06.06.2014 - 10.06.2014 26 °C
Firstly from Greece - gorgeous weather (temperatures in the late 20s and mostly clear skies) and stunning scenery. Yesterday we visited Santorini - took a boat round the coast then bus to Oia; spent some time wandering about there and marvelling at the way the villages perch on the hilltops. Just as we imagined - white buildings everywhere, but fewer blue domes than we'd expected. Then bus to Fira - looked at the queue for the cable car down and decided to walk down the steps - didn't count them, but quite a few! Couldn't hurry, as the path was quite slippery in places, so took us about 20 minutes to get down, including the times we had to stop to let the people on donkeys pass.
Next stop Athens, where we did the tour to the Acropolis and Parthenon. Our tour guide, Constantine, was a fount of knowledge about it all - wish he had given us notes, as already we can't remember half of what he said. It was a slow and very hot climb up, but totally worth it.
Then Kusadasi (pronounced kooshadasa by our local guide), Turkey, and did a guided tour of Ephesus, plus the Basilica of St John, where the apostle John is supposed to be buried. Ephesus was amazing - once again, seeing places we've previously only read about, and imagining people of Roman and early Christian times walking those very streets. We finished the tour by visiting a Turkish rug demonstration where they showed how they take the silk from the cocoons, plus a demonstration of rug weaving, and several carpets unrolled for us to see. It was very interesting, but not so good afterwards when several salesmen descended on us asking which one we liked!
Today, back to the Greek island of Mykonos, famous for its windmills. Just did our own thing - wandered about the maze of narrow alleyways, poking around in some of the little shops, and enjoying not having the hard sell and pestering salesmen that we saw in Turkey. Weren't always quite sure where we were, but just went where our feet took us, having every now and again to give way to the odd motorcycle or van - interesting, considering the streets are just wide enough for 2 people to walk side by side! Went back to the ship for lunch, then back ashore for some more wandering and sitting in a cafe with a cold drink, admiring the view and clear, beautiful water of the Mediterranean.
We've met a lovely Canadian couple on the ship, and have become quite friendly with them, which is great - we've done a couple of shore trips with them when we haven't been on organised tours, and have had lots of laughs, which had added to the fun of cruising.