Thursday, 16 September 2004 – Naxos

At 7:30 we were awaked by the rumble of the anchor chain as the ship moored off the coast of Sicily. We watched from our balcony as the tenders were lowered into the water and the shipís "dock" was set up. When that was over, we dressed and headed up to the breakfast buffet. We were both tired from our late night and a little hung over, so we werenít very talkative over breakfast.

We hadnít signed up for any tours, so we thought we would just explore Naxos. It turns out thereís not much to explore. Itís just a little coastal village that serves as the jumping-off point for tourists visiting nearby Taormina. Taormina is a lovely (we here) town that sits atop a mountain several miles from Naxos.

We took the 9:30 tender to the Naxos pier. We wandered around the pier area for a little while, the walked the short distance to the cityís main street. We decided to see what the side and back streets looked like, and we headed up a hill toward a quieter section of town. We walked about a quarter-mile up that street and down another side street before we decided that Naxos was not a city with a picturesque residential section. We headed back to the main street that runs by the beach.

We walked along the side of the main street opposite the beach. For about a mile, we window-shopped and strolled by small restaurants and hotels. We turned around when we decided it was too hot to enjoy the walk, and there really didnít seem to be much to see anyway. On our way back toward the pier, we stopped into a small supermarket and picked up a can of hairspray for Chris. It was expensive at €4.75. We would find it later in the shipís boutique for only $2.50!

We continued back to the pier where we boarded the tender and rode back to the Diamond. We had a nice lunch at the buffet, and then I lay down for a nap. Chris took her book to the pool patio, but she ended up napping there instead of reading. When I got up from my nap, I went up to join her. She had moved her chair under an overhang, because there had been a few sprinkles of rain. I pulled a chair up next to hers and we both read and drank tea all afternoon.

At 5:15, we went back to our room where we had cocktails on the balcony. Then we showered and dressed for dinner. Chris wore the new dress she had bought in Sorrento, and she looked great in it.

We arrived at the dining room at 7:30. We were in the mood to socialize, so we asked the maitre dí for a table with others. We were seated at table 66, the same table where we had eaten two nights before. We were the first ones to the table, but only by about a minute. The next couple seated were Sandy and Mike. We had talked about eating dinner with them, but hadnít planned anything. It turned out that we hadnít needed to plan it. A third couple was soon seated with us: Vern (from near Sacramento, CA) and his friend Irene (from Reno, NV).

Dinner was very good, but I ate too many courses again. We enjoyed the conversation with the other couples, talking about other trips they had taken, how we had met our mates, etc. Chris and I both took it easy on the wine that night, hoping to be more alert the next day.

We finished dinner around 9:15, headed back to the room, and were soon in bed. The next day would be completely at sea, and we were looking forward to just relaxing.

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