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Author Topic: Journey to Greece in summer 2005  (Read 2107 times)
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Gerolf Drebes
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« on: December 28, 2005, 10:08:31 am »

Our this year summer holiday we (my wife, daughter and me) spent 2 weeks on 3 greek islands and Athens.
At the first day arrival at Athens.
The second day we took Bluestar Paros form Priaeus to Parikia (Port of Paros) at excellent weather.  The ship is modern and you can sit outside in the shadow, not too hot and you can see a lot. The voyage was quite interesting with lots of ships.
The ferry port of Pireaus was so crowded with ferries, that I had to concentrate on one side with my photos. So I did not take a good shot form the partly burnt Costa Classica, lying on the other side. Leaving the port  I saw 4 ships heading closely  for Pireaus, the vehicle carrier Toledo, the greek warships Promithefs and Aegeon and the tanker Genmar Alexandria. The anchorages outside Pireaus were far away, but I could take a few of them as the reefer Royal cooler and the bulker Apollonia Spirit. Some more ships were entering Pireaus , but farer away, the RoRo Julianahaven and the Container Zim Hongkong. Later we bypassed the general cargo container vessel Pelamber. When we left the main shipping route to Piraeus shipping  decreased a lot. We only saw 2 more ships, the old coaster Zaher II (built 1961 !) and Bluestar Naxos, the sister of our ship just before arriving at Parikia. At Parikia also the 2 catamaran vessels Highspeed 2 and Highspeed 5 were moving.

At Parikia we were caught ba a minibus. Our hotel was oppsosite Parikia near Krios beach with a splendig view of the bay of Parikia. I could do shipwatching from my balcony. During the 2 days at Parikia a saw one greek water tanker (Crisanthi) and several ferries.

On 27.8.95 we continued again with Bluestar Paros to Naxos. I shot the old ferry Penelope leaving Parikia. Arriving at Naxos not ships there except the small Cyclades ferry Express Skopelitis. Our hotel at Naxos was about 5 km away from Naxos City near a beach. But from there no  shipwatching was possible.  During our trips to  Naxos city I could take the RoRo Mykonos and the the highspeed ferry Panagia Parou and some fishing vessels and small excursion boats.

On 31.8.05 we continued with Bluestar Naxos to Santorini, again a very intersing passage. Expecially the entrance to Santorini is just great with volcanic rocks rairing more than 100 m up from the water and the white villages on the top (like snow).
In front of Santorini island the 2 cruise vessels MSC Armonia and Golden Prince anchored.
Our hotel was located in the centre of the capital of Santorini, Fira, a 5 minutes walk to the best spotting place for the cruise vessels anchoring there and the ferries passing. Each day about 2-4 cruise  vessels and about 6-10 ferries. The most intersting were the old Ausonia (built 1957!), the tall ships Star Flyer and the ferries Daedalus and Agios Georgios.

On 4.9.2005 we returned to Pireaus. The port of Santorini was very busy that morning, the small ferries Nissos Thira and Manolios, the ferries Agios Georgios, Express Apollon and Panagia Tinou, the catamaran Super Jet and of course our ferry Panagia Thalassini. The voyage was just disappointing. This fast ferry is totally closed, that you cannot go outrside for watching the landscape or shipping. The voyage took via a shorter disatance via Ios instead of planned 4 hours 6 hours as the sea was very rough. So I would have prefered a voyage with the old Express Apollon, which departed 15 minutes earlier and arrived about 30 minutes later (voa Parso and Naxos). The only ship I could take fairly good (through a totally dirty window) was the old general cargo Hisar anchored about one hour away from Piraeus.

The last day of our journey helped me to forget that disaster. My women went shopping at Athens and I could go with the train (30 minutes) to Piraeus.
I first walked throught the ferry port (no problems with the security) and took all the ships inside, totally 26. Among them 3 passenger vessels (Bluedream, Ausonia again and Voyager), 2 bunker tankers (Jet IV, built 1954 ! and Floisbos) and the rest ferries.
Than I walked (took me about half an hour) to the beach besides the port entrance to watch the incoming ships and have a look on the anchorages. Within one hour, there were  6 ships passing, 5 ferries and one general cargo. The anchorages (totally 17) were too far away for good photos. I only took fairly well the general cargo Areti I.
I went back to the port by taxi and took the small ferry toi Salamis, which takes about 45 minutes one way. This was a very interesting trip as you can see a of  ships in the commercial port of Pireaus and all the ferryboats. Taking photos was no problem except the military area shortly before Salamis. I did not mind as I prefer commercial ships. During the 2 hours going to Salamina and returning I saw more than 100 ships of all types (from the old coaster to the modern container vessel) with a majority of old ships, which you do not see any more in middle Europe.  The only disadvantage is, that the quality of the photos is not always the best as there are buildings behind the ships, which is not so good looking. This trip is a real recommendation.
I posted all the photos of that  trip in shipspotting, so everybody can convince hisself about numerous ships I saw there.
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