On our way to Piraeus

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Welcome committee at Patmos

What a stunning morning it was when we arrived at Patmos. A number of Greek warships occupied our usual anchor spot so we were a little farther from the port than I would have liked. Not to worry though because the sea was flat calm, the sun shone and it was warm. The Greek warships actually looked like ex Royal Navy vessels.

It was a superb day to wander ashore on an island that was once described as the Jerusalem of the Aegean. The Monastery dominates the island sitting atop its lofty perch. The biblical connections of the island assured it of many visitors over the years. The small port is actually worthy of a stroll itself.

Next port was Rhodes. It is in my view one of the best Greek Islands. The walk from the ship into town is 10 minutes if that. The walled old town is wonderful. It has a good archaeological museum and the Order of St John used the town as its base for many years. The palace of the Grand Master of the Order remains and is well worth a look. The mixture of mosques and churches hints to its turbulent past.  Further afield the Acropolis at Lindos is worth a viewing and of course the old harbour that was once guarded by the Colossus of Rhodes still remains to this day. I did not get a chance to see any of it this time as we had a busy day. Rhodes is a chance for us to give the ship side a clean and touch up the scuff marks caused by tugs and fenders rubbing on the side. A lot of fenders are black rubber and leave nasty looking smudges on our nice white paint. The top parts of the ship sides can be around 35 metres above the quay and needs a special lift called a cherry picker to access it. Dont ask me how it got that name. Picking cherries is not what it is for.

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Special machinery needed to clean up there.

After we left Rhodes it was time for our officer on deck event. This is a lovely evening event where we gather together with the guests around the pool for an epicurean style pre dinner party and is a chance for as many of our officers as possible to serve the guests canapés. It is always a success.

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Fruit punch served by our officers.

Finally, today we arrived at the spectacular island of Santorini and drifted for the day off the town of Thira. I have described this place many times in past blogs and you can see more here.

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First Officer Josko pilots the ship into Santorini. The air conditioning was a little vicious this morning on the bridge. Hence the coat!

Superlatives were invented for this place. You need to see it to believe it. Whitewashed houses perch on sheer cliffs of pumice and coloured rock. It's simply staggering. Not sure I could live in them with sheer drops over the garden wall. Nonetheless it is picture postcard stuff.

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Layered rock cliffs at the entrance to the caldera of Santorini.

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Real estate not for the faint of heart.

Now we are heading for the final port on this cruise, the Port of Piraeus near the city of Athens. It is sure to be a busy day but more on that later.

 © Mark Dexter 2015