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Aboard MSC Melody, 27 Jul - 3 Aug 2003
The Itinerary - Grandeur of the Mediterranean

Itinerary map

We were provided with a wealth of information about each Port of Call, historical outlines, a list of sights to see, monuments to discover, places to visit, shopping ideas, "gastronomical delights" to try and other useful detail where appropriate. A3 sized detailed maps were also available. There was a selection of Shore Excursions for each Port of Call, quite reasonably priced, but we only chose to go on one, to Olympia, as we prefer doing 'our own thing'. Full details were provided in a 5 language booklet along with the embarkation documents. Excursions could not be booked until on board.

To Olympia's Stadium
To Olympia's Stadium

Sponges For Sale in Rhodes
Sponges For Sale in Rhodes

Please click on the Ports for further information.

Day

Visiting

Arr

Dep

Sun 27 Jul

Depart Venice

 

1600

Mon 28 Jul

Dubrovnik

0830

1230

Mon 28 Jul

Bari [Tech. Call]

1900

2130

Tues 29 Jul

Corfu

0700

1200

Wed 30 Jul

Kusadasi

1400

2100

Thurs 31 Jul

Rhodes

0700

1600

Fri 1 Aug

Katakolon

1300

2000

Sat 2 Aug

At Sea

Sun 3 Aug

Venice

0700

 

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Each day the Daily Programme had a section entitled "News From The Navigator", which was very informative, outlining the route we would be taking and the various Islands, Straits & Canals we would be passing/sailing through. Advising in which direction, & approximately when, we would be able to see them.

Dominican Monastery 1437
and Parish Church 1954
Dominican Monastery 1437
and Parish Church 1954

Houses on the Hillside
Houses on the Hillside

Dubrovnik [Gruž]

Dubrovnik is the capital of South Dalmazia & reputedly one of the most beautiful places in the world, probably founded by the Greek Kadmos. In C7, the invading Slavs began to capture Epidauro, forcing the Greek & Roman inhabitants to flee to a new place they called La-usa, where they built a town on a rocky island now known as Dubrovnik.

Gruž, is the area of Dubrovnik where the cruise ships berth, and its Marina. An exceedingly pretty town with orange/red roofed buildings [The walled 'Old Town' is 10-15mins away by taxi.]

With only a few hours in port & never having visited before, we walked the delightful streets of Gruž. It is a 15 - 20 minute pleasant walk along the quay, past a few souvenir stalls, into town. The locals were very friendly.

View My Photos of Gruž

Franjo Tudjman Bridge
Franjo Tudjman Bridge

New Venetian Fortress
New Venetian Fortress

Corfu

Corfu [Kerkyra] is the 2nd largest of the Ionian Islands and is where the legendary Ulysses was shipwrecked on his way back to Ithaca after the Trojan War

It is a fair walk along the quay to the port entrance, but a free shuttle bus was provided, dropping you off at a "Duty Free" shop, which was more expensive than the shops in town for some items, but not others.

We walked up the hill to the town and just 'explored' all the streets, shops & alleyways. It is easy to get about & the bus station is not far from the port entrance. Visit the Old & New Fortresses.

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Sp. Vlaikou towards the Port
Sp. Vlaikou towards the Port

Old Venetian Fortress with St George's Church
Old Venetian Fortress with St George's Church

 

The Souk
The Souk

Kusadasi
Kusadasi

Kusadasi

Kusadasi is one of Turkey's main holiday resorts, situated on the west coast and close to the historical sites of Ephesus, Didyma & others. Forget Cozumel, this is a shoppers' Paradise with endless streets of covered souks/bazaars/kasbahs selling all one can imagine. Just ensure you know your fakes from the originals.

"Kusadasi" means Bird Island; the name coming from the island [now called Pigeon Island] which was a popular resting place for birds during their annual migration.

