During the past 30 days, only 20 of them were spent on land, yet we somehow managed to roam around four different continents during this past month of travels! These last 30 days were also unique in that overwater travel became our primary means of transportation, as we didn’t use a single bus or train to get from one city to another the entire month. Here’s a quick recap of where we roamed around during these seafaring days!
Month #10 At A Glance:
- Countries Visited: 3
- Greece, Spain, USA
- City-to-city transport segments: 11
- Flights: 1
- Trains: 0
- Busses: 0
- Boat segments: 8
- Car segments: 2
- Miles Traveled: 7,338
- Beds slept in: 7 (the least ever – yay!)
- UNESCO World Heritage Sites Visited: 4
- Rhodes, Acropolis, Teide National Park, San Cristóbal de La Laguna
- Local beers sampled: 24
- Breweries visited: 3
- Santorini Brewing Company, Beertime, Maier
Month #11 Recap
Roaming Around Greece
Our Month #10 Travel Update actually left off in Asia – Fethiye, Turkey – where we missed the one and only daily ferry, so we left Turkey a day later than planned. They had just decided to leave an half hour early! So we wised up the next day arriving extra early for our route back to Europe, which took us through the Greek Islands for five wonderful days of island hopping. But having less than a week in the Greek Isles is only enough to scratch the surface, so we really needed to make our time count. Our first day was spent in Rhodes where we toured the old town and its impressive fortified walls, which are said to be the world’s finest surviving example of medieval fortification. Can you believe they’re nearly 40 feet thick? Impressive!
Another ferry took us to Santorini where we got to take in the beautiful white and blue town seemingly draping right on down the steep side of the island. After marveling at Santorini pictures for years prior to our visit, it was really neat to finally experience the island in person.
Our third island hop took us on a ferry ride to Naxos, which we enjoyed the best of our three island visits. The island itself was beautiful. But perhaps more refreshing than the waters of the Aegean Sea was the fact that we had these beautiful beaches all to ourselves. Naxos felt like a real slice of Greece, as we just felt like part of an extended Greek family, dining and chatting with locals.
Finally, our last ferry cruised us over to Athens where we did a little site seeing and a lot of eating. We just loved the Greek food throughout our entire visit in the country. In fact, (bold statement coming) Greek food was our favorite cuisine out of all the European countries we’ve visited so far!
Roaming Around Spain and Crossing the Atlantic Ocean
Then, we hightailed it over to Barcelona, where we hooked up with Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas, which provided a nice ride back to the States over a 13 day sailing. We just had a brief tease revisiting Barcelona, as we were only able to wander through La Rambla en route to the port. The beautiful city skyline just taunted us to come back and explore as we sailed away. We really fell in love with Spain during our 6th & 7th month of travels and this just gave us a small taste reminding us why.
Fortunately our Spanish cravings would be satiated with our first port stop on the cruise, Cadiz, on Spain’s Atlantic coast. Here we got reacquainted with why we love the country so much, strolling through the city’s old town cobblestone streets and enjoying some mid-afternoon tapa culture.
Then we were out into the open Atlantic Ocean where we set sail for the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa. A stop at Tenerife for the day gave us enough time to explore all over the island. It was a fun drive through the clouds all the way up to the Teide volcano, where the landscape appeared to be a cross between a lunar setting and the Wild West. We had just enough time to pop back down to explore the old town of Cristobal de la Laguna before getting back on the ship.
Our final port stop took us to the Canary Island of La Palma where we snagged another rental car so that we could quickly make our way out to some fantastic hiking trails. The mountainous rainforests were so full of very active birds, it reminded us of our time in Central America.
From here, we would now get to spend seven wonderful days relaxing at sea on our way home. It was so nice to indulge in a cruise, which may seem contrary to our typically more adventurous and independent travel styles. Instead we find it to be the perfect way to compliment and balance out our sometimes rugged and off-the-beaten path ways. It provides the ying to our yang and gives us just the recharge we need to continue our adventures. And it sure is more pleasurable than catching that long redeye flight across the pond. We had a lot of fun on this crossing and even celebrated Halloween in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean!
