Saturday, August 28, 2010

Cruising South to Volos

I must have really been tired; slept til 8 missing the mouth of the Bosporus [Istanbul Strait] and we are nearing Istanbul. Grabbed the camera and dashed to the balcony. Wish I had my trusty old Nikon 2020; heaven knows, I can't afford the new digital. These little "toss aways" don't weigh as much. Moving right along .... and so is Turkey. Here we are slipping out of the Bosporus into the Sea of Marmara. We should reach The Dardanelles [Hellespont] about 3:30 p.m.

I chose not to worship the "sun god" and met T.C. for Trivial Pursuit and Name that Tune. What fun! Did fair with trivia but naming tunes were a snap until one {The Shining}. I immediately recognized and could not find the name in my mental cobwebs until the very last second, blurting it out with a squeal. We won a book mark. Having expended all our energy, time for lunch.

Windows and their excellent Fish and Chips. As we sat chatting, Captain Karlsson [Leif] asked to join us. What an unexpected and educational pleasure. Seems he has dual citizenship: Swedish by marriage and Aaland by birth. Right, I didn't know of this spot on the planet either. An island surrounded by thousands of smaller island with a population of 28,000 [I think that's correct] off the coast of Finland. Following WWII, Russia was thinking "great naval base"; Finland and/or Sweden were thinking more taxes. Before anyone knew, 6 officials from Aaland secretly went to the League of Nations and petitioned for their independence; AND, it was granted. Surprise! surprise! to Russia, Sweden and Finland. Unfortunately, Finlanders are still upset and angry about this development. Get over it, comes to mind. This wouldn't happen one those huge ships. This is lovely; nice family.

Ed is off to read his book on Luce. T.C and Richard wander off and I headed to the computer center. Wish I could remember all that Greek /Roman Mythology I took as a crip [ha ha] elective that summer at the University. Point being, here we are Jason and the Argonauts, the sirens, the Golden Fleece, Helen, the Trojan Horse. Thrace is dead ahead.

Good to his word, the Captain has us entering the Dardanelles at 3:30 p.m. Squalls have caused me to settle in the Looking Glass for a forward view of the area. These straits are some 30 miles long. As the rain moves away, I return to the walking deck encountering Richard, then spied Ed. We moved from one side to the other to catch one site then another. Supposedly when the movie company completed filming HELEN OF TROY, they left their wooden horse to the city of Troy.

Nearing the Gallipoli peninsula, our narrator gives a point by point description of the devastation to British, French, Australian, New Zealanders and Indian troops attempting to gain control from the Turks. Mr. Churchill's intent was miserably crushed. The monuments are standing there as proof. It's a sadly expensive little point of land. I am often amazed how often we repeat the past. What a waste. Drama everywhere. Squalls moving in again ... ooow, ooow ... there goes a Turkish Submarine! Humm, we are moving into the Aegean Sea. Well, o.k.....

Dinner at 7, Aqualina to celebrate Richard's 80th birthday ..... good conversation, excellent food and the wine Ed had purchased in Yalta. Mercy, that was sweet wine. My filet was perfect and we lingered long after in order to savor the Grand Marnier Souffle ..... yummmm!! Roll me down the passageway, there'll be no dancing tonight.

Tomorrow brings us to Volos. You know, from the very beginning I wondered what was special about Volos, Greece. Ed and Richard set off on their individual search, returning with similar stories: about 12 unimpressive square blocks.

T.C. and I have a grand time chatting in the Mosaic lounge with some Trivial Pursuit, etc over an iced cappuccino and a hot cappuccino. Then, dealt with Ed's swollen feet. An easy relaxing day and no stress to meet any schedule. Tomorrow will be Kusadasi, Turkey and our last 2 days. I've been having such a marvelous time, it was a shock of reality. RATZ!

Ah, my tea is cold again ..... want a fresh cup for you too? Later...........

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