Phil and I have just returned from a week on the island of Crete. We had booked this trip in February and could not wait to enjoy Greece with three other couples. We had booked an all inclusive resort at an Iberostar hotel. I highly recommend considering this hotel chain when traveling (they are all over the place). It is hard to go wrong with a resort that has Zorro (Antonino Banderas) as their spokes person.They have animators, which are people that set up games and activites for everyone to take part in each day. This was a lot of fun since everyone in our group was interested in taking part in the games and shows that were provided. The resort was also quite large and located in the town of Panorama just a 15 minute drive from Rethymnon. Here is an overhead view of where we stayed.
It was nice to be able to leave behind cloudy, cold weather and be greeted with sun and temperatures that ranged between 80' and 100'. We spent the first several days swimming in the nearby coves, exploring caves, playing a lot of pool volleyball and laying out. It was so relaxing! On the fourth day we decided to explore the island of Crete on scooters. This was a lot of fun but also a little scary. The roads where very narrow and drivers in Greece are known for driving on the shoulder and inches away from other motorists.
Our last several days in Greece were filled with watching the World Cup, celebrating our 2 year anniversary and exploring more of the island. Being in Greece during the World Cup was a treat. The resort had set up several rooms with large screens so that the guests could watch each game together. It is quite an experience to be able to watch each game in a room filled with people living in each country that was represented on the screen. Talk about die hard fans! It was especially enjoyable to watch the US vs. England game. We were the only Americans in a room full of painted Englishmen. It was great fun and we were able to meet a lot of really interesting people. We also celebrated our anniversary at a seafood restaurant in Rethymnon. We all agreed that it was the best seafood that we had ever tasted. At the end of our meal we were serenaded by an eight year old boy who sang Greecian love songs and played the accordian. This will be hard to top.
Here are several pictures from our trip....
Swimming in the various coves.
Exploring the caves on the island.
Our anniversary dinner (the huge prawns).
Exploring the ruins.
Dinners by sunset.
Our last night. After an incredible week we gathered on the roof after dinner to watch the fireworks.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
We have a picture in our living room of Cinque Terre, Italy. It is a painting of a beautiful peninsula that juts out into turqoise blue waters. To tell you the truth I originally bought the picture because it matched with our color scheme and was on sale. About a week after we hung the picture in Charlotte one of our friends commented on the fact that it was a picture of Cinque Terre, Italy. He had actually been there and said that the picture looked exactly like the actual place that he loved. After that we had several other friends say the same thing about the picture. After hearing all about this beautiful place we decided that Cinque Terre was a town that we would have to visit while in Europe.
About a month ago we decided that we wanted to take a long weekend and explore northern Italy and Cinque Terre was on the list. We were told by several of our German friends that Garda, Italy was another beautiful spot. I also found out from a neighbor that May was the time to go before it became full of tourists. By the way, they were all right. The weather was gorgeous and all of the towns that we visited were not over crowded.
Six of us rented a van, booked a few rooms at The Hotel Palme (a five minute walk to Lake Garda) and took the five and a half hour drive to Italy. We had an incredible time eating pizza, exploring little towns and swimming in Lake Garda.
The drive to Garda, Italy...
Lake Garda, Italy....
Garda Land (theme park).....
Our last night in Italy...
We had a wonderful time and look forward to exploring the rest of Italy next year.