand, some pebble) of all the Greek islands. You can grab a cab or rent a car at the pier, then tour the island's breathtaking panoramic views of the Ionian Sea before hitting the beach.
Split is located on Croatia's Dalmatian (no, not of the 101 dog fame) coast, a beautiful palm tree lined city directly on the harbor. The highlight of the city is Diocletian's palace, a retirement "home" that the Roman emperor commissioned to be built in 295 AD. This magnificent structure is enclosed by walls, gates and watchtowers, which at times housed over 9000 people. In November 1979, UNESCO added it into the register of the World Cultural Heritage. We also took a tour out to Krka National Park located along the Krka River, and what a great find this was! A wooded path takes you by the 8 sets of rapids and waterfalls, and at the end you can take a swim at the base of the falls. A cooling way to spend a hot summer day.
Speaking of hot, Europe has become one of the hottest destinations in travel right now. If you are planning a trip for next year, don't wait - call us now. You have to book early to get the best availability and lowest rates.
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Don & Maureen Anderson