April 25, 2009

Two islands in one day - I accept your challenge

Crete, Crete, Crete... what can I tell you about our time in Crete? It was short and rushed with a terrible tour guide. Six of us signed up for the excursion to the ruins of Knosses Palace, which was said to be the sight of the mythical labyrinth where the minotaur roamed. All the cruise ships arrived simultaneously, and there must have been about 20 other extremely large groups touring the palace ruins at the same time as us. We could barely hear the painfully slow English that our guide spoke. So we made an executive decision and the six Contiki kids broke away from our paid tour and went exploring on our own. I gave a much more interesting tour. I'm sure the other groups didn't discover the ancient ballroom and witness the reenactment of the ritual dance. We even beat our tour group back to the bus. We're extremely efficient at being rebellious.

Me and Laura at Knosses Palace

The Contiki Rebels, making Dan proud

We ate lunch back on the boat and then took shifts packing. I was so exhausted at this point from waking up before 7:00am every morning, being a nonstop tourist all day, and then taking part in the entertainment each night, that I zonked out in another infamous Katnap. I remember when I woke up, Laura asked me where Danielle went and my sleepy response was: "she wanted a... fresh... view." Come on, everyone knows this means: "she wanted a change of scenery and more space because it's so cramped in here with four people packing, so she went up to the Aquamarine Lounge to read her book and get some fresh air". Then I laughed so hard at myself that I laughed right out of bed and onto the floor.

The cruise ship deck with the cliffs of Fira in the background

Late that afternoon we arrived in Santorini. We took tenders ashore to Fira, which sat at the top of the cliffs. There were three ways up: cable car, donkey ride, or walk (dodging the the donkey droppings all the way up). On our tender ashore, Amber pondered: "I wonder how many donkeys there are on the island", to which I responded: "Oh, 173" without hesitation. Amber was impressed with my wealth of knowledge and asked where I had heard that. I told her: "I read it in my guide book... slasssssssh made it up." She didn't see that one coming! She wasn't with us on Crete when I was taking on the role of Creative Tour Guide.

I attempted to take a picture of our Contiki group on the tender, but none of them were paying attention. Finally I yelled: "Hey, port side! Pretend like you like Contiki!" to get them to look and laugh. Poor Dan put his hood up over his head and slouched down in defeat. You know we all love Contiki! And we all love you too, Dan. I mean, who didn't have a cruise-crush on Dan by the end of the trip??? I still maintain that Dan and I are soul mates - mostly because he also likes to make up songs about the food he eats.     

Oblivious Port Side

Defeated Dan


So, to get to the top of Fira, I was totally on board for hypothetical option number four: helicopter. But I chose the cable car. Only four of us did - the rest of Contiki braved the adventure of taming the wild Greek donkeys. Judging by the queues, Dan thought the Donkeys would beet the cable car up. He couldn't have been more wrong. Dun dun dun...  

Riding the cable car to the top

When we reached the top, Laura, Rachel, Jeff, and I scanned the Santorini hillside in search of the lost Contiki tribe. At this point I started describing the tribe and their mating rituals in a ridiculously bad Australian accent as if it were an episode on the Discovery Channel. Rachel got it on film. I'm so grateful that Rachel and Laura are always there to film and photograph the stupid things that I do...  


After waiting for a little while, Rachel called Dan to see if maybe they were already at the top and we had missed them. But as it was ringing, we saw our group making their way up the hill on the donkeys.  However, Dan picked up his phone with a nonchalant "Hello?" Rachel looked extremely confused and managed to ask: "Are you on a donkey right now?" to which Dan responded: "Why yes, I am." Dan, are you in a habit of answering your phone while riding on donkeys? How did you even get to it? Or hear it ring for that matter? Is your ringtone something loud and ridiculous like Jay-Z's Big Pimpin' or the theme song from Power Rangers? It is, isn't it! It's the theme song from Power Rangers. I knew it!

"Team Awesome"

Dan turned us loose in Fira. We saw a beautiful church, shopped, and then met up with our whole group to watch the sun set at the Tropical Bar. Contiki took over the balcony, and we enjoyed each others company, our cocktails, and the gorgeous view. I even sang a rendition of "Meet Me in Santorini", the lesser known musical, which of course, Rachel videotaped, and then posted. Again, thank you Rachel.

Contiki at Tropical Bar

Our cruise boat never anchored, it just circled the bay. Which is kinda a scary sight when you see your ship sailing off into the sunset without you, as you stand on top of a cliff. It was my favorite night of the entire cruise, just hanging out on the balcony of Tropical Bar, goofing around with our fun group. There was no more rushing to the next museum, or church, or palace, or ruins. It was the last night of our cruise and we all just relaxed and enjoyed it.


Rachel and I enjoying the sunset

yummy cocktails

We all decided to meet in the pub back on the boat for drinks before dinner. After dinner was the Latin Fever show and the talent show. One boy got up on stage with a Rubric's Cube and the tech guy played jeopardy-esque music that ticked away the seconds. After about five minutes, when the boy was still standing in the spotlight, twisting the cube around and around, I started to get really stressed out. I was nervous for him that he wasn't going to be able to solve it. Only geniuses, or math nerds who have the time to figure out the patterns, are ever able to solve it anyway. But he did it, phew! Then Jeff got up with a guitar and sang us a song. Contiki was so excited that one of our own was up there, that we were cheering like mad. But our seats were not ideal. Alberto got up and pushed the curtain back so that he could see where we were. It was really cute. We had all bonded. 
Not wanting our trip to end, a few of the night owls of the Conitki group went to the pub on board after the show. Then Dan and Jeff played songs on the guitar and we all sang along, until about 2:00 in the morning. We sang anything from Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here", to Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody", to Tenacious D's "@!#$ Her Gently" (censored for all the mothers out there who read this blog). It was the end of our trip, but not the end of our journey as friends...

Hahahahahahahaha. SO CORNY!

Contiki in Santorini April '09

PS The theme Song for this trip: "I'm On a Boat" by the Lonely Island. Check out this link to the video on youtube: I'm On a Boat

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