We were now at the island of Crete. We had been scheduled for a long 5-hour tour today which came with a ‘lots of walking’ warning. Because the last two days had been so tiring, on tours with NO walking warning at all, we decided to cancel our tickets for today’s tour. That meant I could sleep in! Hurrah!

My wonderful mom brought me some fruit back from the buffet, which was lovely. I tried to sleep some more, but the ship’s crew was doing ship alarm testing so there were blaring alarms going off all the time. Not conducive to sleep.

For lunch, Prime 7, one of the specialty restaurants, was open. No reservations needed. It was lovely. I had seared tuna.

Then we gathered our things to go explore the town on foot. I wore my usual Ukrainian-angel earrings, Ukrainian-colored hairband, and Ukrainian-colored bracelet.

You would think for a touristy town like this that their dock area would have easy access to the city center. But the walk is along busy streets with no benches, no shade, and fairly narrow walking areas. There are steep stairs. There’s a “yellow line” on the ground to follow, but it’s not always clear which way to follow it.

By the time we got up to the center of the city, Mom was exhausted. We sat on a bench. After a while of people-watching she was ready to go back.

I’ll note the first two Greek islands were ‘beautiful’ – white buildings, blue domes, and the like. Picturesque. This stop, at least where we walked to, was just ‘industrial’. Square brown buildings, car-filled streets, and so on. It felt like ‘any other city’.

I was looking for a shawl for a friend, so we stopped into a few stores. I found a lovely ‘protective eye’ shawl at one shop. While we were chatting with the store clerk, she asked us where we were from. My mom said the US. The store clerk said, in essence, “No, where are you REALLY from” indicating my earrings. Yes, the store clerk was Ukrainian, too, and we had a good conversation.

The walk back to the ship was just as hot, humid, and arduous. I was drenched in sweat. We at last got to the ship terminal and went through security. We only needed our ship cards, no other paperwork. Then a short walk to the ship itself and up the gangplank. We checked in with our cards and didn’t have to go through security a second time.

Up to the room! Right into the shower!

We relaxed in the room until about 6pm, when we decided to go down and hear the guitarist. We really hadn’t done any ship “musical activities” until now and thought it time to give them a try.

The lounge area was quite nice, with a small stage. The guitarist had a tiny travel guitar and played from iPad-style tablet notes. Unfortunately, most of the people around us were babbling at quite high volumes so it was hard to hear him, even in the ‘second row’ of tables. He did play some older classics like from the Beatles and Eric Clapton, but he also (amusingly to me) played some fairly recent hard-rock kinds of songs, and songs like ‘Nothing Else Matters’. So there was a mix.

Nearly all of the cocktails on the menu featured fruits. I had a lychee martini. The wait-staff brought around little snacks like a roll of salmon with cream cheese and a little container of olives.

After an hour set the musician was done. We went to the Compass Rose for dinner. We were seated in another area, perhaps because all the window tables were taken. The food had lovely presentation and was delicious.

I will note something odd about wine here. Passengers get base-level wines for free, unlimited, and then you can pay to get more expensive options. On a given evening’s menu they show you ONE white and ONE red for the free options. That’s it. If you ask for a wine list, they only show you the for-pay wines. There is no way to know what all your free white and red options are. It might easily be that the free white on tonight’s menu is a very acidic sharp one which just doesn’t go with your chosen main dish. You’d rather have a buttery chardonnay. But now you’re stuck in a guessing game asking them what other free whites they have, and having them try to describe those options to you. It makes no sense at all. It took a few days into the cruise before we started to have a sense of what our options REALLY were, to know what we could order with different dishes.

I thought about doing laundry after dinner. However, I realized that it was too late, as the laundry room closed at 10pm. So I put off laundry until tomorrow.

It was time to sleep!

We didn’t end up seeing much of Crete, but I am very glad we did not completely burn ourselves out on a long-distance walking tour. We still had many cruise days remaining that we wanted to enjoy. As it turns out, even just walking on our own into town we walked nearly the same step count as we did yesterday.

Step Count: 7347

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