The port entrance is not far; there are bicycle rickshaws that carry 2 people for hire. A short walk to the souks where we spent all afternoon, bartering for football shirts amongst other items! We had an ice cream and made our way slowly back to the port exploring the winding streets. A great place with friendly locals; don't part with your money until you've haggled yourself out, the next place may be cheaper still.

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Rickshaw for 2 Old Ladies:)
Beverley & Katie
Rickshaw for 2 Old Ladies:)
Beverley & Katie

Top

Ippokrátous [Hippocrates'] Square
Ippokrátous [Hippocrates'] Square

Rhodes

The largest of the Dodecanese, Rhodes [the Sun God, Helios, own island] is a delightful town divided into the Old and New by 4km of defensive walls, 12m thick in places, with 10 gates, built by the Knights of St John in Mediaeval Times.

We walked around the bay to Mandraki Harbour with the Mediaeval stone windmills & Fortress of St Nicholas [1460s]. Then found a beach, where the children went swimming & snorkelling for a few hours.

We walked back through the Old Town, within the outer wall with its bastions, towers & battlements. Tiny narrow bustling streets full of shops, cafes, restaurants and piazzas, you can easily lose your way.

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Along Akti Sachtouri
Along Akti Sachtouri

Gate near the Museum Square
Gate near the Museum Square

Katakolon Quay
Katakolon Quay

Katakolon
Katakolon

Which bit goes where?
Temple of Zeus
Which bit goes where?
Temple of Zeus

Katakolon [For Olympia]

Katakolon is a small friendly town with many restaurants, bars & jewellery shops. One can see it all in an hour. There are a number of beaches a short taxi ride away, but it's mainly a port of call for those wishing to visit the Sanctuary of Olympia, 40 minutes away.

Olympia, where dwellings date back to 1900-1600 B.C., was a sacred site before the ancient Olympic Games began in the year 776 BC, when Koroibos, a cook from the nearby city of Elis, won the stadion race, a foot race 600 feet long. For a plan of the layout of Olympia click here.

We took the organised tour to Olympia, along with most of the ship's passengers, divided into coachloads of same language speakers. Our guide was most knowledgeable. She outlined the general history of Olympia and then went through various buildings in detail. We had a good hour at the end to wander about the rest of the site alone. A very interesting day, and well worth a visit. Olympia is not however akin to Pompeii. Many buildings are 'rubble', with huge excavated rocks just lying on the ground and one needs a guide to explain what some of the various parts belong to.

More Photos of Katakolon

The Olympic Torch is Lit Here - Howard
The Olympic Torch is Lit Here
Howard

Many Photos of Olympia

Layout of Olympia

Bell Tower of San Marco
Bell Tower of San Marco

Early Morning in Venice

St Mark's Square

Venice

Much has been written about Venice. A beautiful city one can spend a week in and not see everything. What can one do in slightly more than half a day?

We deposited our luggage in the cruise terminal and took the free shuttle to Piazzale Roma, from where we embarked on a HOT walk to the Rialto Bridge. Here we purchased a day ticket for the Vaporetti [Water Buses].

We travelled through the canals stopping at various places before viewing the Bridge of Sighs & spending a while in St Mark's Square & having lunch. Sadly we finally had to make our way back to the cruise terminal to collect our luggage for the transfer to the airport.

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Rialto Bridge
Rialto Bridge

Gondolas
Gondolas

During the cruise we covered 2269 Nautical Miles. Passengers join and leave the cruise at many ports en route. Either just cruising for a few days, or doing the 7 night itinerary from a different port of embarkation.

The call at Bari was purely to enable some passengers to embark & disembark; everyone else remained aboard.

1 NM = 1.852m or 0676ft

From

To

NM

Venice

Dubrovnik

298

Dubrovnik

Bari [Tech. Call]

106

Bari [Tech. Call]

Corfu

177

Corfu

Kusadasi

500

Kusadasi

Rhodes

168

Rhodes

Katakolon

389

Katakolon

Venice

631

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