Number of Cruises: 5
Cruise Line: Seabourn
Ship: Seabourn Spirit
Sailing Date: n/a
Itinerary: Greek Isles / Turkey
You arrive at the ports and can disembark at 8 a.m. and return at 5 p.m. We did not take any of the over priced tours. Don't get me wrong they are good but very expensive. You don't need a tour in Athens but definitely in Istanbul to save time. We hired a taxi at $20 a hour in Athens, had a ball. His name is Dennis Gourdoumisas you can write him at 95 Tripoleos St, Terpsithea Glyfada, 16561 Athens, Greece. Home phone after & p.m. is 96 26 063 and mobil phone 09 32 580 075.
ISTANBUL sites.... Thanks to our Ephesus Tours guide, who gave us a tour of Istanbul. We would never of got so much done without him. All the main sites in Istanbul are next to each other except for Kariye Museum this is a must see. There are a few outside shops near Kariye. One is called KARIYE we bought beautiful tiles from Nuhi Akpinar. The small hand made silver 999 mirror $25. Even gave our friends a suitcase for his many tiles. Nuhi prices were cheaper than at the Grand Bazaar.
There are many other sites but you just won't have time. Askeri Muze (Military Museum) at 3 pm the Janissairies Band dressed in traditional costumes plays old military music. Dolmabahce Sarayi (Dolmabahce Palace) 1843-1856.
Don't miss the Yerebatan Sarayei (Basilica Cistern) what a surprise you are in for. We enjoyed Sultan Ahmet Camii (Blue Mosque) a little more than Hagia Sofya (St. Sophia) very dark. The secret is go up into the gallery at Hagia Sofya as you enter it is way to your left, the mosaics are outstanding and can't be seen from below. The four round panels 7.5 meters each which are as high as the gallery bear the names of God, Phrophet Muhammed and others. We missed the sacred column in the north aisle of the mosque it weeps water that can work miracles. A hole has been worn through it. Hippodrome is across the street in the center of the road.
Topkapi Sarayi (Topkapi Palace) take a day or hit the high spots. English tour is at 9:30 a.m.. We rushed through it but not all 700,000 sq meters. Lira only.
TURKISH words... HELLO = merhaba (mare ha ba). YES= evet ( air it), NO = yoke, WC for toilet.
Everyone smiled when we would greet them with merhaba or yahsu.
GREEK words ...HELLO to you = yahsu (yah SU), YES = ne (now), NO = ochi (OH-kee)
FOOD..... we ate nothing but local food where the locals eat. Haci Abdullah is good on Aga Camii Yani Sakizagaci Cad # 17 (Beyoglu) near Taksim. DO NOT ORDER CHICKEN SOUP IN EITHER COUNTRY. It is loaded with lemon juice.
ATHENS...ACROPOLIS, Roman Forum, Tower of the Winds, Agora and Anafiotika. A must is the National Archaeological Museum this is good for your departure day to the ship takes about 2 hours.
Many go to Cape Sounion on arrival day but check in at the hotel was noon not 4 pm. So head for the Plaka. Delphi or Corith 1/2 day or full day trips we will leave for next time on our own.
ISLANDS 1. Santorini - hired a cab #33...went all over. Had a great lunch. His name was Manonue 09 44 54 12 53. Tooks us every where we wanted to go.
2. Rhodes - did the old town which is a reproduction. The English and Americans bombed it in WW II. Don't really need a guide.
Our first Turkish stop coming from Athens was ****Kusadasi - Ephesus. We had another great guide with van from Ephesus Tours. Their web site: http://connect.to/ephesustours This was the highlight of our WHOLE trip. We also went to a very small village called Sirince in the hills and to the Selcuk Museum. Feel free to contact with Ephesus Tours for information on Istanbul, Ehpesus or anywhere else in Turkey. Very helpful.