Windy Mykonos – Day 2 of our Azamara Greek Island Cruise

On the second day of our Greek island cruise with Azamara Club Cruises we awoke in Mykonos, well known as the island where all the beautiful people come to party. We took a 10 minute ride on the shuttle bus from the new port to the edge of Mykonos town and walked around the harbour watching the super-yachts parking up. Guy instigated a game where we each had to say which of the boats we would like to own and why. I always go for the least flashy ones and he likes anything that’s made of wood, but perhaps you would choose one of those millionaire yachts that have endless staff polishing every surface?

Heather in the Harbour of Mykonos, Greece Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Heather in the Harbour of Mykonos, Greece

The first thing that struck me was that while on Santorini the roofs were domed, on Mykonos all the houses were cube in shape. The second thing that struck me was how windy Mykonos was, which meant that it was cooler than the baking heat we had experienced on Santorini, but could be a little wearing if you had to cope with it every day. Because of the wind we decided against a trip to Delos to see the archaeological remains, fearing that a 30 minute boat ride in high winds might be rather rocky.

Mykonos’ iconic windmills

Many of the other cruise guests were heading to the beaches but since we had enjoyed plenty of beach time in Greece a few weeks before, we opted for exploring Mykonos town at a leisurely pace. We soon found the 5 windmills on the hill that are the main landmark of Mykonos and took photographs of them from every angle, the best view being from the car-park that was unfortunately placed right behind them.

Heather at the Windmills of Mykonos, Greece Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Heather at the Windmills of Mykonos, Greece

Below the windmills there is a line of colourful buildings dating from Venetian times, known as little Venice with balconies that overhang the water. Many of the buildings are cafes where you can sit on the balcony with a view of those picturesque windmills. Further along are terraces where the water splashes right up, but be careful where you sit on a windy day as you may get unexpectedly drenched by the waves.

The Windmills of Mykonos, Greece Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

The Windmills of Mykonos, Greece

A wander round the narrow streets of Mykonos

With the main sights of Mykonos ticked off our list we wandered around the narrow streets, some with old ladies chatting underneath washing strung between the houses. Mostly though there were just a lot of shops and cafes, all selling everything stylish and fashionable you could wish for. We ended up having lunch at Yummy’s café which served excellent crepes and fresh juices at reasonable prices.

Walking Around the Streets of Mykonos, Greece Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Walking Around the Streets of Mykonos, Greece

On our wandering we spotted Petros the Pelican, another landmark of Mykonos, hiding in a doorway. I felt a bit sorry for him as he was encircled by tourists trying to take photos and looked like he was trying to escape the paparazzi.

Petros the Pelican of Mykonos, Greece Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Petros the Pelican of Mykonos, Greece

Later in the afternoon we went back into town to visit the folklore museum, an old sea captain’s house set overlooking the harbour. The museum was free but of course we made a donation and the guide gave us an interesting explanation of the collection of objects from all over Europe. I was fascinated by the drawers of votive offerings, little flat silver shapes that you would offer in a Greek church to be displayed in front of the icon as a prayer for good fortune. There were different shapes depending on what you were hoping for; in the shape of a leg if you needed help with healing your leg or a baby if your baby was ill. We also visited Lena’s House, another folk museum that had been the home of a lady from Mykonos now preserved in the original 19th century style.

Lenas House Folk Museum on Mykonos, Greece Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Lenas House Folk Museum on Mykonos, Greece

Island hopping in the 1980s

As we walked back toward the ship, Guy reminisced about his student days, when he came to Mykonos on holiday with a group of friends. He remembered camping by the beach or sleeping on the roof of people’s houses and that the island seemed to be a haven for gay couples. It was unusual to see men holding hands openly in the 1980s.

Evening View of Little Venice in Mykonos, Greece Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Evening View of Little Venice in Mykonos, Greece

Church in Mykonos, Greece Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Church in Mykonos, Greece

We returned to Azamara Journey and enjoyed the Indian buffet in the Windows Café, enjoying eating in the warm night air, with after-dinner entertainment around the pool of Soul and Motown. Everyone was enjoying it so much that the captain held off the sailing time for 20 minutes as once we left port the wind meant that the passage was rather swaying. There was a full moon and as the ship sailed we watched the necklace of lights along the shore. As we settled into our stateroom, I’m sure the party was just getting going on Mykonos. Tomorrow we arrive at Patmos.

