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We opted to vacation in Canada this year because of the weak Canadian dollar (why sped money when you don’t need to right?) and decided on the Maritimes. We were torn between the Maritimes and Banff/Lake Louise and chose the Maritimes mainly because for the Alberta trip we want to take a ride on the Rocky Mountaineer and that would take our budget over what we were hoping to spend this year. Secondly, the idea of a road trip around the different Maritime provinces sounded like a lot of fun. So, once the decision was made, I got to planning all the details (aka my happy place).

We’ll be going for 13 days and will fly from TO to Halifax, pick up our rental car at the airport and tackle our awesome itinerary:

Day 1: Halifax, NS: Visit the Citadel, walk around downtown to scope out the area.

Day 2: Halifax, NS: Drive down to visit Lunenburg, Mahone Bay, Peggy’s Cove.

Day 3: Halifax, NS: Sightseeing in Halifax.

Day 4: Drive to Moncton, NB (perhaps through Annapolis Valley – depends on the tides), visit Hopewell Rocks, possible hike in Bay of Fundy National Park.

Day 5: Alma, NB: Half day kayak tour, possible hike in Bay of Fundy National Park.

Day 6: Drive to Charlottetown, PEI: Walking tour (Heritage walk) of Old Charlottetown, Victoria Row, Victoria Park.

Day 7: Touring in PEI including Greenwich PEI National Park, Central Coast Drive, dinner at New Glasgow Lobster Suppers.

Day 8: Take ferry from Woods Island to Caribou and drive to Baddeck, NS.

Day 9: Explore the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton – Baddeck to Cape North. Hiking in Cape Breton Highlands National Park. (Possible trails: Middle Head, Coastal).

Day 10: Explore the Cabot Trail – Cape North to Margaree Valley. Hiking in Cape Breton Highlands National Park. (Skyline Trail).

Day 11: Drive to Sydney, NS: Cape Breton Miners’ Museum.

Day 12: Sydney, NS: Visit the Fortress of Louisbourg.

Day 13: Depart. Return rental car at Sydney airport, fly from Sydney to TO.

I’m looking forward to the seafood, the scenery, the hiking, exploring Cape Breton, pretty much everything.

We’ve flagged some restaurants to visit in each city if time and logistics fit. We should be able to get some good hiking in with lots of photo ops and lots of opportunities to relax, enjoy the scenery and eat all the seafood we can fit in our tummies. 🙂

Skyline Trail

Skyline Trail

All our accommodations are booked as well as the car rental, flights and ferry. All we have to do is show up and ENJOY! 🙂

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Our next stop was Kalymnos, a small island just north of Kos, near Turkey. My husband Chris’ dad is originally from there and now has a vacation home as well – that’s where we stayed. Greek Easter fell on May 5th and we got to partake in the festivities leading up to the big to-do on Sunday night (more on that to come). 🙂 So my in-laws as well as two sets of Chris’ aunts and uncles were there, one of Chris’ cousins was there for a few days, and my sister-in-law, her husband and their two kids arrived later in the week.

We flew from Paris to Athens and took a smaller plane to Kalymnos. After taking a nap, we enjoyed a delicious dinner in the port town of Pothia that included grilled octopus, calamari, greek salad, and plenty of other Greek dishes that we were looking forward to.

Most of our time there was spent relaxing, reading, enjoying the view from the humongous balcony, enjoying tasty food and catching up with family. And listening to fireworks and dynamite. Yes, you heard me. In Kalymnos, the traditional way to celebrate Easter is to light fireworks (small boom) and actual dynamite (big boom) all during holy week. The dynamite is done high up in the mountains and although there have been accidents in the past, the tradition continues.

The Easter-related activities included Friday night’s mass followed by the gathering of all the neighborhood churches’ epitaphs to the central port area where a procession took place. It was actually pretty cool to see all the different styles of epitaphs.

Saturday was spent preparing food for the Sunday feast. I learned two recipes which I can’t wait to try on my own. Saturday night was mass again – which was very bizarre – all through the service, a group outside was lighting fireworks in the courtyard, which is apparently a normal occurrence at Easter.

