Wine Cruise from Barcelona to Athens
Trip Start Jan 01, 2013
333Trip End Dec 31, 2012
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This was a special wine cruise organized by a travel agent in Lodi, California, on the Oceania Cruise Line's Insignia. On the first evening of embarkation, the owner of the travel company had a party to distribute 10-bottles of wine to each stateroom, and the cruise line charged us only $5 corkage fee (rather than the regular $15). Since some of her customers didn't drink wine, we ended up with almost double the gratis wine, so we shared them with other guests during meals.
During the cruise, we visited three wineries; two in Barcelona and one in Taormina, Sicily. The two in Barcelona were Freixenet and Torres, but the one winery in Taormina, Murgo Winery.
The itinerary was excellent: we started in Barcelona, and stopped at the following ports along the way to Athens: Provence (France), Monte Carlo (Monaco), Florence (Italy), Rome, Naples, Messina, and Athens. We were supposed to have a stop at Valletta (Malta), but the ship had engine trouble in Italy, and we were delayed one day.
Las Ramblas is a favorite destination for most people that visit Barcelona. It's adjacent to the Gothic District and the university, and the area offers many good eating estbalishments and sites in and around the area.
In addition to visiting the palace grounds, we were also able to visit Princess Grace's tomb, Jaques Coustoes marine museum, car museum, visits to the casino area with its many restaurants, and enjoying the view of the Med.
What can be said about Italy that already hasn't been said? Florence and Rome are two major places on the west coast of Italy that most visit on their first visit to this country. Naples with Pompeii and Herculaneium should not be missed, because it's an easy train ride away.
People who visit here fall in love with this place; it's situated on a hill overlooking the Med, and the quaint shops and restaurants with sidewalk seating are just adorable and pictureisque. The Murgo Winery that we visited provided us with a great snack bar, and they were generous with their wine tasting.
This was my second visit to this Greek metropolis, and saw many new areas in Plaka I missed during my first visit. My first visit to Athens was some years ago when my brother and his wife, my wife and I, did the Aegean Sea cruise that embarked from Istanbul and ended in Athens.
My next travelogue will be to Russia from May 30, 2006 to June 14, 2006.
My thanks goes to Freddies World for being the first poster on my travel blog. Hope you enjoy the "rest" of them. I'm trying to complete 3-4 travelogues with pictures every week.