Sunday, January 5, 2014

Katakolon and Ca Danieli in Venice

Katakolon was a delightful place.  We found some birds and nice scenery.  We took a ride on a truck that looked like a train.  It took us to the top of the hill where we could overlook the water.  There was a winery there so there was lots of bird life.  It was a nice change from the crowds of the day before.  We had a drink in a sidewalk cafĂ© and shopped a little.
The nice surprise was the Spotted Eagle!


These lights were in as store.

The last day of the cruise was at sea.  It was nice relaxing day of not running around.  I attended an Italian class.  The rest of the day was reading.  We did discover 2 birds had hijacked on board and were in the hull in front of the boat.  It was cold so they were huddled down in the well.
When we arrived in Venice, we took the people mover to the buses.  We then took a bus to the airport.  From there we took a cab to our hotel which was 1.5 miles from the airport and the cab ride was 20 Euros.  Yipes.  We are in the wrong business.
The hotel was a darling little hotel that also was a plant nursery.  It was nice and quiet with lots of trees around.  We wandered looking at the birds and plant life.  The closest restaurant was about a half mile away, but the pizza was outstanding.  At lunch time that is all we could get but it was fine with us.  A young couple from the ship ate at the restaurant when we did.  There was a small grocery store next to the restaurant where we were able to get snacks and drinks.
The next morning our flight was at 5:20 so the car service came at 3:45 for us.  We sailed through checking in and security.  We got to Frankfurt and had a tight connection so of course this time the plane parked way out and we had to take a bus in and then there was only 15 minutes till our flight.  I broke in line in customs so we were able to make our flight. 
Once we got home, our kitties were glad to see us.  Our cat sitter did an amazing job as always.
A real robin.


Athens was a crowded city with a lot of history.  The tourists were everywhere and getting around took forever.  But there was some interesting architecture.  The economy is crumbling and you can tell.  If it was not for tourism, I'm not sure what they would do.  The smog was unbelievable. 
The airport was moved for the new Olympics and the old one just sits crumbling.  The venues that were built have not been kept up.  The was complete gridlock all the time.  

 We were told that in the 60's it is in vogue to live in apartments so there are high rises everywhere.

A gull.  We did not see many birds.

Nike ad on a building.

I love clock and bell towers.

The Acropolis, with it's scaffolding.  It is hold and needs help.

I love the old churches.

This is the original Olympic stadium.  Initially there were no bleachers.  Those were put in centuries later.

The guards at the Parliament.

The detail is amazing.

I love the blue and white.


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Cunard's Queen Elizabeth

When I was 10 years old, my family moved from Hampton, Virginia to Kelsterbach Germany.  At that time it was West Germany.  When we moved, we drove to New York City and boarded RMS Queen Elizabeth.  They loaded up our car on the ship too.  We sailed to LeHarve, France where the family and the car got off the boat, and off we drove to our new home.

This was a magical time.  I have pictures at the bottom.

Imagine my surprise when we arrived in Athens and docked next to our ship was the new Queen Elizabeth.  Here are pictures I took.

Go to the bottom for my pictures and comments on the original RMS Queen Elizabeth.

Here is a picture of the original RMS Queen Elizabeth that I found on the internet.  To my young eyes it was the most exquisite sight I had ever seen (till the SS France on the way back 2 years later).  The ship has 2 classes, first and tourist, and we were in first class.  I could not find pictures of the rooms.  It was like living in a fairy tale.  I had so much fun and never forgot this experience! 

We dressed up every night to go eat as a family in the dining room.  Everything was very formal.

This was one of the lounges.

Here is the movie theater.  I remember going in there and watching Cleopatra several times.  I know another movie was An American in Paris.  The movie started my life long obsession with Paris.

We spent a lot of time in the swimming pool.  Since it is cold crossing the Atlantic, the first class pool was in the bottom of the ship where it would not slosh as much and was warmer.  The tourist class pool was on the top of the ship.  There was only 1 other family with kids that we would see at the pool.  I remember there were a lot of activities for the kids.