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Day Three of Greek Islands Cruise

Our transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment cost so far

Oct 06 ~ Day #149
Budget to date
Spent today
Total to date
Daily average
Total
$14900
$188.26
$12865.36
$86.34
Miles by Road
Miles by Sea
Miles by Air
Miles by Train
Total Miles
15097
4876+364.8=5240.8
5966
119
26422.8

Current Location: On board the MSC Muscia visiting Santorini and Mykonos, Greece

Today’s Total Expenses: $188.26

Cruise: $178.51 (cruise cost includes transportation, accommodation and food)

Transportation: $7.28 (€5.60 bus into Mykonos)

Food: $2.47 (€0.60 water + €1.30 beer)

Miles Traveled Today:
Sea Miles: 364.8 (317 Nautical Miles – 249 Katakolon to Santorini, 68 Santorini to Mykonos)

A Full Day

Today promised to be a very full day as we were visiting two islands on the same day – Santorini and Mykonos.

Santorini

At Santorini the ship anchored out and we were ferried to the dock by tender. Anyone that had book an excursion was ferried to the island first. As we didn’t, we had to wait until it was our turn to go.

There were only three ways to get up to the town of Thera sitting high atop a cliff overlooking the ocean.

You could take a cable car up and down at a cost of €6.00 per person, each way. You could rid a donkey up and down at a cost of €5.00 per person, each way. Or, you could walk.

However, the only way to walk up and down was to use the same steep, cobbled pathway that the donkeys used.

The line up for the donkeys was pretty bad, but the one for the cable cars was much, much worse.

The line up for the cable cars seemed so bad that it looked like once you got to the top the only thing you’d have time to do, and get back to the ship on time, would be to get in the line up for the cable cars coming back down! We immediately discarded this as a possible option.

The donkeys didn’t seem like a much better idea either, although the locals promoting that option made it sound like walking up would not only be slow but potentially dangerous.

Not to be dissuaded, we chose to walk. We weren’t the only ones, either, so we didn’t have to walk the path alone.

Dodging Donkey Do-Do

We started up the steep path – a series of switchbacks up the face of the cliff. The path was cobbled, but it did have, in a few places, especially at the tight 180° turns, some makeshift railings. At other places there were platforms off to the side where you could rest and get out of the way of the donkeys who didn’t appear to stop for anyone.

As we had been told, we were not only dodging donkeys but also trying to avoid very slippery donkey do-do. In places it was nearly impossible to avoid.

The climb took us the better part of an hour and we were certainly grateful to reach the top. It certainly gave us an amazing sense of accomplishment.

A Nice Cold Drink

After such a climb the first order of business was to find some water.

We found a small grocery store not far from the top of the path and wend inside to look around.

We found a very, very cold 1.5 liter bottle of water for the amazing price of only €0.60. The cost of a 1 liter bottle of water on the ship was €1.80!

Exploring Santorini

We explored the town while enjoying our cold ice-cold bottle of water.

We stopped at a scooter rental place that was displaying a sign saying €10.00. We assumed it meant €10.00/hour and asked, but it was €10.00 for 24 hours. What a deal!

We wished we had more time on the island. We would definitely have rented a scooter to be able to do more exploring.

Santorini is not all cliffs. As we stood at the scooter rental place we noticed that the other side of Santorini sloped gently to the ocean and there were even some beaches.

So, why, then do people always seem to come in from the cliff side? We didn’t get an answer to that question. At least not on this trip. But Santorini is another place we’d like to visit again.

Flip Camera Needs Charging

We have been using, and loving, our Flip camera for this whole trip so far.

It appeared it needed to be charged which was no surprise as we had been using it for almost a week since the last time it was charged.

The only problem was that we would normally charge it through our laptop computer using the USB port.

However, due to the severe luggage restrictions imposed by our RyanAir tickets, we weren’t able to bring the laptop with us.

So while we were in Santorini, we went in search of a computer store to find a USB charger that could be plugged into European current.

As luck would have it, we found an electronics store. A rather gruff but knowledgeable gentleman immediately understood what GEoff was looking for, picked a sealed package off a peg board behind him, slapped it on the counter and said, “Buy this!”

It was, indeed, Geoff determined, exactly what we needed.

I’m not sure if we told him we were on the cruise ship or he just surmised it, but, after Geoff paid for the adapter, the gentleman grabbed it back, took out an exacto knife and extricated the adapter from the plastic packaging. You know the type of packaging. That horrible stuff that, if you don’t have that kind of knife handy, or at least a good pair of scissors, you’re just not getting into it.

It was a very thoughtful thing to do. We thanked him and left with our purchase.

Now To Get Back Down

We toyed with the idea of taking the cable car back down to the dock but gave up that ideas as soon as we saw the line of sweaty tourists snaking through the streets without an end in sight.

While walking back down would undoubtedly be faster than the climb up, it would also be a little scarier.

A slippery downward slope is much harder to negotiate than a slippery upward slope. On top of that, you needed to be looking over your shoulder for hordes of donkeys on their way back down both with and without riders.

There was some pushing and shoving going on – mostly us pushing donkeys out of the way. But, I’m glad to report that we survived relatively unscathed. I say “relatively” because I did slip on the way down and landed, quite unceremoniously, on my backside. But Geoff helped me back up, I dusted myself off and we continued on.

On to Mykonos

We got back on the ship well before “All Aboard” and went to the Lido deck for some lunch.

Before long we were on our way to the island of Mykonos. We would be there for the evening so there would only one dinner sitting and no entertainment as they expected most passengers to be ashore.

Bus Into Mykonos

The actual town was a fair distance from where the ship docked. Too far to walk, we though, particularly at night.

MSC had, of course, arranged for a shuttle bus at the cost of €9.00 per person.

As you know, we rarely, if ever, pay for such things when we know we can get local transit for a much lower price. And Mykonos was not different.

Just a few steps from the ship was a stop for the local bus. The cost was €1.40 per person, each way for a total of €5.60 for the both of us as opposed to the €18.00 it would have cost if we had booked the shuttle through MSC. A savings of €12.40.

Timid Travelers

We continue to be amazed at the number of timid travelers that book excursions and shuttles through the cruise ships simply because they’re afraid not to. It seems like such a waste of money to us.

The Cats of Mykonos

As we wandered through the narrow streets of Mykonos we were not only struck by the number of cats we saw but by how beautiful they were.

I wish we had pictures of them to share but our Flip camera seems to be having difficulty charging and we had no way of knowing if it was the camera or the USB charged we had just bought. But it appeared that it wasn’t charging properly and now it was refusing to even turn on.

Mythos in Mykonos

As we tend to do, rather than have a dink in a bar, we’ll pop into a local grocery store to see what’s available.

In most of Europe you can find beer, wine and often liquor in the grocery stores. How civilized! I know this is often the case in several U.S. states as well, but it’s not like that at all in Canada. Nope. In Canada you need to go to the beer store and the liquor store, separately – in Ontario, anyway.

However, here in a grocery store in Mykonos we were casually browsing their selection of cold beers. And, you could buy just a single can if that’s what you wanted.

And that’s exactly what we decided to do. Our attention settled on a rather large can of Mythos, a Greek beer.

Not being big drinkers, we decided that a single can would and and we’d just share. Total cost – €1.30.

We strolled along the harbor enjoying our beer, the night air and the sparkling lights from the open-air restaurants before catching the local bus back to the ship.