Sunday was feast day with the traditional lamb and lots of other yummy dishes. On Sunday night, we went to the port to enjoy the fireworks and dynamite festivities and watch a Greek dancing show. I took a couple of videos and you can hear the dynamite in the background – although they don’t do it justice. They’re much louder in person. 🙂

Here are some pics:

During Easter, they hang a fake Judas from the church - my husnabd and I were taken by surprise when we first saw it but Chris' dad assured us it wasn't a real person. Fun fact: Judas wears Nikes. :)

During Easter, they hang a fake Judas from the church – my husband and I were taken by surprise when we first saw it but Chris’ dad assured us it wasn’t a real person. Fun fact: Judas wears Nikes. 🙂

 

Sunday evening at the port before the show

Sunday evening at the port before the show

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View of the port from the mountain

View of the port from the mountain

We spent some time shopping for souvenirs, we visited Vlihadia which has a beach and a great restaurant that serves amazing filas (dolmades).

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It was easy to spot the fishing boats because they were always followed by sea gulls. :)

It was easy to spot the fishing boats because they were always followed by sea gulls. 🙂

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On our way to visit Palioniso, we drove up through the mountains along at-times-scary winding roads.

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And there were lots of goats!

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Uncle Dimitri swimming

Uncle Dimitri swimming

 

Uncle Dimitri and Aunt Irene dancing :)

Uncle Dimitri and Aunt Irene dancing 🙂

 

Our rental car for our stay in Kalymnos - a Nissan Juke

Our rental car for our stay in Kalymnos – a Nissan Juke

On our last night in Kalymnos, we went out to dinner and drinks at the same restaurant and bar we visited the last time we were there in 2006. Good times!! 🙂

We flew to Athens and spent the night at the Sofitel Athens Airport and on arrival were advised that we were selected as the “guests of the day” and got a double upgrade to a luxury club room – awesome! We received vouchers for free drinks, had access to the VIP lounge, we had a great room and the best part was it was walking distance to the airport for our 7am flight the next day. We got a tour of the executive floors then were escorted to our room, shortly thereafter they delivered a complimentary dish of desserts with a bottle of mineral water. Housekeeping also left us some chocolate and a Hermes perfume sample. Nice! We were pooped and had a long travel day planned the following day so we ordered in room service. We shared a Dakos appetizer – like a Greek bruschetta, Chris had pesto pasta and I had the sea bream with grilled veggies. We shared a bottle of shiraz with dinner. The bathroom/shower was to die for – Heavenly.

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The following day was a long travel day. Athens to Paris (3 hours) followed by a 4 hour layover at Charles de Gaulle where we did some more shopping, then a 7 hour flight to Toronto. It was great to land in Canada. We picked up the cat and tried to stay up as late as possible before going to bed. The first night in your own bed is always amazing – although I was wide awake at 2am, I’m sure I’ll skeep longer tonight.

 

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Our travels continue…

Day 3: Montmartre and the Musée d’Orsay

When planning our itinerary, we opted to leave Versailles for another visit (since we only had 4 days in Paris) and visited Montmartre instead. Now, before I go on, let me mention that Sacré Coeur is at the top of the hill. We took the Metro and got off at the Abbesses station which looked like a station close to the top of the hill. Not so. We got off the train and proceeded to the exit which pointed to a stairway similar to other stations we had used in the past. However, we failed to see the sign that said “Attention: 115 steps” and the elevator further down (we noticed it on the way back of course after taking the elevator down to the train level) and we, along with a group of other tourists, ended up trekking all the way up the spiral staircase, wheezing and panting by the time we got to the top at street level. It was actually pretty funny. The Abbesses metro station is one of the few deep ones in Paris at 36 metres below ground. Here’s a video someone took of the way down:

It stopped being funny when we saw the stairs we needed to go up to get to Sacré Coeur. LOL We chose to not take the Funiculaire (similar to the one in Quebec city) thinking it wouldn’t be so bad – good lord, my legs still haven’t forgiven me. Here’s a pic of the stairs alongside the Funiculaire: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bonnells/2442300088/

Sacré Coeur:

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We toured the inside then walked along all the streets of Montmartre and bought some souvenirs (Moulin Rouge dish towels and four prints of Paris landmarks).

Montmartre

Next was the Musée d’Orsay where we weren’t allowed to take photos unfortunately. This was my favourite attraction. The building itself is gorgeous, a former train station. Seeing all the famous works of art that we grew up seeing images of was incredible. I’ve gathered images of the building as well as the paintings we got to see at the museum – a fantastic collection of art.

Inside the museum. Sculptures are displayed in the main area; paintings are displayed in alcoves off to the sides.

