Katakolon, Heraklion and Rhodes - cruising around Greece

  

by Diana Studer

- gardening for biodiversity

 in Cape Town, South Africa

 

Splendid birthday 2

 

From Trieste we sailed to Greece, heading for Suez Canal and the Red Sea. First port Katakolon, first impression - wonderful! Our weather was gentle and kind almost all the way (Mauritius is coming up later). A little cabin fevered after deck rounds, we wanted to walk in fresh air and nature. We were moored just down the road from a small holiday / tourist town. Walked to a street of little shops where I bought olive soap, glass eyes (one lives on my daily handbag), an olive Christmas tree ornament - guiding star that led the Wise Men from the East.

 

Christina O yacht was moored on the next quay, and remains there today says the Ungardener's shipping app.

 

Christina O yacht
Christina O yacht 

Pretty blue wildflower is chicory.

 

Blue chicory flower
Blue chicory flower

We could stretch our legs, walk on firm sand, gawp at holiday homes ... then turn back for lunch on board when we were suitably tired and hungry. Artichokes, Italian cheese, chilled Sharon fruit, freshly squeezed orange juice!

 

Beach walk at Katakolon
Beach walk at Katakolon

Pic c beach

 

Since our splendid ship had moved ALL the books to first class, we looped the streets of Heraklion and found a bookshop - 2 shelves of English. I chose - Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus - a brand new, not library, book was a holiday treat! Biblio I can recognise...

 

Greek biblio
Greek biblio

Gentle amble back past the Venetian fort, till we could see the landmark of our monster ship.

 

Venetian fort in Heraklion
Venetian fort in Heraklion

We moored at the port of Lindos for the City of Rhodes. Walled old city with turrets and minarets. With Celestial Cruises and an entertaining view of the island ferries. Ungardener was intrigued by submarine harbour tours - from their deck - where have all those people gone?

 

Moored at Rhodes with Celestial Cruises and island ferries (his picture)
Moored at Rhodes
with Celestial Cruises and island ferries
(his picture)

We walked the Necropolis under trees, outside the city walls. Entered thru the Gate of Saint Athanasius - building began in 1421; bridge across the moat was rebuilt in 1922. Carved in stone were dolphins.

 

Gate of Saint Athanasius City of Rhodes
Gate of Saint Athanasius
City of Rhodes

Alleys twisting and winding every which way. Unexpectedly opening to little squares. Mopeds everywhere. Shelters and feeding stations for city's cats. The dreaded 'lurgy caught him, and we stopped at the pharmacy just outside the port gate. Sold out of tissues there too!

 

Narrow alleys in Rhodes
Narrow alleys in Rhodes

It was weeks of challenging languages. This street tree appeals for kindness in 4 languages.

 

Appeal for kindness to street trees in four languages
Appeal for kindness to street trees
in four languages

Now imagine. Dinner at the buffet. Vindaloo curry for me. Good bottled fruit juice. That view of the sunset while we ate. 4 rounds of power walking on the deck. All alone with 'my ship and I'

 

Sunset at Rhodes
Sunset at Rhodes

But, that was the night we sailed past Gaza and Israel, when I saw a rocket, rise and fall. Shipping subsequently rerouted and the battles escalate as business interests retaliate, and humanitarian aid is withdrawn.  

 

Next day at sea, and waiting our turn for Suez. While I was walking on deck after lunch, the ship rotated on its axis. Disorientating!! No tissues in the ship shop for his 'lurgy - her excuse was - they cancelled two ports.

 

1 Our ship and Trieste

3 will be Suez Canal and the Red Sea

 

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Comments

  1. The ancient buildings are amazing!

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    1. We did enjoy, walking where the road took us.

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  2. It looks like a fabulous trip, despite a bout with "lurgy." The sold-out tissues perhaps speak to the extent to which being crowded together with other people of a ship facilitates the transmission of illness. I hope the Ungardener recovered relatively quickly.

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  3. That must have been very tough to see the rocket. What an awful situation. And never good when the lurgy hits on a trip - mine luckily only hits as I travelled home from my last big trip.

    I travelled to Crete in September - my first time in Greece! I've now been learning Greek for a year - was just going to prepare a bit for the holiday and fell in love with the language

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    Replies
    1. Hey Mandy, is this how you discovered my blog, via Diana? Anyway, first time I went to Greece (with my mum!) she said we must learn the alphabet as we would be getting public buses. I have never forgotten it even though I was 17 when I learnt it, and that was a lifetime ago. I was just reading that Greek text above, can't understand any of it, but I can read it, slowly!

      Actually knowing the alphabet was handy when K and I went there 20 years ago in the car, coming up to junctions and he'd be yelling at me "which way" and I'd be yelling back "there are four town names there, it takes a while to translate them"! Fun memories. :-)

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  4. Definitely a tricky time to be traveling through the Red Sea and Suez Canal. Your photos of ancient architecture are a treat. Your photo of the chicory flower, a very familiar wildflower that blooms in summer here, made me smile. It also made me look up chicory in my wildflower book, where I learned that it's a European native that was introduced here (on purpose or by accident?). Coincidentally, I am about to begin reading Lessons in Chemistry, which is the February selection for one of my book groups.

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  5. Chicory is common here in the south of France and flowers profusely through the dry summer months. Love seeing your travels - I haven't been to Rhodes but had a day in Heraklion whilst staying in Crete - visited the museum there which was amazing. Bet you are glad to be back now that things have heated up even more in the gulf of Suez. Your ship is twice the height of the other liners!

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