Day 7: Athens
Athens Travel Blog› entry 7 of 11 › view all entries
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.
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.
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.