I had rented a trulli house for 4 nights but after one night we decided that we were to old to stay in the trulli house. It was very lovely, out in the country but farm land all around. If we had been 20 years younger we would have stayed but we had to sleep downstairs as the bedroom was a climb on a ladder up into a narrow space and I didn’t think that would work for us, or certainly for me so we slept on a fold out bed and was miserable all night. In the morning Susan said she could not stay there another night so we called the lady we rented from and explained we were to old to stay there. The house was out in the country and difficult for us to find especially at night. She was very understanding and gave us back our deposit. We went to the hotel the rest of the old broads were staying at and explained that we had checked out and were hitting the road for unknown adventures. We drove to Matera and could not find a hotel. We drove to Altamura and found a lovely hotel, Hotel San Nicola only we couldn’t find it even with GPS so we got out and walked to the hotel. A nice young man went with Susan to get our car and drove it for us back to the hotel. We checked in and found we had a lovely room with a huge bathroom and Wi-Fi. We then went to lunch at Restaurant Peccati and drank quite a bit of wine. We walked to the duomo but it was closed so we came back to our room and are resting and taking baths. It was a fun day even though we never got to see Matera. Maybe tomorrow. The rest of the old broads are flying from Bari to Rome to spend a few days.
Tuesday. Sept 27th – Arrived in Venice around noon and went by vaporetto to San Marcos Square. There were thousands of people there and a very long line to go inside the church so we chose not to go inside the church. Instead we walked around and found a good restaurant to have lunch. Then we continued walking around and decided to have a gondola ride but only six could go. Lola said she would wait for us and so the rest of us rode the gondola. We saw the house Marco Polo lived in and also where Casanova lived. WE rode out to the San Marco Canal and back into the narrow canals of the city. After the gondola ride we decided to come back to the ship. Tomorrow we leave the ship and fly to Bari, Italy and pick up our car rentals. Then Susan and I will spend four nights in Alberobello, Italy which has Wi-Fi and hopefully I will be able to post some pictures. The other five old broads will go to Rome after spending one night in Alberobello. This is my last post from the ship and I have enjoyed posting our adventures and I hope you have enjoyed reading about them. Pictures would make it more exciting so I hope to post them from Alberobello.
Monday, Sept. 26th – We arrive in Kotor, Montenegro and what a delight it was to visit this UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town is located in an inlet surrounded by mountains. Kotor is the old maritime center of Montenegro, full of monuments, shops, cafes, bars and restaurants. There is a city wall you can walk but today we didn’t do that much walking. Liz, Susan and I saw the Grgurina Palace, a Baroque palace dating to the 18th century. We had a coffee and wandered the cobble stoned narrow streets. No cars are allowed in the old town. We passed a beauty shop and Susan went in and got a great hair cut as Liz and I shopped around. We saw the clock tower which is the most recognized landmark in the city situated opposite the main gates. The most interesting thing about Kotor was all the cats. The town has 100′s of cats and they roam freely throughout the Old Town. We really enjoyed visiting Kotor.
Sunday, Sept. 25th – Finally I get to see Dubrovnik. The Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it is a completely walled city. Susan and I walked the narrow cobblestone streets and visited the Synagogue, Europe’s second oldest Sephardic synagogue. Then we continued on and visited several churches. The Church of St. Blaise is a Baroque church built in 1728. We also saw the closter of the Franciscan Monastery build in 1317 but the construction took centuries. The Monastery was built in 1368. We had a wonderful lunch in a great restaurant and met four ladies from Chile. Susan had a great time speaking Spanish to them. They were a group of six on the cruise. WE continued to walk around the city and saw a pharmacy that dates from 1317 and is the third oldest still functioning pharmacy in the world. We bought tickets and rode up the hill and had a fabulous view of the entire walled city. We had to walk up and up and up and it almost did me in. We went back to the ship and I laid down and put ice on my swollen foot but it was all worth while.
Saturday, Sept. 24th – We arrived in Corfu, Greece and caught a taxi with a great tour guide named Cristos, who took us to visit Achillion Palace and Garden a neo-classical palace over 100 years old designed and built for Empress Elisabeth of Austria. He then drove us to the Monastery of the Virgin Mary with gleaming whitewashed walls and a chapel that was built in 1685 and it was a women’s monastery. Liz, Susan and I had a great lunch and wine at a restaurant named Bellisimo. Then we tried to find the Synagogue but gave up after about 45 minutes of searching. We window shopped most of the day but did manage to see a few churches.
Thursday, Sept 22nd – We docked at Piraeus, Greece (Athens) early this morning. One of the old broads had arraned for the seven of us to have our own tour guide and air-conditioned van to take us on a tour of Athens. We met our wonderful tour guide and our driver, Kostas at 9:00 a.m. Off we went for an exciting day. First we saw the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior in front of the Parliament building. It was a choreographed performance with lavish uniforms and was interesting to watch. They do this every hour 24/7. Next we went to the Acropolis which was walking uphill the whole way. Our guide swooped in to the front of a very long line of tourist and got our tickets to see the Parthenon, which is the most perfect example of classical architecture in the world. Then we saw the Temple of Zeus and the all-marble Olympic Stadium built in 1896. It was now 1:00 p.m. so we had reservations at a highly recommended restaurant, Gods’ Restaurant. The meal was fabulous. The last stop was the National Archaeological Museum, which boast the world’s finest collection of Greek antiquities. We then returned to the ship in time to play Trivia at Happy Hour and we won for the 2nd time. We enjoyed the bottle of champagne. It was the end of a perfect day in Athens.
Each afternoon we all go up to the Crow’s Nest for Happy Hour. At 4:30 a host comes in and we play Trivia. There is six to a team and our team is called Old Broads Abroad.net. The grand prize is a bottle of champagne. We have won once but tied two or three times and lost in a tie breaker question. Recently a very nice man joined our team so now we are called Old Broads Abroad plus one guy. He helped us win once and we celebrated the next night by drinking the champagne. It has been fun playing the game and Happy Hour is fun too. Then we go to dinner in the dinning room.
Wednesday, September 21st – We are in Rhodes, Greece, which is the fourth largest island in Greece. Liz, Susan and I walked into the walled medieval city and visited the Palace of the Grand Master. The palace is a roughly squared building designed around a large courtyard. It was built at the end of the 7th century to act as a citadel of the Early Byzantine “fortress.” In the middle of the 19th century the first floor collapsed completely and in 1937 restoration was begun.
Afterwards we walked the cobbled stoned streets and found a very nice restaurant and ordered a beer for Susan and wine for Liz and me. Then we saw a platter of appetizers delivered to a table near us and decided the couldn’t resist. It was a wonderful platter of appetizers that we thoroughly enjoyed. It was called meze. After that stop we wandered the streets and Liz and I bought a few souvenirs. It was another good day.