Greece, Croatia, Montenegro 2021


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We started our day with a walking tour of the Old Town of Dubrovnik with our guide, Ivana. We learned that the city dates back to at least the 7th century. It was an extremely prosperous city under the protection of the Byzantine empire and then the Venetians until a major earthquake struck in 1667.  Much of the city was destroyed and rebuilt. Croatia was occupied and and absorbed by many kingdoms until it became part of Yugoslavia in the 20th century.  In 1991, during the Croatian War of Independence, Dubrovnik was bombed by the Yugoslav’s Peoples Army for seven months straight and was heavily damaged. It took many years, but the country was able to rebuild.  

Many scenes from Game of Thrones were filmed in and around the Old City. This is the view from the lower level just outside the Old City gates.  

This is the Main Street, and there are countless corridors branching off to each side.

The farmers market sets up here every day, just like it has for thousands of years.

After walking all through the old city, we drove up to the highest point of the city for an incredible view.

From here, we drove to an area that used to be a popular resort area before the war in the 90s.  These hotels were destoryed during the siege.  You can see the bullet holes in the walls.

The destruction was just astonishing to see.  Especially because just in front of these decaying buildings is the most beautiful beach.

Next, we drove about a half an hour to the city of Cavtat. This village was founded by the Greeks in the 6th century. We walked around the peninsula through pine forests that reach the sea.

We reached the harbor, and stopped at this Michelin star restaurant for a snack.  It was incredible.

We went back to our hotel in Dubrovnik, swam in the indoor pool, and went back to the Old City for dinner.  Tomorrow, we fly back to Athens for another two days.


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On Monday, we flew back to Athens from Santorini.  We spent the night hanging out on our terrace admiring our incredible view and playing dice.

Tuesday, we were back at the airport for our flight to Croatia. We landed in Dubrovnik and drove to the Old Town. We walked around a bit and just took everything in. It truly is one of the most beautiful places we have ever seen. We are spending our whole day here in Dubrovnik tomorrow, so I will save the pics for tomorrow’s post.

Today, we drove along the Adriatic Sea south to the small country of Montenegro.

We had to cross the border out of Croatia, then drive through an unclaimed area for a few miles and then cross the border again in to Montenegro.  Our first stop was the ancient village of Perast.

The old city has cobblestone streets and the clearest water.

We stopped at a seaside cafe for a coffee and admired the view.

After Perast, we drove along Boka Katorska bay to Kotor.  We walked through the city gates

and through the narrow cobblestone maze of streets.

There is a huge wall built into the mountains and 1400 steps up to the top.  We didn’t climb them all, but we went up high enough for a spectacular view.

We walked back through the city gates to the water front…

There are also cats everywhere.  Violet has a long history of meeting cats all around the world, and today there was no shortage.

After Kotor, we drove to Budva. We had a fantastic lunch there, but we didn’t take any pictures! Next, we drove back to Boka Katorska, and took the ferry across the bay.

Back in Dubrovnik, we walked back to Old Town for a while.  We went to a Salvador Dali exhibit at the gallery.

This is one of his illustrations for Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.  Finally, we headed back to our hotel and still can’t get over this view.

Tomorrow, we have a guided private tour of Dubrovnik and I can’t wait to learn more about this place, it is definitely one of our favorite cities of all time.


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After a few perfect days in Athens, it was time to head to Santorini.  We got up very early and met our driver so we could tale a 7:00 am ferry.  We realized there had been a mixup and our ferry tickets were back at our hotel in Athens and there were no ferry tickets left to buy.  So, we scrambled a bit and booked ourlseves a flight instead.  Violet was terrified to fly on the small turbo-prop plane, but it ended up being fine.

We drove to our resort, located on the black sand beach of Kamari.  

The next morning, we met our guide and headed to Oia, the most beautiful village in the world.

Violet and I agree that we could stay here forever.  We walked all along the windng pathways and up and down the stairs until it was time to see more of the island.

We drove to Fira to see the famous three bells overlooking the volcano.


The volcanic eruption in 1600 BC devastated the area and  turned Santorini from a round island into the crescent shape it is today.  The explosion has been estimated to be about the equivalent of 40 atomic bombs.

Our next stop was Pyrgos, a village at the highest point of the island.

And then on to see the Red Beach.

Finally, we met our specialized gude Eugenia at the gates of Akrotiri; a prehistoric cityfrom 3500 years ago that was buried beneath volcanic ash until 1967.

This was the most incredible place to visit.  It is still in the process of being excavated, so you really get a sense of how it could have gone unnoticed for thousands of years, waiting to be discovered. 

It was fascinating to see such a modern city with paved streets, indoor plumbing systems and rain gutters.  

The houses had incredible frescoes that were found nearly intact.

It was truly amazing and we are so lucky we were able to see it.  Today is our last in Santorini and we are plannng to enjoy the sunshine, pools and beach.


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We left Newark airport at a few minutes before midnight on Tuesday night and arrived in Athens at 4:00 pm Wednesday.  This was our first time flying Emirates, which was great, but it will be our last time flying out of Newark.  Anyway, we got settled into our rooms and had some dinner at the hotel and then walked around the main plaza of Athens, Syntagma Square.

This morning, we met our driver Alexandros and our guide Nancy and started our day.  Our first stop was the Acropolis.  We walked up a marble path shaded by olive trees.

The first monemument we saw was this Ampitheater, which has been restored and is still used today for concerts.

We continued through the main gate…

and to the spectacular Parthenon.

The view from the Acropolis is incredible.

From our vantage point, we could look down on the Temple of Zeus, currently under restoration.

We checked out the other temples, including this temple of Athena Nike and the Erechtheion.

Our next stop was the New Acropolis Museum. Here, we were able to view the temples’ decorative art that is stored inside the museum galleries. The museum is built above the ancient part of Athens, and the glass floors allow you to see what was beneath.

We were able to see the original Caryatids…

and the so many pieces of the Parthenon metopes and friezes.  Well, the ones that weren’t stolen by the British!

After the museum, we headed out of Athens, stopped for lunch by the sea,

and headed to Cape Sounio.  The water looked unbelievably blue as we drove along the coast.

Here is the Temple of Poseidon from a distance..

and up close…

Our last stop was the Olympic Stadium where the first modern Olympic games were held in 1896. The Athens Marathon still finishes here.  

Our wonderful guide, Nancy!

After our tour, we took a short nap, then headed out for some dinner and an evening walk through the Plaka and back to our hotel.

We had a truly fantastic day. We have an early start tomorrow as we head out at 5:45 am for our ferry to Santorini.  

Thanks for reading!

Europe, Long Time No See...

We are so happy to be able to travel again in 2021!! This summer, we will be spending some time in Greece visiting Athens and Santorini.  We will also be traveling to Croatia and Montenegro.  Hayden’s blog is here and Violet’s blog is here.  Thank you for reading!!

© Knstrong 2013