Today our boat stopped at the island of Crete and I was pretty excited. I mean, in all honesty, this would be one of the first places we visited on this cruise that I actually had heard of. When I think of Crete I think of wrestling minotaurs, walking through various labyrinths and leaving a trail of string. The reality of the situation was a lot less interesting. We got off the boat only to be given a map which had the street names in English when the signs where in Greek. Great. Miranda and I tried to find one interesting sight but ended up walking up a huge hill for ages so eventually we turned around and went back. I guess the labyrinth side of the journey was true enough... but other than that Crete gets a big waa waa from me. I didn't really take any pictures of anything here... so here's a photo of me walking in Crete. It's better than nothing, right?
After that barrel of laughs we relaxed on the ship for a while. I must say every meal is three courses and I’m getting use to it! They’re going to have to roll me off the ship at this rate. As it was one of our last days on the boat we had to pay for any extra drinks we had throughout the trip. Whilst waiting in line Miranda and I overheard other people on the boat paying hundreds of Euros for their extra drinks – HUNDREDS! I mean it explains all the drunken adolescent tools staggering about the ship but – hundreds? We got to the front of the line and paid for... one drink each. That’s it. No exciting extravagance from this humble blogger I’m afraid... Unless of course someone wants to sponsor me to travel, drink and blog? Actually I don’t know how coherent and witty my blogs would be after several cocktails... probably something like this – “OMGGGG i totally went to this place today and it was AWSOME!!!!!!! I never seen anything like thisibfoiasbvolnsvnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn” and that’s where I pass out on the keyboard. Any takers? No?
One nanna nap later we arrived in Santorini. So on this cruise you can pay to have extra guided tours and we ended up going with the trip to Ephesus and this one – to an active volcano! That’s right... I willingly walked and played around and in an active volcano. We took this jaunty little boat out there expecting leisurely swimming with a hint of education. What we got was a long ass hike. I had worn sandals given the aforementioned assumption... What I got was a whole lot of little rocks and dirt flipping in and out of my shoes and the sun beating on me like a sleep deprived toddler. It was very interesting... the only problem was our guide for the day has decided to lead the way, walking first, and had thought it necessary to wear the shortest most polyester-ish pants she could find. And she was not a young lass either. It’s hard to concentrate and what the woman was saying when her behind is waggling and peeping out of her shorts every five seconds. I did manage to catch that the earth we were standing on was about 95 degrees Celsius. She dug a little hole and all this steam came out – which was neat. She also said that they have radars all over this beast and it erupts every fifty years. She went on to say that it was about time it had another go and a nearby town needed to practice their evacuation tactics... yeesh.
Apparently, the story of Atlantis is based on either this volcano or any volcano... I can’t actually remember what she said – the pants – remember?
It was a lovely view and a good little journey but I was hot, tired and grumpy by the time we got back to our now not-so-jaunty looking boat. Sorry to disappoint but I don't have any photos of the volcano errupting or lava... here's me on fire instead. Imagine it was volcano related.
They piled us on the boat and drove around to the part where we could go swimming and the ocean was crazy! Water was spraying on either side of the boat and it was going up and down relentlessly. It dipped and rocked so much, at times, I really thought we were going overboard! I just hoped that there was a little mermaid in the Mediterranean that would drag me to shore and sing to me. So we get to the swimming spot or rather the “hot springs”. I feel that the guide needs to define “hot” and “springs” as the water was lukewarm at best (which is where the springs are – the water we had to swim through to get there was FREEZING) and there were little bubbles. After our initial whinging and stepping on various squishy and unpleasant plants Miranda joked that the guide should yell “it’s not a f****** Jacuzzi!” Tee hee. Cursing is fun. As we were swimming someone pointed out that there were a bunch of mountain goats clip clopping there way about the sheer cliff face OF A VOLCANO. WHY were these goats here? Of all the places they could have lived – some grassy knoll or even cliff that wasn’t going to erupt and lava their asses... They seemed cheerful nonetheless. The ground was all muddy and the hilarious (sarcasm) teens figured it must be therapeutic to rub it all over themselves... at least their insides matched their outsides if only briefly.
There was a sign on one of the rocks which read “call my mobile if you need help” with no number. Brilliant. Those goats are screwed. After Miranda had drunk most of the sea water we swam back to the boat. The water was filled with sulphur so our bikinis are all stained and which is why I look seriously tanned in this photo – don’t be fooled!
One death defying boat ride later we got on a bus and were driven up, up and away! To Santorini which is on a big cliff face – okay seriously people... this is NOT the best place to settle... is this another oracle’s influence or what? We were told that Santorini is known as the place which has more wine that water as they get little rain but use all their land for growing grapes. Some may call that noble. I’m not really a wine fan... but I do enjoy a good grape. It’s strange that the grapes thrive here as there is little water and the heat is intense... so they grow underground – as you do. We rushed about the little town – it was GORGEOUS. Everything was blue and white and it was just like a postcard... the whole town was immaculately beautiful...
We took the funicular (is that the right spelling? The little vertical train thing...) down to the bottom but not before we got in a huge queue. It was funny because this whole posse of French tourists decided to push right in and jump the queue – no. You may get away with that in your country (as I learned) but you do not push-in in front of a bunch of Americans. They went OFF. “You can’t DO that! Git to the back! We have bin waitin’ in line and ya’ll just push in!” Slight exaggeration on the accents there but you get the picture. By the end of it the whole international queue was united against these French pusher-in-erers. We got on eventually and it freaked me right out. This train thing just goes straight down for hundreds of metres.
Yeah... I was freaked out as I don’t like heights or the feeling of falling – thank you Miranda for capturing that on film...
We saw a beautiful sunset – it was red! And then caught our last little boat back to the ship to have our last buffet dinner... sad times. We decided that as it was our last night we could go up to the “crow’s nest” which was the ship’s nightclub. I didn’t know if it was a theme or this thing was built in the 70s (probably the latter) but there were lame carpets, disco lights and poor hideous furnishings as far as the eye could see. We had a cocktail – or two – and decided to get our dance on... but first we just watched all the lame kiddies gyrate on one another... Seriously at one point there was like five guys and one girl sandwiched in the middle. I don’t quite get it... I mean sure the guys closest to the girl feel lucky but what about the guys... holding the other guys? Or maybe that makes the guys in the middle even luckier? It didn’t seem very manly to me... which is what these little boys were all about. After several lame hits I requested a song from the charismatic DJ... It went something like this... “Do you have Britney Spears’ Circus?” DJ nods. Pause. “Can you play it?” DJ nods. Pause. “Err...okay thanks” Phoebe makes a quick shuffle back to her table. Don’t judge me for my request, by the way, it happens to be a great song to dance to and was a breath of fresh pop music given the crap this guy was playing before. Everyone agreed given that when the song came on practically everyone got up and danced. Miranda and I did some sweet dance moves and shimmied well away from the lame crew. Then off to bed for one last sleep in our dark den.