Hello from on the Tyrrhenian Sea

Hello from on the Tyrrhenian Sea

Drafted Saturday  Afternoon – July 13, 2019   (Third post of this travelogue)

Uploaded 7/14/19

Well, we are ending our Greek Island cruise aboard the Jewell of the Sea.  This cruise has had some negative issues mixed in with the typical great cruising experience.  This ship was built in 2002 and refurbished in 2016.  There are places where it really shows its age.  For one thing, our closet doors fell off.  We heard of other issues as well.  It also seems very crowded on this ship.  That leads to quite a few delays at the elevators and lots of folks in relatively small areas which then leads to very loud background noise.  As some of you know, I have very sensitive hearing and there have been times that it has been unpleasant.  I told Pat I need to find ear plugs that look like hearing aids.

The other major issue was the internet.  We purchased a rather expensive option with reasonable expectation of a decent connection.  If you read the post about not being able to upload our blogs, you will understand my frustration.  At times the connection was less than dial-up speed.  While I understand that the connection is via satellite and there are tons of folks on the system, it just frustrates me that they brag about their wonderful service.  Even in the middle of the night where traffic should be much less, the speeds are unbearable.

OK, so much for the bitching.  It is after all, a cruise paid for by someone else – how bad can that be {big grin}.

I am writing this from the balcony of our room where it is quiet and I can look out at the beautiful deep blue water of what the map shows as the Tyrrhenian Sea.  When I say quiet, it is actually a bit noisy, but it is the soothing sounds of the ocean waves.  I think we were in the Mediterrian  Sea during parts of the trip and we have also been in the Ionian and Aegean Seas.

Our Ship (Medium)

This is a photo of our  ship at the Dock in Civitavecchia

We left the port of Civitavecchia on Sunday 7/7.  The first day was an at-sea day as we traveled to Santorini, Greece (Google Map Link)

Santorini was a beautiful setting.  We had not booked an excursion.  Instead, our plans were to do a quick tour of the city.  To get from the ship to the dock, we used tenders.  From there we took the cable car to city far above the dock area.  The cable car was fun, but many folks complained about the cost (12 Euro each way for 2 persons).  Many folks encountered long lines, but we were able to travel up and down without much delay.  Once we got to the top, we did a bit of looking around and bought a few trinkets.  However, it was unbearably hot and we quickly decided to go back to the ship. 

Cable cars at Santorini (Medium)

This photo shows the cable car and the long path

to the city which can be walked or you can

 ride on a donkey

 

Our Ship from the Santorini (Medium)

 

View of the harbor from the top of Santorini

Our ship is on the right

I should note that all of Europe is experiencing a massive heat wave.  Most days the temperature gets close to 100* and with high humidity, that is very uncomfortable.

Our next stop was Mykonos, Greece  (Google Map Link)

We chose to stay on the ship and relax.  Again, the heat was a major factor in that decision.

Our next destination was Athens, Greece  Google Map Links

We booked a hop-on hop-off bus excursion around the city.  Many folks chose to hike to the Acropolis.  However, the tour guide had the following warning:

“Guests must be able to walk approx. 1 ½ miles over steep inclines and uneven surfaces with approximately 200 steps to get up to the Acropolis.”

Obviously we did not feel comfortable with the hike.  We later heard several folks mention how difficult the hike was and our evening table mate fell – fortunately she was not seriously hurt. 

Our bus tour was fun.  We normally avoid the upper deck, as the sun beating down can be a killer.  On this bus, the upper deck was covered, so we had excellent views and a nice breeze.  The heat wave broke a bit and our temperatures were in the mid-80s.    Of course, the main attraction is the Acropolis.  We were able to view part of it from the city.

Part of the Acropolis (Medium)

This is a view of the Acropolis from our bus

Our view of the Acropolis from our bus (Medium)

This is a telephoto from our bus

Another view of the Acropolis (Medium)

And another view

The last port was Katakolon, Greece  (Google Maps Link)

This was a very small city.  It is said to be the birthplace of the Olympics.  Again we chose to relax on the ship.

Today we are sailing back to the port of Civitavecchia where we will dock tomorrow and depart the ship.  From there we will continue our travels.

That is all for this post.

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