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Above the city, looking out towards the blue Aegean, stands the Acropolis. Here lie the ruins of a culture 2,500 years old: the Propylaea; the Temple of Athena Nike; the Erechtheum temple, and, most famous of all, the Parthenon.
Meanwhile, modern Athens buzzes busily below, a city of chic restaurants, lively bazaars, sophisticated banking, historical museums, and the sights and smells of the Plaka district.
The Corinth Canal connects the Gulf of Corinth in the Ionian Sea with the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea. It cuts through the narrow Isthmus of Corinth and separates the Peloponnese from the Greek mainland, arguably making the peninsula an island. The canal was dug through the isthmus at sea level and has no locks.
The modern town of Delphi is situated immediately west of the archaeological site of the same name. The town was created as a home for the population of Castro, which was to be removed to daylight the site of ancient Delphi.
Santorini is a spectacular sight, especially when approached by sea. Steep cliffs rise dramatically from deep azure waters. The capital of Fira is located 1,000 feet above our anchorage, accessible by donkey, cable car, or foot. The views from on top are unforgettable: stark white-washed buildings are scattered along the clifftop village; the sea stretches outward from black volcanic sands. Santorini has an explosive history of volcanic activity, and some say that here in the ruins at Akrotiri lie the remnants of the lost civilization of Atlantis.
White-washed and flower-bedecked Bodrum is one of the most charming cities and sophisticated resorts on the Aegean coast. Beautiful, Turkish-made wooden boats called gulets line the waterfront and can be hired for the day. (In fact, Bodrum has been a center for boatbuilding since the days of Mark Antony and Cleopatra.) Local restaurants feature specialties of octopus and calamari; shops are filled with Turkish treasures such as leather and woven rugs.
Not far from the pier you’ll come across Meryemana, the House of the Virgin Mary, said to be where St. John took the mother of Jesus after the crucifixion. From there you’ll enjoy a panoramic view of Ephesus below. Take time in Kusadasi for a little shopping and a cup of Turkish coffee.
Weather permitting… today we visit Mykonos, the classic Greek isle, with hundreds of white-washed churches and cubist houses; round, thatched windmills catching the brisk breeze; and a harbor bobbing with fishing boats and luxury yachts. Sit in the shadow of a café and watch as native fishermen and jet set Europeans pass by. Or explore the Parportiani church, a Byzantine architectural masterpiece.
stanbul is a major city in Turkey that straddles Europe and Asia across the Bosphorus Strait. Its Old City reflects cultural influences of the many empires that once ruled here. In the Sultanahmet district, the open-air, Roman-era Hippodrome was for centuries the site of chariot races, and Egyptian obelisks also remain. The iconic Byzantine Hagia Sophia features a soaring 6th-century dome and rare Christian mosaics
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