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Van Gogh - Chaumes de Cordeville à Auvers

Van Gogh – Chaumes de Cordeville à Auvers

Van Gogh - Starry Night

Van Gogh – Starry Night

Renoir - Danse à la campagne (left) and Renoir - Danse à la ville (right)

Renoir – Danse à la campagne (left) and Renoir – Danse à la ville (right)

Renoir - Bal du Moulin de la Galette

Renoir – Bal du Moulin de la Galette

Monet - Le Bassin aux nympheas

Monet – Le Bassin aux nympheas

Monet - Dejeuner sur l'herbe

Monet – Dejeuner sur l’herbe

Monet - Le Dejeuner Panneau Decoratif

Monet – Le Dejeuner Panneau Decoratif

Monet - Blue Water Lilies

Monet – Blue Water Lilies

Gauguin - Femmes de Tahiti

Gauguin – Femmes de Tahiti

Degas - Repetition d'un ballet sur scene

Degas – Repetition d’un ballet sur scene

Degas - Danseuses

Degas – Danseuses

Degas - Classe de danse

Degas – Classe de danse

Cezanne - La Table de cuisine

Cezanne – La Table de cuisine

Rodin - The Gates of Hell

Rodin – The Gates of Hell

We headed back to the hotel and stopped at a nearby patisserie on the way and picked up a late lunch. 🙂

Left to right: Fougasse with tomatoes and goat cheese, Quiche Lorraine, Croque Monsieur

Left to right: Fougasse with tomatoes and goat cheese, Quiche Lorraine, Croque Monsieur

Top to bottom: Apple almond tart, Charlotte, Chocolate eclair

Top to bottom: Apple almond tart, Charlotte, Chocolate eclair

For dinner we had leftover baguette and cheese.

Day 4: Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and Jardin du Luxembourg

Today was Eiffel Tower day – we headed there first thing in the morning but there was still a line. They don’t take “skip the line passes” so we had to wait for this one. We decided to wait since we didn’t go up the Arc de Triomphe. Check out the line:

Going......

Going……

...and going...

…and going…

and going!!

and going!!

We waited for about 45 minutes – not too bad. We went up to the 2nd platform and it was pretty windy up there. We took some quick photos and high-tailed it out of there!

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The tower!!! Isn’t this a gorgeous shot? That’s me being artsy. 🙂

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After the tower, we took a sightseeing boat cruise on the Seine – it was really nice to see all the buildings from a different perspective as well as all the bridges. They played French music (i.e. La vie en rose and other songs we associate with France). It was nice.

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Musée d'Orsay

Musée d’Orsay

d'Orsay

d’Orsay

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Back of Notre Dame

Back of Notre Dame

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After the cruise, we walked to Trocadero

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Trocadero

then took the Metro to Ile de la Cité to see Notre Dame:

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Chris liked the gargoyles:

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We had lunch in the cafe Les Deux Palais. I had a Salade Paysanne with foie gras and sliced duck with lettuce, green beans and potatoes – Amazing! Chris had a sandwich au thon.

Afterwards, we walked to the Jardin du Luxembourg and strolled through the park. It’s huge!

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I wanted to see the Medici fountain. This must be the most enchanted-looking fountain I’ve ever seen:

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We walked back to the hotel, stopping at the same patisserie on the way, and brought supper back to the room. This time, Chris got his slice of Quiche Lorraine and I got a mini quiche with gruyere. We also got a slice of cheesecake, a rocher, an opera and a mille feuille. We stopped by the shop next door to pick up some wine and we were good to go. 🙂

Tomorrow, we’re off to Greece!

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Magnifique!!!! Holy moly – what a beautiful city.

Day 1 – Exploration!

We landed in Paris at 8am on Sunday morning April 28th and checked into the hotel (Holiday Inn Saint Germain des Prés – 6th arrondissement), took a 2-hour nap then went off to explore our neighbourhood. We strolled along the streets of Saint Germain des Prés past cafes, patisseries, boulangeries and shops. We came across St. Sulpice and the fountain in front of it.

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We continued to walk through the Quartier Latin and ended up having lunch at the Creperie Cluny – we both had crepes. When travelling I like to eat all the local foods and vowed that at every meal I’d choose typically “French” foods. Crepes with a nice Bordeaux wine – we were off to a good start!

