When we finally left Athens and got to the islands, I was much more of a happy camper. The cruise ship islands were wretchedly overcrowded with tourists. Mykonos was awful. Proof positive once a place makes it to something like E!’s “Wild On,” or the ill-fated Tara Reid show, “Taradise,” it’s ruined.
On our cruise, we went the coast of Turkey and to five islands. I thought being in Athens sucked, I was crying to go back after the day in Turkey. CRY-YEENG. I thought I loved Patmos until I heard some bitch from Long Island in her track suit say to the guy at a kiosk, “How much is da wadda?” Oy. When you fly 12 hours, take a bus for an hour, and a cruise ship for 2 more days and still hear English? No! We then went to Rhodes, which was pretty built up and not like an island at all. We tried to leave my dad in Crete, where he is from, but he was wise to our game and refused to be distracted by “Hey, is that a 5 Euro bill flying down the street?”
The final island was Santorini. That was the only island where we had to take a tender boat because our cruise ship was unable to get through the shallow waters to the port. Getting on the tender boat, I should have known. They were pulling people from the cruise ship and literally throwing them on the tender and yelling in Greek “ELLA ELLA ELLA!” I ended up with several people in my lap, including someone’s baby. We parked so damn far out in the ocean it was at least 25 minute tender ride, where I once I exited, promptly wanted to yak everywhere. Add insult to injury, once you are “on the island,” you are still not on the island. Santorini is a huge mountain. See?
The reason the water is so shallow is because that part of the harbor used to be above ground, but there was a volcano and the Atlantis theory. When I got there, I was informed that the only ways up the mountain were by donkey or cable car, both costing you money, of course. I have to say, I HATE the fact that we did nothing but pay money to get to this damn island – airfare, public transportation, cruise, and they drop us off and we still have to pay more? ARRGH! The alternative for stupid (and vengefully cheap tourists) is to walk the 566 steps. I looked at my brother and he said, “Let’s go.” In Athens, we ran up Likavitos, so why not.
Navigating a hill simultaneously being used by the donkeys was an accomplishment. My mom called out, “Watch out for the donkey shit” as they got into a cable car and jetted up the mountain. There they go!
And, here was what our route looked like.
As we passed all the tubby Americans riding the poor donkeys, they made comments about how nuts we were. Yes, look at my brother’s washboard abs and my cellulite free ass earlobes and tell me we don’t know what we’re doing. Thank you, come again.
There’s our cruiseship by the way. Yup. It was out there all right. Not the first one, by the way, the other one way the hell out there.
Anyway, all that kaka has a point, otherwise I wouldn’t have told you. Later that night I am in line to retrieve our passports that the cruiseline held hostage for the week. I overheard something about how these people were supposed to be “on the ship that sunk.” I asked them what they were talking about. Then I reported back to the Greeks with, “Did you know this cruiseline had a ship sink a few months ago?” My mom said, “Um, NO. The travel agent didn’t tell us that.”
Some googling indicates that in April, 2007, Louis Hellenic cruises lost a boat because they RAN AGROUND IN SANTORINI. So now I get why we parked our asses over by Egypt and tendered in. Our boat was actually the “replacement” boat for the one that sunk. You have to wonder at what point we tendered over the sad remains of the lost ship. These links are fun:
Anyway, the final 24 hours in Greece were so disastrous that I actually can’t even tell that part because it still gives me the shakes. Just know, my mom was handing out valium, I threatened to shred my passport, my dad told several people to fuck off in both English and Greek and we all vowed to never go back again.
One more installment of this trip, then I’m going to go back and check on what the cops have been doing…which reminds me…in Turkey, I saw cops getting their shoes shined outside the police station. Since the Greek-Turk rivalry is vicious at best and violent at worst, I refrained from taking a picture. But, I did get this picture of the Greek cops standing around doing absolutely nothing in front of the U.S. Embassy in Athens!