2014 Vacation in Greece
Day 4. Saturday, August 2, 2014 (Kusadasi, Turkey, Patmos Greece)

(Written by Martine Nguyen and Bo Cung)

The ship docked in Kusadasi early this morning. Kusadasi is a large port on the southwestern part of Turkey and hosts cruise ships year round.

​​Most people get off cruise ships and take a 30-minute bus ride to an ancient city called Ephesus to see the ruins but we decided not to do that. So we took our time and enjoyed our breakfast on the ship.

Breakfast on ship
Getting off ship to visit Kusadasi
The Grand Bazaar right outside the port
Kusadasi is known for its beaches and shopping. Right outside the port, there is a big shopping center called Scala Nuova on the pier but we bypassed it and went to the Grand Bazaar not too far from the pier. The Grand Bazaar is a huge outdoor market covered by awnings and stretches several city blocks. Here you can find everything including jewelry, clothing, leather goods, and yes, carpets.
but it also has expensive stores
The Grand Bazaar is a huge outdoor market
Turkish dancers greeting tourists
Lee shopping for jewelry
Relaxing at an outdoor cafe in Kusadasi

We spent a lot of times window shopping, bargaining with merchants, buying souvenirs, jewelry, and relaxing at a sidewalk cafe then headed back to the ship.
German beer and Turkish coffee
Approaching Patmos
We find a relaxing beachside restaurant
Lee, Linda and Martine walking the street of Patmos
Lee enjoying warm sun and cool drink
The menu boasts a wide variety of rustic Italian fare thus a welcome break from the traditional tavernas. We quickly ordered our favorites of bruschetta, margarita pizza, fried calamari, and salad. The service was quick and the food turned out delicious to say the least. The pizza was baked in a wood oven so the crust turned out crispy and tasteful unlike some of the yeasty bread that is served with our meals.

​​For the reasonable prices, the food was excellent. The fresh peach juice is also a must try! The entire drink consists entirely of fresh peaches. Overall, it was one of our favorite restaurants in Greece.

On top of the great food, we took the opportunity to enjoy the beach in between our meal. The water was slightly chilly as first but that did not stop some of us. The intense sunrays help offset the cool waters, so remember to wear sunscreen.

​​Over a three-hour lunch, we did absolutely nothing except eat, drink, talk, and take the occasional dips.

Skala Beach in Patmos
Calamari and bruschetta
Patmos Pier
An adventurous family

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The Olympia left Kusadasi, sailed for a couple of hours then stopped at Patmos, another Greek island at around 4:00 p.m. It just doesn't take very long to get from one island to another because there are so many of these cropping up above the water.

We read somewhere that Forbes Magazine named Patmos as “Europe’s Most Idyllic Places to Live” and we enthusiastically concur. The island is one of the smallest inhabited islands in Greece but for those who know the island, it's also the place where the Book of Revelation was written.

Most people got off the ship and went on tours of St John Monastery and the Cave of Apocalypse but we wanted to hang around the beach.

Patmos definitely welcomes and draws you in. Its laid back ambience spontaneously melts away your stress, in this case our stress stemmed from all the haggling at the bazaar.

Enjoying the scenic trek into town in which we did not have to go very far, we stopped at a quaint beachside restaurant called La Strada di Petranti in Slaka.

Sitting down at a table right on the beach, we immediately noticed the calm and clear water of Patmos. Even on a Saturday with a cruise ship at the port, the beach was not very crowded.

The inviting clear blue water
A peaceful scene
An hour before we had to return to the ship, we strolled through town to shop our hearts out. The gift shops and clothing stores offer a wide variety of memorabilia, gifts and apparel selection to appease any visitor.

​​Patmos is not well known as Mykonos or Santorini but definitely a must visit island if you want to get away from all the flashiness and enjoy the simplicity of island living.

​​Since this visit was a short stop, we are definitely planning on going back to Patmos for more relaxing and serene vacation in the near future.
Martine, Linda and Christina saying goodbye to Patmos
What a day! Tomorrow is Santorini.