Ok so last Monday if you’re not aware by now as our ship pulled into Athens I was up at 6am ready to go on tour when I found out that a bunch of taxi drivers felt they needed to ruin everyone’s holiday because they didn’t like the fact that taxi license fee’s were dropping
So what do they do? They decide to bite the hand that feeds them in a strike that blocked access to the Airport and Seaport thus ruining the holidays of over 15,000 tourists who will no doubt go back to their home countries and tell their friends not to travel to Athens which would weaken their tourism revenue stream.
And tourism is one of Athens biggest sources of revenue with sites like the Acropolis and the Plaka, and with Greece in so much debt right now if the taxi union is going to continue to behave the way they did last Monday then they deserve to get what’s coming to them.
BTW when the ship left the port of Athens that night the complaints inbox was overflowing, yeah I can tell the passengers took it really well
Well it seems my work has become routine now, I’m now familiar with most of the areas we go to, I’ve also gotten back into VYou where you can hear me talk and walk around the ship quite a bit so if you’d like to see me answer a question in video form pop over to my VYou account.
I’m crashing in early tonight, got Pompeii tomorrow followed by the dreaded Italian run so I’m going to cash in on all the sleep I can get.
Already into my 3rd Contract and my 3rd visit to Athens and Kusadasi, I’ll start with Athens first pretty much it was the same tour as the first one I did so I pretty much spent the day covering shots, but I did get this really cool T-shirt with a Spartan helmet and “300” over the front, of course stupid me forgot to take a picture of it before I threw it in the washing machine and started this blog.
Kusadasi visit was today for the 3rd time, again I hit Ephesus which by now all I’m doing is covering new shots of tourists interacting with the site since we already have so much shot of it, I also visited 2 new places, The shrine of the Virgin Mary and St Johns Basilica (or what’s left of it.) The shrine is supposedly the final resting place of the Virgin Mary, it consisted of a house, a statue a sidewalk with messages attached and … that’s about it, I didn’t actually go in the house as filming in there is prohibited and besides there were some better shots I could get outside. Whilst filming though I had a flower fall on me … at which point I said “Thanks Issac Newton”
St. John is the ruins of an old church originally believed to be apart of Ephesus, it was here that annoyance really set in, I had gotten about 3 shots of the area when one of the main caretakers of the place came up to me and said I wasn’t allowed to shot with my camera, despite the fact that all the other tourists were able to shoot with theirs, he kept saying “It’s too big, if you want to shoot you have to pay extra €100”, … “Fuck you asshole” I thought in my mind, the guy also kept an eye on me like a hawk the entire time I was there meaning I couldn’t shoot anything.
This job is really starting to feel more routine now, whilst its nice to have a comfort zone for how I’m working I can’t help but feel that now that we’re going to the same places constantly if I’ll still be enjoying it 4 months from now … ehh I guess I’ll have to wait and see.
Cya guys later
Ok so we went through a new turnaround day here on board the ship, sadly our DVD sales were down compared to the last cruise which hurts, so this cruise I’m going to be focusing more on promoting the product since we already have so much footage from all the locations we’ve been to so I don’t have to run around like a crazy chicken to get every single awesome shot.
We’ve also got some new faces on the ship in the departments I work with, I’ve come to the realization now that this is a common occurrence with each new cruise that we do, for one I know that next time we hit Venice my senior will be leaving.
Speaking of Venice it wasn’t as awesome as I thought it’d be. I mean yeah it have the whole novelty of being built on a network of canels where the only way to travel through the city is by boat or foot, but once you get past that, … meh!!! This could also be due to the fact that I only spent a few hours here but there was nothing else really that jumped out at me and was like “Wow that’s awesome”
Also this Cruise we’re going to Cannes in France instead of Monte Carlo this time, I’m not sure why that it at the moment, though I’d doubt I’d be able to go see the city as that’s the day we also sell the DVD, though it would be nice to see a new city.
