Easy walk from the ship to the old town. Very pleasant city, had an old castle and cathederal. Both looked great but unfortunately are no better or worse than dozens of others in other cities. Bari just had a nice feel to it and we enjoyed strolling around it.
Set off point for Olympia, home of the ancient olympics. We chose to stay around the village. It was surprisingly touristy, one main street only and full of souvenir shops on both sides of it (including fake high end brands - bags, T Shirts etc). It was however a very pleasant stroll and there is a great cafe strip along the waters edge - ideal for a ouzo or Greek dip
A real surprise packet given we knew nothing about Izmir before the cruise. A city of 3 million, it is very clean and surprisingly cosmopolitin. We caught a hop on hop off bus from the port for 10 euros - but get in early, they only go every half hour and first tickets sell fast meaning you could have to wait for 30 or even 60 minutes to get a bus. They strictly count the tickets sold and change the departure time on the "next departure" board once an earlier bus sells out so no-one can buy late then push in. It does a very interesting loop of the city. They have a bazaar, much smaller than Istanbul but still well worth a walk around. While waiting at the hop on hop off bus stop to go back to the ship a taxi pulled up and offered to take us back to the port for 5 euros. We had cut it a bit fine, the traffic was building up and no sign of a bus coming so we took him up on his offer and he got us there very quickly and for the agreed price.
A great city and a great stop. We had a pre booked 9 hour bus tour that went to all the expected sites and allowed about one hour free time in the Great Bazaar. To be honest the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, while outstanding historical sites, didn't blow us away. To some extent the Blue Mosque was a letdown because of the sheer number of tourists there (I do recognise we were two who added to the crush). The Great Bazaar was amazing but unfortunately one hour to wander lets you see about 5% of it. There is a lot of repetition in the market stalls but we did not feel under pressure to buy. The market holders seemed to take a gentle barter and let them leave approach if the barter went too low. Part of the bus tour, as I understand it is with all bus tours, was to visit a carpet demonstration (with of course options to buy) but again no real hard sell. Loved Istanbul
I have clearly seen too many great Old Towns because Dubrovnik, whilst very good, was again not a blow me away city. We spent about four hours there, all in the old town. They have done an excellent job of restoring it after the Balkans war and it was really nice to wander around. A nice mix of cafes and shops and easy to walk all around it in a couple of hours. Food and souvenirs were more expensive here than any of our other stops but not outrageously so