Day 3 – Katokolon

April 26, 2010 in GREECE,Mediterranean | Comments (257)

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Our gigantic cruise liner came in silently into the tiny deep water harbour of Katokolo. The long brown beach sweeps round the bay from a little stretch of waterfront cafes. Behind is a green hill, from which comes the sound of life – insects, birds and the crowing of a rooster. The beach is used by the locals as a road. From the balcony of our cabin high up on the 10th floor, I see a car creep slowly along the sand, on the way to one of the houses nestled along the long beach.

1230 HOURS

Back on board after a visit at this serene little town with its tavernas on the quay and street of markets. A taste of Greece. Fortunately the crowds were bussed off to Olympia or stayed onboard to suntan and use the Jacuzzi. We ate brunch on the quay by turquoise water, blue and white tables, little fishing boats, friendly people and, needless to say – to the right loomed our pristine cruise ship, towering into the sky. Magnifica.

The locals get a boost of income from visiting boats, and welcome us as spenders. But I guess little Kotokolo and its few overnight visitors breathe a sigh of relief as we go.  An American-Greek woman in a café says to her companion – see I told you. They would all start running back…. Happy triumphant tone. Now they would be in peace. I would love to have lingered on there. Plenty of wifi – every café…

1300 HOURS

Gliding out of port. My feet in a pool of water that they left after the big cleaning trolley came groaning past on the outside. Katokolo fades, but a brown stream follows us and curls as we turn. Mud or silt is being churned up.

Now we glide over glittery deep and  luscious blue.

I sip coffee at a bar on the deck, and taste spoonfuls of the world’s best nut icecream – all at reasonable prices (1.9 eur for the latte macchiato, 1.5 euro for two icecream flavours).

Macchiato onboard Magnifica is magnificent, magnifique, magnifik or whatever you might say in a number of languages. Language on this boat richochets like echoes from the tower of Babel (as every announcement on board is multi-lingual).

They serve really hot coffee with a taste as good as the aroma of roasting beans. Not even my Italian coffee bar in Stockholm has coffee that tastes this Italian or this good.

Five star coffee in mild afternoon sun.

Bars grace the decks as is essential on a cruise ship. There are two, three or four sunbathing decks with wind shelter, one with a glass roof and the smell of warm chlorine in the air mingled with the shouts and squeaks of kids and teenagers. One of the Jacuzzis is not monopolized by the teens.

NIGHT

At sea. Deep swishes of sound, deep water, strong wind, open sea. Gusts of wind. The boat rocks, especially up here on the higher levels.

This was the captain’s cocktail party and gala dinner.

So we dressed up.

What a nice evening.  Aleah, looking so exotic in long spotted muslin gloves, gauzy black dress, 20s strings of black beads, high heels and her hair in a long plait with a gauzy black rose at the back. Me in the little black dress /from H&M  with its nice cross over neckline, Zoul jacket, black tights over lace stockings. And my white hair of course breaking the blackness.

The cocktail party was after the dinner for our session – for the late diners it was vice versa. You got a glass of champagne and the chance to be photographed with the captain. Ran into the Swedes from our table – 3 couples. The man who sat opposite us and had so little chance to chat with us, couldn’t resist approaching – tell me your story.

Couples began dancing, but we continued our mission of information fact finding: Back to the jewellery shop to speak to our new Turkish friend. What was the name of the square in Izmir? We asked.

We joked that he was our travel agent, and he told us a funny story. A woman came up to him to ask him “Where are we now?”

“On the open sea,” he said.

“ No exactly where …I must know,” she insisted.

He went off the captain and came back with a map for her to show where the boat was. “Oh,” she said. She had been asking reception for days. “But you in the jewellery shop know. Amazing…”

Finally he remembered the name of the square in the old town. Konak square, and the name of market Kemeralti bazaar. We were so touched at all his trying.

He is a blue-eyed Turk with naturally bouffant wavy hair and pale skin. Yes I know he says … I do not look like a Turkish man…strange. The usual joke about “what was your mother doing?” did not seem fitting for someone who was most probably a Muslim.

So here we are at close to midnight back in our cabin. It will be Pelle’s 50th tomorrow.


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