Saturday, July 30, 2011

June 22, 2011

June 22 – Rhodes

We sailed to Rhodes in the night, it is fun to wake up to a new city! Another sun-scorched day. We walked through the medieval town of Rhodes where the Knights of St. John ruled around the 1300-1500s. The walls still stand and shelter a quaint little town with pebble streets and gates to the harbor. We met Michael, one of Rachel’s friends by the Palace of the Grand Masters and took a walking tour through the city and down the street of the nights. Michael was a no-nonsense guide and kept us in order and on task. He did a magnificent job explaining to us that we pay for their lives in Rhodes – being tourists and all. More shopping, obviously, then back on the boat for lunch.

our guide.

We rested and prepped for fun on the beaches of pebble. Rachel hooked us up with a special ride to a small private-like beach… 25 minutes away. Steph brought a black beach ball to play with, but the wind made that optional null and void, but she used it to float around and donated it to Andy later. The blue boardwalk leads us to the umbrellaed rest spots, paid 4 Euro each to rest, and on to the water. Once in the water, the depth was deceiving through the clearest water imaginable. The salt buoyed us up with little to no effort… though some had a difficult time staying afloat (too skinny?). Steph preferred napping under the umbrella while the rest responded to the call, “DO THEY DANCE HERE?!” - A spontaneous flash mob in the sea! At the moment our internal thermometers clicked “done” the buses arrived to return us to our ship. Chelsea stepped onto the pebbled beach and sunk to her knees in rock. When she retrieved her leg, no sandal remained. She searched until Ogden joined the search and found it in no time. The rocks were both a blessing and a curse.

Dinner was a black tie affair and we dressed to the nines.

We waited in line, for the first time, to eat in the dining room. The Captain joined us for dinner – at the Captain’s table we ate at the night before. Tanya was slaphappy silly throughout dinner, Ali felt ill, and the rest of us just giggled non-stop at all of the silliness. The waters were wild and the boat teeter-tottered throughout dinner. Many of us were feeling slightly motion sick by the end, while steph felt terrified of the rocking boat. She stared out the porthole, white knuckled, awaiting certain death by drowning in our own miniature Titanic experience.

Ali, turning green, took leave from the table just prior to the lights going out and the dancing waiters entered the dining hall. They sang and danced with dessert on fire!! We whipped our white napkins in the air and yelled “OPA!” at undetermined intervals. Joy and fun filled the atmosphere, enough to distract us from the length we had to wait for our food. With smiles on our faces we laughed and retired to our beds, walking like drunks down the swaying hallways. Sandra and steph’s room felt the brunt of the wild waters throughout the evening. Steph never fell asleep, even after iPod, regular earphones, noise reducing headphones, prayers, and meditation. The rest slept like logs.

By Fars: Ali’s bless you, tour guide in Rhodes, Medieval Rhodes, pebble beach, beach umbrella, Chelsea’s lost shoe, Tanya’s card in the rocks, Steph’s white pants sprint to the bathroom, Amy’s carrot soup, gelato and sorbet, floating in the water, flash mob in the water, sleeping in and post breakfast nap, clearest water ever, dressing up for dinner, McConaughey paparazzi, Amy’s straight hair, banana hammock, imitating Titanic off the back of the ship, eating w/ the Captain, games on deck.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

June 21 - TURKEY and Patmos

June 21 - Kusadasi, Turkey / Patmos

From Italy to Greece to... Turkey! The Calypso sailed to Turkey in the night, entering Asia. Turkey flashed green vegetation as we zoomed by on our bus. This is where the Virgin Mary lived the rest of her days, hidden in the mountains of Turkey. We visited the chapel of the Virgin Mary and drank to health, wealth, and good life before writing our wishes to Mary on tissues and placing them on the special wall. Fascinating to visit ancient places where the apostles walked, Mary walked, the city of Ephesus; home of the Ephesians.

This way to Mary's house! For baptisms. Mary's home/chapel rebuilt.

The wishing wall. The holy water.

