It all started here...

It all started here...

Saturday, August 25, 2012


We had a short half-day stay in port, only from 7am~12pm. This was one port that I did not have any excursion planned. We got off the ship at around 7:30 and took the shuttle that NCL provided from the ship to the terminal. Maps and tour information were available at the terminal. From the terminal we just walked to the Venetian Fortress which is about 20 minutes away.

Interesting street scene near the port.

Walking along the waterfront.

Arriving at the Venetian Fortress.

We were not able to get inside so we just took some pictures around the fortress.


Then we followed the map and walked to town. The map was very clear and specific. It shows 3 different choices of route and we just followed the one in the middle which took us to the pedestrian street and through the market.

It was an easy walk.

We went pass a church but did not go inside.

Continued walking to the center of town.

 It looks like that this is a better shopping place where things seemed to be cheaper than the other ports. The same items we saw in Santorini or other ports, it may be 2euros cheaper here. 

By the time we finished our self-guided walking tour around town and back to the port area we saw people using their laptops near the bus station. We also took out ours and tried to get on line. Christian was successful and Caitlin got on for a little while. We spent about 20 minutes there and finally decided to walk back to the terminal.

Stuff that we got in Iraklion.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Mykonos and Delos

We needed to get off the ship early because we wanted to take the first ferry to Delos. There are only 3 ferries going to the island in the morning (9, 10, 11) and 3 coming back in the afternoon (12:00, 1:30, 3:00). We were able to get on the first tender. Jon, Celia, and Caitlin wanted to go to the beach but we were set on Delos. We waited in line for the ferry tickets which didn’t start selling until 8:30. The ferry left at 9 with only about half of the capacity filled. It was a 25-minute ride to the island.

We got off the tender here. The little house on the right is where we got our ferry tickets to Delos.

The tender going back to the ship to pick up more passengers. The ferries to Delos are on the left of the picture.

The ferry was only half full.

This one was very comfortable, but not the one coming back.

The line to purchase tickets to the site once we were off the ferry.

Delos is a small, rocky island, no more than 5km long and 1,300m wide. The whole island is an archaeological site. It was the most sacred place for ancient Greeks because Apollo and Artemis were born there, according to legend. The earliest settlers were there 2,500 BC. From what we could see, this used to be a big city. They estimated that at the beginning of the 1st Century BC, some 30,000 people were living on this island. The island was gradually abandoned after 2 different attacks by the Mithridates and by the pirates of Athenodorus, an ally of Mithridates in 88 and 69 BC.
The site still reflects the life of ancient days. Houses for rich people who had their own swimming pools, courtyards, mosaic floors, columns, are amazing to see. We did not go up to the stadium and gymnasium, but all in all this is a place worth visiting. Maybe because there were not a lot of people there, we were able to explore freely on our own using the map provided. I personally felt that it was as interesting as Ephesus or Athens. 

Houses for the rich

One of the temples

The fresh squeezed orange juice was most welcome on a hot day at the visitor's center.

We stayed on the island until 11:30, then we got on the ferry that would take us back to Mykonos at 12. This time the ferry was crowded, I don’t quite understand where these people came from. Maybe they came on the second ferry and left on the first ferry back. 

We got back to Mykonos at around 12:30. We walked around town, saw the famous Little Venice area (really little), the windmills, and some churches. 

Little Venice

Looking at the windmills from Little Venice.

Very windy!

There are 365 churches on this island, you can go to a different church every day of the year. 

We also found a tiny little family-run restaurant and had a couple of lamb gyros that cost 2.50 euros each. Very delicious!

The outside of the restaurant.

So pretty!

Jonathan, Celia, and Caitlin went to the beach and they said the water was very clean and clear. 

Waiting for the tender to get back on the ship. For this port, I think it's better to tender in. The RCI that was docked at the port was pretty far away. Passengers had to take shuttle buses to get to town. Whereas the tenders just drop people off right in town.