All posts filed under: Bucket List

Madame Mona Lisa, and Not Enough Time for Musee du Louvre

One of the items on my bucket list is to come face to face with madame Mona Lisa, an experience I was able to check off during a visit to The Louvre when I traveled to Paris with my Contiki group. That morning, our visit started with our tour manager telling our group that he would be showing us a secret entrance to The Louvre known only to a few. This, he said, would help us skip a lot of the longer lines. He of course had also pre-purchased our tickets. True to his word, we were able to get in without a hitch. The Louvre, we found out, was originally intended to be a castle but eventually determined not to be extravagant enough to serve its purpose. (This is the reason they built Versailles, which I wrote about in a previous post.) The museum itself is so large that if you would like to be able to see all the collections, you would need to dedicate a few days (maybe even more). We did …

When in Rome…

There is an age-old belief that if you make a wish and throw a coin with your right hand over your left shoulder into the Fontana Di Trevi, you are sure to go back to Rome. It was also one of the items on my bucket list — so when we had the chance to go to Rome during our Mediterranean Cruise early last year, we made our way to the Trevi Fountain. As expected it was very crowded, but we still managed to squeeze into a nice spot in front, throw our respective coins, and make a wish. Later the same year, we were back in Rome. Have you made a wish at the Fontana Di Trevi? I was very happy to have checked this off my bucket list last year. What is on your bucket list that you would like to check off this coming year?

World Heritage Site Tuesday: The Leaning Tower of Pisa

The Leaning Tower of Pisa has always been on my bucket list, and when we went on our Mediterranean cruise last year, I finally had the opportunity to see the famous destination. We did our research prior to traveling and learned that Pisa is far from the port. This is the reason we decided that this time around instead of taking local modes of transportation on our own like what we did the rest of the stops, we would try one of the tours offered by the cruise line. The tour bus was crowded as expected, but the most unfortunate thing about this is that you don’t own your time. At one point we had to wait for our tour guide for an hour, time that we could have used exploring the area. In addition, not everyone on the tour came back on the time specified which caused a lot of delays. We later found out through experience that if we would have paid for a private tour, it would have cost us less than …

The Colosseum By Day and Night

I have decided to dedicate Tuesdays* to World Heritage Sites, places listed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as those that have special significance, whether physical or cultural in nature. One of the most memorable I have visited so far being the Historic Center of Rome, which of course includes the Colosseum. It was a long train ride from the cruise ship to Rome, and the train was full of tourists. We saved a lot of money for not taking a cab, but if you are claustrophobic, I would not recommend this option. When we got to our stop, we walked to our destination. We had a full day planned in Rome — my loving boyfriend, a.k.a. Mr. Navigator and super planner mapped out all our destinations, including points of interest along our walking path. It was definitely a great way to see a city like Rome if you don’t mind walking, as you would see a lot of old, scenic streets and avoid crowded commuter trains. The Colosseum, which is …

A Rainy Day in Athens

“How often does it storm here in Athens?” my boyfriend asks our tour guide as he drives in the pouring rain at 7:30 in the morning. “Quite often,” he says. We look at each other, then our gazes turn to the cruise ship, which was then being swayed back and forth by the wind, as we passed by the port, with our guide telling us this was one of two major ports in Athens. It was at that point seeming more like a monsoon than just rain. I give my boyfriend one more uneasy look, thinking, are we sure we want to do this today, i.e. are we going to drown in Greece? But we’re in Athens, and we were determined to make the most of it. Seemingly unaware of our doubts, our tour guide tells us, by then around 8 am, that he was going to drive us directly to the Acropolis. First thing in the morning, he says, is the best time to go, for us to beat the crowd. We drive a …