Thursday, 10 September 2009


Thursday, 27 August 2009. We returned from Ancient Olympia to the port of Katakolon and as usual we had some lunch and then disembarked once again to walk around the port.

There was an excellent view of the ship and what there was of Katakolon was only a few steps away. In fact the village only exists to serve visiting ships.

There is a street of shops and at the rear of the shops that back onto the harbour, a row of cafe bars. But once the last ship leaves they turn out the lights, close up and all go home, leaving the village deserted.

The shopping street is filled with pretty much identical shops. They are all aimed at the tourist and therefore all seem to sell the same stuff. They all had photo calendars, guide books, postcards, belts, jewellery...

Oh and a calendar showing scenes of pornography taken from ancient pottery jugs and bowls... Nothing left to the imagination there (I'm only aware of this from the covers of course - I didn't browse...) I did wonder whether to take one back for Grandma... "Hey! Gran! Look what I got for you!" But then I thought better of it. I don't have any grandparents left anyway...

There was another ship in port besides the Thomson Celebration. This was the Splendour of the Seas and with two cruise liners in port the cafe bars had a few customers to keep them going. In the eight years between first writing this and my 2017 revision of this series of articles, the Splendour of the Seas has been taken over by Thomson as Thomson Discovery and will shortly change the Thomson bit to Tui! It took us all of half an hour to fully explore the place...

We walked back to the ship and watched the Splendour of the Seas raising anchor, ready to depart. Then it was back to the Horizon bar as usual. "Sir John, are you going to draw me today?" asked Karen. Now... when asked this by a very attractive Filipino lady, you don't readily turn them down... My mind conjured with a certain scene with Kate Winslet in the film Titanic... But then she was working and didn't have an hour or so to disport herself in front of me and there were too many other people there anyway, including Miss Franny. So I drew the view from the window instead... The safer option you know...

I have to say that lounging in a comfortable leather armchair whilst sketching is definitely preferable to standing in 100 degrees of heat under a baking sun! People kept coming to look over my shoulder as I was doing this - I wasn't even aware of most of them, though quite a few struck up conversations and John and Sue from Poulton came in and he said "Oh wow Sue, look! Bispham!" (the part of Blackpool where I live) in a way that made it very funny. Anyway the afternoon passed very agreeably with some good conversation and a relaxing drink by my side!

Later that night we took a few final shots of the ship. The band were called The Nightbirds and did Shadows numbers and similar treatments of more modern tunes.

Not to be outdone... I've often though that a brilliant addition to a cruise ship would be a studio where passengers who are musicians can go to jam with each other!

As the sun goes down in spectacular fashion, we take the final stroll of the day around the Promenade Deck.

Pearls of The Aegean Cruise Index

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