This post was written on Saturday, October 12th.
I slept very well and only woke up once when Mum turned on the light to read at 3:30 am, because she couldn’t sleep. A discussion between her and Jan ensued while I did my best to remain as close to sleep as I could. I was able to fall back asleep and slept solidly until 8.
We got up and went out to look for a coffee (tea for me of course) and a quick breakfast. There are pastries galore in Athens (well, within the three blocks we walked) and I had the most amazing apple Danish I’ve ever had. The experience of getting the coffee, tea and Danish reminded me of one of the reasons that Greg and I don’t travel — the language barrier. I feel very uncomfortable and vulnerable not being able to speak the local language. Not to mention ignorant. My sister is much more comfortable in the situation, but she’s had a lot more experience. Perhaps Greg and I will get out there and get the experience as well, but even it we don’t, there are plenty of English speaking places that I’d love to visit. It does bug me knowing that it holds me back, though.
After getting food and caffeine, we went back to our hotel room and packed up. We were due at the port at 1:00 to board the ship, and we wanted to give ourselves plenty of time. Turns out it was a good thing we did! We took public transit (the metro) down to Piraeus, which was very straightforward, but upon getting there we realized how huge the port is. There were at least six ferries, all humongous, and at least three cruise ships. We thankfully could see the Ryndham, our boat, but it was on the other side of the port. So we walked. A long way. In the heat. Trailing our suitcases. My poor 79-year-old mother! But we made it, and once there it took us all of five minutes to get on the ship. I was really surprised, as when Greg and I did our Mexican cruise it took FOREVER to get on the boat.
Once on, we found our room (bigger than we expected) and started exploring. The ship is much smaller than the Princess cruise Greg and I did, and older, but it’s got a very comfortable feeling. After our explorations we sat in the Lido Lounge and enjoyed a “fruity drink”, as my sister calls them. The drinks are surprisingly reasonably priced — about the same as I’d pay in a Victoria drinking establishment, and if my Fashionista is any indication, they are excellent.
We had dinner in the dining room, a very good roasted chicken with cornbread sausage stuffing (very Thanksgiving-y), and some adequate crème brûlée. But I’m a crème brûlée snob, so I know I have high expectations.
After dinner Jan and I got Mum settled (she was exhausted) and we went off to see the nightly movie – Man of Steel – which was surprisingly good. So odd to watch a Hollywood movie and then walk out of the theatre and remember that you are on a cruise ship sailing among the Greek Islands.
Tomorrow we spend the day at sea on our way to Corfu…good timing as it gives us a day to recover.