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Thursday, May 27th
Well, if there's anything I've learned from the past few days, it's that I never want to set foot on a boat again. The whole thing has been so miserable for me. The ship is always rocking side to side and back and forth--even while we're docked--so that I am constantly feeling dizzy. The ship does provide free Dramamine--or at least the European equivilent--but it doesn't help enough. The past two nights were especially bad, making it hard to sleep.
We got up early Monday to leave Athens and arrived on the ship around 10:00 or so. Late that afternoon we arrived at Mykonos, where we just strolled around for a few hours. It was pretty much like the other islands, and Greg and I were tired of shopping. But it was better than the boat. The meals on the ship are interesting. They have buffet lunch and breakfast by the pool--yes, it's windy and cold. Breakfast is pretty good, but lunch is too much Greek food. I discovered that I don't like Greek food. Everything is either fish or another seafood, or it's a bunch of veggies. So I've had plain pasta--it has a little tomato sauce--and rice at each meal. :-( The dinners are worse because it's indoors with a restaurant-type setting, and the menu is very very small. But at least there's always ice cream for dessert.
Tuesday morning we arrived in Turkey. It looked pretty much like Greece. There we visited Ephesus, which is being "restored" and excavated. That part was neat. The weird part was that there was a port at the ancient city, but now the ocean is 5 miles away. Dr. Shackleford kept saying stuff like, "Paul walked down this road," which got annoying really quickly. It was neat for me to see the Greek and Roman inscriptions side by side on the buildings. The city was ruled by Alexander for 200 years and Rome for 200 years. Sadly, one of the seven great wonders of the ancient world was only a couple miles from the city, but almost nothing remains of it.
After that part of the trip we went to a carpet store, which gave an extensive demonstration of how the carpets are made and of the different kinds. I wish they had told me the prices ~before~ I decided I liked one. We're talking $500 for one about one by two feet. It actually takes the women years to make a large one. I guess I should consider the price low. But Greg liked them too and said that we could come back when we're rich. I had to laugh at that.
Later that day we came to Patmos, which was a waste of time in my opinion. Of course, this is where John wrote Revelation, but the supposed cave he was in is now converted into a church. Not to mention the absurdity of the Greek Orthodox religion. They have filled the tiny hole with icons and gold, and even worship a "hand-hold" in the cave wall that John allegedly used. The whole thing was ridiculous. There was also the Monastary of Saint John, but it looked like every other medieval monastary we've seen.
Wednesday morning we went to Rhodes, which was actually pretty neat. The Colossus of Rhodes--another of the ancient wonders--used to be here, but no trace remains. They don't even know where it stood. We drove across the island to an ancient acropolis, which was interesting. There are Byzantine additions to it as well as Crusader additions. The view from the top was better than the ruins, though. Everything had scaffolding around it; apparently they're doing some restoration too. Oh, and a small bay we could see was supposedly one that Paul landed at.
This morning we went to Crete, where the Minoan palace has been excavated and partially restored. They were one of the earliest known civilizations of the area, and it was pretty impressive. However, the crowds were unbelievable, so the whole experience was not extremely pleasant.
Right now we're on our way to Santorini where a Pompeii-like city has been excavated near a volcano. Then we spend one more night here before arriving back in Athens.
I can't wait to get off this stupid boat. I've slept through most of our time here--because it's the only way I'm not sick--but it feels like we've been here forever. I can't wait to get to Italy and have some good food, too. Heh, the ferry from Greece to Brindisi, Italy takes like 20 hours. Talk about misery. Then there's a 10 (approx.) hour bus trip from Brindisi to Florence! At least that's the end of the boat rides!
Hmm, did I mention that it's 60 degrees in our cabin? And that the shower in the bathroom gets the toilet paper wet ~every~ time?
I'm really sad that this part of the trip is so awful for me. Everyone else seems to be having a good time. The world is just inconvienent for people like me, I suppose.
We've passed several internet cafes on the islands, but never when I was free to visit one. I really hope I can get my email soon. I hate for it to pile up like this; especially when Hotmail is so slow.
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