Wednesday 21 January 2015

Life is Better Cruisin' | Part 4: Katakolon

This is it, the last port. I've had so much fun reviewing this cruise, and looking through our photos. I'm so so sad that this is coming to an end. We aren't cruising this year (well, who knows! Maybe we can sneak one in later in the year) but we did book two cruises while we were on the Splendour. I will go into detail about that in my next post! Now onto Katakolon...

Katakolon is a small town in western Greece. It is the gateway to Olympia, where the ancient Olympics were held. For me, Katakolon was an afterthought. It was the "I'll decide what to do when time comes" port. I wasn't particularly intersected in any of the excursions. However, the boyfriend was interested in Olympia because of his interest in the Olympics. So we booked the excursion to Olympia (with shopping) for $80 per person.

Katakolon was beautiful. Clear blue skies, and clear blue water. It was another hot day, but there was a slight ocean breeze to keep us cool from the hot Grecian sun. There are olive trees everywhere! I have never seen an olive tree in my life, so I was pretty amazed. They are actually gorgeous trees. Naturally, I had to buy some olive oil to bring back home to my mom.

We started our tour with yet another scenic bus ride. Our tour guide was quite the talker. We enjoyed the tour, but our tour guide spent way too long at Olympia talking about the history. By this time of the cruise, everything was starting to look the same. We had seen so many statues and ruins, that we were starting to sleepwalk through our tours. Most of our group was getting restless. The boyfriend wanted to see the Olympic stadium, which was behind a vaulted tunnel. The two of us walked down the track to the marble finish line to take some pictures away from the crowd. We also stopped by the Archaeological Museum of Olympia (bottom right). We browsed through rooms of sculptures and a bronze collection, looking at objects and statues recovered from excavations. After we visited Olympia, we had two intervals of 20-30 minutes of shopping in the area (unfortunately, they were all overpriced souvenirs).

We were only dropped off at the port about 45 minutes before boarding time (we were 45 minutes behind). Our tour guide was very surprised to see three ships docked at Katakolon. She said she had never seen so many people and so many ships in Katakolon on one day. We had planned to check out the beach at Katakolon but I also wanted to hunt down some postcards. We didn't have enough time for both, so we felt that the longwinded tour cheated us a little bit. We were told that the beach had black sand, but I'm not sure if it's actually black. Nothing turned up when I did a little search on Google to find the name of the beach. We spent our last few minutes walking through the coffee shops and souvenir shops along the port. The boyfriend had one last ice coffee before we finally boarded. Here was our view of the Splendour from our cafe (bottom left)...

Well, there you have it! Have you been to Katakolon? What was your experience like? Leave me a comment! I'm going to do one more part on our cruise to wrap up the review and talk about the last day of our cruise. Stay tuned!

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