A day in Katakolon

Posted at about 4:34 PM local time on July 9.

Last night, Jen, Jason and I met up on deck 15 where they had the Movies Under the Stars. There are very comfortably padded lounge chairs all around the deck and facing the screen. They even hand out blankets if it is cold. Jen and Jason reserved us some seats on the port side with a very good view of the 300 square foot movie screen. From there, we watched Casino Royale. Like at every other event, servers came around for drink requests. They also handed out free bags of popcorn. It was a lot of fun and the movie concluded just before 1 AM.

My morning started out at about 7:30 AM. I had a massage scheduled for 8 AM and when I woke up, we were already docked in Katakolon, which is a small, sleepy village not too far from Olympia. There was a strike going on in Olympia today and the main attractions were closed because of the strike so I think a lot of people stayed in the local town. It was a beautiful day, clear blue skies and warm, with water a subtropical color.

I headed to the Lotus Spa at 8 AM and was ushered into the spa room a few minutes later. Today I was getting a sports massage, a deep tissue massage as opposed to the more traditional Swedish massage. I found out afterward they it mixed in Shiatsu massage as part of the regimen. It was terrific and the 50 minutes went by way too quickly. At one point, early in the massage, the masseuse, Maila, was actually walking on my back. Deep tissue massages are more firm and they can even hurt a little, but I came away feeling very relaxed. I’ve got 2 more massages scheduled for later in the cruise.

After the massage, I headed for breakfast. Nothing special: scrambled eggs, bacon, cantaloupe, strawberries and orange juice. After breakfast, I decided to get off the ship and head into town.

It’s about a 15 minute walk along the pier into Katakolon. The town itself is very small, with a single main street and a kind of boardwalk along the water. I walked up and down both sides in under an hour. It was a little too touristy for my tastes, but I guess that’s what the town subsists on, at least in part. I was planning on heading back when I got a text from Jen wondering where I was. Apparently, I was supposed to meet the whole family at 10 AM and we were going to go into the town together. No one told me this. So I met them outside the ship and walked back into town with them. This time it took longer because Mom and Jen wanted to stop in every shop (so it seemed to me, anyway). Eventually, we ended up at a seaside cafe where I had my first Greek beer, a Mythos. It was pretty good. Mom and Dad had Amstel–not Amstel Light, but regular old Amstel.

After that, we headed back to the ship and I spent the rest of the day, sitting in the shade, by myself*, reading my book, people-watching, and occasionally having a drink. I sat in the shade mainly because this particular pool was very crowded and because I wanted to give my skin a day of rest from the sun, seeing as how I’ll be on a walking tour of Athens all day tomorrow.

We left port just after 4 PM and I headed down to this lounge immediately after to post to the blog. Mom and Dad have their vow-renewals tonight; Jen and Jason are getting their couple’s massage at the moment; and we have dinner at Sabatini’s at 9:30 PM. More to come later…

*I will now admit to something that I don’t normally admit to, if only because (a) we are all friends here and (b) this wouldn’t be an honest journal if I did not. I spent much of the day by myself today because I was beginning to feel as though I was the only single person on the ship and I was feeling depressed about it. I hate self-pity in others and I despise it in myself, and knowing that I would not be able to fight it off today, I felt as though I should keep to myself and not burden everyone else with it. While I sat there, it seemed everywhere I looked were couples and it was a little bit depressing. Add to that the fact that my parents keep referring to me as their “single son”. I don’t think that they intend to make me feel bad, but you can imagine how it makes me feel. It would be nice to be on this trip as one half of a couple, but I keep having to remind myself that there are many people whose problems are far worse than my own trivial ones, and that I am lucky to have the opportunity to be on a trip like this at all. Even so, every once and a while, those feeling creep in. I told myself that I’d give myself until dinner tonight to get through this and then I wouldn’t let it bother me again for the remainder of the trip. But now you know why I sat by myself and went into town by myself today.


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