If you go on one of these trips and think you're going to sleep in all the time, try Moonta instead, because it won't happen here. Up at the crack of dawn again; the ship has just berthed at Patmos (of biblical fame) so we went ashore and joined the bus tour for the Scenic Island Tour, where among other things, we saw the cave where John received his vision from which the book of Revelation was written. Like so many of these sites, a church has been built around it, and being a Sunday, it was in full swing. There are 3 rules when visiting many Orthodox churches. No photos, and no knees or shoulders showing. So we had to cover ourselves. After some free time on Patmos, we rejoined the ship, and then sailed for Turkey. After lunch we disembarked at Kusadasi, and took the Ancient Ephesus tour. Ephesus is a work in progress, but some very impressive restorations have been done so far. When I finally get some decent net access, I'll upload some photos. It's $2/minute on the ship, and as slow as a wet week. In fact all my daily entries have backed up for a week on my computer, waiting to be uploaded.
Anyway, after further free time in Turkey, we were back on the ship. The Turks, in fact Europeans generally, are very pro-active in drumming up customers, and we soon learnt not to look them in the eye, or appear interested, as they became very persistent. We've had kids placing flowers on our lap as we were sitting and refusing to take them back, and then insisting on payment. Or finding extra bits added on the bill for extras that we didn't ask for (even sitting down costs). Or receiving less change than that which you would expect. Or treating you like royalty until you made it quite clear that you didn't want to buy anything. Now I'm not complaining; I'm just saying that this is the way that it is.
I'm forgetting lots of details; all you're getting is a brief overview at the moment. I know on this day we lost my room-mate Paul on the Acropolis. He had gone for the "All you can drink for 3 days for 72 Euro" deal and he was determined to get his money's worth. Prior to the Acropolis walk, he had been resting on his bed, and still hadn't woken properly even during the walk, which, by the way, was in about 35-37 degree heat. So he didn't listen to instructions, and after our free time, he turned up at the wrong spot to catch the bus back to the ship. The bus had to leave without him, and if he had missed the ship, we would have had to leave his passport with the Turkish Authorities, and he would have to fly ahead and rejoin the trip. Howard was panicking because it is a very big deal to lose someone on a trip, with huge amounts of organisation and paperwork.
Fortunately, Paul was able to catch a taxi back to the boat, avoiding a huge headache. He has sworn off drink, and has been very sheepish since. Just desserts, especially after all those NZ sheep jokes.