Back to Crusing, Part I.

On to Rome.

To main trip page.

On Wednesday, we were in Dalyan River, also in Turkey. This time we did our one and only excursion and I think we chose well. We were met by local boats and taken up the river to see ancient rock crypts high in the cliffs. Acya, our tour guide, was very good. She played Turkish pop songs—one popular one in Turkey at the time had lyrics like “you will come back to me like a little lamb.”

We went to the excavations at Kaunos and saw a Greek and Roman theatre. It was Greek first and then Romans came along and added a stage. There was a port with two harbors until the silt and malaria came. It was a town of about 50,000. A good dig, but Herculaneum is much better. We got to see Roman baths and it had a very pretty view. On the way back to the ship, we took a short detour at the beach and I took a quick dip. Wonderful. Since the days were hot, showering before dinner became a pattern.

Rock-hewn tombes littered the hillsides. We saw these while crusing up the Dalyan River on a day excursion to some ancient Roman ruins.

Big old amphitheater in the heart of the excavation. It was neat to learn the history of this area from a competent guide. You hear that, you Egyptian parasite?

The next day we were in Santorini. We took a tender over to Skala and took the cable car up the hill to Thira (Fira). Very picturesque. White wash, blue domes. Gorgeous. And, once again, very hot. We strolled through some of the shops and then took a bus around winding curves to Oia. Oia is very nice as well. Stunning views, winding alleys, and cute shops. This night, was the captain’s dinner. Everyone dressed up a bit and there was champagne, waiters carrying baked Alaska around, lobster, good company. We ate with Keith and his mom and Steve and Monnie. The captain gave a very nice speech. He likes to say “ya” and “yes” a lot. Karin is the German cruise director. She is very nice and would give lectures on the ports we visited.

Santourini is simply stunning. It's the upper rim of a crater created by a massive eruption a long, long time ago. It's also the origin of most Atlantis stories since the eruption probably wiped out Crete when it happened. This is just the little tourist trap town at the top of the main cliff.

The architecture is all stunningly clean whitewash, dotted with blue trim and blue church domes that match the sea behind.This is my second time to visit the island, and there will be a third.

In a rooftop taberna in Oia, at the far tip of Santorini's crescent. In the distance is the remains of the crater on the far side of what used to be a single volcano.

The classic Greek church dome and seascape.

On our last day, we were in Hydra. We got to sleep in and then we took the tender to the port just to dive in the ocean and cool off. There is this rock area where people swim near a rock cave and jump into the ocean. The water was choppy, but refreshing. Cool, glorious. Took a quick tender back to the ship and then came back to the town in the late afternoon. We browsed around the shops and the pretty, small waterfront. It is very dramatic at night. There are no vehicles on the island. Travel is by boat taxi or donkey. We sat for a few hours in this café enjoying the cooler evening and the harbor as the night lights came on. I bought a silver necklace with lapis lazuli from a very nice man in one of the shops. A little something to remember Greece.

We really enjoyed the cruising experience and will consider it for future trips both on the tall ships as well as larger ships. We saw another ship from the Wind Star line that had this cool flip down deck at the back of the ship where people would jump in the ocean from the ship.

Athens

August 11

We were up early to check out and say goodbyes and exchange email and address info with some of the people we met. We took a taxi to the Aphrodite Hotel and then went to the Plaka for lunch. We were happy to drop our laundry off—the last time we would need to do laundry on this trip.

Back in Athens after the cruise. Hot, languid, nothing to do. We have eaten, shopped, gotten laundry done, gone to do email. There is nothing we feel like doing. Our room is supposed to have air but it barely feels better than outside. We ate souvlaki again and bought all kinds of Olympic gear. Spent lots of money, but got quite a few Christmas gifts taken care of. At this point, we were pretty ready to be home. We both wanted our own shower, bed, laundry, etc. Mythos beer slogan—experience your own Mythos.

On our last night in Athens, we had take out souvlaki and walked around the Plaka some more. It is very hot there, even at night. The hotel aircon was pretty useless.

The beutiful little port of Hydra. We sat here for several hours enjoying the views and the weather.

At night, the harbor's shops light up and the effect is magical (more so than my photography, I assure you). Earlier in the day we swam with the locals in a little cove near the harbor.

Travel is only truly gratifying when you meet people, and our cruise was not great for that. Lots of older folks and languages we didn't understand. We did meet a few nice folks, inluding these two, Jan and Stephanie, seen here demonstrating the proper use of the Tropical Bar.

On to Rome.