A to Z Challenge: C = Cyprus

C = Cyprus

A to Z Challenge: C

On my first cruise in 2009, I visited the island of Cyprus. this was my first visit to a Mediterranean Island and I was struck by its beauty and its beaches.Here are some of the highlights of my visit   — a place I want to visit again!

Cyrpus
Cyprus from sea to sky
Snow-capped mountains in Cyprus
Snow-capped mountains in Cyprus

Roman Villa
The Roman Villa contained some very beautiful mosaic floors, a series of heated pools, and a beautiful view of the sea.

Peacock mosaic floor in Roman house
Peacock mosaic floor in Roman house
View of the Sea from a Roman Villa in Cyprus
View of the Sea from a Roman Villa in Cyprus

 

Roman Theatre
Who wouldn’t want to attend a concert in an ancient Roman theater — complete with a backdrop of the sea? It is stunningly beautiful and the sound is perfect. We even tried out talking on the stage and could hear from the back row with no modern sound equipment!

Testing out the sound on the stage of a Roman theater in Cyprus
Testing out the sound on the stage of a Roman theatre in Cyprus

Temple of Apollo
In Greek mythology, Apollo is usually associated with the sun, music and poetry. In Cyprus, he is also associated with forests and animals.  At his temple complex, there were guest houses and training facilities for athletes. And, of course, a temple. Notice that the tops of the columns are unique to Cyprus.

Temple of Apollo
Temple of Apollo

C is also for Cats!
And Cyprus has a special saint just for cats — St. Nickolas. Here are just a could pictures of the cats of Cyprus.

Cat at the Temple of Apollo
Cat at the Temple of Apollo — looks like one of my cats!
Village cats in Cyprus
Village cats in Cyprus

Here is more information on the #atozchallenge.

 

A to Z Challenge: B = Berliner Dom

A to Z Challenge: BB = Berliner Dom 

Ok, I could have used B for Barcelona, but if I did that, I would be writing this post until the A to Z Challenge was long finished.  So, to keep it simple and share something different.

So welcome to Berlin and the Berliner Dom.

On my trip last year to Berlin, I got to take in a nice treat — an organ concert in the Berliner Dom, or the Berlin Cathedral. It is located on Museum Island in the heart of Berlin. This massive structure boasts one of the world’s largest pipe organs. To hear the concert, we got to sit in the Royal Gallery — high above the main floor. To access to the gallery, we used the Monarch’s staircase.  The music from the pipe organ was incredible, especially being able to listen to is from the Royal Gallery.

The building itself is beautiful and can be a nice peaceful retreat during a hectic day of visiting Berlin. There are a number of different tours, including a walk to the dome, which has its own fabulous view of Berlin.

Here are some of my photos of the Berliner Dom.

Berliner Dom
Berliner Dom
Berliner Dom
Statues at the Berliner Dom
Main entrance to the Berliner Dom
Main entrance to the Berliner Dom
Statue above the entrance to the Berliner Dom
Statue above the entrance to the Berliner Dom
Lamp in the Royal Gallery with pipe organ in the background
Lamp in the Royal Gallery with pipe organ in the background
Detail of stain-glass window in the Berliner Dom
Detail of stain-glass window in the Berliner Dom

Here is more information on the #atozchallenge.

A to Z Challenge: A = Athens

A to Z Letter A
A to Z Letter A

 

A = Athens

On my first trip to Athens, I was not sure I ever really wanted to come back — the traffic, the dirt, the smog, etc. Then, I walked around the Plaka and saw the views from the Acropolis and meet some of the people — and I love Athens enough to have returned several times.  Here are some of my favourite things in Athens.

 

Acropolis view from rooftop bars
Most hotels have rooftop bars that advertise the “best view of the Acropolis.” There are two places I can recommend. the Attalos Hotel on Athinas Street and the AthensStyle Hostel on Agias Theklas Street. Both are just off Monastiraki Square, with easy connections to the airport and the port of Piraeus via the Metro Blue Line. At the Attalos Hotel Bar, the view at night was amazing. The AthenStyle Hostel view was not quite as good, but the 2 for one drink happy hour is perfect!

View of the Acropolis at night
View of the Acropolis at night from Attalos Hotel rooftop bar
Cat & Sue and the Acopolis from the Attalos Hotel rooftop bar
Cat & Sue and the Acopolis from the Attalos Hotel rooftop bar

The New Acropolis Museum
I love this museum.  It is so well done. My favourite room is the one with all the Kore statues.  It also has a perfect, but different, view of the Acropolis.

New Acropolis Museum
New Acropolis Museum
Entrance to the New Acropolis Museum
Entrance to the New Acropolis Museum
View of the Acropolis form the New Acropolis Museum
View of the Acropolis form the New Acropolis Museum

The Poet Sandal Maker
Near Monastiraki Square is the Poet Sandal Maker where you can get custom-fit leather sandals. During summer, I practically live in the ones I got! It only takes about 20 minutes from the time you pick out the style you want, to the time they are fitted and you are ready to walk through the streets of the Plaka!  I even wore them on a whirlwind, one day walk around Rome — comfortable and no blisters!

My new Greek-style sandals!
My new Greek-style sandals!

Shopping in the Plaka
I am not a big shopper, however there are a couple stores here that always get my attention — the Dimitri Cotton Club is the name I remember. All over Greece, you can find nice, cotton shirts, however this place has the largest variety of styles, colours and best prices. I have several tops and dresses — and brought some back as gifts. There are also lots of places for Greek statues and I have bought a couple of rugs here.

Take-out food
Next to Monastiraki Square, where all the different restaurants are, there is a take-out window — quick and easy and cheaper than sitting at one of the tables.  Grab something to eat, sit in the square and watch the show!

"Restaurant row"
“Restaurant row”
Monastriaki Plaza before the crowds
Monastiraki Plaza before the crowds

The Metro Blue Line
This is a very convenient Train that runs from the airport to Piraeus. I’ve used it a lot to travel to and from the port. In Piraeus, it is about a 20 minute walk from where most cruise ships dock to the station. So easy to get around! The main entrance to the main Monastiraki stop is in the photo above.

Changing of the Guards
The Changing of the Guards occurs at 10 AM and is an interesting combination of military precision and dance!  You can really get close!  The are some nice city gardens and the Temple of Zeus within a 3 to 5 minute walk.

Changing of the Guards in Athens
Changing of the Guards in Athens

 

Here is more information on the #atozchallenge.