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Published: October 4th 2009
October 1, 2009
Judy and I were the first passengers off the ship on tenders today along with only three other crew going ashore right at 8am. I guess the others had later tours planned or just slept in. At least in Patmos, there is no huge hill to get up and down from the port. The port is conveniently located right in downtown.
We didn't exactly have a plan today but found a rent a car place straight across from where the tender dropped us off. They had a nice little car available for 30 Euro that was much better than the beater we had on Santorini the day before. A right at the circle and we were headed up the hill to visit the cave where John the Evangelist was exiled and wrote most of the Book of Revelation. The place was deserted as none of the tour buses had arrived there yet. We parked right in front like a local and walked on in. There is no admission charge to visit but a donation is appreciated. Judy donned her scarf to cover her hair and we went in for a quick visit.
We continued up the hill to the top to visit the monastery and the monks. It was too ornate for me on the inside of the chapel and well worn. They had the skull of Saint Thomas on display. I more enjoyed the fine museum for 6 Euro that was very well done. They were displaying lots of religious icons and artifacts from as far back as 2nd century BC. After saying goodbye to the monks, who by the way crook their hand in a special way to give a blessing that looks like it might be a gang symbol, we wandered through the town up there. Unlike Athens with its stray dogs everywhere, Patmos has lots of stray kitties. Somehow we wound up stumbling upon three old wind mills on the top of the adjacent hill. A few more pictures and we were back in the Citroen zipping down the hill to find a nice beach to hang out on.
Easier said than done as some had closed for the season and looked deserted. But we found a great one in Agriouvadi that only had one family on it. We rented two chaises and an umbrella from Hellen for 8 Euros and stake out our spot. The sun was very warm, the sky blue and the water very clear. Hardly any rocks on this beach as compared to the one we were on in Santorini. Hellen turned out to be a real character. An old Greek woman who was a beach attendant for the most of the year. About an hour later, this small row boat like craft appeared with an outboard from across the bay with one old guy standing up in it in jeans. This guy looked like he had been on a deserted island for a while with his long white beard and scraggly hair to match. Turns out he was Hellen's husband and he had been out fishing for Octopi. He didn't seem to be having any luck this day though. We bid farewell to Helen and headed back to the port, Skala.
After returning our car, we walked around Skala in a quest for a souvlaki but struck out. We ended up eating a cheese pie of all things that was wonderful. I found an Internet cafe behind the rent a car place and bought a Sprite along with free wi-fi. While I was uploading photos, Judy went shopping but lucky for me came back empty handed.As it was getting close to 4 p.m., the time for the last tender, we headed back to the dock and ultimately the ship.
Tonight was formal night. To save on luggage space, I just rented a tux for the cruise. The jacket sleeves though had hemmed way to short for me and a last minute scrambled ensued to find a better fitting jacket. Looking much more presentable, Judy and I went up to Deck 5 to the captain's cocktail party. We meet the entire senior crew while sipping on some rum punches. Being sufficiently lubricated now, we walked to midship to find a picture taker to capture us in all gussied up. Judy was lamenting not wearing her necklace but she looked great without it in her long black dress with a train that was difficult for me not to step on.
Our hopes to dine without the crazy pair at our table were dashed. We thought they didn't have formal wear and would not be joining us but they came just before we ordered. Oh well. It all worked out much better than the night before and we once again closed down the place.
Next stop is Kusadasi, Turkey and Ephesus.
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