I was bummed yesterday and dropped into a funk, really. We received a disembarkture form asking what plans we have made or if we would like to make plans to have our luggage forwarded to an airline or hotel. Bummer. We’ll be getting off ship in a matter of days. This is a serious downer.
For years I poopooed cruises. Well “they” can take cruises, I’d rather make my own plans and perhaps do a bare boat sail through Greece. Or, a cruise is not for me, too many “old people”. Or, I’m not one of “them”. Well surprise, I AM one of “them”. WE are “THEM”.
This has been fabulous. The Greek Islands we visited are … incredible, beautiful, there are not sufficient superlatives to describe the experience. United States, founded 1776, Ephesus, founded who knows when, dating back to 500 BC at least. The statue that Michelangelo used as a model (one model) for the statue of David in 1600 Ad, located in Athens was sculpted from stone in 400 BC! This is (as our whale watching friends suggested when I overused the tag “awesome”), this is AFA! We will come back to some of the islands we visited to see sunrise and sunset without the cruise crowds. Bear in mind, we would not have discovered some of them if we had not taken a cruise. Darn cruise crowd, oh wait, that’s us!
Today was Nidri. Yes, Nidri. Not very well known. It’s a small port that cannot handle large cruise ships. The Seabourn Odyssey is a small ship by cruise line standards. It sails with 450 guests and 330 crew. Some cruise liners accommodate FIVE THOUSAND guests.
So Nidri. Nidri is a town close to Skorpios. Now Scorpios was made famous when Onassis wed Jackie Kennedy, becoming Jackie O.
We off loaded from the Odyssey and boarded a local charter that took us past the small islands and past Scorpios. We visited a sea cave large enough to house and hide our boat and big enough for it to turn around within the cave. We next visited a stone and pebble beach. Ellen and I had heard that we could get fins, snorkel, and mask from guest services if we asked ahead, which we did. Brilliant!
Not so brilliant for me was walking the length of this pebble beach bare footed. It hurt, really hurt. We walked to a semi-cave at the end of the beach, threw our gear down, and discovered it was covered in guano. Not so good, that idea. The clear cool water made up for any trouble we had before getting in.
Our captain is on the horn: 25 miles to open water water, then heading north past the east coast of Greece arriving at the port of Corfu around 6:45 Am tomorrow port side. We are starboard side and should get a view. High pressure is moving east, winds from NWN and 77 deg. Wonderful weather.
Our swim was refreshing, then back aboard to motor to Skorpios, Onassis’s Island. The island passed to Onassis’s daughter some years ago. She in turn leased it to a Russian tycoon who has closed the main port of the island. We were taken to a very private beach where Jackie O liked to swim. This was a sandy beach and much more “feet friendly”.
Getting out and about in a small boat and swimming some was the highlight of today’s adventures. It is remarkably beautiful in these islands. The water is very much the same temperature as San Diego’s water, perhaps warmer. It is cool getting in, but comfortable to be in the water for an hour or more.
We are now back board the Odyssey and will meet a few of our new Australian friends for drinks and dinner. We’ve met people from England, Walnut Creek, Lea Jolle, Australia, and New Zealand all of whom have been just tremendous.
We did meet one couple who I will not describe in detail less they find this site and recognize themselves. They are non-stop talkers, demanding, high maintenance, and thoroughly boring. At dinner a few nights ago, the hostess mentioned that there was a couple looking for guests to join them. I immediately thought, “Ah, this is “them”” and told the hostess that we would prefer a quiet dinner alone. There is no way in hell I would volunteer to spend an evening with those two. I’ll never know if it was that wanted the company, but it was not worth the risk IMO.
When embarking on a cruise, it is best to avoid getting attached to any group or clique to start. You can easily wind up with complainers or inconsiderate boors. Slow immersion and getting to know your guests while taking tours or over coffee in the morning is best. Most everyone is gracious, funny, witty, and accomplished on a Seabourn cruise. There are the occasional exception.
Tomorrow, in Corfu we are “own plans” though we may join a 4×4 tour of the island.