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Greek Islands - A cruise on MS Ocean Majesty 2019

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    A shopping dream. And a clear disadvantage, if you are all-inclusive in a floating hotel.

    IMG_2308 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr

    Can you smell the fresh roasted coffee?

    IMG_2309 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr

    After the showers went through - we strolled during this period under the arcades - we climbed up the hill to have a nice view on the ships.

    IMG_2348 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr

    To be continued with day 4 of our cruise: Nauplia
    Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11


      Enjoying this Ralf - we saw plenty of OM from the outside during our trip this year - it's good to see the inside!



      • yvneac
        yvneac commented
        Editing a comment
        Sorry Mark, my English is limited. What is a OM?

      • PoloUK
        PoloUK commented
        Editing a comment
        Humble apologies Yves - I get very unpopular at work for attacking people who use abbreviations without defining them, and now I've done the same. I meant Ocean Majesty. And your English is definitely not limited!

      • yvneac
        yvneac commented
        Editing a comment
        OK Mark, I see. I'm afraid that not only my English is limited, my mind too!

      In a nautical way the next port - Nauplia - was a highlight of the cruise. The entrance of the port was nearly blocked with super-yachts and two dredgers. So the crew was alarmed, the captain stood on the backbord nock, a second officer was ordered on starbord and first officer and steersman were on the bridge. Loud orders had to be confirmed, as the captain found his way through the obstacles.

      IMG_2428 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr

      As you can see, the port was obviously not very deep and the captain had to steer exactly with a complicated turn alongside the quai. He had a clear strategy, but the linesmen of the port had a different opinion. They tried to begin a discussion with the crew onboard, which was stopped very loud by the captain... Greece. As you can see, i had the perfect position to spot this situation.

      IMG_2436 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr

      Here we booked our first bus trip, which should lead us to Epidaurus. But we could also watch, that it would have been very easy, to do an individual trip. Several taxis arrived as soon as we could leave the ship and the taxi trip would have been less expensive and with lot more time for the "old stones". But more of this story later.

      IMG_2448 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr
      Last edited by Ralf__; December 3rd, 2019, 09:47.
      Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11


        The excursion should lead us by bus to Epidaurus, have a guided tour there and then back to town and visit an "Ouzo-factory" to learn about the making of this national beverage. A tour through the town should complete the 5 hour tour. 3 hours for Epidaurus and back, 1 hour with Ouzo and 1 hour in the town. Later on you should have time left to do a walk on your own.

        On a small ship with just roundabout 330 passengers starting a tour was not a problem, since there were just two or three busses waiting for us. Nevertheless it took a lot of time, until the elderly people managed to get onto their bus seat. Some claimed, they had to sit in the front, because in the back the would get sea-sick and so on... After a couple of minutes we started our trip (30km, 30 minutes to go).
        As we arrived, we had to wait again until everyone climbed off very slowly. It had to be discussed in detail, that the bus would leave exactly at this place (the main entrance) and how to find back there. Finally we started to walk on... for 30 meters. There a toilet was nearby and many of the visitors had to have a "short" rest. About 10 minutes later, everyone did, what he had to do and we walked on for the next 60 meters. Stop again, the guide had to count double to get the tickets. Another 10 minutes later we entered the gate. Nearly 90 minutes were gone since we left the ship. Very slowly we approached the museum, which is 100 meter from the entrance. A woman walking on crutches was claiming that we were walking to quick... The guide continued her detailed discourse about the Greek mythology, which she started in the bus. After two hours from the beginning she entered the museum and stopped immediately again in front of a small vitrine with tiny tools. 40 people tried to see anything and also to understand her speech - we did not have a head set. At this point we left the guided tours because you could see, that we never ever would see anything of Epidaurus otherwise. So we went on our own to the big amphiteatre.

        IMG_2470 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr

        As many of you may know, this is the theatre with the perfect acoustic. If someone in the centre drops a coin, you can hear it clearly on the uppermost row of seats. A lot of people tried this, of course. Very impressing!

