October 2nd, 2017

Mediterranean trip / Agean cruise (day 3-5 + 6)

Current time is 9:25 pm.

My last 3 or so days were spent on a cruise ship, where Wi-fi was hella expensive. So didn't get a chance to post interim updates. Figured I'd just do a data dump now.

Day 3

Took all morning to check onto the Celestyal Olympia. My first time on a cruise ship, so lessons learned: they take your passports for the duration of the trip, but on the bright side, we didn't need to present either passport or visa on our one stop in Turkey.

Jetlag mixed with a bit if sea sickness was the pits on this first day, but it cleared up mostly after a night's sleep on board.

In the afternoon, we stopped at the island of Mykonos, a cozy and windy seaside tourist trap. Has dinner there as well. Grilled fish, although fresh, was rather meh. The tiger shrimp were slightly better.

Day 4

Landed in Kusadasi, Turkey for the morning, and the cruise also provided a local guide. This guy was the best tour guide we had so far (up to day 6).

First tour destination was the House of Virgin Mary. I'm not Christian, so it was kinda meh to me.

Second destination was the ancient city of Ephesus. Now this was more like it. We walked for hours in the archaeological site of the Roman city, covering everything from the gymnasium, forum, temple, fountains, baths, bathrooms, library, to theater. All marble all the time. It was pretty awesome.

On our way back to the ship, we also stopped at Turkmen, apparently a government sponsored place to do/teach/sell handmade carpets. Unfortunately our tour group were all American-Chinese, so no one bought anything.

There was another tour announced in the afternoon for Patmos, another religious place, but I wasn't interested and didn't go.

Day 5

Morning was Crete. We saw thwe archaeological site of the Minoan palace of Knossos. Not was intact as Ephesus but it is a much older city. Then we did a brief tour of Heraklion, apparently the capital. But as it was Sunday, not much was open.

In the afternoon we arrived at Santorini to look at the sights. Unfortunately thick clouds rolled in about 10 mins to sunset, sono one got to see it that day. Not that we'd have been able to anyway, due to bus and ship schedules.

Had lobster on the ship for dinner. While the lobster was quite big and cheaper than in the US, the cooking was mediocre.

Day 6

Docked back at th Piraeus port in Athens. Apparently this major Grecian port is now 60-80% Chinese owned nowadays. Hah.

Then had a 2 hour drive up to the monastery of St. Lucas. Expacted sights of medieval religious building.

Had lunch at this random place, which was actually rather good.

Then drove over to Delphi and the archaeological site of the temple of Apollo. Not much remaining to see...

Finally, our hotel tonight is in a random small town on the way back to Athens, called Nafpaktos. Ok place, good view of the bay at least.

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