Monday, June 30, 2008

Monarch cruise - Mykonos

The taxi was waiting for us after our breakfast to take us to the port at Piraeus. There was already a queue at the cruise terminal. The cruise that was booked for us was on the Ocean Countess run by Monarch Cruise. We check-in the big luggage, air-plane style, but minus the weigh-in and we would find the luggage outside our cabin later. (We left the even bigger luggage back at the hotel since this is only a 3-night cruise.)

The Ocean Countess is a medium size cruise ship and has all the usual facilities but the deck numbering can be a bit confusing in the beginning but after a while, you'll be able to find your way around. We set sail at 11am but before that we had the mandatory safety explanation and hands on putting on the life jacket. There was also a presentation on the charging system, optional tours on the destination islands, etc.

While on deck, I met a Chilean gentleman who was doing some arithmetic; he was counting the number of seats in each lifeboat (Titanic must be in his mind) and was satisfied that there were enough room for the total number of 800 passengers. Then it occurred to me that today is Friday the 13 and I remembered a similar cruise ship (thankfully not run by Monarch Cruise) sank last year off the coast of Santorini. And I will be away on holidays for a total of 13 days............. Better not think about it any more, time for lunch!

The first stop on this cruise is at the island of Mykonos. This small island is very dazzling with the white-washed houses with doors and windows of striking colours (mainly blue).

There are many eateries or taverna in the main town of narrow lanes.

Here are a few shots of the famous Mykonos sights, in this order

1. Mykonos windmill
2. Little Venice
3. Petros the Pelican, the island mascot
4. Paraportiani Church

I had a gala time walking around town taking all the photos and my wife had her own gala time shopping with her lady friend. There are plenty of jewellery shops but prices are stiff. And finally before we left Mykonos for the cruise ship and our dinner, we watched the sunset by the sea.

It was a beautiful ending to a beautiful day.

Ronald Kwok

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