We walked all the way to Ile de la Cité and visited the Conciergerie which was the jail back in the day where they held prisoners before they went to the guillotine. Marie Antoinette stayed there. A guided tour started 5 minutes after we arrived so we did that and it took about an hour to visit.

Salle des gendarmes – beautiful structure:

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Office in the jail – this is not a cell.

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Prisoners’ courtyard:

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No climbing the walls to escape:

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An interesting tidbit we learned was that prisoners had to pay the jail for a better quality cell. The poorest would share a small cell that held 10 people with nothing but hay on the floor. The next level would get you a cell shared by 5 people with very minimal amenities. The higher level would get you a private cell with minimal furniture. Chris and I thought this strategy was worth considering for today’s prison systems where criminals are often treated better than people on the street or the elderly in old folks’ homes. But I digress. We got to see where Marie Antoinette was held – that was a pretty nice cell considering the meager alternatives.

I should mention that prior to the trip, I had purchased 2 Paris Combo Passes (4 days) which provided unlimited access to transport and priority entry to 60+ attractions where we got to skip the lines to enter – that was amazing – highly recommended since the lines can be discouraging. But not for us. 🙂 I bought them from here and they came with a free sight-seeing boat cruise (more on that later).

We took the Metro back to our hotel (2 minute walk from 2 different metro stations – the Metro system is absolutely fantastic).

Day 2 – The Louvre to the Arc de Triomphe

On all mornings we had breakfast at the hotel which was a buffet with lots of hot and cold options. Then, we were off to the Louvre! We took the Metro and entered from the Pyramid (passed the line – woohoo). It was very busy but we took our time – we had picked the areas we wanted to visit and stayed close to the plan. The building itself is phenomenal. We also followed a Louvre audio tour that we had downloaded from Rick Steves’ site which had some interesting info.

Here she is!

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In front of the Louvre:

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Inside the Louvre

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Fantastic ceilings near the Greek Antiquities area:

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Then off to Italian sculpture and Venus de Milo!

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Seeing famous works of art in person was very surreal for me – I loved it.

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More wandering…

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Samothrace – you often see her on the bough of ships with her right arm extended in the air – signifies Victory. Fabulous.

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On our way to Italian painting.

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There she is – the Mona Lisa. 🙂 From far

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Closer…  She’s behind a glass wall to protect from all the flashes.

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Gorgeous

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This was one of my faves:

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Then we were off to visit the Napoleon III Apartments – this was a really cool section in the museum. I lost count of all the chandeliers.

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Interesting conversation chair:

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We then began our walk from the Louvre all the way to the Arc de Triomphe. We sat in the sun for a while in the Jardin des Tuileries, people watching and resting our feet…

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Walked across the Place de la Concorde –  oouuu the Obelisk:

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We then started our trek up the Champs Elysees and stopped at the famous Laduree for lunch.

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Both Chris and I had the Salade Concorde which was spinach, cucumber, chicken and an amazing mustard dressing. For dessert, Chris had a baba au rhum and I had a lemon tart. There was an older French couple next to us who ordered a small salmon entree, then had 3 pastries each – they were adorable. 🙂

I couldn’t help but take a pic of the line of people waiting to get into Louis Vuitton. Hehehe

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Continuing our walk up the Champs Elysées to the Arc – which was closed! Cops blocked the whole circle so we couldn’t go up but since the street was blocked, we got to stand in the middle of the street to get some good pics. 🙂

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We took the Metro back to our hotel and stopped at the Bon Marché grocery store where we picked up fixings for supper: baguette, Camembert and goat cheese, an assortment of charcuterie, wine and some Valrhona chocolate. I would have liked to move into the grocery store – they had a huge selection of products and everything looked amazing…

More to come for Day 3 and Day 4!

 

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We’ve been busy planning ahead for our next few trips coming up in 2012, 2013 and beyond. As I’ve posted about before, in October 2012 we’ll be sailing to St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Nassau aboard the Carnival Dream and enjoying an Ocean Suite. We’re looking forward to a week of peace and quiet to enjoy the sun. The life list items I’m planning to cross off on that trip include:

  • Adding another cruise to the tally – this will be cruise #8. My life list item is “Go on 10 cruises” but I know that once I hit 10, I’ll be adding another item (15, 20, 25, etc.). 🙂
  • Try snuba (already booked in St. Thomas).
  • Read in a hammock (there are hammocks on the beach at the Blue Lagoon in Nassau).
  • Stay in a suite on a cruise ship.
  • Play minigolf on a cruise ship

Snuba!