Arriving to Florida
We finally arrived back to a familiar port – Fort Lauderdale, FL. It’s actually my hometown! But we were literally only there for minutes, as we needed to drive several hours up Florida’s coast to make it to a friend’s wedding that same afternoon! We actually made it from the ship to the wedding ceremony with exactly 5 minutes to spare. Talk about cutting it close! But after 11 months of consecutive travel, it was a great feeling to both reconnect with our friends and celebrate a marriage.
And while one couple is getting married, Heather and I are splitting up. No, no, this is just temporary. Heather is hanging out in her hometown of Melbourne (FL) while I’ve come back down to Fort Lauderdale. We’ve now been back in the Sunshine State for a week and are using this little bit of much needed downtime to plot our next set of adventures and visit our respective families and friends.
So what was the best parts of this past multi-continental seafaring month?
Month #10 Superlatives
Favorite Adventure: Bike riding around Naxos
- This was an awesome bike ride that spanned from secluded beaches to remote villages, through farmland, past ancient ruins, and over steep mountains. Our 40km route was a great adventure, the mountains gave us a great work out, and it was great value at €5 each for the day rental!
Favorite UNESCO Site: Teide National Park
- This is one of those places where the drive to get there is half the fun as the road winds up the mountainous terrain past the clouds to nearly 3 kilometers above sea level all while still providing incredible views of the ocean way down below. It was crazy to feel the temperature change from the tropical climate down at sea level to the frigid thin mountain air, high up at the volcano. This is a “don’t miss” experience in Tenerife!
Best Value: Transatlantic Repositioning Cruise
- We snagged a last minute deal of $449 (plus port fees & gratuities) for our luxurious two week trip back the US on Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas. We think repositioning cruises are probably among the best travel values out there.
Favorite Beer: Maier IPA
- This fresh beer directly from this little brewery in Cadiz really surprised me as it was an excellent representation of an American-style IPA.
Heather’s Favorite Local Dish: Greek Moussaka
- Heather’s favorite meal during the last month was the Turkish version so it should be no surprise that moussaka also won her over in Greece. So which of the two did she prefer? Greece.
John’s Favorite Local Dish: Greek food. All of it. Everything.
- From common fare like moussaka, gyros, and greek salads to Greek escargot, smoked eel, and cured meats. Each meal I had was my new favorite and I simply could’t get enough. With some dishes being heavy on the oregano and lemon while other get their tangy zip from feta or yogurt, this country’s food was made for my palate. From hearty lamb dishes to creative seafood plates, all of the local cuisine throughout our stay in Greece just blew us away.
Favorite Local Snack / Appetizer: Spinach Pies & Frappes
- We ate these rich feta and spinach stuffed pastries for breakfast nearly every morning in Greece and always accompanied it with a cool Greek frappe.
Where We’re Roaming Around Next?
We’ll continue to spend a few more days roaming around Florida and then we’re heading North to roam around the states of North Carolina and Virginia.
Returning back to the US at this time was not in our initial tentative plans, so we’ve really been mulling over what “next” is.
The South American region of Patagonia has always been a consideration at some point on our trip. And we actually happened to find another cheap repositioning cruise leaving Fort Lauderdale, traveling through the Panama Canal, and zipping right down South America’s Pacific Coast. So we jumped on the deal and will be sailing away from Florida on December 4 arriving to Chile on December 20. We’re very excited to cruise again with Celebrity, as we’ll be calling the Infinity our “home” for 16 days!
Once we get to Santiago, we haven’t quite figured out our exact agenda yet but we’re tentatively planning to spend a few months roaming around Patagonia, moving between Chile and Argentina.
And where to after Patagonia? Oh, we don’t even know. One step at a time.
What’s New with the Blog?
We’ve had so many awesome experiences throughout Europe this past six months but we’ve been having so much fun experiencing them that we just never got a chance to post about it on the blog. 🙁 But we’re hoping to change that now that we’ve had a few days of down time while in the US. So be sure to check back often as we’re planning to keep the blog posts about Europe flowing in the upcoming weeks.
We’ve already started our series of new posts with our article about the craziness of Spain’s Wine Battle Festival. What a party! Be sure to check it out.
Also, you can jump over to WhereIsYourToothbrush.com and read our traveler interview we just participated in as part of their Two Toothbrushes series. It provides some background about why we roam around the world, challenges we faced, and why we love it!
Until next time, happy travels!
-John & Heather