Monday, May 28, 2007

Wednesday, May 9th

The famous “Crossing” cruise is officially over. I’m actually going to miss these people. They finally know their way around the ship, Rascal Scooters zipping around hallways and the like. And Steve and I grew attached to a lot of these folks. Interestingly enough, 180 guests are staying on for the next cruise, which is a mere 12 days long, and includes a little trip to a little country called EGYPT!!!

We docked at the port city of Piraeus, wished the debarkers well, and walked for about 15 minutes to the train station. We popped a few Euros into a ticket machine, hopped a train and shortly
thereafter found ourselves on the streets of Athens.

I cannot stress enough how lucky we are that we go to the majority of these ports at least two or three times during our 4-month contract. We get to do some re-con. We get to wander around without the This-is-Our-Only-Time-to-See-This-Place-Pressure that the guests on the cruise have. Simply put, we get to do some guilt-free farting around.

Today our little group didn’t feel like seeing the Acropolis. Yeah, I said it. We didn’t feel like dealing with the steep, often treacherous tour. We just didn’t feel like seeing another ancient part of a city. We weren’t in the mood. And that’s okay. We’re going back to Athens three more times.

Instead, we shopped and ate our faces off.

We wandered around the shopping areas, stopped for coffee, wandered some more, stopped for a snack, wandered some more, and then went crazy in a couple of stores including ZARA, my new favorite H&M-type place. Jennine and Amanda, one of the youth counselors, accompanied me as we ransacked the main shopping area in Athens. Steve and Dave were having Greek coffee and reading newspapers in a lovely square, very far away from their shoe-salivating partners.

We eventually all met up, including our musical director, Dave, and Kris (dancer) and Tony (wardrobe supervisor), and proceeded to be pummeled with one of the best meals we had all ever had. We just sat down at this big table, ordered a few things, and the food just kept coming. "Lamb Kabobs....for you, for you," our server said. "Yogurt and honey...for you, for you," another server said.

And when we got the bill, the stuff we didn't order and even some of the stuff we did order, was nowhere to be found, charge-wise. We chalked it up to the Greek Hospitality, but then figured that we were a big group at a restaurant on a main street and the more food they put out the more passersby leered. It worked. By the time we left, the entire restaurant was full.

Then it was wander time. Get sort of lost time. We went through parks and public squares, saw lots of tired dogs (don't worry - I had saved some of the chicken from our big feast and made sure to dole it out to the pups), had a drink, and watched others do the same. You know, life.

It was a great day in a fantastic city. And we're going back very, very soon.

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