Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Monarch cruise - Kusadasi, Patmos

We continued our cruise today and we arrived at the port of Kusadasi in Turkey at about 7am. After the usual buffet breakfast, we disembarked and went shopping in the town. I did not take the optional tour to Ephesus nearby since I planned to visit Turkey next year and that would be included in that tour. The town is very tourist friendly (meaning they want your money) with a shopping complex next to the passenger terminal. Further down the road are their bazaars with many shops selling what they call genuine imitation goods - watches, branded hand-bags, shoes, and plenty of leather goods. You want Gucci, LV, Jimmy Choo? You name it, they have it and all look as good as the real stuff at a fraction of the cost so our ladies had a field day moving from shop to shop. Bargaining is the order of the day.

We sat sail again at noon and headed for the island of Patmos after passing through the Straits of Samos which is the narrowest point (only 2.8 miles) between Turkey and Greece. We reached Patmos at 3pm and we joined the tour to the Apocalypse Monastery and also the St.John Monastery. The Apocalypse Monastery is built over the cave where St John the Divine had the revelation from God from which he wrote the last book of the Bible, the Revelations. The St.John Monastery which is sat on top of a hill was built in honour of St.John the Divine and also acts as a fort in the olden days.

We rushed back to the ship after the visit since there was a sit-down dinner of Greek food for the night and we needed to be on time for the sitting. Since tonight was Greek night, we were served a full course of Greek food including mezedes for starter, moussaka, and baklava for dessert. Even though I have a sweet tooth, I found the baklava too sweet as it was literally drenched in sugary honey. After dinner we attended a night of Greek dances and music including some great solo music on the bouzouki.

Ronald Kwok

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