The next trip on the horizon is in April 2013. My husband’s family (his dad is Greek) is planning to spend Greek Easter in Kalymnos, Greece and we’re going as well. Since we don’t make it over to Europe very often, we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to tack on a Mediterranean cruise before or after Easter. After scoping out all the options, the one with the best itinerary that matches the dates we need is the one below from NCL:

12-Day Grand Mediterranean

Port   Arrival Departure
Day 1 Barcelona, Spain 7:00 PM
Day 2 Provence (Toulon),   France 9:00 AM 7:00 PM
Day 3 Florence/Pisa   (Livorno), Italy 8:00 AM 7:00 PM
Day 4 Rome   (Civitavecchia), Italy 8:00 AM 7:00 PM
Day 5 Naples, Italy 8:00 AM 7:00 PM
Day 6 At Sea
Day 7 Mykonos, Greece 7:00 AM 2:00 PM
Day 8 Istanbul, Turkey 9:00 AM 6:00 PM
Day 9 Ephesus (Izmir),   Turkey 1:00 PM 7:00 PM
Day 10 Athens (Piraeus),   Greece 8:00 AM 6:00 PM
Day 11 At Sea
Day 12 Venice, Italy 2:00 PM Overnight
Day 13 Venice, Italy 9:00 AM

The great thing about spending a day in each port is that it gives us enough time to explore different places and we can then determine if we want to return for a longer stay on a separate vacation.

For 2014, we’re considering this tour to finally get our butts over to Machu Picchu. 🙂 We’ve talked about it for years and we’re not getting any younger so it’s time to start planning and make it happen!! This 7 day tour sounds fantastic. It includes time in Lima, Cusco, then over to Machu Picchu on the Hiram Bingham deluxe Orient Express train.

Good times coming. 🙂 Stay tuned!

 

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Guess what we’re thinking of doing. Yes, another cruise. But this time to Alaska!! How cool is that (literally)? 🙂

It’s on the Norwegian Pearl and we’re looking at May 2012.

We’re planning this trip with another couple and we’re looking forward to exploring a whole new world. Here are some of the excursions that have caught our eye so far. Debating about the dog sledding – pricing is pretty steep for dog sledding on snow plus helicopter ride ($500+ per person). They also have dog sledding on trails (not snow) but somehow that doesn’t seem as authentic…

Juneau: Mendenhall Glacier & Salmon Bake

Work up an appetite walking around the Mendenhall Glacier before you head off to the salmon bake. This traditional salmon bake will be all you can ask for and more.Travel through Juneau’s downtown to the Mendenhall Glacier. Stroll the many walkways or enjoy the Visitor Center, then board your motorcoach for a trip to a traditional Alaskan Salmon Bake. At the Gold Creek Salmon Bake, wild Alaskan caught salmon is grilled over an open alderwood fire. Enjoy the Bonanza barbecued ribs, Cheechako baked chicken, Chilkoot baked beans, Tongass wild-rice pilaf, a variety of fresh salads, corn bread, blueberry cake, and lemonade, coffee or tea. Beer and wine are available for an additional charge. Dine beside Salmon Creek, nestled in the lush foliage of Southeast Alaska’s rainforest, under translucent domes that protect you rain or shine. Afterwards, roast marshmallows over a crackling campfire and view the beautiful Salmon Creek waterfall; remnants of the historic Wagner Mine can also be seen. Return to your ship at your leisure aboard one of the Salmon Bake shuttle buses. Note: The salmon served isalways wild Alaskan Salmon. This tour operates in all weather conditions.

Skagway: Yukon Expedition & White Pass Railway

Besides the gold, see why old-timers were attracted to this place. A deluxe motorcoach takes you to the top of White Pass with its breathtaking views, into Canada and the Yukon Territories. Pan for gold, lunch and get a picture with real racing dogs.