Cya later guys
Ok so what was with all the media hype with Athens being possibly unsafe with civil unrest or something like that due to protests or riots? Because based on what everyone said who travelled to Athens today it was particularly calm, Some other cruise ships that were set to dock that day also cancelled cause of concern of passenger safety and as a result most of the landmarks were not that busy.
Goddamn sensationalist media, why do they have to go and fuck up everything?
Oh what happened today? Eh it was a sea day, it was also the day we start selling the DVD’s pretty much meant I stood around in the sales gallery all day taking payments, booooorrrriiinggggg!!!!
Eh we hit Venice again tomorrow afternoon and we stay there for 2 nights which means I get a chance to hit the city nightlife, something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now.
I’ll let you know when something interesting happens
It is, they had €8 for an Ice Cream, I didn’t purchase one for obvious reasons.
So on Thursday I arrived in Istanbul, the only city in the world to span over 2 continents, and man did I really enjoy the sights here, only downside of the day was that it was raining but it wasn’t that much of a big deal as most of the places we went to were indoors before the rain hit. First we went over the main bridge onto the Asian side of the city and got some great video of the city, We then headed to St. Sophia, a 1000+ year old building that was originally built as a Christian Church which was later converted into a Islamic Mosque and then later converted into a museum housing both Islam and Christian icons, I was absolutely amazed by the construction of this place mainly because its over 1000 years old and so well preserved.
Following that we went to a Turkish carpet weaving demonstration at which point I got a chance to try some Turkish national tea , it tasted like liquorish I didn’t finish it completely, the carpets they showed were really well designed and quite extravagant, most of the carpets took up to 14 months to weave which is quite amazing I don’t think I’d have the patience to do something like that.
From I was able to get my first interview with the tour guide, on my own by the way, last interviews we did I was with my senior, the interview went really well got some amazing sound bytes to go with the segment. It was also good that I got that interview as my senior who was on another tour was unable to get one, not all guides are comfortable with doing interviews, Hey Alissa you got any suggestions of some good questions to ask a tour guide?
After the interview I had just over 25 minutes to kill before the bus came to take me back to the ship so I headed to the Grand Bazaar, one of the first ever major shopping complexes in the world, but the most interesting thing about this place is that despite the fact that it’s the size of a large shopping centre back home none of the products in the shops have a marked price, instead you have to negotiate a price with the employee in the shop, most of the items in the bazaar was stuff for women like handbags, jewelry and women’s coats but I did find this t-shirt shop where I got a tourist shirt, the guy at the shop wanted €15 for the shirt I was able to negotiate the price down to €4 Euro, not bad for my first run in the Bazaar.
On Friday I was back in Kusadasi for Ephesus. I’d been here already so I knew how to make my way around the area although once again this time I was on my own. Unfortunately things didn’t go as smooth sailing as I was hoping to, the memory card I was using for the camera got corrupted making me lose about 10% of my shots from the area out the front of the place which was annoying, even worse was getting the footage off the card to the computer since the corrupted file kept crashing Final Cut so I had to do a slow transfer of footage to the computer which took about 2.5 times longer than usual to capture, still I was able to get the segment out and ready on time though it was really cutting it to the wire.
Turkey by far has to be my favorite country I’ve travelled to so far, I wouldn’t say my favorite city that title is still held by Barcelona but I’ve found this place to be quite amazing, I also learned quite a bit about the trivia about of the country, as you might have guessed from its flag the majority of the population in the country is Muslim, but they’re also probably one of the most free Muslim countries in the world, most notably they actually passed women’s rights laws in the 1920’s well before any of the other European nations or even Australia also as a result of that the majority of the women here don’t wear any veil or head cover adding to next piece of trivia which is that the country has a secular government and authority which means there’s absolutely no public religious restrictions whatsoever, anyone here is free to believe whatever they wish.
We’re currently ported in Athens right now but I didn’t go on this tour due to the unrest in the city the ship only allowed the most experienced personal off the ship, its probably not a major concern but the ship is being pretty cautious about the situation, besides I needed to catch up on some laundry anyways.
