Day 7: Athens

Athens Travel Blog

 › entry 7 of 11 › view all entries
Pre-dawn at the port of Athens (click to enlarge!)
 

The members were very excited about this day of our vacation as we would be docking in Athens. Because the historical sights of the city are not within walking distance of the port, everyone opted to take one of the ship's established shore excursions. Several of us chose the excursion that took us to the Panathenaic  stadium, the Acropolis (home of the Parthenon) and onto downtown Athens for shopping and sightseeing.

 

As our tour bus wound through the craziness of Athens (huge HUGE city with traffic problems that make DC seem like a walk in the park) and our punchy tour guide explained a bit about Athens and Greece in general, I looked out the window and noticed the streets were lined with citrus trees.

View of Acropolis from the Panathenaic stadium
Our tour guide explained they are bitter tangerines hence the reason they had not been picked. They were literally everywhere.

 

The Panathenaic stadium was pretty interesting. It's the only one in the world made entirely of marble and dates back to 329BC and was used by the citizens of Athens for their version of the Olympics. It's still used today for athletic events, most notably for some of the games from the recent Olympics held in Athens.

 

After a few minutes at the stadium we boarded the bus and were taken to the Acropolis where we walked off the bus and up the hill to the archeological site. As we approached the Acropolis my stomach sank. I had been anticipating a visual that would take my breath away (such as Tikal had in Guatemala or Machu Picchu had in Peru) but when finally face to face with the massive Acropolis I felt as if I were before any government building in Washington DC.

8 of the 12 stand before the Parthenon at the Acropolis. From L to R: Jon, Jenni, Sheldon, Diane, Jan, Judy, Damali
(This is of course because we tend to favor classical Greek architecture here in the states.) Sure the building is a lot older (dates back to 447BC) but architecturally its nothing groundbreaking to those of us of this era that have grown up with similar styled buildings all around. I feel ashamed to admit this as even when I was onsite I knew I was supposed to be in awe of its majesty but I just couldn't drum up profound admiration.

 

We had a bit of drama upon leaving the Acropolis as two members of our group did not return to the bus before the scheduled departure time and the tour guide wanted to leave them behind despite our protests.  Luckily just as the bus was literally pulling out of the lot our members came down the hill ready to board the bus.

 

Our bus left the Acropolis site and proceeded downtown where we were all dropped for about an hour of shopping and sightseeing. My stomach wasn't feeling well so instead of a fabulous greek lunch I had been hoping for I had to play it safe and just go for a cheeseburger and Mickey D's. Another thing I hang my head in shame over - eating at an American junk restaurant in Europe!

 

Once our tour was over and we were back on the boat and it was another evening of dinner, drinks and dancing till we were spent.

MelissaBeth says:
Loved reading your blog! I am doing a similar cruise this summer. Thanks for all of the information you shared!
Posted on: Mar 30, 2011
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Pre-dawn at the port of Athens
(c…
Pre-dawn at the port of Athens (…
View of Acropolis from the Panathe…
View of Acropolis from the Panath…
8 of the 12 stand before the Parth…
8 of the 12 stand before the Part…
View of the Parthenon on the appro…
View of the Parthenon on the appr…
Panathenaic stadium
Panathenaic stadium
Panathenaic stadium
Panathenaic stadium
Panathenaic stadium
Panathenaic stadium
Olive trees at the Acropolis
Olive trees at the Acropolis
Strays play at the Acropolis
Strays play at the Acropolis
Entrance to Acropolis
Entrance to Acropolis
View of Athens from the Acropolis.…
View of Athens from the Acropolis…
Parthenon at the Acropolis
Parthenon at the Acropolis
Parthenon at the Acropolis
Parthenon at the Acropolis
Another temple at the Acropolis
Another temple at the Acropolis
Jenni and Jon stand at the Parthen…
Jenni and Jon stand at the Parthe…
Parthenon at the Acropolis
Parthenon at the Acropolis
Parthenon at the Acropolis
Parthenon at the Acropolis
Temple at the Acropolis
Temple at the Acropolis
Theatre at the Acropolis
Theatre at the Acropolis
View of other ruins from the Acrop…
View of other ruins from the Acro…
View of other ruins in the valley …
View of other ruins in the valley…
View of church and Athens from the…
View of church and Athens from th…
Horse and carriage at the entrance…
Horse and carriage at the entranc…
Church in downtown Athens
Church in downtown Athens
Flowers take over an apartment bui…
Flowers take over an apartment bu…
Soldiers stand at attention outsid…
Soldiers stand at attention outsi…
Ships at the Port of Athens
Ships at the Port of Athens
Athens
photo by: Johnpro