40mm ISO640 1/10 f/4.5
More from the blog …
Mycenae: the home of Agamemnon
We moverd on next to Mycenae, where we started off with a visit to the tomb of Agamemnon, a tholos, also known as a beehive chamber becauselooks like a giant conical beehive inside. The walls and floors were bare other than the faded remains of some ancient painted inscriptions.
The gentle stroll up to the main entrance of Mycenae’s Acropolis was delightful, with the warm morning sun shining and pine trees and almond blossom scenting the air. One thing that never fails to amaze me is the sprawling size of these sites. This one was home to Agamemnon, but possibly not the king of the same name who was a prominent figure in the Trojan War. It was a flourishing, wealthy community with the engineering skills to construct huge buildings from enormous stones, sophisticated water delivery systems, brisk trade and structured religious practices.
We declined the opportunity to climb to the top, settling for views towards the sea and the far, snow-covered mountains of the high Peleponese. We didn’t visit the museum either, preferring to sit in the sun musing on what we’d already heard of the history of the area.
Lunch was served in a very modern, purpose-built banqueting suite, rather than the anticipated vine-covered terrace of a traditional taverna, but the food consisted of a very typical salad, followed with heaps of roast lamb and potatoes and finishing with yougurt and honey.
We had interesting table companions from New York, Reading and Manchester, via Kos. Our various journeys to get there would be worthy of another Odyssey. Lamentations about the state of the pound or the dollar against the Euro were mingled with shared appreciation of the weather and the sights we had seen.
Lunch was followed by a trip back to the liner, through greenery and stark unleafy vineyards. The guide sent most of us to sleep with a long litany of the Greek Pantheon. Not that it wasn’t interesting – we were just too warm and comfy!
The evening started with a wine-tasting session, hosted by a rep from Boutari, one of Greece’s largest vintners, whom Ted promptly christened “Alexander the Grape”. The wines were pleasant enough, especially the Cretan red, but we preferred the retsina we later had in a taverna ashore, along with skewered pork and the biggest slab of herby feta cheese I’ve ever seen.
Question of the day: When is a happy hour not a happy hour?
when it only applies to the (freezing cold) outdoor bar on the top deck, despite the lack of any mention of this restriction in the onboard publicity?
when it was only meant to apply to last year’s trips and shouldn’t have been on this year’s flier at all?
when it makes the customers confused and upset?
if you’re the barman asked to provide drinks, after half-an hour’s discussion with the bar manager.
when you’re the girl at the reception desk.
when you find yourself having to start another “service discussion” simply because people aren’t willing to provide the facilities they’ve advertised.
The matter was eventually resolved in our favour, but it’s becoming boring having to make complaints to obtain services that should have been provided without question in the first instance. (Karmanie)