Friday, August 9, 2013


Walt has compiled his notes on our upcoming tour.  He loves taking the itinerary and checking it out with his maps.  I tend to go to google right away and check pictures I can find of places we'll stay and things we'll see.

W 28
Lv. SFO 9:05 pm.
Th 29 Ar. Munich 5:15 pm, Lv. Munich 7:20 pm, Ar. Kiev 10:35 pm. Transfer to Radisson Blu
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F 30 Guided walking tour in am. Rest of the day at leisure. Possible optional tour to Pirogovo Open Air Museum.  (This is apparently like the Ukrainian Williamsburg, a museum of folk architecture.  Looks cool.
Sa 31 Transfer to ship (Viking Lomonsov) in a.m. Room available around 3 pm. Buffet lunch available around 3 p.m.
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Su 1 Tour of Kiev and the Monastery of Caves. Optional Jewish Kiev tour. Welcome reception and dinner in evening.  They caution that the Monastery of Caves is not a good idea for people who are not physically fit or who have claustrophobia.  Since I qualify on both counts, I think I will pass.  I will have to rely on the pix that Char takes!
M 2 Dnieper River cruising.
Tu 3 cossack.jpg (13099 bytes)Zaporozhye tour, Khortitsa tour & Cossack Horse Show (2) in am. Lunch on ship. Depart in early afternoon.  The Cossack Horse Show is the thing I am most excited about seeing.   I missed out on a visit to a horse farm in Prague because not enough folks signed up, and the Lipizzaner stallions were on vacation when we were in Vienna, but I think this one is a given, since it's not an optional activity.
W 4 Cruising in a.m. Kherson walking tour (2) after lunch. (The tomb of Prince Potemkin is here, in the church of St. Catherine.)  Dinner on ship. Cruising overnight.
Th 5 Arrive Sevastopol after lunch. Sevastopol tour (2).
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Optional tour to Chersonese (3). Optional performance by band & dance ensemble (1) with late dinner on ship. (I always opt for the musical performances! Chersonese is ranked as a 3 for difficulty, which means I won't go!)
F 6 Bakhchisarai excursion (2) in a.m. Bakhchysarai is a city in central Crimea, located in southern Ukraine. It is the administrative center of the Bakhchysarai Raion, as well as the former capital of the Crimean Khanate.
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Lunch on ship. Optional Balaklava excursion (3) in afternoon. Depart in evening.
Sa 7 Yalta and White Palace tour (3) in am.
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Optional Massandra winery tour (2) in afternoon. (I think there is little chance that we will skip the winery tour, since the other 3 are such huge wine buffs!)  Dinner aboard. Dock overnight.
Su 8 Aloupka Palace tour (2-3) in am.
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Early afternoon free time. Depart late afternoon. Captain’s dinner in evening.
M 9 Odessa city tour (2) in am. Optional Jewish Odessa tour (2) in afternoon. Optional Odessa Opera performance (1) after dinner.  The performance is in the Odesssa Opera House, which I hear is a definite "must see."  As of this writing, there is nothing scheduled for this day at the opera house, though The Flying Dutchman is supposed to be performed on the 7th
OdessaOpera.jpeg (118942 bytes)
Tu 10 Optional tour to Akermann Fortress in Bilgorod (3) in am. Odessa catacombs tour (3) in afternoon. Dock overnight. 
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Wikipedia lists the catacombs for "extreme tourists."  "Such tours are not officially sanctioned because the catacombs have not been fully mapped and the tunnels themselves are unsafe. There have been incidents of people becoming lost in the tunnel network, and dying of dehydration or rockfalls."  Not me, I suspect, though I'm sure where this tour goes is very safe.
W 11 Lv. Odessa 10:10 am, Ar. Istanbul 11:40 am. Transfer to Conrad Istanbul. Free time in afternoon.
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Th 12 Istanbul city tour in am. Afternoon at leisure. Possible optional tours.  I think we are supposed to tour the Blue Mosque (someone told me you can fit the Vatican inside it) and the Grand Bazaar.
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I suspect both of those venues could be an all-day tour!
F 13 Topkapi Palace tour in a.m. Afternoon at leisure.
topkapi.jpg (17211 bytes)
We're touring this in the morning and then having the afternoon at you think we will even begin to make a dent in this palace!!!
Sa 14 Lv. Istanbul 5:50 am, change in Frankfurt, Ar. SFO 12:05 pm.

I'm looking forward to adding my own pictures of these places.


Mary Z said...

Interesting about the Topkapi. It reminded me of when we went to the Hermitage in Russia. Our visit was scheduled only for one morning, with a free afternoon. We opted to spend our free afternoon by staying at the Hermitage, with lunch at their cafe. The only bad part was that we had to find our own way back to the boat - not the easiest thing we did. Maybe you could do that at the Topkapi.

I like that your tours are graded as to activity level. I need something like that, too.

June Calender said...

BEv, not far from the Topkapi one can go down into a huge structure that is a cistern but is now fitted out as a place where concerts are given. I'm a claustrophobe and didn't find it at all scary. I was enchanted by the idea of chamber music or small ensembles there. If you're offered a look (it'll only take 15 minutes) I'd suggest going. Loved the Blue Mosque, wasn't much interested in Topkapi. Great Bazaar was super -- bought scuffs made of scraps of Turkish rugs that were my favorite houseslippers for years and years. They make wonderful gifts too.