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Lemnos

Saga Sapphire blog - Captains' blogs

22nd April, 2015

This morning we neared our anchorage at 7 am. Because this port has no facilities to accommodate Saga Sapphire we have to be at anchor. With kind seas and under a blue sky we were at anchor at 8 am. While I was busy making sure that the ship was safely at anchor, other crew members of the deck department busied themselves preparing the tenders which we would use to ferry the passengers and crew to and from the shore, the tender platform which is the docking station along the ship and the embarkation point for our passengers and crew into the tender, and the landing stage shore side. Shortly after we had anchored the first tender went ashore to receive the officials, who cleared the ship from the pier as they first wanted to go for a coffee before coming to the ship.

Today’s tours were:

“Lemnos Boat Trip” offered the opportunity to view the wonderful landscapes, romantic beaches and idyllic coves and bays with their clear blue water from aboard a caïque. The boat cruised the East coast of Lemnos, with its secluded bays and isolated beaches. The caïque is the workhorse of the Aegean islands, and often the same boat is used at different times for fishing, carrying tourists, family transport and the shipment of goods. Being small, they can easily slide into small harbours and draw close enough to many beaches so that passengers can walk down a short ladder onto the sand or even wade ashore.

“East Moudros Cemetery & Poliochni Site”. This tour started with a 50 minute coach drive to the archaeological site of Poliochni on the east coast of the island. Seven layers of civilisation have been excavated here, one above the other. It is considered one of the earliest large urban centres of the Early Bronze Age and to have been the first city in Europe with a basic social and civic structure. This Neolithic town pre-dates the Egyptian dynasties, the Minoan kingdom of Crete and even the earliest level of Troy. From here the tour went to East Moudros, where the main military cemetery of Lemnos is located. Established in 1915, it contains 885 Commonwealth graves from the First World War and one Second World War burial. There are separate French and Indian memorials, in addition to a monument commemorating the sailors from HMS Agamemnon who died during the Gallipoli campaign. After some leisure time in the picturesque harbour town of Moudros, set on a wide natural bay, the tour returned to the ship.

“Myrina Museum & Poliochni Site”. This tour took our passengers back to ancient times. It started with a visit to the archaeological museum in Lemnos. This neo-Classical building was recently renovated. The objects exhibited there were discovered during excavations by the Italian Archaeological School and by the Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities. From here the tour proceeded to the archaeological site of Poliochni. “Poliochni Archaeological Site and Wine” offered ancient history with a visit to the site of Poliochni, and a taste of the local wine with a visit to the Chatzigeorgiou Wine Factory, where our passengers could sample some famous Lemnos wines, together with local snacks and cheeses. Lemnos is especially known for its sweet white dessert wine.

For passengers wishing to explore independently it was only a very short walk from the tender landing into town. The last tender from the shore to the ship was at 5.30 pm. As soon as all the passengers and crew were on board the tenders and the platform were stowed and secured and anchor weighed. Soon we were clear of our anchorage and on our way to the next port of call, Istanbul. The day had not yet finished however, as we were going through the Dardanelles between 10 pm and 1 am the next morning.

The evening, in the meantime, started with pre-dinner cocktail hour in the Drawing Room where the Perfect Mood Duo were playing and in Cooper’s Bar, where Dave Peterson entertained our guests at the piano. After Dinner the Britannia Lounge featured the sophistication, culture and glamour of Violinist Claire Gobin.

Captain Kees Spekman

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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