In 2 days time I arrive in Venice again, we we’ll be ported for 2 nights, during which I’ll be uploading more pics and possibly some video depending on my schedule.
Cya guys later
Ok Apologies for not blogging for the last few days, as you may have figured out this job has very little downtime, I’ll give you the brief details about the last 4 days
On Saturday we landed in Livorno and I was assigned to head to Florence to shoot the famous artwork, however the tour dispatch sent the email to my senior with the wrong time and I ended up missing it, I was pretty annoyed by that happening because it makes our department look bad when we miss our tours especially when neither myself or my senior was at fault, so since I had nothing else to go on I wasn’t going to sit around all day and do nothing so I took the shuttle bus into Livorno and shot a small segment of that city as we didn’t have anything on that city yet, it took me a while to get my bearings but once I got the hang of it I got some pretty neat stuff, Also it was market day there which was pretty neat to get on cam as this whole area had a really nice Italian vibe.
Sunday I was back in Rome, I was on a different tour this time first off heading to the Catacombs on the outskirts of the city, the Catacombs are a series of underground tunnels with bodies buried in various chambers, it was dug during ancient times when purchasing land for a grave was expensive. It was pretty interesting down there, though pretty cramped, the hallways were really narrow that I couldn’t raise my arms, if a really fat person went in there they’d get stuck that’s how narrow the corridors are. The most annoying thing about it though was that I wasn’t allowed to film in there AT ALL. No one else in my department was aware of this as this was the first time they had sent anyone to this location and they only had it up cause they needed something to cover for the Sistine Chapel as it was closed on Sundays.
I also got to go to the Colosseum this time, which was pretty much what I was expecting: a stone stadium pretty much in ruins, still pretty awesome to see though, plus because we were on a tour we could cut through the line, SUH-WEET!
Things got pretty hectic in the later stages of the afternoon, so much stuff had been asked of me both on tour and for when I got back that I had trouble staying on top of everything and I made a few stuff ups, as a result mainly when I got back and started work.
Monday our producer left the ship and with him 2 laptops a 4 Canon DSLR camera’s which means we’re now down to just 2 of us, we only have one DSLR camera and 3 lesser quality Sony NX5 camera and worst off only one editing station, which REALLY hurts us especially on this run, we’re gonna have to put together a new time management plan to get all our edits our on time next run.
Anyways that day we landed in Naples (urghh) and I went to Capri (Awesome). The island was fantastic, the scenery was beautiful there were some really nice and friendly people on the tour with us, and the shots I got were REALLY amazing, to top it all off I took a boat ride around the Island getting some great stuff but also enjoying the ride and scenery, which was quite breathtaking. After a rather shitty day in Rome Capri was just what I needed to get my mood back up to good standings, there’s still so much there that I haven’t shot yet including the amazing Blue Grotto, it’s a small water cave on the side of the island where the light reflection of through the entrance and off the water and the cave causes the water inside to glow a bright bluish colour like something out of Avatar, I didn’t get a chance to do that during the day because they closed trips into the grotto as the seas were too rough and the water kept hitting the ceiling.
Monday I was back in Delos, since I had already done a shoot and edit in Delos and conditions were pretty much the same I was mainly targeting stuff I didn’t get to cover last time, unfortunately about 15 minutes into shooting on the island one of the guide heads came up to me and told me I wasn’t allowed to use a tripod, which is even more annoying by the fact I was able to use one last time, So my shots weren’t as good as they could have been since my framing is severely limited to using the rocks as tripod so I ended up working off my old edit replacing the bad shots I got last trip there with some decent ones I got this time.
Anyways got quite a plan ahead tomorrow, finally going into Istanbul tomorrow which is something I didn’t get to do beforehand, also doing another run in Kusadasi and Athens then we’re in Venice 3 days when the passengers leave and we get some time to ourselves. At which point I’m planning to upload a series of pics that I’ve been taking over the last few weeks
Cya guys later