55mm ISO400 1/125 f/14
More from the blog…
We’re off to today to Corinth and Mycenae. We’ve already coped with having a shower while the ship is tilted the wrong way, so the water can’t drain away quickly enough and floods the cabin floor instead. There was no damage other than a wet life jacket, which was needed imminently for the compulsory safety drill. Fortunately, the ship’s carpenter saw Karmanie’s plight and gave her a fresh one. Multi-talented, this guy – maybe we should suggest they reassign him to the dining room.
We strolled on to deck at 8:00 am on a bright, sunny morning, just before the liner was about to enter the Corinth Canal, slightly later than scheduled due to heavy traffic and having to wait for a tug. The canal was incredibly narrow, with huge, sheer cliffs rising on each side. At one point it looked as if you could reach out and touch the sides. The channel runs through solid rock and has been cut fairly coarsely, so there some fascinating patterns to be seen on the rock faces and an amazing number of birds nesting. Karmanie swears she saw a Roc, but I’m not convinced.
A number of narrow bridges crossed the canal at several points, so it was strange to look up and see the lorries passing overhead. The end of the canal was crossed by a low drawbridge which opened gradually as we approached. Drivers and passengers who had had their journey interrupted while the bridge opened showed no sign of annoyance. They stood by the side of their cars and clapped and waved as we passed.
Not long after we had exited the canal, the scheduled safety drill took place and passed without incident. Shortly before nine o’clock we headed up for breakfast. Like the majority of passengers on board, we had delayed going for breakfast until after the safety drill to avoid having breakfast interrupted. The day’s excursion, originally planned for 9:15 am had been postponed until 9:45, due to the delay in entering the canal.
One might reasonably think that, being aware of the liner’s schedule the dining room staff would be prepared for the breakfast onslaught, but this turned out not to be the case. There was a long wait before our order was taken and another long wait before breakfast was delivered. We had to leave before coffee arrived to catch the tour bus and many of our fellow passengers had the same experience. I suspect the staff are still on a learning curve, so hopefully things will improve as the week goes on.
After a fairly short drive we arrived at the ruins of ancient Corinth where we were greeted by Guy Sanders, the archeological director of the site. Standing in front of the spectacular temple of Apollo, he gave us an amusing and informative introduction to the history of Corinth and its economic importance in aincient times. He gave a hilarious description of how continental drift had shaped the contours of modern Europe and astonished everyone by saying that it was possible that copper from North America had made it’s way to Corinth, millennia before the ‘discovery’ of the Americas.
I was particularly amused when he mentioned, as an aside, that his daughter was named Electra. Well, what else is a Greek archeologist going to call his daughter? When he had finished speaking he gave us a brief tour round some of the other main features of the site. All in all, a fascinating, if far too brief, visit to a site which was easily worth days of attention. (Ted)