A Travellerspoint blog

Heraklion, Crete

Day 41, 07 May 2009

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This city is also known as Iraklion and is the largest city and capital of Crete. Crete being the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean and the most southern of the Greek Islands.

Today’s tourist visited: Castello del Molo, the Marine Fortress that towers over the entrance of the Venetian Harbour; Agios Titos church with its wooden chandelier; Morosini Fountain with its four lions; the markets – I liked the rabbits hanging in the butcher’s window; instead of looking at ruins I visited the cities Archaeological Museum; and Venetian City Wall that surrounds the main city centre. It doesn’t sound like much but it’s been another full day and I’ll sleep well…

Thinking back on my day in Crete, scooters, graffiti and disrepair come to mind – and overall a nice place for a visit.

Posted by dpedler 00:05 Archived in Greece Tagged crete Comments (0)

Kusadasi, Turkey

Day 40, 06 May 2009

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Today we are back in Kusadasi so it’s not the usual visit to Ephesus, but a wonder around the town (need some toothpaste, brush and deodorant). I started with a walk across to Pigeon Island to look at Byzantine Castle then into town.

After my grocery shopping I sat and watched the locals. An old fellow sat beside me and offered me one of his donuts. He couldn’t speak a word of English and I couldn’t speak a word of Turkish. But he was very insistent. They were making the donuts only a few metres away, so it was still very hot. Lovely people (unless they are in sales – then very pushy).
I also purchased a bow tie for tonight’s special dinner with the Captain.

A small group of passengers had dinner with the Captain and his wife, Bernadette. After drinks it was onto the large spiral staircase in the reception area for the group photo (it’s the same staircase that was used in the TV show all those years ago).

I sat with Bernadette on my left and the Smith’s on my right. The meal and service was extra special – nothing held back. We even had our own special menus for the occasion with our names on the back page. It was a great night.

Posted by dpedler 00:02 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

Gallipoli / Canakkale, Turkey

Day 39, 05 May 2009

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It’s back to Canakkale and a day tour across the Dardanelles to the Gallipoli Peninsular.
First a visit to Ari Burnu cemetery (where I’d been the week before at the point between Anzac Cove and North Beach; and the famous quote by Ataturk). Skipping the cemetery and a quick walk down to the beach (before the others) and onto Anzac Cove. The slight sound from the water softly breaking on the stone brought back memories of the Dawn Service and thoughts of the Anzacs landing here 94 years ago. It was a moment that touched me – something to remember.

No need to say more; I think that sums up the day…

Posted by dpedler 23:59 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

Nessebur, Bulgaria

Day 37, 03 May 2009

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We were tendered to shore today – first time so far; but more to come. Tendering is using the little red side boats for transport. In an emergency they are then called life boats!

The tenders drop us off at The Old Nessebur – a tourist island with plenty of shops, churches and restaurants. A few of the shops sold interesting war memorabilia such as WWII Nazi badges and objects; Russian medals; flick knifes; throwing stars; swords; guns and generally items inappropriate for Australia.

A short walk across the causeway to Nessebur, however it’s Sunday and almost everything is closed.

For a previous eastern block country, Nessebur is a very modern town. Most signs included English and Russian. And most of the locals seemed to speak English too. Very different from Ukraine and Russia with no English signs anywhere and very few people who spoke our language.

I nice relaxing day in another country (ten so far on this trip).

Posted by dpedler 23:55 Archived in Bulgaria Comments (0)

Sevastopol, Ukraine

Day 35, 01 May 2009

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May Day in the Ukraine is a holiday and what a day! The ship was harboured beside the monument of Admiral Nakhimov (a Russian naval hero of the Crimean War) where the parade stopped this morning. It was excellent to be apart of the affair.
Something has to be said at the way the ladies dress – stunning. Most have very high heels; either stilettos or boots. Very tight full or half length jeans, otherwise mini skirts; and always stockings. And lots of colour in the shoes and tops. I’m glad I got a few photos to show people. Even the female police are in stilettos (and yes, having a telephoto lens with 1,000s of people about helps get that shot).

After lunch it was off to Balaklava Harbour, the location of the former USSR’s Black Sea Submarine base. This once secret base is carved out of a mountain, set within a closed town, part of a closed city region – thoughts of intrigue and espionage filled my mind.
An incredible underground network of sea canals, dry dock, workshops established in 1957 as a protected area for the Soviet Black Sea fleet of nuclear armed submarines. Some 45,000 cubic metres of solid rock were cut out of the hill that could once house 1,000 people and six submarines.

A quick stop at the Valley of Death where the “Charge of the Light Brigade” occurred, followed by a stop at the British monument located at the British camp site.

As the bus drove back to the ship I was able to get a few quick photos of a current Russian submarine in the harbour at Sevastopol. The Russians still use this Ukrainian harbour for their Black Sea fleet (until 2017, I think). Plenty of naval ships in the harbour.

Then a few more hours wandering by the harbour watching the locals. After a day of drinking they were now smiling (very few smiles this morning). The crowd wander around drinking their beers in the park – mainly the younger people. A group of around 30 mature men playing chess as their wives (I’m assuming) sing and dance to a piano accordion.

I’ve had a fun day too…

Posted by dpedler 23:22 Archived in Ukraine Comments (0)

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