Wednesday, August 2, 2023

All Aboard the Elysium

Pláka is the old historical neighborhood of Athens, clustered around the northern and eastern slopes of the Acroppolis, and incorporating labyrinthine streets and neoclassical architecture.  Located only a couple of minute walk from the hotel we wandered the streets popping in stores.  We finally decided a bite for lunch would be smart as we would not board our boat until 1:30 and then would not have dinner until sunset.  It was very hot, so we found a restaurant, Oinos Cafe, with large umbrellas, fans, and even misters.  Everyone found something on the menu and the adult men enjoyed their first Greek beers and myself the rage of Europe cocktails, Aperol Spritz.

Back to the hotel two sharp dressed drivers with 2 Mercedes vans picked us and and drove us an hour to the Port of Lavrio where our boat was one of 2.  The other a Club Med boat.  Greeted on the dock they tagged our bags and we were brought on board and greeted with cool towels and cold water...and a room full of Americans.  Turns out another 12 passengers were fraternity brothers and their wives who graduated ASU in 1991 and live in Cali and Arizona.  Sprinkle in a few more passengers...couples from New Zealand, Australia, Switzerland, and a mother and daughter from Colorado and our 50 passenger boat only had 31 people.

And this turned out to be good fortune for us as they would upgrade all the kids from the cheapest and smallest cabins, C, to B and Andy and I to B+ from B.  The rooms were much more spacious that we expected.  And on each bed we found a gift bag full of goodies.  We had time to unpack and then had a safety briefing at 3:30 before setting sail to Cape Sounion.

At our safety briefing we were introduced to our acitivites crew as well as the bartender and our spa attendant.  Yes, there is a spa on board.  Everyone seemed super fun.  We would get interesting news which was that the winds were going to cause some changes to our day to day island plans, which means the last 3 weeks we adults have been planning restaurants and making reservations had just been upended.  But that's OK...the activities crew was ready to help us rework everything.

We finished unpacking and changed into swimsuits as we would be dropping anchor early enough to swim before dinner.  We all and I do mean nearly the entire boat was in the water below the another jawdropping view, Temple of Poseidon.  After swimming in the warm waters we were given enough time to clean up before going upstairs for welcome drinks and an amazing dinner on the deck outside.  We enjoyed a beautiful sunset and would stay here until nealry midnight.  How do we know?  Ally, Andy, and I went up on the top deck and watched the waxing moon and the Starlink satelite overhead and when we went to bed at a little after 11 we heard the motors fire up and the anchor raised and we were off to our Sifnos.


Anonymous said...

So enjoyed reading this! What fun! Hilary 😀

Stargazer said...

Like u said..the best laid plans. But sounds like all working out and beautiful views...and maybe so new friends made. Bonnie