Athens11-13-08

 

P1030285.JPGWe arrived at Piraeus, Greece at 6:00am. This is the main port for the city of Athens. We had booked a tour with the cruise lines to visit the Poseidon Temple, then on to the first modern Olympic Stadium, then to the Acropolis and we finished our tour at the Plaka the center city shopping district. Our tour left the ship at 7:45 and we headed to the Poseidon Temple. It took about an hour to drive out there and it took us along a coastal highway, where we went through several quaint fishing villages. As we got close to Poseidon you could see it sitting on top of a rock bluff overlooking the sea. For many years this was believed to be the temple of Athena, but was later discovered to be Poseidonís. As we were soon to find out all of the temples sat on the highest points around, each one had tons of steps to climb. They were uneven and hard to climb, but we made it to all of them!

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P1030332.JPGThe view was fantastic of the sea from on top of the hill where Poseidon Temple was. The sea was so blue!! When we left here we drove back into Athens and stopped at the Metropolitan Hotel for lunch. It was good, but buffet food as there were so many in our group they had to get us in and out quickly. We had mosaka which was layered like a lasagna, but with potato, eggplant, meat and sauce, covered with cheese and baked. I tried something wrapped in a grape leaf, and we had several other things we arenít sure what they were. We left there and headed to the Old Olympic Stadium. This was build completelyout of white marble (even the seats) in the late 1800ís for the first modern Olympic Games and is built on the site of the Ancient Olympic Stadium. It is the only marble stadium in the world. We left here and headed towards the Acropolis. Our tour guide explained on the way that the Acropolis is the hill that the Pantheon and the other temples actually sit on.After getting our entrance tickets we walked the 80 steps (20 miles straight up!!) Ha And we arenít talking normal steps here either, they were huge marble blocks. Some were slick to walk on too. Once on top the 360įpanoramic view of the city of Athens. The population is approximately 4.5 million and they each live on top of one another! Ha It is spread out all over valley surrounding the Acropolis.

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The Pantheon was amazing, we wondered at the history and sheer magnitude of such an undertaking. It is being restored in certain sections but we donít know how they will ever be done. There are lots of stones laying all around on the ground that are pieces and parts of pillars, and statues.

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Our tour guide said that most of the structures on the Acropolis dated to between the 4th and 5th century B.C.and we stood right there on that old dirt!! It was hard to believe we actually saw it for real. The walk back down was almost as hard as going up because of the slick marble. We walked across the street to a cafť and looked back up at where we had been in awe. Next we drove to the Plaka area of central Athens and we were let loose to shop for an hour. On the way though we passed their Parliament house that had guards marching out in front. The only thing I bought at the shopping area was fresh pistachioís and they were yummy.

 

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Our guide wrote our names for us in Greek letters, which is how we will sign off for now. See you in Euphesus, Turkey!

ANTюNHΣ& KAINTY

The last picture is of us leaving the Port in Athens.

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