Montenegro is not a country I have ever even heard of, but it was our last stop on our cruise. The medieval town of Kotor.
There is a castle up on the hill that we decided to hike to. It was so hot outside and the hike was much harder than we anticipated, by the time we made it to the top we were soaking wet (sweat), but the view was of course amazing. (This is the view of the castle from the town, see it up on the right?)
And we found a cute little church behind the castle.
Overall we very much enjoyed our cruise. We had dinner each night with another military family stationed up in Germany. The food was plentiful on the ship, there were lot’s of activities and entertainment including a pool, we had a great time. After a week of being on the ship though, we were ready to be home.
Argostoli is a very small port town, there didn’t seem to be much there. We asked a shop keeper and she said to go see the turtles. The turtles ended up being kind of interesting. There are 6 loggerhead turtles that hang out in this bay and eat the fish guts that the fisherman throw out from their daily catch. This is highly unusual as these turtles do not normally eat fish. Because these turtles are so “lazy” and do not travel very far, they have very thick moss on their shells.
Seeing as there wasn’t much in town, we headed for the beach. We learned on the way there that Greek taxi drivers are very offended if you try to haggle with them. After asking three separate taxi drivers for a lower price (that a shop keeper told us we could get), receiving no response except the screeching of tires…we finally accepted their price and rode to the beach. Well worth the price though…I’ve never seen water so clear…it was incredible. Not even in Hawaii does the water look like this.
I was super excited for our stop in Athens, Greece. But it turned out to be super disappointing. We had about four hours at each port and for Athens, that just was not long enough. It is a huge city and it took up half our time just getting around. We decided to try out the hop on hop off bus. We rode it to the Acropolis, wandered around there and then had just enough time to hop back on the bus and finish the loop back to the port without getting off again.
The Acropolis was pretty amazing though. I wish it wasn’t missing so many pieces from all the looters and raiders, but it’s amazing how much is still left really, considering how old it is. So much stinking history…I need to do some research so that I know more about it. Lot’s of stories started here.
Next stop was by far our favorite, Santorini, Greece. A very Greek city way up on the cliffs. You have to either take the gondola up or ride a donkey. A cruise ship employee told me the donkey ride was awful, smelly and hot. But I decided I wanted to do it anyways. Personally, I found it to be quite fun once I got over the shock of nobody driving (they simply slap the donkeys and let them go, they know where to go and they take breaks whenever they feel like it. It can be a little bit of a problem if your donkey decides to ride close to the rock wall or another donkey, but mostly it’s fun).
Everything was painted white (chalky paint, try not to lean on anything) and the churches had those infamous blue domes dotting the city scape. Wandering through this town was too much fun, the little paths wind and twist and dead end, it’s like one big maze.
We took the bus to a little artisan village called Oia, it was like one big craft fair. Everything was locally made, very neat.
Corfu is the second largest of the Greek islands. It is full of olive trees and is where much of the olive wood bowls and such from Greece are made. We browsed some of the olive wood bowls and found them to be very expensive, but when you think about it, olive trees are not very big so in order to get a piece of wood big enough to make a large bowl it takes just the right tree. Plus it is a VERY hard wood which is difficult to carve.
In Corfu there is an “old fortification” and a “new fortification”, Both a result of Venetians ruling the area. We explored the old fortification (the photo above) and climbed to the very top of it (not an easy task in July heat in Greece), but the view was beautiful.
From atop the fortification we saw a beach we wanted to get to. It took some figuring out, but we found it. We seemed to be the only tourists there. It was definitely a local hang out. The water was amaaaazing after our little hike.
After our first dip in the Ionian sea we wandered the narrow streets of Corfu. It definitely had a Greek feel to it.