Greece Sailing Trip 2014

We returned to Greece to sail the Dodecanese Islands for the second time.  This summer, however, we took off from the port of Kos (instead of Rodos), and traveled north to the islands of Kalymnos, Leros, Patmos, and Lipsi.  We took the “road” a little less traveled this year and ended up with a very different experience – it was a little more relaxed, more rustic, and definitely more windy with rougher seas.  Our captain was also younger and drank a little (lot!) less, which made us all feel a little safer aboard. :)    Overall, Greece never disappoints, and I am happy to say my skin is no longer translucent, but instead a speckled light tan color.

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Dodecanese Islands – Part 1

Muses restaurant

For our anniversary in April, I gifted Bobby a trip to northern Italy to hike the via ferrata, or “iron road,” something that he’s always wanted to do.  We were all set to go during the third week of June.  However, while watching the Giro d’Italia on TV, we saw some legs of the race in the region and we were discouraged by the piles (we’re talking 4-5 feet) of unseasonal snow on the ground. We begrudgingly canceled our trip and were trying to find a warmer vacation to satisfy our desire to hit the road when we received a great offer.  Our Italian friends Tatiana and Francesco invited us to join them on a seven-day sailing trip in the Dodecanese islands.  We couldn’t have been more excited, and quickly agreed.   The Dodecanese are a group of twelve large (plus more than 150 small) Greek islands in the Aegean Sea, of which 26 are inhabited.  With some suggestions from Tatiana and Francesco’s friends as well as our captain, we decided on a six island route.  From Rhodes, the port of departure, we sailed to Symi, Nisyros, Tilos, Chalki, Alimia, and even took a pit stop in Turkey during the second leg of the trip for a quick dip.

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Going Dutch

Canals of Amsterdam

We made The Netherlands the third country on our two-week tour.  About 20% of The Netherlands lies below sea level and for this reason, Italians named the country “Paesi Bassi.”  Because of the low, flat land, it is a perfect spot for agriculture and one of the reasons why the country is famous for its spring tulip farms.  I actually planned this two week trip around the tulips blooming in late March, but to our dismay, Europe had an unbelievably cold winter and on our arrival, the tulips were still hiding.  I was pretty disappointed!  Nevertheless, we saw some of the flowers in the greenhouses at the Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse, a pretty awesome MC Escher museum in The Hague, visited the UNESCO World Heritage windmills in Kinderdijk, and toured world-famous Amsterdam.

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