Thursday, July 29, 2010

Olympia

The ship arrived in Katakolon, Greece which is on the mainland. This area is close to Olympia, Birthplace of the Olympics. Our Guide was fascinating and helped bring the ruins to life. Unfortunately the tour did not include admission to the museum, but I was able to skip our brief shopping time to go in and browse the extensive collection. There was a whole room devoted to bronze miniatures, and the statues were impressive.

There is nothing much else of interest in this area, although some tours include a "Zorba Event." How could it be as good as Anthony Quinn dancing in the film?!

Here are my Photos.

Corfu

Welcome to the Greek island of Corfu!

Here's the tour I selected for the morning: Achilleion Palace, Perama & Corfu Town, which visited the Austrian Empress Elisabeth's home built in 1891. There were very pretty gardens, sculpture and lovely views from the three terraces. Corfu Town was small and charming, pretty easy to enjoy on your own. Perhaps next time, I would choose to travel North to one of the beaches and swim in the Aegean Sea...

Here are my photos from the morning.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Dubrovnik

This walled Medieval city looks exactly the same (well, except for the tourist shops). The old square, the narrow streets, the Franciscan Church were all enchanting. Here's a link to more information about Dubrovnik.

This is the Shore Excursion we chose: Historic Dubrovnik & Village Life. The village farm was really charming and we tasted some delicious treats.

Here’s a link to my photos from Dubrovnik.

Hotel Cipriani


Hotel Cipriani was an oasis, the ideal place to stay during the summer. Just five minutes away from the bustle of St Mark’s Square, their complimentary water shuttle was a pleasant way to get to the heart of Venice Island. The hotel docks steps away from the St. Mark’s Vaporetto stop, making the whole city within easy reach. If I had more time, I would have retreated to their Olympic-sized pool for an afternoon swim during the hottest time of the day. After a Bellini, head back to Venice Island for dinner and strolling.

My “Palladio Suite” was spacious, with a little terrace and a Lagoon view. I loved the bathroom, especially the shower: two heads converging plus the hand-held was wonderful. Room d├ęcor was a little Laura-Ashley-goes-to-Venice for my taste, but every detail was perfect (look at this closet!). The gardens were charming. Dinner at Cip’s Club looked like a fabulous way to watch the sun setting on St. Mark’s Square.

Here's a link to my Slideshow.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Venice


"To spend one's mornings in still, productive analysis of the clustered shadows of the Basilica, one's afternoons anywhere, in church or campo, on canal or lagoon, and one's evenings in starlight gossip at Florian's, feeling the sea-breeze throb languidly between the two great pillars of the Piazetta and over the low black domes of the church — this, I consider, is to be as happy as is consistent with the preservation of reason."

— Henry James, "Venice: An Early Impression" (1872)

The flight arrived a few hours late so I splurged on a water taxi to the hotel (fabulous, felt like James Bond arriving in style). Hotel Cipriani is wonderful, a quiet oasis 5 minutes by boat from St Mark’s Square (complimentary hotel shuttle operates every ten minutes 24 hours a day). The “Palladio Suite” has a lagoon view from the balcony, lovely.

Immediately headed to St. Mark’s Square. Enjoyed Bellinis and lunch at Harry’s Bar, fave haunt of Hemingway (cold zucchini soup and cuttlefish salad). Dinner at Al Covo was delicious (mussels and monkfish). Between meals, I walked all over Venice enjoying the city’s charm.

Day 2 began at Rialto Bridge and the Fish Market. Ate brunch at Florian’s, which was highly recommended by Henry James, Dickens and Proust (shrimp salad with radicchio). The 24-hour vaporetto pass was a pleasant way to cruise the Grand Canal (18 euros). Ate a wonderful dinner at Osteria Antico Giardinetto (crudo platter and pumpkin gnocci with zucchini flowers and shrimp).

The tour of Doge’s Palace and St Mark’s Basilica began at 8am on Day 3. Managed to get lost in Cannaregio which completed my Venice experience. I’ll definitely come back to spend more time, but not in summer: too hot, too humid and too crowded. The billboards were disconcerting, but I suppose they must fund the restoration work somehow. Where are the famous cats of Venice?

Here are my Venice photos.

Regent's "Seven Seas Mariner" set sail at 4pm, cruising past Venice Island and Lido. Next stop is Dubrovnik, Croatia...

Friday, July 16, 2010

Win a free trip to Australia

Click here to WIN a Great Barrier Reef dream vacation.
Take a brief survey and you'll automatically be entered in our sweepstakes for a chance to win an air-inclusive, 5-night vacation to the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef.
Click here to discover more about the land Down Under.
Click here for more information about the Great Barrier Reef.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Summer Update

Please note that I will be out of the office from Saturday, July 17 until Wednesday, August 4.

I am escorting a group of 34 on Regent’s Seven Seas Mariner. It’s an amazing Mediterranean itinerary visiting Croatia, Greece, Albania, Italy, France and Spain. I’ll be staying at the legendary Hotel Cipriani before the cruise and Le Meridien Barcelona at the end. Travel details and photos will be posted to my Blog during the trip. Yes, I’m really excited!

Here's a map of the itinerary:

Please get in touch now if you would like to make travel plans before I leave. As always, I will be checking voicemails and emails while traveling but my response time will be slower than usual. If you have a travel emergency while I’m away, please call the FROSCH 24-hour hotline (the information is detailed at the top of your travel itinerary).