        IMG_2477 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr

        We went a while up and down and were just about to leave the place, when the group made the way up from the museum. We arranged with the guide a time and place where to meet. The bus would just have a short time to pick us up at the place in front of the main entrance, so we would need a buffer zone. The caculated time for the visit was nearly over, so the guide extended the time window by 20 minutes. We walked over the wide areas and admired the stadium. Detailed explanations guided you perfectly through the places of interest.

        IMG_2510 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr

        5 minutes before the agreed time we waited at the agreed place and watched another typical Greek picture: Cats are everywhere. 10 minutes after the agreed time the guide with the group arrived and the people rushed in never before seen velocity to a stand with fresh pressed orange juice made from green oranges. The guide also got herself one, of course for free. Then the same scenery as we entered: Stop at the rest room, double check before we entered the bus after we picked up the last self-forgotten people from the souvenir shops.

        IMG_2517 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr

        We left the place with a delay of nearly 1 hour.
        Last edited by Ralf__; December 5th, 2019, 16:09.
        Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11


          The "ouzo-factory" turned out to be a shop for wine and liquors and the owner was not amused to have prepared his shop one hour before and put chairs for every one to sit in it, just to wait in his empty, blocked for other customers rooms until we made it finally there... No view in any production unit, just some explanation of the ingrediences. But at least the shop was nice.

          IMG_2531 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr

          We had a taste on one (1!) small ouzo, one raki (tsoupero) and some of us of a very sweet local liquor (mastika), which was the guide's favourite. All was of good quality and the owner was polite, but the visit did not meet our expectation. I expected to learn more, also more variety. You can at least read this in reviews. And finally there you will also see that we were in Karonis wine shop, not in the destillery. They have the same name, but nothing in common. So that was a fake!!

, this is the right one.
, this is the wrong one, where we have been leaded to. I am very disappointed now, when i found this.

          IMG_2536 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr

          After the short visit we started the guided tour, but when we entered the third church, we left again, because we wanted to climb on the castle in daylight. A nice coloured shop let us have a short stop.

          IMG_2571 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr
          Last edited by Ralf__; December 3rd, 2019, 09:54.
          Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11


            1.000 stairs - they say - are leading from the town up to Palamidi Castle. So it is something like a Greek Askla mountain. No question, that we had to go up there.

            IMG_2639 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr

            From time to time you have to stop to watch the wonderful scenery (and to gasp for air)...

            IMG_2598 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr

            If you want to enter the fortress, you will have to pay 8 Euro per person, but we checked before, that there is nothing really special to see inside, so we turned around after exactly 1.006 stairs and went back again.

            IMG_2637 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr

            In the evening there was show introducing all the artists onboard. And here you can see the oldest person on board. He is 97 years old. And we can assure you, this man will not slow you down on an excursion!!

            IMG_2687 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr

            To be continued with day 5: Delos, Paros and Antiparos
            Last edited by Ralf__; December 4th, 2019, 16:55.
            Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11


              Early the next morning we arrived at Delos. But we were not the first, obviously these yacht arrived the evening before. A dream for a next cruise....

              IMG_2713 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr

              Here you can find more about her:


              Delos is mostly abandoned, just a few archeologists and a sheep farmer is living there. But almost the whole island is covered with the relicts of an antique city. This is very impressing, much more than Epidaurus one day before. We were the first visitors there for the day. The round path leaded clockwise, so we started counter-clockwise and climbed on the highest hill to catch as much as possible of the wonderful morning light.

              IMG_2787 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr

              And this is the view over about 50% of the relicts. Huge!

              IMG_2792 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr
              Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11


                A modern art exhibition is integrated in the historic surrounding: A lot of scuptures of the British artist Antony Gormley are spread over the site. And i think, it is a very good idea and successful.

                image00047 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr

                image00050 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr

                image00058 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr
                Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11


                • yvneac
                  yvneac commented
                  Editing a comment
                  HHHAA! Delos. When I was student I had a course about the Confederation of Delos by a great philosopher. Maybe my best pleasure at university.
                  Interresting mixed exhibition.I like the second photo, a bit less the third one.

