120523 Athens 23 May Wednesday

The view of Athens at 6:00am from the gym is rather good.  Athens sprawls out along a coast and has 4.5 million inhabitants.  On the way back to the stateroom, that’s what they like to call them on this ship, I collect a cup of tea to take to the sleeping Lyn.  (Now that should earn me some brownie points.)

We get up for a later breakfast and at 8:30am, take off on a tour of Athens and a visit to the Acropolis.  We assemble in the main lounge and leave right on time as buses are waiting, and there are lots of people to be moved onto them.  Our guide takes us through the port town of Piraeus, past the main stadiums of the city, and on to the first Olympic Stadium where the annual marathon is completed, including the Olympic games marathon.  Then it’s on to the Acropolis via some of the main streets of the city proper.  We see the Parliament building and other famous, we are told, buildings.

There are scores of tour buses at the entry to the Acropolis, each with inquisitive passengers seeking the best photos of the ruins.  Our guide walks up to the top of the hill past expansive ruins to the Parthenon.  It is recognizable at a glance and although a visit requires an uphill walk (acropolis means “high place”), the route is not steep.  Ancient Gods presumably lived in the clouds, so high places brought people closer to those they worshipped.  The first residents moved to the mountain in 3500BC, and by 1400BC, it was the royal dwelling.

We are fortunate to have another blue-sky day and the color of the tall ruins look majestic against the bright sky.  The view of the city shows the complete city.  It ends only 10-15km away and all the houses and buildings are the same color with very little vegetation.

On our return to the ship, we have a small lunch and head for the sunshine on the upper deck, to be interrupted by a call to the bow for an ANZAC get together.  There are over 900 of us on the ship and we have a time of cheaper drinks and lamingtons.  Our dinner is taken in the main dinning room over looking the wake of the ship.

Tonight’s entertainment is “If Walls Could Rock” – a show about New York filled with singing, music and dance.  Much of the entertainment is only on the ship the one night as they are picked off or dropped off at each port along the way.

It’s an early night tonight – 10:00pm.  I can hear Lyn snoring away so I shall sign off and get some sleep before we reach Turkey tomorrow.

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