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On Day 4 of our vacation in Greece we temporarily said goodbye to Athens and were bussed to the port of Piraeus to board the Cristal and begin the island-hopping portion of our adventure.
Catiya says that the word "pirate" is derived from the name of this port on the Mediterranean Sea.
The trip through Athens took about 20 minutes and it was interesting to see the suburbs of the city of Athens along the way.
The Cristal was a very nice cruise liner, well-tended, with a pleasant crew.
I was pleased when entering our cabin to find a magazine greeting me with a smiling photo of Athony Quinn as Zorba, the Greek. Seeing that movie , one of my favourites, had caused me to want to visit Greece. It was nice to find him welcoming me to the tour of Greek islands, even though he died in 2001 and was Mexican and not Greek. He played Zorba wonderfully, however!
Island-hopping is fun. Our first stop was at sunset on our first evening aboard the Cristal...
There, and at all our ports-of-call, we were the first tourist boat arriving in the new season. All along the way we were made welcome and catered to.
I was particularly impressed with our stop at Kusadasi, Turkey, which is in Asia, not Europe. I never dreamed I'd visit Asia!
We arrived in very early morning of Day #5. We were bussed inland, and our first stop was at a site high in the hills where it is believed by Catholic scholars that Mary, the mother of Christ, spent her final days. A wishing-wall there was unusual. The spot was lovely, and sacred to believers.
I was particularly impressed with the ruins of the ancient city of Ephesus. Our guide told us Ephesus had once been a port city, but the port silted in. Large ships could no longer reach the city, therefore the city waned and died. Only 1/3 of the ruins have been unearthed thus far, but the site is HUGE! The rocks, stones and marble enveloped me and overwhelmed me with the miracle of their magnitude.
The amphitheatre at Ephesus was SO LARGE as to be mind-boggling. We were reminded that St. Paul had preached to the Ephesians at this spot. I was impressed!
Greek Islands and Turkey have many independent cats. I took photos of many cats on this leg of our adventures.
Day 4 (Monday): All Aboard cruise liner, The Cristal
Day 5 (Tuesday): House of the Virgin Mary
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