Monday, 16 September 2013

Cruise Boatin through Turkey and the Greek Islands

Today Kyle, Lyndal, Ben, Michael, Tim, Pheobe, Daniel, Jess, Adam, Nikki, David, Nicole and I (okay so there is a few of us left) start our three day Turkey & Greek Island Cruise with Louis Cruiselines. We meet our new Contiki tour guide Paola and the rest of our new Contiki group in the morning. We all love Paola from the get go, she is so nice and just one of those people you immediately like.

Once we are on the boat we are introduced to THE DRINKING PACKAGE, best. thing. ever. You simply pay 20 Euro per day upfront and get this magic little card that makes everything on the drinks menu free, more than 30 cocktails to choose from, soft drinks, cappucino's, milk shakes, spirits, shots, pretty much any sort of beverage and as many as you like. So on the first day of course i have to try and test them all, 7 cocktails and a shot later our boat docks at Mykono’s and im feeling woozy... Classic Kirsty, just because its free i think i need to have as much as i can fit in! When we get off the ship and walk around Mykono’s i notice it is exactly like the pictures, all white buildings with blue window frames and doors lining the old cobblestone roads. Super pretty. We get straight on the public bus and head to Tropicana this big night/day club on the beach that is known for its outrageous partys, we can’t catch a cab because there is too many of us and there are only 30 something cabs on the whole island! When we arrive the music is blaring, people are absolutely wrecked, sweating, dancing in budgie smugglers and on podiums. We have a look around for 10 minutes and then head off for dinner at a nearby restaurant. After dinner most of our Contiki head back to Tropicana for a few drinks but i like an idiot had too many on the boat and had to take my sorry self home haha. Had the best sleep on the boat though i swear that the rocking puts me to sleep i love it.

Next morning we dock in Kusadasi, Turkey. Paola walks us to a traditional Turkish Bath for those of us who want to part with 15 euro to give it a go. As we arrive we are welcomed by this fat greek man and all make jokes about him being the one to scrub us down. We all strip down to our bathers as instructed and head into the first stage being the sauna, bit of an funny way to get to know your Contiki mates all sitting around in your jocks squished into a sweaty sauna! After about 10 minutes in the sweat box a few people have chickened out and left so there is only about 10 of us left, Me, Kyle, Ben, Lyndal, Michael, Pheobe, Tim and about 2 of the new Contiki guys. So one by one we are lead out of the sauna and into a stone room by none other than the fat greek man who welcomed us by the door who is now dressed in nothing but a towel around his waist who washes our hair and then sits us around the edge of another stone room. Everyone is now giggling at each other awkwardly sitting around looking like drowned rats! In the middle of the room is this raised stone table where one by one we are instructed to lay in the middle and our greek friend scrubs us with some exfoliating stuff and the boys even cop a loud slap on the back to signal when to turn over! After being scrubbed we rinse ourselves off and wait around the edge for step two where we again lay on the stone table in the middle but this time we are washed with this soapy pillowcase that they spin in the air and it blows up full of bubbles which are squeezed out onto us for a light massage and bubblewash. Last step, we rinse again and head out to the drying room where we are wrapped up head to toe in towels by another greek man and served a glass of apple tea to sip on as we dry off. It was a really fun experience, we all got a good laugh at each other and I've never smelt cleaner! BIG thanks to Lyndal who was clever enough to think ahead to bring her waterproof camera! :)

After the bath Lyndal, Kyle and i go for a wonder around the islands markets and pick up a couple of bargains before heading back to the boat for lunch, a sunbake, swim in the pool and a cocktail. After dinner tonight we are having a toga party because the new people on our Contiki haven’t had one yet so we all toga up and meet in one of the ships bars for a crazy night of dancing, stalking a 60 year old Russian barbie wannabe, wedding party crashing while enjoying way more than our moneys worth of the drinking package! Just writing this again has renewed my determination to book another cruise ASAP! I left the party some time just after midnight and awoke at 5.15am to Kyle stumbling in to tell me after the bars closed at 2am him and one of the new Contiki guys decided it would be fun to steal a cardboard cutout of a lady from the lounge and knock on peoples door’s to introduce her. These are the things boys get up to when stuck on a boat with unlimited booze!

This morning our boat docks in Crete, Kyle is too hungover so i head to breakie and then onto Crete Island to do some exploring by myself. Crete is a cute beachside fishing town with some little shops in the main street which is right near where our boat docks. There is alot of these little herb and spice shops with lots of natural products, i would have liked to buy lots but since we are back packing i limited myself to two little jars of delicious smelling greek spices. The rest of the morning is spent typical cruise boat style, laying by the pool in the sun sipping cocktails. About 5pm we dock at Santorini and all get off the boat to head to Oia village which is the place you see in all the greek island photos with the white buildings with blue roofs on the cliff face over looking the sea. Oia Village is stunning and we manage to get seats in a cute seafood cafe with a great balcony overlooking the white and blue houses that lead to the ocean. For dinner i had some of the biggest freshest prawns I've seen in my life too, delish!

Our final day on cruise has come and its an early start at 6.30am for breaky because we disembark at 7.30am! Those who are left of our original Contiki and are staying a night in Athens before flying out tomorrow head to our hotels but Lyndal, Jess, Daniel, Nicole and David are flying home today so its a bit sad we have more goodbyes! The day is pretty chilled and the remaining of us, Tim, Pheobe, Adam, Nikki, Ben, me, Kyle and Michael plan to meet at the stairs in Plaka again for dinner. The food was again amazing and even better for dessert we had traditional Loukamades (Greek Honey Puff’s) YUM! Add them to my list of things too learn to make. Tonight is the actual final goodbye to everyone left on Contiki (for now.... Vegas/Brisvegas 2014 reunion, who's keen?!) its a super sad day but I'm excited to start exploring and trying to find our way around Europe on our own.

- K


Kyle and I clean as a whistle after our Turkish Bath
Step 1: Wash the hair 
 Step 2: Scrub the skin
 Step 3: Soapy massage
Step 4: Get wrapped in towels ready for apple tea

The Russian Barbie
 Jess, Me and Lyndal in Togas
 Me and Lyndal
Pheobe, Jess, our tour guide Paola and I
 Free Booze, its exciting ok.
Just found this little gem, photo bombed, thankyou Adam I know this would have been your idea
Jess and I ruining family night
Kyle with our trusty ship
 Dinner with an unbeatable view on Santorini
 No Donkey Parking
Santorini one of the many cute houses
This is not a backdrop, I LOVE Santorini!
 Over the shoulder sneaky shot of Kyle on the shreets of Mykono's
Struggling to adjust to life on the ship