Amazing ruins show what an advanced society once lived here -toilets, running water, sewer pipes, and air conditioning. Imagine if they hadn’t been conquered and destroyed over and over again. We oohed and awed over original white marble streets and amazing remnants of buildings; especially the library of Celsus. More theatres and buildings still being discovered, the ruins are still covered in the hills with archeologists discovering more information.

The toilets. The Library - with AC and everything! Me and some ruins. Our guide and the marble streets. Mosaic floors. <--They are still excavating these hills. Rocks and flowers... ruins. Ruins.

Trapped in a Turkish carpet store where we were encouraged to buy Turkish rugs after a demonstration of rug flipping, a small price to pay for a small drink of apple tea and air-conditioning. The expectations were high for the Turkish bazaar and it was disappointing, but that didn’t keep us from buying random stuff. Back to the boat.

Turkish rugs. How they make the rugs. The Turkish market.

We boarded and sailed to Patmos. A small boat waited outside, called a tender, that shuttled us to the nearest port. and walked to the nearest beach in the small town of Skala. Enjoyed the water, Chelsea saved a life and Tracy put us to work searching for sea glass. Back on the boat and dressed up for blue and white Greek night. Complete with Karoke, the Captain dancing and glow bracelets.

Blue and White night - Greek Night. Dinner at the Captain's table on Greek Night. Our Captain. Our specialty drinks - all sugar!! steph dancing with the Greeks. The Great 8 - UTAH!

By Fars: Chelsea saving Lee, Tanya’s dinner photos, Turkey, Ephesus, reading on the beach, an afternoon of no plans, dolphins, blue & white night, the library of Ephesus, Karoke, dinner guests, Mandy’s ladies, the beach, the Captain dancing at Greek night, dueling Bazooki players, Greek music, glow bracelet dancing, sitting at the Captains table for dinner.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

June 20, 2011 Cruise - Mykonos (REAL Greece)

June 20 - Athens to the Calypso to Mykonos

Bye-bye solid ground, time to take it to the sea. The boy bodyguards watched our stuff again while we packed up for the port of Piraeus. Welcome to the cruise, on a small scale, and we had our photo taken and waved to our friends (elbow, elbow, wrist, wrist, wrist) as we boarded the Calypso.

Our cabins were spread all over the boat - Sandra and steph were moved to the front cabin on the 2nd floor, Amy, Amanda, Ali, and Mandy were on the 3rd floor then Chelsea and Tanya were at the back of the boat. We donned our orange life vests for the emergency drill, headed back to our cabins for naps, booked it up to the Captain’s lounge for dance lessons, and poolside activities that involved kissing “Matthew McConaughey” and some booty shaking. The boat docked at Mykonos, our first island.

waiting in the Captain's Lounge Life vest drill - exhausting.

Luckily we didn’t have to walk because we took a shuttle to town. FINALLY! This is what Greece is supposed to look like - White houses with blue trim. The whole town is white washed twice a year and is a maze of pristine white buildings, blue doors and skinny quaint streets. Rachel led us on a short walking tour through the streets.

Sandra and steph, lost in perfect photo shots, lost the group. While the others continued on to the famous windmills, Sandra and steph had their own tour of the back streets and ended up above the windmills and looked down to see the group at the bottom of the hill - whew.

The sunset, casting candy hues on the glowing houses and water. Under that beauty we had some time to eat crepes and shop, 2 things we do well. We outstayed our welcome and made it back to the boat for dinner. We took the time to eat in the dining hall and were rewarded with a delectable meal one course at a time and two hours of rest.

By Fars: Prank calling Sandra, Ali and Mandy winning the room lottery, long naps, floppy hats, crepes, SUNSET, kissed by Matthew McConaughey, Rob Low eyes, walking around Mykonos, dance lessons, Matt carrying Amanda’s bags, hanging out on the pool deck with Tracy, Steph and Sandra’s new room, Tanya’s shorts @ dinner, young girls staking out the Lisinski boys, steph and Sandra lost in Mykonos and finding the windmills, whitewashed everything!, luggage in the elevator alone going up and down, pippi (“pee pee”) steph, Japanese man walking into steph/Sandra’s cabin while they napped.