Athens, Greece

Athens Travel Blog

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Actually, the port is in Piraeus. We met Rick and the rest of the group of 40 or 50 people for our private tour of Athens. Had a great day. We all rode in nice, new Mercedes vans, 12 to a van. Drove through Piraeus, a town along the Aegean Sea, with the biggest marina I've ever seen. It went on for miles and had lots and lots of huge yachts. The next town is Athens. All of Greece has 12 million people, and 6 million of them live in Athens. It's a very crowded, busy city, and the traffic is horrendous. According to our driver, there are 6 million people, and each family has 3 cars. I believe it, too! Our first stop was the Acropolis. We always thought Acropolis was the name of the building. It's actually the name of the hill where many of the ruins are. We spent 2 hours there and then went to the new Acropolis Museum, which has only been open for a couple of months. Very nice museum actually built above ruins with plexiglass (or something of that type) floors, so you can see the ruins below. Lots of salvaged pieces from the ruins inside, and the entrance fee was only 2 euros each. We also saw the Temple of Zeus, the original Olympic stadium (built in 1863 for the first modern Olympic games in 1896), the Parliament Building with the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in front and watched the changing of the guards there. Then we went to the Plaka (old town) for a really nice authentic Greek lunch and had time there for some shopping.

There was a young couple on our van with their 3-year-old son, Lincoln, a cute, smart little boy. He was amazingly well-behaved. It was a really long day with lots of walking and, I'm sure not much of interest to him, but he was great. Several times, he came out with such cute comments. At one point, he called out, “I want a hot dog.” When we finally got back to the ship, he yelled, “We made it!” Even our van driver cracked up at that. The grandparents were traveling with them, too. They spent some time in Italy before joining the ship. At one point, they were on a water bus, and Lincoln kicked his foot out and lost one of his shoes in the canal. Of course, it was gone for good, but Lincoln decided that the birds ate it. As cute and well-behaved as he is, I give his parents a lot of credit. We'd probably not take a cruise with a 3 year old.

It was Italian Night in the dining room tonight, but, after our huge lunch, I just had an appetizer and, of course, dessert!

So, it's early to bed again tonight, because we have another early morning tomorrow. We'll be in Kusadasi, Turkey. Our tour will be to Ephesus.

Today was a sea day, so we had lots of time to relax. This afternoon we had our get-together (Meet & Greet) with all the Cruise Critic people we've been corresponding with online for the past few months. It was fun to finally actually meet each other. Tonight was our first formal night. One more to go. Early to bed tonight, because we're meeting early and have a full day in Athens tomorrow.

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photo by: Johnpro