Didn’t get a chance to blog but wanted to send a quick email. Woke up today with the call to prayer in the the Turkish City of Kusadasi. Today we just walked around a bid had Turkish coffee & lunch. Just got back to the ship it’s 3:54 here. At 5pm there is a wine and cheese party on the grass lawn on the top deck with a string ensemble. Even the ship crowd is older we have met a bunch of people. A couple nights ago we had a cocktail party in out room. The cruise line provided 6 plates of appetizers & champaign. it was a lot of fun.
Yesterday we rented minibikes and spent the day checking out all the beaches in Mykonos. The views around Mykonos were spectacular. Not to mention that the beaches are all clothing optional. The aegean sea is very salty which allows for easier floatation.
Tonight we have reservations at the French speciality restaurant. Tomorrow we will be in Athens.
We settled in pretty well with Olivia her son and a new house guest. Olivia made us dinner Friday night consisting of boar, pasta and wine from her vinyard. The dinner was great and it was nice to eat in for a change. Olivia,s son has an jail broken iphone 4 so i was able to show him some new games to download. We also had a new house guet arrive. A 26 year old girl from Moscow. She had spent the previous year in Florence studying Italian and was back visiting friends. She took us out Friday to show us the night life.
On Saturday we drove a little over an hour to Pisa to see the leaning tower. They have finished a restoration project to stablize the the tower over the last 10 years and to clean up the outside. The tower has been stablized enough that for the first time since it was built in 1178. After Pisa we drove over to Lucca which is a town that dates back to 180 B.C. The town is within a fortress with high walls on all sides. A really interesting town.
On Sunday we went back to city center and just walked around. We found an outdoor market in our neighborrhood later in the day. We purchased cheese, prosciutto, bread, and wine from some of the vendors and brought it back to the house for dinner. This combined with fresh olive oil from Olivia,s vinyard made for a great dinner. On Monday we backed up and drove to Civitavecchia for the cruise from that port. The drive from Florence to Civitavecchia took about four hours and we were very glad to be on board around 1 pm.
I purchased the coke package so its been fun drinking different types of soda. The ship,s crowd is older but the younger people around the soda fountain at night are friendly. Today we we are in Macina and we went to Taomina today for lunch. Its a town just across from Mount Etna. Tomorrow is a sea day and then Athens. Pictures to follow.
So after spending a couple hours at the tasting we purchase a couple bottles to go, some cheese and olive oil and head back to see if our place is ready. We arrive at this large dark door at the end of the street where a guy comes down to greet us. The place is very dark and for a moment i felt like we were falling into the movie Hostel. Through the door he takes us up a long path to the house where we are introduced to his girlfriends boy of about 12. We thought we were renting the house but as it turns out we are staying with the family. The lady we were suppose to be renting from is out of town and the boyfriend, I guess, was watching the kid. Fun! I should have figured something was up since we are only paying $88 a night. Most hotels here are $200 ++/night. They also have a one year old Boxer – pic later that can’t stop jumping all over Jon and biting his feet. To say the least it was a difficult night. We took showers and headed out for the evening. One the way back to the house we are challenged by the dog. But once he recognizes me starts jumping up and down bites my feat this time and my arm. The dog was just playing but it had been a very long day.
So we sleep in and Olivia who owns the house greets us the next morning. She is very nice & attractive around 32 -37 years old. Her parents own a vineyard in the region that produces 150,000 bottles a year. She started the B&B out of her house after ten years of working for her dad. She has 5 sister and two brothers. The parents and grandmother live on separate houses on the grounds of our house. We had lunch today at alla vevvhia bettola. A local restaurant we selected today randomly. The food here has been very good. The weather has been amazing. After lunch we headed to the central part of the city and just walked around. I think we are burned out on seeing sights and neither of us like standing in long lines. Tonight Olivia is making us dinner and we are going to get a chance to sample her family’s wine and we are meeting a new house mate.