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May 8th 2014
Published: May 16th 2014
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This morning was a late port into Mytilene on the island of Lesbos. This gave us the time to head to the formal dining room for breakfast. This allows us all to eat at the same time rather than getting Em some food then looking after her at the table while we go to the buffet one at a time. Em was begging to go back to the kids club so we spent the morning watching the coastline slide by while Em played.

Once we arrived, the boat anchored and the tender boats were lowered into the water. We waited our turn and boarded for the ride into the small port area. Em was excited by the change in port routine and enjoyed the boat ride. Once onshore, we really didn’t have much idea what was in this town as it was one of the short stops of the cruise. There was a castle ruin on the point nearby so we headed over for a look. It turns out it has been around for nearly 1600 years and it was fascinating to walk around the old keep area and right down the hill through the old village surrounding the original castle. One of the interesting things is the recycling of stone used to build the walls and buildings. There are many examples of ancient carved marble laid into the rough stone walls, sometimes right side up but not always. Doorways were often decorated and many of the lintels above the doors were re-used marble blocks from the much older Roman constructions in the area of which there remains no trace.

Em’s favourite building was the cistern, a huge vaulted chamber for storing water. Interestingly, after more than a thousand years it still holds water, all of which is captured rainwater. The acoustics were just right for a performance of “Do you wanna build a snowman?” until Em discovered the echo and played with the sounds she could make and how they echoed differently.

Once we left the castle, we wandered back down the hill to a large shady park area with picnic tables and swings. It reminded us of Rottnest Island with the smell of pine trees and the beach. Heading back along the waterfront, we found an old pay to enter pebble beach which has obviously been closed and disused or some time now. The fences were all rusted and the jetties, beach huts and playground were all very much the worse for wear. With a huge cruise boat moored within sight, it is a real comment on the state of the economy here in Greece that it remained closed.

Next to the marina area was a small platform with ladders for swimming. The water was absolutely pristine so we dangled our legs off the edge. The water is still a bit cold for swimming although there were a couple of brave souls who went in – but they didn’t stay in for long!

The afternoon breeze was up making the ride back to the ship somewhat more of a rollercoaster. After a rest in our cabin we went to the formal restaurant for dinner again. Before an early night in preparation for our tour of Ephesus tomorrow.

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