Day Twenty – Ephesus – Kusadasi – Turkey – Mediterranean Cruise

The twentieth day of the journey was our visit to the ancient ruins at Ephesus in Turkey.

One of the most impressive remains at Ephesus is the Library of Celsus. It was completed in 130 AD. It was later destroyed by several earthquakes and lay in ruins for possibly a thousand years. The facade which you can see in this photo was reconstructed in 1978.

The ancient ruins at Ephesus in Turkey

The Celestyal Olympia with the home port of Valletta, Malta docks at the cruise terminal. Our ship would “park” on the left side.
When googling info about the Celestyal Olympia it was interesting to find the ship had used these different name before, Louis Olympia, Thomson Destiny, Sunbird, and finally the Song of America.

Cruise ship docking at cruise terminal in Kusadasi Turkey

Interesting reviews on for Toros, the First Sea Food Restaurant in Kusadasi, since 1894.

Seafood restaurant in Kusadasi, TurkeyRestored ruins at Ephesus, TurkeySunlight over ruins at Ephesus, Turkey

Who travels thousand of miles by sea and air to take photos of their shoes over a building that is 2,000 years old?

Terraced Houses at Ephesus, Turkey

The Terraced Houses in the ruins of Ephesus. The houses were certainly built for the 1 %ers.

View from above Terraced Houses at Ephesus, Turkey

Nice that the ruins were reconstructed so the tourists could take selfies.

The ancient ruins were rebuilt so people who could take selfies. Sun streams through the marble structure of the library at Ephesus in TurkeyThree thousand year old ruins reconstructed at Ephesus in Turkey

View from the top of The Great Theatre which is claimed to have held 25,000 people back in the day. Even if it only held 10,000 for a show or concert, it was still pretty impressive. 

View from the top of the amphitheater at Ephesus, Turkey

Ephesus was a happening place with many changes of who was in charge and famous visitors. This Ephesus Chronology details many of the comings and goings for the past three thousand years.

View of the amphitheater in Ephesus, Turkey

It was interesting that the warning labels on the cigarettes was quite to the point, smoke and you will die. Yet so many people in Europe did smoke.

The warning label on the Marlboro cigarettes says Smoking kills

Our ship was parked on the right.

Two cruise ships are parked at the cruise terminal in Kusadasi, Turkey


Day Nineteen – Athens – Piraeus – Greece – the Acropolis – Mediterranean Cruise

Day nineteen started with the ship docking in the busy port town of Piraeus, Greece. From there it’s a 30 minute bus ride to the Acropolis in Athens. We have all seen the photos showing the lovely ancient building on the hill and longed to visit the site. This was that day. What you don’t imagine or see in the photos are all the people that are also there with you. Essentially it’s you and 5,000 other people visiting the Acropolis at the same time. The first image in the post shows the stairway leading into and out of the buildings.

The crush of people viewing the siteThere were ships coming and going all day long in the port of Piraeus.

Cruise ships and ferrys pass through the port all day long

You always want to know where you parked the boat in case you get lost. The red arrow on this Google map shows where are cruise ship was parked just outside the cruise terminal.

Google map showing the port area and routes ships use.

When ever I’m in Greece, I always make a point of stopping at Vanos Ship supplies to see the new merchandise. OK, I’ve never been to the place, just liked how the reflections in the glass looking on their building.

Vanos ship supplies in Piraeus GreeceView of the Acropolis without all the other folks that are visiting the site at the same time.

The AcropolisClouds and the Acropolis

When in town, don’t forget to visit the Just Coffee store located at Leof. Andrea Siggrou 338, Kallithea 176 73, Greece.

The sign says they sell just coffee

Helmets, we don’t need no stinking helmets. But they did seem friendly.

Safety laws are somewhat different in Greece than in America

Agios Nikolaos church in Piraeus.

Exterior of the Agios Nikolaos church in Piraeus, Greece

The  Agios Nikolaos church was not on any tour, it just stood out from every 6 or 7 story square building that was the port city of Piraeus and neighboring Athens.  After returning from the Acropolis, I decided to walk a couple blocks over from the terminal area and view the church up close.

