Sisters Travel Adventure Series
Epic Journey Cruise 2016
Pre-Cruise: Piraeus, Greece
Now that we are rested, showered and have clean clothes on all we need is to get some food in our stomachs. We head out and wander the streets of this port city of Piraeus. There are many small bakeries enticing us with the wonderful smells of pastries. We resist because we both want to sit down and have a real meal. The last time we had a full meal was in Boston two days ago!
We see a restaurant with a big outside sitting area full of young people. If that is where the young people of Piraeus hang out then it should be good. Seated at a table outside we watch the activity going on. The waiter gives us a menu in English.
We missed breakfast and so we order lunch. Most everyone speaks English so we don’t have too much trouble communicating. Our waiter, however, doesn’t speak English well but we are able to give him our order.
We are so interested in the conversations going on around us even though we can’t understand a word of what is being said. Watching the interactions we try and guess what their story is. It is still hard to fathom that we are overseas in a far off country. It is obvious that we are out of place. We are tourists and it is evident.
Out of our element in unfamiliar territory I feel invigorated and excited. I never imagined going on a trip like this. I dreamed of going to Italy but never really thought about it seriously. Now I are in Greece and will be going to Malta, Italy, France and Spain on this first cruise.
As we wonder the streets we are enchanted by the friendliness and hospitality of the Greek people, in awe of the age and history of the architecture and the buildings themselves. It makes me aware of how much civilization and history there is in the world. I love history but have spent much time explore the history of our own country which is nothing compared to the history that resides here in Europe. I can already tell that I am going to be in awe of the history I am stepping into.
Darkness is falling so we head back to the hotel for dinner. At the restaurant they tell us that they do not have room for us yet and to come back in another hour. I want to try some Greek wine. We find a small bar down the street. I order a glass of any local red wine. We have a conversation with the young nice looking bartender. We are sitting in a little local bar in Greece! So unreal!
We pull out our credit card to pay and the bartender informs us they don’t take credit cards only cash. We don’t have any Euros yet. We have been paying for everything with the credit card or US dollars which the taxi driver took. So Susan goes off in the dark in a strange place to find an ATM down the street.
While she is gone the bartender has a conversation with the owner and then comes back and tells me they will take the US dollars. Susan comes back with the Euros so we pay in Euros. Susan will tell this story over and over, that just because I wanted to have a glass of local Greek wine she had to walk down a dark road in a strange country to find an ATM! Me and my glass of wine!
We go back to the hotel and back up to the restaurant. They are still are not ready to seat us. Back down to the lobby to see if they can recommend somewhere else nearby to have dinner. Instead she calls up to the restaurant and tells them she is sending us back up and to seat us.
Back up we go. We are seated at a table by the window. The waiter explains that they are still serving a large party and that the service will be slow and that is why they had wanted us to wait. I again order a glass of wine to enjoy while we wait for our meal. We sit back and breath, the time change, the jet lag and stress of the last few days has slowly been seeping out of us. It is time to get fully into enjoyment mode. Leave the travel woes behind and have some fun!
A husband and wife and two women, sisters like us come in and are seated at the table next to us. They are going on the ship tomorrow too. All of us except one of the sisters are doing the B2B, which is the 10 day Mediterranean cruise and the 13 transatlantic cruise. Excitement is in the air. A lively conversation ensues as we enjoy a nice dinner as we compare travel stories and anticipation of what the Carnival Vista and our ports of call will be like. As always the people we meet and conversations we have become a highlight of our journey.
Tomorrow it goes into full force as we board the Carnival Vista!
Twenty-three days on board. The longest cruise we have ever taken!
Next: Boarding the Carnival Vista