Azamara Journey at Mykonos, Greece Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Azamara Journey at Mykonos, Greece

About Azamara Club Cruises

Azamara Club Cruises is a small luxury cruise line with two ships; Azamara Journey that Heather and Guy sailed on and Azamara Quest, each with a capacity of 686 guests. The smaller ship size means you often visit destinations that larger ships can’t get into and the ships can dock in more central locations. The emphasis is on destination immersion; enjoying the destination to the full, arriving early and sailing late so that guests can enjoy nights and cool places ashore, with insider access programmes and a unique AzAmazing evening included in each cruise. No itinerary is the repeated and each year the ships visit different destinations around the world. Azamara is part of Royal Caribbean Cruise group. Visit the Azamara Club Cruises website more information about a Mediterranean luxury cruise like the one Heather and Guy enjoyed.

You can also connect with Azamara Club Cruises on Social Media via:
Azamara blog | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | Pinterest | YouTube | Flickr

Joining your Azamara Club Cruise

Heather and Guy flew from London Heathrow to Athens and back from Istanbul using British Airways, although obviously each cruise is different in the best way to get there.

Heather used the Meet and Greet Parking Service booked through APH Parking and Hotels who offer airport parking at a range of airports across the UK as well as travel extras such as airport lounge booking and airport hotel stays.

Both flights and transfers from the airport to your cruise ship can be arranged through Azamara Cruises via their Choiceair service

Thanks to Azamara Club Cruises who hosted Heather and Guy for their 7 day Greek Island Cruise and to APH Parking and Hotels who provided their airport parking at Heathrow.

Read More about our Azamara Greek Island Cruise

Sailing into Santorini – Day 1 of our Azamara Greek Island Cruise
Patmos – Day 3 of our Azamara Greek Island Cruise – coming soon
Kusadasi & Ephesus – Day 4 of our Azamara Greek Island Cruise – coming soon
At sea – Day 5 of our Azamara Greek Island Cruise – coming soon
Istanbul – Day 6 of our Azamara Greek Island Cruise – coming soon

This article is originally published at Heatheronhertravels.com – Read the original article here

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You’ll also find our sister blog with tips on how to build a successful travel blog at My Blogging Journey

Sailing into Santorini – Day 1 of our Azamara Greek Island Cruise

The Greek Islands bring back happy memories for my husband, Guy, as we spend this week together on a Greek Island and Turkey Cruise with Azamara Club Cruises. Guy went island-hopping in his student days and visited many of the places such as Santorini and Mykonos that form part of this cruise, although his student budget in those days could not stretch to some of the luxuries we are now enjoying on Azamara Journey. Our early morning flight from Heathrow brought us to Athens and an easy transfer to Pireus where we boarded Azamara Journey and settled into our luxurious stateroom, our home for the next seven days.

Stateroom 7032 on board Azamara Journey with Azamara Cruises Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Stateroom 7032 on board Azamara Journey with Azamara Cruises

The first port of call was Santorini, a group of islands that were formed in a volcanic eruption many thousands of years ago and form the outer ring of the volcano with the sea covering the central caldera. The main island of Thira or Fira has no port large enough to take a cruise ship, even a small one like Azamara Journey, so we tendered into shore and took the cable car up to the top of the cliff (€5 per person 1 way). Neither of the alternatives of a donkey ride or a walk up the steep cobbled path to the top in the hot sun were very appealing and even in the cable car, the rich smell of donkey droppings wafted up from the path below.

Beautiful sea views

We didn’t linger too long in Fira, but found the crowded bus station with expert drivers backing their buses into impossibly small spaces. We joined the many people asking the bus conductors “Is this the bus for …?” and eventually found the one for Oia – pronounced Ee-ah. (€1.80 per person 1 way every 30 mins). Who’d be a bus driver on Santorini, driving along narrow, winding roads, trying not to be distracted by the sea view?

Heather in Oia, Santorini, Greece Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Heather in Oia, Santorini, Greece

As the buildings of Fira town thinned out we passed bright white and local stone holiday villas, with domed roofs proclaiming “caldera views” – some of them looking rather smart places to stay. Beside the road all we could see were dusty cactus clinging to the pumice stone and a few patches of purple flowering thyme.

