Wednesday, 17 September 2014
LOUIS AURA 3rd August 2014 Part 4
Later that day came the news that Louis Cruise Lines are to change their name to Celestyia and acquire another ship at about 25,000 tons with some balconies, for use in 2016. We worried immediately about the future for our little LOUIS AURA but apparently she is not included in the name change, but where that leaves her future is unclear at the moment.
At 5.45 p.m. we presented ourselves on the Bridge ready for arrival in Symi, a Greek island with a harbour nestling amongst the usual mountains, and entered through a fairly narrow entrance between them.
It was a spectacular sight to see this tiny port ahead of us as we arrived, turned and went astern to dock safely in the little town. Even LOUIS AURA looked huge in this port; Captain Gritzelis broadcast a welcome to us passengers and reminded us that the island only had a couple of months each summer to welcome visitors so any spending on our part would be most welcome. That made us all smile and make sure we helped in any way we could.
The ship’s ropes were tossed out to a local rope-man in his little boat, who skilfully took them individually to the various capstans on the quayside, as we looked down on the beautiful blue water.
On the quayside we could see people strolling, or doing deliveries, but I was surprised to see a scooter driving along the road because it looked as if it was being driven by a black and white dog. When I looked carefully of course the dog’s man was sitting behind it and I think there was a white-bloused woman with long black hair riding side-saddle behind him, but it was quite disconcerting for a moment.
It was after 6 p.m. but the temperature was still up in the high 20’s C, as everyone disembarked from the ship. Some went on tours but most of us walked around the town to enjoy the views and try and help the local economy.
At the end of the bay, astern of the ship, were two pedestrian stone bridges, one higher than the other. The first one had arches underneath to allow the sea to spill further inland if necessary, and after walking over this to a lower level I found myself inadvertently paddling as I stopped to take photos. Sea water was gently starting to lap at the soles of my shoes – what fun.
We found the wonderful Restaurant Pantelis serving freshly prepared and cooked Greek food so spent an enjoyable time there watching the sun go down and another Dodekanisos Seaways ferry come in and settle down for the night. A stroll home along the still-busy streets completed the day ashore, knowing that the ship would not leave until 3.00 a.m. the next morning. What a delightful place this is, and somewhere else to go on the list of islands to re-visit for a longer time.
Ships seen: Louis Aura, Halas 71, Turkish Sealines Prince (one of the old blue/yellow Comarit vessels), Dodekanisos Pride, Dodekanisos Express,
To be continued...