Tag: greece

For a relaxing time, make it Santorini time

Written at about 7:30 AM local time on July 14

We were told by numerous people, crew and passenger alike, that Santorini was the most beautiful of all of the Greek islands we visited–and certainly the most unique. I, for one, was not disappointed. We were warned that there would be large crowds and long lines so I decided to get to the island as early as I could. Mom, Dad, Jen and Jason all had an organized tour of the island and their tour departed at 7:15 AM. I left for the island 15 minutes later, at about 7:30 AM.

Visiting Santornini

All Rhodes lead to Rome

Written at about 7:45 PM local time

As you may have guessed, we were in Rhodes, Greece today. We got in very early in the morning and when I woke up, sometime around 8 AM, people were already getting off the ship to go into the city.

Rhodes, like Dubrovnik, is a walled city. Because of some miscommunications, I went in by myself this morning, thinking that Mom and Dad, and Jen and Jason had already gone. I eventually met up with them briefly once inside the city. Although a walled city, Rhodes is very different from Dubrovnik in the style of the buildings and roads and alleyways. In fact, the city reminded me much more of Venice without the canals. I wandered about the tourist area for a while, taking pictures, and then I found my way into the non-tourist area which I thought was even better and from which I got some better pictures.

My plan was to spend only a few hours wandering around Rhodes, and then head back to the ship and lay out by the pool for the rest of the day, reading my book on the history of London. I was back on the ship and poolside by 10:45 AM. I found a lounge chair right beside the pool, aligned perfectly with the sun. there I stayed for the next six hours. During that time, I swam laps in the pool twice, ate two hot dogs, drank several large Sprites, and 3 Dos Equis. At one point, in a three hour span, I managed to read an entire 12 pages of my book. I guess it’s hard for me to read sitting beside the pool.

Jen and Jason joined me around 2:30 and Mom came by a little later. At 4:30, I finally decided to call it quits because I wanted to shower (I was greasy from all of the sunscreen) and nap for a while before dinner.

As you might guess, no matter how much sunscreen I used, I still managed to overdo it. My arms, neck and legs are actually very dark. My chest is as red as a lobster, and in fact I just applied a gallon of aloe with lidocane which doesn’t seem to help much, but which smells pretty awful.

I did manage to nap for an hour or so before dinner. Dinner tonight was the “Princess Dinner” which is what I think they use as filler on those nights that they don’t have a special dinner planned. Don’t get me wrong, the food was good, but it was nothing special. There was tuna sashimi on the appetizer menu, and both Jason and I ordered it, but we were disappointed because it was actually cooked. I ordered the fetuccini alfredo because I wanted some high energy food and that was very tasty. In fact, it came served in a “bowl” of baked parmesan cheese. And for dessert, you guessed it: the chocolate mousse.

So tonight we’re playing another Texas Hold ‘Em poker game, but for no money this time. Then at 10 PM, we’re heading to the Skywalker lounge for the 80s retro hour.

We are in Santorini tomorrow and everyone we’ve talked to had said it’s the best island stop on the trip. I’ll give you my opinion tomorrow.

Mykonos: A day at the beach

Posted at 3:50 PM local time

I got a good night’s sleep last night, except for the dream that I was shot in the back by a drug dealer. Aside from that, however, I slept very well and I slept in until 9 AM and decided to forgo breakfast. Instead, Jen, Jason and I headed up to Mom and Dad’s suite to wish them a Happy 40th Anniversary! Jen, Jason and Mom had champagne; I opted out.

We were planning on trying to go to one of the nude beaches on Mykonos, mainly because we were curious. Mom and Dad wanted to go with us so we altered our plans and decided on the main family beach instead. We got off the ship and took a shuttle bus to the downtown area. From there, we walked through town, taking lots of pictures and getting slightly lost before we found the southern bus stop. We purchased round-trip bus tickets and caught the bus to the south side of the island where there was a large beach.

We walked onto the beach and were directed to some very comfortable beach lounge chairs in front of one of the many hotel/restaurants. We needed 5 of the beach chairs and they were 5 Euros each, but we paid for them and it was very relaxing. There were umbrellas and you could adjust how much sun you got. Plus, the water was an incredible shade of turquoise near the shore, and gradually grew darker the farther out you looked. It was an amazing view. We spent about 2 hours on the beach and I spent most of the time in the sun, listening to Dark Side of the Moon and Animal. I did swim in the Mediterranean, however. The water was not as warm as in Hawaii, but it was still pretty warm, especially once you were in. The sand in the water was soft and smooth and dropped off rapidly. I swam out about 100 meters or so, and the water was probably 4 meters deep at that point. I estimate I spent 15 minutes swimming in the water. It was salty, but not so much that you couldn’t open your eyes. In fact, I could see quite clearly under water.

I did notice three women sunbathing nude on the beach, even though it was a family beach. There were also some teenagers nearby who saw them too, and who couldn’t repress their delight. I’m ashamed to say that I was delighted as well, although I managed to suppress it better than the teens.

For lunch, we went to one of the beach-side restaurants. I had the souvlaki (pork) and it was pretty good, only a little dry. We got a fairly significant discount at the restaurant for having rented the beach chairs, and Jen and Jason happily picked up the check as an anniversary present for Mom and Dad.

From there, we took the bus back to the town and wandered around a bit, looking for windmills, which I eventually found. In doing so, I lost the rest of the family, but since I knew we were all heading back to the ship eventually, I headed back to the ship on my own. Once back on the ship, I showered (ahh!) and came right down to the Wheelhouse lounge to post this entry for all of my faithful readers.

Dinner tonight with the folks, and champagne with dessert in celebration of their 40th anniversary. Then I think we may play Texas hold ’em poker in one of the bars, just the five of us. (Incidentally, Mom won $500+ in the casino last night). $20 buy in, winner takes $80, runner up gets their money back. It should be fun.

We are in Kousadasis, Turkey, tomorrow and I have an all-day tour to the ruins of Miletus and Didyma. When I get back from that, I have my third massage and then Jen, Jason and I are having dinner at the specialty steak house.

Until tomorrow…

A day in Athens

Written at about 8 PM on July 9

Wow! Today was an incredible day. I have read about ancient Greece and Greek history so much and today there was some payoff. Athens and Sparta are the two big cities you always read about (and arch enemies at that) and today I got to spend the day in the former. I purchased 3 shore excursions as part of this cruise, and today was my first: “A Walking Tour of Ancient Athens”.

My day in Athens

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.

The day in Katakolon