There’s a walking trail that runs between Fira and Oia that I would have happily hiked in May, but in the heat of the midday July sun it would have been a quick way to get sunstroke. As we got closer to Oia we could see the flat plain below with square fields marked out and fewer houses apart from those perching on the side of the cliff.

Most people’s idea of Santorini is formed from the photos of white houses and blue domes that they think epitomize Greece, but are actually mainly found in Oia. The town is strung along the cliff-top and there is one main pedestrian stone paved street (beware it can be slippery) that stretches in both directions from the bus station along the top of the cliff overlooking the sea.

Oia in Santorini, Greece Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Oia in Santorini, Greece

Shopping and people watching

With shopping ranging from the sometimes tacky to the mostly tasteful and the achingly trendy, this is a place to shop for jewellery and gifts, hang out in bars and cafes and take plenty of photographs. It’s also the place that everyone comes to watch the sunset and take those picture postcard shots as the sky turns pink and the light is golden. This is the place you’ll find stylish fashions with everything you need to look the part on your Greek cruise or your hot, hot, hot Greek island holiday.

Shopping in Oia, Santorini, Greece Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Shopping in Oia, Santorini, Greece

The burning heat

Did I mention the heat? It was absolutely boiling hot 35 degrees + and if you insist on visiting in July and August, my recommendation would be to walk the streets of Oia, take your photos and then to find a nice shady café for lunch or a cooling drink. Walk, rest, drink every 30 mins or so until you have had enough of the people watching and the wandering and the shopping. There isn’t a great deal else to do but Oia is a pretty enough place to hang out for a few hours.

Apart from the obligatory visit to Oia are some archaeological remains to see at Akrotiri but we decided to give that a miss because of the heat. Seriously, if you are there in July or August, plaster yourself in high factor sun cream wear a hat and drink plenty of water. After a walk around Oia I felt like I’d been in a sauna.

Dinner at Pyrgos

After our very hot walk around Oia we had lunch followed by a cooling swim at the pleasant Lioyerma pool and café which is at the furthest end of Oia, close to the windmills. Then we took the bus back to Santorini and from there got the taxi to Pyrgos where we were having dinner at Kalisti Taverna. Because we were a bit early we decided to walk up to the Kastel where we found an old church at the top with a fortified gateway and some great views over the flatter side of the island.

Greek Salad at Kalisti Taverna Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Greek Salad at Kalisti Taverna

Our dinner at Kalisti Taverna was part of the Azamara Club Cruises “Cruise Global Eat Local” dining experience where you eat in restaurants with excellent food and a local flavor. We enjoyed delicious Greek specialties such as Greek salad with tomatoes, olive, feta, nicely presented in a grilled cheese basket. There was a garlic aubergine salad, fava bean puree and baby tomatoes stuffed with rice and local cheese. This was the meze style starter course and then we had roasted lamb chops with baklava for desert, all washed down with an excellent award winning Santorini wine. At 9.30 pm we were swiftly transported back to Azamara Journey just in time for the ship sailing out of Santorini at 10pm. Next stop Mykonos where we arrive tomorrow.

Fava Bean Hummus in Santorini, Greece Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Fava Bean Hummus in Santorini, Greece

About Azamara Club Cruises

Azamara Club Cruises is a small luxury cruise line with two ships; Azamara Journey that Heather and Guy sailed on and Azamara Quest, each with a capacity of 686 guests. The smaller ship size means you often visit destinations that larger ships can’t get into and the ships can dock in more central locations. The emphasis is on destination immersion; enjoying the destination to the full, arriving early and sailing late so that guests can enjoy nights and cool places ashore, with insider access programmes and a unique AzAmazing evening included in each cruise. No itinerary is the repeated and each year the ships visit different destinations around the world. Azamara is part of Royal Caribbean Cruise group. Visit the Azamara Club Cruises website more information about a Mediterranean luxury cruise like the one Heather and Guy enjoyed.

You can also connect with Azamara Club Cruises on Social Media via:
Azamara blog | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | Pinterest | YouTube | Flickr

Joining your Azamara Club Cruise

Heather and Guy flew from London Heathrow to Athens and back from Istanbul using British Airways, although obviously each cruise is different in the best way to get there.