Climb aboard a deluxe motorcoach for a 65-mile journey to experience the magic of the famed Yukon Territory. You’ll climb the South Klondike Highway to the top of the White Pass at 3,292 feet above sea level. Majestic peaks, waterfalls, and glaciers can all be experienced on this incredible drive. Leaving the White Pass and the U.S. behind, you’ll enter Canada, and see the unspoiled beauty of the Yukon Territory. Marvel at the chain of lakes that form the headwaters of the Yukon River, explore the rustic town of Caribou Crossing (Carcross), snap a  quick photo of the ‘world’s smallest desert,’ and enjoy the tales of the Klondike Gold Rush. At Caribou Crossing, you’ll be treated to a delicious chicken barbeque lunch complete with grandma’s famous homemade donuts. After your meal, you’ll have the opportunity to tour the Yukon’s museum exhibit of local wildlife, including the Ice Age Wooly Mammoth. Carry on to the Dog Musher’s Village, where you can visit with Yukon Quest dog mushers and take pictures with the racing dogs and puppies. Once back at Fraser, British Columbia, you’ll board the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad for an unforgettable and breathtaking ride.

Ketchikan: Lighthouse, Totems & Eagles Excursion

Lots to see including eagles. Your boat tour offers views of the Guard Island Lighthouse, a lush rainforest, historic Ward Cove Cannery, the floating city of Loggerville, Revillagigedo Island of the rich and famous, and Guard and Gravina islands.This excursion guarantees excellent eagle viewing. Majestic totems and a waterfront clan house demonstrate the historical native culture at Totem Bight State Park. Get a close-up view of Guard Island Lighthouse. Enjoy a short narrated drive through Ketchikan en route to meet your Captain and Alaskan crew. Board your vessel, where you’ll hear professional narration, while you munch on salmon spread, cheese, crackers, fresh fruit, and cookies. Hot chocolate, coffee, tea, water, or soft drinks are all free. Relax in the heated main cabin or experience the open-air observation deck. Observe the areas of harvest and ancient old growth, and learn of the historical and modern uses of this very special temperate rainforest and its complex ecosystem. Cruise by historic Ward Cove Cannery and Loggerville, Alaska’s only ‘floating town.’ One half of this tour features the Revillagigedo Island waterfront; with its homes of the local ‘rich and famous,’ while the remainder explores the remote Guard Island and primitive Gravina Island. Binoculars are provided for your use. Eagles, of course, are guaranteed and we usually see harbor seals and abundant moon jellyfish. Whales, deer, blue heron and a variety of gulls and sea birds are also common. Note: We recommend you bring a warm, rainproof jacket to wear on the observation deck.

Stay tuned for more developments on this. I’d knock off a few items on the Life List (cruise to Alaska, travel to the Yukon, travel to British Columbia, maybe dog sledding) – this would be cruise #7 (of a target 10 on my life list goals).

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I came across my old photos from our trip to Greece five years ago and thought I would share them. We spent 2 weeks there. The first week we stayed in Kalymnos which is where my husband’s father is from. My in-laws were actually living there at the time (they moved from Canada and have since moved back but during this trip, they were staying in Greece). During our week visiting the wonderful island of Kalymnos, we relaxed, enjoyed the sun, ate fantastic food, and pretty much lived like locals. It was stress-free and perfect preparation for our second week of sight-seeing and island hopping.


During the first week, we took a day trip to Patmos (by ferry). We visited a monastery way up in the hills. I remember the meal we shared by the docks waiting for our ferry back to Kalymnos. It was one of the best meals we had in Greece. We ordered several dishes and shared them (we were two couples on the trip). We had greek salad made with fresh tomatoes, horta (greens), keftedes (greek meatballs), tzatziki and more. It was simply prepared from fresh ingredients – the best way to eat!

We then spent 2 days in Rhodes and fell in love with the Old Town. We visited the usual sites then spent hours walking through the cobblestones streets in the various neighborhoods away from the touristy areas. We came across a very old, very small neighborhood church that only had about 12 seats (6 individual seats along each wall) and barely enough room to stand in. We walked by housewives hanging their laundry out to dry, boys playing on their front stoops, merchants taking care of their wares in smaller shops away from the main tourist area. We had a great time.

Me enjoying the mosaics

After Rhodes, we spent two days in Athens to do more sight-seeing. We climbed the Acropolis (lots of stairs and hills!) and visited the Parthenon, the temple of Hephaestus, Zeus’ temple… What was so surprising to me was that we’d be walking down a busy street, filled with midday traffic, and we’d look up and see ruins looming in the background (see pic below).

The sheer size of some of the ruins was just breathtaking and when you thought of their age, it was really something else. When you look at the structures and the remaining shell of what once was, you can just imagine the former grandeur and beauty of these temples and statues.

Part of an ancient aqueduct

Chris and I walking in Plaka...

The view from our hotel of the Parthenon at night

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