Interior of the Agios Nikolaos church in Piraeus, GreeceInterior of the Agios Nikolaos church in Piraeus, Greece


Day Eighteen – Nafplio Greece – Mediterranean Cruise

As the ship sailed into the harbor outside Nafplio, Greece where we would drop anchor we passed large windmills like those you see hundreds of along Highway 580 on the Altamont pass. It was kind of like being at home driving past the windmills on a large boat. While the fine folks on the ship call the town where we dropped anchor Nafplion, the people that live the like to call it Nafplio. Google seemed to side with the people of the town, and not those from the Holland America cruise line.

Nafplion-Greece-01Sunrise on the windmills outside of Nafplio.

Windmills at sunrise - Greece

Inside the  Treasury of Atreus or Tomb of Agamemnon at the Panagitsa Hill at Mycenae, Greece which was built in 1250 BC.  A google review of the tomb included this line from a youngster visiting the site, “My son said to me: mum I feel like I’m in an Indiana Jones movie”. It did have that feel. 


There was this Australian tourist who was pointing out “interesting” facts about the ceiling in the  Treasury of Atreus.

Australian tourist pointing out the ceilingView from the Fortress Palamidi of Nafplio and our ship anchored in the harbor.

View from Fortress Palamidi of harbor and Holland America cruise ship

Some travelers are adventurous and will try the local cuisine. Not me. A couple days into the cruise after eating dinner on the ship I thought I was getting food poisoning. I wasn’t, just something about the food upset my stomach. You don’t want to get sick on the cruise and say something like, “I’m too sick to leave the ship, but it’s OK, I will see Venice in my next lifetime”.

Menu choices for tourists in Nafplio Greece

The statue is of  Theodoros Kolokotronis in Kolokotronis Park inside the city of Nafplio.

Nafplio, Greece - statue of Theodoros Kolokotronis in Kolokotronis ParkIt was some type of utility box with a painting and  message in English – “relax… have a cigarette”.

The painting on the box says "relax, have a cigarette" in EnglishThe Fortress Palamidi atop the hill above Nafplio which was built by the Venetians during their second occupation of the area from 1686 to 1715.

Fortress Palamidi - Nafplio GreeceNot every port of call has dock space big enough for a cruise ship that holds 3000 people, so you are “tendered” into port. What does tendered mean? It means that you and about 120 other people are crammed into one of those orange life boats shown in the photo below. It also means the ship line will have the tender boat sit there and wait till it’s completely full which of course means it reaches it full potential for heat and humidity.

Tender returning to Holland American cruise line

Bill GeorgeMarch 31, 2016 - 1:21 am

Didn’t know I had any “facts”


Denver Quarterback Brock Osweiler signs 4 year deal with Houston Texans for $72 million

There just aren’t enough quality quarterbacks to go around the NFL. Yesterday the Houston Texans signed Denver Bronco quarterback Brock Osweiler to a four year $72 million deal despite the fact Osweiler had started only 7 games in during his 4 years playing for the Broncos.

Maybe the Houstan Texans saw this play from the 2014 preseason game between the San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos at Levi’s stadium in Santa Clara and thought Brock Osweiler must be worth $72 million as he can pass the ball while being tackled. Or maybe there just aren’t enough quality quarterback to go around all 32 teams in the NFL. 

Backup quarterback Denver Bronco quarterback Brock Osweiler releases a pass while being tackled during a 2014 preseason  game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi


Former San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame

Just one day before the Super Bowl returns to the San Francisco Bay area for just the second time former 49ers Eddie DeBartolo was elected to the Pro Football Hall of  Fame. It had been a long journey for DeBartolo who made the final round three times before.
It was reported that DeBartolo’s selection to the hall was most the difficult faced by the 46 voters on the Hall of Fame selection committee with his approval vote taking longer than any of the finalists.

It almost looks as though Eddie DeBartolo is telling Ronnie Lott and Steve Young that soon he will also have one of those Yellow Hall of Fame jackets. While he now will, it’s unlikely that was the discussion taking place during this half time ceremony honoring Charles Haley on September 14, 2015 during the 49ers and Viking season opener at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.

Steve Young, Ronnie Lott, and Eddie DeBartolo during a half time presentation to Charles Haley.