Heather used the Meet and Greet Parking Service booked through APH Parking and Hotels who offer airport parking at a range of airports across the UK as well as travel extras such as airport lounge booking and airport hotel stays.

Both flights and transfers from the airport to your cruise ship can be arranged through Azamara Cruises via their Choiceair service

Thanks to Azamara Club Cruises who hosted Heather and Guy for their 7 day Greek Island Cruise and to APH Parking and Hotels who provided their airport parking at Heathrow.

Read More about our Azamara Greek Island Cruise

Windy Mykonos – Day 2 of our Azamara Greek Island Cruise
Patmos – Day 3 of our Azamara Greek Island Cruise – coming soon
Kusadasi & Ephesus – Day 4 of our Azamara Greek Island Cruise – coming soon
At sea – Day 5 of our Azamara Greek Island Cruise – coming soon
Istanbul – Day 6 of our Azamara Greek Island Cruise – coming soon

This article is originally published at Heatheronhertravels.com – Read the original article here

Click to subscribe to our monthly newsletter, news and reader offers

HOHT newsletter

You’ll also find our sister blog with tips on how to build a successful travel blog at My Blogging Journey

Like mother, like daughter – what we loved on our trip to Copenhagen

On my recent visit to Copenhagen, I enjoyed the company of my daughter, Sophie-Anne, who shares her tips for things that mums and daughters can enjoy together in Copenhagen.

Unless you are travelling alone, there will always be a difference of opinion on what to do and see. One art lover’s Picasso museum is another girl’s prison, so it can be hard to find a balance. This is certainly true of different ages, and although I am probably going to end up as my mother at the end of my road to adulthood, for the time being we have varying opinions on a day well spent.

Heather and Sophie-Anne enjoying cocktails Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Heather and Sophie-Anne enjoying cocktails

Last summer my whole family went to Copenhagen and the trip was a great success, with every family member enjoying the Danish capital. This summer my mum and I returned for a girl’s only trip leaving the boys at home to the British rain. Just like last summer it was easy to find things to do that we would both enjoy as there are so many cool trendy neighbourhoods of Copenhagen. Here are some of the things in Copenhagen that we both enjoyed;

Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen PHoto: Heatheronhertravels.com

Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen

Tivoli Gardens

Tivoli amusement park is beautiful and not tacky! Repeat, not tacky – a rarity in the world of amusement parks! Like most Danish things, it is tasteful and quirky (it has the most adorable little houses for the ducks on the lake). However, it still earns its title as an amusement park and has all the theme park rides to amuse those who dare to try them out. Last year my brothers and I dared to go on all the biggest rides while my dad and mum lounged about admiring the beautiful gardens. You can also go to Tivoli in the evening when it is all lit up or watch ballet on the Pantomime Theatre stage.

Posing with the Little Ballerina at Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Posing with the Little Ballerina at Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen

Sculpture at Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek

I loved the sculpture museum at Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, perhaps for more sentimental reasons than my mother. My grandmother bought me children’s books based around famous art pieces, and one in particular ‘The little ballerina’ was my favourite. It was based on Degas’ little ballerina statue and his ballet paintings. Like most little girls I was enchanted with the whole ballet world so adored the book and was madly in love with Degas’ ballerinas and the little ballerina statue. I finally managed to see the statue at Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, which was a real treat for me, and of course all of Degas’ other beautiful paintings. There are lots of statues that are amazing, and also paintings upstairs showing a range of artists such as Gaugin and Picasso. There is also a lovely café in the museum for a culture break.

Silver at Georg Jensen, Copenhagen Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Silver at Georg Jensen, Copenhagen

Shopping on Strøget

Now what would a girl’s holiday be without shopping? The Danish girls are all so stylish that it would be a crime (in my very female eyes) not to visit the shopping street of Strøget. Illums Bolighus is my favourite, a beautiful department store which most people can find a section to nestle themselves into. Also handy that it is located next to the Royal Copenhagen store, so I can let my mother wander off to look at the teacups, saucers, plates and then catch up with her for the 5 minute china tour as opposed to a 45 minutes tour. Georg Jensen is also a must see with beautiful silverware and jewellery – I’ve got my eye on the daisy bracelet and my mum on the grape ring.

