Oceania Nautica – Jewels of the Mediterranean Cruise

Pireaus for Athens
Not having any real plans since the itinerary had been changed and we lost a few hours in Athens, and I had hoped to try and take a bus out to Marathon, but decided against it. So it was a walk into town, chatting to the manager of the ships shops on the way. She was trying to find a supermarket. I went to the Metro and took a train into Athens and wandered about in the shops, staring up at the Acropolis and the crowds that were milling about up there before the need for a beer took over. I sat there until a strong wind nearly blew my glass over, so it was time to head back to the ship….We sailed at 6. Continue reading “Oceania Nautica – Jewels of the Mediterranean Cruise”

Oceania Nautica – Jewels of the Mediterranean Cruise

Zakinthos
This was a ‘tender’ day as we anchored off this large island in the sunshine. I was ‘escort’ on a ‘panoramic’ tour, so along with my 31 charges, and the local guide ‘Jenny’ an ex-pat who spoke like she came from Essex, we toured the town and island viewing the sights and the monastery of St. Dennis, an olive press, (this exited the Yanks) and a lots of twisty narrow roads – just like being at home really. Jenny was pleasant and knew her local geography, beaches and villages etc, but her history was doubtful, referring to dates like 1863 for example as being in the 18th century, and she really didn’t understand the changes in occupation forces over the years, and kept saying things like ‘ I expect Terry knows the answer to that!’ and  ‘just around this corner, or maybe it’s the next one, yes it’s the next one is a really nice little house, really nice, a nice house actually, really nice’….and so back to the ship for a 2.30 lecture on Alexander the Great, very well attended despite the sunshine and a late return to the ship and a quick lunch for most passengers. The throat has stopped hurting, so that’s good news but I wait to see what develops next, with more lectures and a possible music thing in the offing, I hope I can manage all of it!
Continue reading “Oceania Nautica – Jewels of the Mediterranean Cruise”

Oceania Nautica – Jewels of the Mediterranean Cruise

Well the 5th passed without a bonfire or banger anywhere, but this ship is 95% Yanks….
So on Thursday in the absence of a trip I went for a walk into Corfu before most of the passengers had had breakfast – mountains of eggs and toast and waffles and all that stuff, and I was on the road towards the new fort, which behind it had a small local market. In through the town and out the other side to the old fort, a sit and a sketch, and then slowly back to the ship for lunch. I was lecturing later so needed a bit time to prepare – a talk about the Greeks and the Persians….The Corfu sun shone good and strong and the scene from the ship was most picturesque…the talk was well attended and Nolan Dean’s show in the evening was up to the mark – he’s funny and British!

Oceania Nautica – Jewels of the Mediterranean Cruise

Today was going to be good. I was trying to contain the usual ship’s sore throat and I was escorting a bus to the Oracle at Delphi. We docked at Itea and then bussed up the mountain to the cliff edge town of Delphi, its museum (well presented) and the ruins of the shrine of the Greeks, complete with the stone marking the centre of the universe! The ruins are impressive, not just for what they are, but perhaps more importantly for where they are. The views are magnificent, over the valley, up the mountains and out to sea. The ruins are indeed in a ruinous state, but the stiff climb up to the Stadium was well worth the effort…back to the ship – and no lecture – gave me a little time to worship the sun God, before meeting Mike and Cassandra (Aussies) for dinner on the stern deck. A sumptuous feast of Greek food, a glass of Greek wine and good company and conversation made me forget how sore my throat really was!!

Oceania Nautica – Jewels of the Mediterranean Cruise

Dawned fairish and a cup of tea in the look-out lounge was the accompaniment to the sail in and dock in the harbour of Dubrovnik. My plan was to breakfast early, get off the ship ahead of the tours and walk to the old city and find the cable car! No problems. Tour Bus 2 beat me, but they had not had the 35 minute walk. I dodged them in the main street and found the cable car station…a 9.30 ‘take-off’’, and the only one in the car, saw me rise above the beautiful city of ‘Grad’ – the old town – and I was deposited alongside the Napoleonic Fortress that dominates the skyline and the city below. I wandered around, amongst the remains of the trenches that formed the defences of the city in the civil war of the 90’s, when Croatia held out against the aggression of its neighbour Serbia. Continue reading “Oceania Nautica – Jewels of the Mediterranean Cruise”