Sunday, August 25, 2019

October 9, 2018 – Chania, Crete, Greece – Partly Cloudy – 80s

Another beautiful day on the Mediterranean Sea.

I was up early and took this pre-dawn picture as we neared the port of Chania.

Constellation is getting in at noon so Presentation 2 is in the morning before we get there.  Past experience has shown that these pre-arrival lectures do not usually pull large audiences.

The talk is scheduled at 9 AM (another attendance attenuator), so we ordered room service for breakfast – really good blueberry and banana pancakes with tasty, but somewhat overdone fried eggs. Room service was really our only option since the Oceanview Café opens at 7:00 AM – not enough time to get ready.

The early hour and the fact that passengers were getting ready for their excursions resulted  in a very small crowd – 100 folks.  No matter for this small and mighty crowd that came to see “Forensics and History: The Search for The Unknown Titanic Child still had a nice learning experience.

While Chania has a nice harbor (built by the Venetians in the early 14th Century), ships cannot dock or anchor here.  Instead they dock in the nearby port of Souda, which can handle just about any size of cruise ship.  I remember Souda as the port at which one of our ships left three late passengers.  

We were not able to get an excursion for today.  We haven't been here than many times, so we decided to explore the town on foot.

We took the shuttle to the city center from the Souda Port – 1.79 Euros/pp/one way – purchased two round trip tickets.  The ride to the drop point – Central Market – took only 10 minutes.

Our goal today was not only sightseeing in Chania but also looking for massages.  Prices have gone up at one of our previously visited spas, Al Hammam, which now charged 72 Euros for an hour session (way beyond our $1/min max rate) so we decided to try one of those fish pedicure places that also offered regular massages.  When I got up to the room, I decided that I didn’t like the place so I texted Ellen.  Turns out she found a real posh place around the corner – aptly named “The Spa”.  They charged 55 Euros and we had back to back treatments by Katerina – just excellent.  Something to remember for next time.

We also needed to pick up some meds that we forgot – the pharmacy next to the Spa had the items for a reasonable price.  The drugs are OTC in the US so the risk was probably small buying them in Greece.  Besides, we had no choice.  The pharmacist assured us that these were genuine and were safe to use.

Ellen also found me a swimsuit (I had not packed one) on clearance.  The Constellation has a wonderful Thalassotherapy pool (warm and bubbly) and I just had to take in some of that hot water.  NOTE - thalasso is Greek for sea and thalassophobia is a fear of the sea or being on the open sea.

We walked out to the harbor area and took in all of the restaurants and bars.  On past visits here, we purchased drinks to get internet.  Our phone world plan now provides that.  The harbor area affords wonderful shots of the Venetian Lighthouses that guard the harbor.

The view across the bay gave us a look at the architecture of Chania.

We came across an impressive Byzantine Wall on our walk - definitely worth a picture.

Our route took us past neighborhoods with brightly colored apartments or homes.

On the way back to the bus stop, we checked out the Agora Shopping Center (Central Market) again

We ran into Michael and Neathery and chatted while we had our 2.50 Euro ice creams.  After a bit of searching, we found the bus pickup point and soon we were back on the ship.

Tried to get seating in the San Marco Dining Room but was told that the place was full – we had signed up for Celebrity Select Dining so that seemed a bit odd. This was not really a problem since the Oceanview Café is quieter and more relaxing and you can get a seat with a view.  

Showtime Headliner tonight was Joe Enock – Magician.  Each trick involved audience members and took a long time to unfold.  He was pleasant enough but I just felt the volunteers were plants – too eager to participate and a lot of adlibbing by the audience members.  Just a hunch.

Seas are smooth.

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