Swimming in the harbour at Islands Brygge Copenhagen Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Swimming in the harbour at Islands Brygge Copenhagen

Swim in the harbour

If you are visiting in summer I urge you to go and swim in the harbour at Islands Brygge, where you can mill around the locals on the grass enjoying the sun. Part of the harbour is enclosed for the public to swim, with lifeguards, a children’s pool and a diving area next to a grassy area which creates a lovely ambiance and relaxing vibe in the middle of the busy city. And best of all it’s free to go! It would be easy to take a picnic on your bike and sit on the grass and let the day roll past slowly.

Cocktails in Copenhagen at Lidkoeb Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Cocktails in Copenhagen at Lidkoeb

Cocktails in Copenhagen

Both my mum and I love cocktails, which is also true of all the other girls among my cousins and aunts. I love sitting in a beautifully decorated bar with my mum sharing a few exquisite cocktails. We visited Lidkoeb, which was a gorgeous cocktail bar with well picked furnishings. I asked for the most popular cocktail, which the friendly bartender informed me was usually anything with ginger in as the Danes love it – a perfect fit for a fellow ginger lover. My mother had the Kolonihaven with geranium gin, cloudy apple and cucumber juice which was also delicious.

Whisky Bar at Lidkoeb in Copenhagen Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Whisky Bar at Lidkoeb in Copenhagen

We were also lucky to visit the very V.I.P whisky bar at the top with table service only and the finest whiskies from around the world. In Copenhagen there is plenty of choice for a nice evening drink around Copenhagen, such as sitting on the Nyhaven canal, heading to the meat packing district in Vesterbro or crossing on the ferry to Paper Island where Copenhagen Street Food has all varieties of street food served from trailers.

Eating out in Copenhagen

Any student will tell you that one of the biggest perks of travelling with a parent is a bill being paid for. This means you can have a real drink and not just tap water, and you have full range of the money choices instead of just the ones under £10.

Dinner at uFormel in Copenhagen Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Dinner at uFormel in Copenhagen

In Copenhagen my mum and I ate in the amazing uFormel restaurant which is new Nordic cooking, very modern but out of the student budget. The restaurant menu has a range of small plates, with the idea that you order a few, and they come out in order like a 3 course meal. I had the ceviche – a trip down memory lane from my South America trip and a plate of the most amazing tender lamb! Both were delicious and strayed into adventurous eating, which was perfect for me as I hate going to a restaurant only to find the menu comprises of things I could cook at home myself. (Read the review of uFormal from Alex Berger who joined us for dinner)

Hot Dogs at Urban House Hostel, Copenhagen Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Hot Dogs at Urban House Hostel, Copenhagen

In complete contrast we also visited the Urban House in Vesterbro which has a hot dog bar, with lush hot dogs smothered in various delicious toppings. Although my mum tends to find such places by herself these days, it can be a delight when the kids introduce those above them in the family tree to the new modern crazes or places they otherwise wouldn’t visit.

More things to do in Copenhagen

Which Copenhagen district to choose for a City Break – a guide to the city’s neighbourhoods and best places to stay, from up and coming Vesterbro to classy Frederiksberg

Light, Air, Water – finding a healthy holiday in Copenhagen – healthy tips for rest and relaxation on your spa break by the sea in Copenhagen

10 summertime cool things to do in Copenhagen – rent an apartment to live like a local and enjoy the summer in Copenhagen

Visiting Copenhagen

For more information about things to do in and around Copenhagen, check out the Visit Copenhagen website as well as the Visit Denmark website for other parts of Denmark.

Heather and Sophie-Anne flew with Scandinavian Airlines from London Heathrow to Copenhagen. SAS fly several times a day to and from London to Copenhagen giving you a choice of times to make the most of your time in Copenhagen. On arrival take the train direct to the centre of Copenhagen.

Heather and Sophie-Anne used the Copenhagen Card which covers free public transport around Copenhagen as well as free or reduced price entry to many of the attractions in and around Copenhagen.

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Read about our mother and daughter break in Copenhagen

 

Thanks to Wonderful Copenhagen and Visit Denmark who provided some of the experiences mentioned and to SAS who provided Heather’s flight. This article was brought to you in partnership with Wimdu.

This article is originally published at Heatheronhertravels.com – Read the original article here

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HOHT newsletter

You’ll also find our sister blog with tips on how to build a successful travel blog at My Blogging Journey

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