                Eeeehmm... too provokative?? Okay. Here some classic classics...

                IMG_2758 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr

                IMG_2821 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr

                IMG_2826 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr

                Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11


                  The modern "lion" is more unpretentious, but not less graceful.

                  IMG_2833 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr

                  All passengers were very impressed and so the last tenderboat was well filled.

                  IMG_2845 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr

                  In the early afternoon we crossed over to Paros.
                  Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11


                    As Paros was described to me as a very touristic town before, we decided to book another trip. Antiparos, the smaller sister island promised a more puristic experience. So we changed directly from the tender boat in a bus and drove a short way. But our first stop was near the Paros airport in a small museum, the Folklore Art Museum Of Cycladic Civilization Benetos & Popi Skiadas.

                    IMG_2882 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr

                    The museum is private and the owner and founder, Benetos Skiadas has build up everything with his own hands. There is a room inside the house with wonderful ship models, typical old ship types of the Kykladic Islands, but we were not allowed to take pictures inside. But you can admire them on the fotogallery of tripadvisor:


                    Outside in the garden a lot of the attractions of the region were shown as miniatures.

                    IMG_2888 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr

                    IMG_2898 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr

                    And here the artist himself. He was distilling booze in his garrden hut, as long as we were there.

                    IMG_2914 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr

                    A very nice and surprising visit.
                    Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11


                      Then we had to hurry up to catch the ferry to Antiparos. She was crossing a 900m wide and 3m deep strait between the two islands.

                      IMG_2921 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr

                      We learned from our tour guide, that Antiparos is the summer residence of many VIP's, among them Tom Hanks, which owns a house here. The town is very pittoresque and has not the normal stuff to offer.

                      IMG_2980 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr

                      While Paros town had low season, so it would have been for us also okay, Antiparos had off season...

                      IMG_2982 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr

                      IMG_3013 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr

                      IMG_3017 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr

                      But it was a delightful walk.
                      Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11


                        Then we had to go back to Paros. Always funny: the front loading ferries in Greece. Nice to watch when all the tourists try to back up their rental cars on the ferry!

                        image00073 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr

                        At this time of the year Paros town is not very crowded, so we strolled a bit around in the evening light.

                        IMG_3041 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr

                        This is the place where to watch the sundown.

                        IMG_3046 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr

                        Later we turned back with the tender boat to the ship where they had announced a Greek buffet for this evening.

                        IMG_3056 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr
                        Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11


                          Day 6: Amorgos and Mykonos.

                          A holiday at the Mediterranean Sea without bathing is no holiday for Regine. So during the preparation we looked out for opportunities to swim during our stops. In Zakynthos the weather was too bad, but Amorgos lied wonderful in the morning sun, so we just walked in direction to a nice small beach near the harbour.

                          IMG_3082 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr

                          Now she was happy. A picture for the album.

                          image00004 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr

                          The small village streets of Amorgos are as beautiful as at all the other places during the last days, but we will not repeat it too often. But this ceiling was impressive.

                          IMG_3092 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr

                          And a nice harbour scenery.

                          IMG_3073 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr

                          There was even time for a Greek Coffee before we had to return to our ship to continue our cruise towards Mykonos.

                          IMG_3114 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr
                          Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11


                            In the afternoon we reached Mykonos. Costa Deliziosa was taking all her passengers with her and so the town was emptied for us,

                            image00007 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr

                            Mykonos is full with shops and more or less all are selling the same stuff, maybe there is some variety, but not visible directly.

                            IMG_3227 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr

                            IMG_3240 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr

                            It is not easy to find places without shops but we managed to find some nice corners. Many of these houses are rented as holiday appartements.

                            IMG_3230 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr

                            IMG_3231 by Ralf Plinta, auf Flickr
                            Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11